We all need a regular oil change to keep our car engines running - likewise, we all need a regular spiritual reboot to keep our spiritual lives healthy. Throughout the Bible, oil symbolizes God’s Holy Spirit. Anointing with oil took place regularly as a ritual act to set apart kings, priests, and prophets for a special purpose: Service to God.
In the Old Testament, we see that holy anointing oil was made up of 5 key ingredients. Each of these ingredients represented God’s power, protection, and favor. Today, anointing is the difference between the best you can do on your own and the best God can do when He has His hand over your life. So, let's take a look at what each of the anointing oil ingredients represents - and how they make up God's recipe for an anointed life.
#1) MYRRH = MEEKNESS
The first ingredient, myrrh, is a fragrant oil that's actually mentioned in the Bible 152 times. It was one of the gifts the 3 wise men brought to baby Jesus when he was born. This oil represents meekness: A spirit of surrender and submission to the will of God. Understand, meekness is NOT a weakness... It’s actually strength harnessed in for service to God. Like Moses and Mary the mother of Jesus, those who are meek are so surrendered that they're willing to do whatever God tells them to do - and trust Him with the outcome.
#2) CINNAMON = UPRIGHTNESS
A sweet-smelling spice, the next anointing ingredient comes from a tree that grows straight and firm to 30-40 feet tall. Like cinnamon, this ingredient that attracts God’s anointing in our lives is uprightness. This means to stand up for what God says is right. At this moment in history, when so many leaders are bent out of shape, lie, and tell half-truths, we are called to be people of TRUTH. The truth has a name – Jesus Christ – and we can stand firmly on the righteousness of Jesus.
#3) CALAMUS = HUMILITY
The next ingredient is calamus, which is a reed that grows in swamps. This plant's head is filled with oil and bends down when it’s time to be harvested. Likewise, the calamus represents bending low to God in humility.
In our culture, our corporations, businesses, and governments are all built on a PYRAMID with the leader on top. But, Jesus was a servant leader who turned this structure upside down. When his disciples asked, “Who will be the greatest in your kingdom?” He essentially said the one who is willing to bow low and serve all. Blessed are those who serve behind-the-scenes: Because it’s the Lord Christ they are serving!
#4) CASSIA = INNER CLEANSING
After calamus, we add cassia to the mix. Cassia is a laxative... So what’s the spiritual significants? It represents inner cleansing. Are you letting things into your life that are impure and hinder the anointing of God in you? The music you listen to…the shows you watch…the stuff you surf on the internet – it all affects our inner purity. To cleanse our hearts, minds, souls and spirits, we can pray with passion like David did in Psalm 139:
"Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
#5) OLIVE OIL = SOAKED IN THE SPIRIT
The last and perhaps the most important ingredient in God's recipe for an anointed life is olive oil. Olive oil represents the presence of God in our lives. When anointed oil was used in the Old Testament to anoint religious leaders, olive oil was the largest ingredient present in the mix. It held all the other ingredients together. These leaders would be SOAKED in the oil – running down their beards, onto the collars of their robes.
Like these Old Testament leaders, we need to be soaked in the presence of God. This Fall, don’t let the pandemic wear you down. Be anointed with fresh oil from God’s Holy Spirit. When God’s anointing is activated in your life, Satan has to RUN AWAY because he can’t stand to be in the presence of a Holy God whose anointing is on you! So, ask God to search your heart. We pray you'll experience a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit in your life. Amen?