Anointing Oil

Featuring Paul Baloche Posted on February 1, 2010

Most of us will agree that the single most important quality we could hope for in a Christian song is the power of the Holy Spirit on it. We don’t want our songs just to make people feel good; we want to see people converted, comforted, helped, strengthened and led into the presence of God.

What is it that invokes this presence, this power, on a mere song? It’s the anointing of the Holy Spirit. But how do we get this anointing on our music? Let’s look at what the Scriptures say:

Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart brings forth good things” (Matthew 12:34). We are what we have become; our treasure is what we have treasured. What we “bring forth” in our writing can only be what is inside us, what we’ve put there.
By “good things” we don’t mean only “religious things.” Few of us devote all our time to prayer, meditation and devotional reading. But the Apostle Paul tells us what things to think on—things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, praiseworthy; think on these things, he says. Every good and perfect gift comes from God. He gives us “richly all things to enjoy.” (1 Timothy 6:17). There are many good things for us to fill our treasuries with that aren’t specifically religious things. However, most of us probably spend far too little time in the treasury of the Word of God itself. Paul wrote, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom” (Colossians 3:16).

Richness in our message and music comes from what we’ve put into the mixing bowl of our minds and characters. A mind of depth and breadth will produce a message of substance. A beautiful and serene spirit will convey beauty and serenity. A soul hotly in touch with God will serve as a conduit for the fire of the Holy Spirit.

So, does it matter what we listen to? Absolutely. And what we watch, and what we read. If our writing is a subconscious product of what we take into our minds and spirits, it matters a lot what we put in there. People who allow themselves to be entertained by crude ideas and lewd people gradually lose bits and pieces of their character. And our character determines our output. As people who try to help lead others to the Throne of God, we have an obligation. There are certain “artists,” writers and entertainers that we must keep out of our “greenhouse” because their influence pollutes whatever it touches.

Jesus told His disciples that the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, would bring to their remembrance all the things He had said to them. If snatches of scripture containing guidance and insight flash into our minds at
appropriate times, it’s because we’ve planted them there for the Holy Spirit to bring to our remembrance when we need them.

He will also “bring forth” the things of God as inspiration for the songs we’re to write. We are not just to write nice Christian sentiments; we’re to let Him speak through us in our songs. Surely this is what the Apostle meant about yielding our bodies a living sacrifice to God (Romans 12:1); our minds, our talents, our hands are yielded to Him for His purposes. This is the way to the anointing.

Buddy Owens, author of “The Way of a Worshiper”

Buddy is Jimmy and Carol’s son. Formerly a V. P. with Maranatha! Music, he was General Editor of the NIV Worship Bible. He is now a pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California and Editorial Director for Purpose Driven Ministries, with Senior Pastor Rick Warren. In Buddy’s teaching to worship leaders and pastors at more than 40 Promise Keepers conferences, he has often keyed in on Colossians 3:16: Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. There’s no way a verse could be more targeted for worship leaders and songwriters. He says:
“First, Let the word dwell in you richly: You have a role to play, making your time, mind and heart available.
“Then, Let the word dwell in you richly: Not a quick visit; let it take residence, give it time and space.
“Last, Let the word dwell in you richly: Soak it up like a tea bag in hot water, until it colors and flavors your whole life.
“Then write your songs for the church, ‘teaching them with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.’”

Father, I need a bigger
measure of the Family creativity.
When I imagine the paeans of
praise in Heaven, I feel
embarrassed by the
little songs I offer
to the Church as
vehicles for worship.
But You understand that
 I do the very best I can with
the measure of talent I’ve
been given. So Lord, give my
songs Your anointing. With
that they will become far
more than they really are.


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