A few weeks ago I heard Pastor Mark Batterson define anointing as “the best I can do + the best God can do”. And something erupted inside of me when he said it.
Up until that point if you were to ask me to define or describe an anointed person, I probably would have fumbled around and said something about it being a person blessed by God or someone who was in the right place at the right time and said the right thing. I thought of anointing as something controlled only by God and if you were lucky enough or blessed enough, you were “anointed”. And maybe there is some truth in that kind of thinking. After all, God can do whatever He pleases and can anoint whomever He wishes. But I never considered striving to be an anointed person. I would have never considered it okay to even ask or desire.
Afterward, I thought more about the definition.
The best I can do + The best God can do = Anointing
I began to reflect on different areas of my life and wondering if I was really doing my very best. I reflected on my responsibilities at home, parenting, ministry, and writing- all the things I strive to do well in. I thought about the goals I was trying to hit and the aspirations I dreamed of.
I kept asking myself, Am I really doing my best? Am I working hard?
I was working and moving forward, but the truth is, I couldn’t say I was doing the best I can do. I was praying hard and no doubt I was dreaming hard, but I was not actually working hard.
“Work like it depends on you. Pray like it depends on God,” Pastor Mark went on to say.
Right then and there I grabbed a hold of a new mindset and began to commit my work to God in a new way. If there’s any inkling of possibility my work could be anointed as a result of working hard, I wasn’t going to miss out. While I can’t force God’s hand, I won’t be left on the sideline as a result of not trying believing that anointing is just happenstance.
Now, I don’t want to minimize what I was doing or make it sound like I didn’t do much, I definitely did. I’ve had a schedule I’ve worked and stayed committed to. But there were areas of my responsibilities I didn’t like and things I didn’t want to do- and to be honest, I wasn’t willing to do them. And that kept me from making progress. Even if no one ever told me I needed to do anything more, it didn’t matter because I felt convicted that I was capable of doing better and working harder.
Ever since then I’ve changed how I work and manage my responsibilities. And guess what? I feel a big difference. I feel the difference of dreaming the work and doing the work. It requires risk and vulnerability, and those two things alone can keep us from doing our very best. But it’s necessary. It’s part of the work.
Also, one last note. Though I’m working harder in many ways, I’m not stressed out. And I think that’s an interesting, but crucial component. Stress is not a necessary part of work. In fact, I believe if we’re doing the right work, the right way, we won’t be stressed out. Stress comes as a result of trying to force things our way or force an outcome we can’t control. There are many things I cannot control, and I’m not going to try, but for the things I can, I’m gong to work as hard as I can, as best as I can. The results are up to God. I can only move forward one step at a time, looking at what is right in front of me. God doesn’t expect me to know what step to take next month, just today. So for today, I’m going to do the hard work in front of me- and maybe that just might be anointed work.
Work hard this week friends. Pray hard this week. And see how your week might be different at the end. Even if it’s just you feeling more fulfilled in the work you are doing.