Charisma Magazine

Take Hold of the Driving Force of Your Prophetic Anointing

Written by Michelle McClain-Walters

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Elijah had a unique quality: he moved by the unction of the Holy Spirit. This unction empowered him to step into the spirit and pull out a prophetic mandate for a nation. Unction is a driver for Elijah prophets, and they need to build it and stir it up as they carry out the mandates of God.

What Is Unction?

The word unction is not a word we hear very often. Merriam-Webster defines unction as “the act of anointing as a rite of consecration or healing…spiritual fervor or the expression of such fervor.” Unction appears only once in the King James Version of the Bible: “But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things,” (1 John 2:20, KJV). The Greek word translated “unction” is chrisma. It means an unguent or ointment, a smearing. It also means anointing. In fact, many Bible translations use the word anointing instead of unction.

Chrisma comes from the Greek word chriō, which means to smear or rub with oil, to consecrate, to anoint. It is used in the Greek translation of the Isaiah 61 prophecy that Jesus read aloud in the synagogue in Nazareth, which He then declared had been fulfilled. The comparable Hebrew word for unction or anointing is māšḥâ. It refers to the holy oil used to anoint Aaron and the other priests for service in the tabernacle or temple of the Lord.

Unction is the anointing of the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit abides in us, if we are in tune with His voice, He will teach us, direct us, guide us, give us words to speak, show us things to do. He causes us to walk in truth. His will be the voice when “your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left,” (Isa. 30:21).

In the Driver’s Seat

Unction is the direction of the Holy Spirit. It will drive you to something or away from something. It will direct your paths. But to be led by the Holy Spirit and experience His unction at work in your life, you need to have a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit.

That personal relationship fosters trust in the Lord. If you don’t have that trust, when the time comes to step out in faith and do something that seems crazy or defies what your logical mind is telling you to do, you will hesitate, question, delay, or even fail to carry out your assignment. Proverbs 3:5–6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Elijah prophets need to have the Holy Spirit in the driver’s seat, which is why trust is critical for them. It is hard to trust someone you don’t know. That is why your time in the wilderness is so vital. You must develop an intimate relationship with the Holy Ghost.

A close relationship with the Holy Spirit also develops your sensitivity to the Spirit and to things happening in the spiritual world. This is also vital for those walking in the spirit and power of Elijah. As prophets called to preach repentance and call people to turn their hearts back to the Lord, it is all too easy for Elijah prophets to forget who the battle is really against. Ephesians 6:12 reminds us, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

Unction is about being led by the Holy One and letting Him steer you in the right direction, accelerating you into the next season at the right time, or hitting the brakes if the situation warrants. It is also about listening to what the Holy Spirit is speaking to you. Jesus said, “When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come” (John 16:13). The Holy Ghost is the One who will guide us, direct us and give us words of truth to speak.

In fact, when we get the unction from the Holy Spirit, many times we get the words He wants us to speak right on the spot. But again, for that to happen, you must have a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. We need the boldness that comes from the Holy Spirit. The words we speak as Elijah prophets are not preconceived. They are not coming from our own personal agendas. They are coming straight from the heart of God.

That is why the experience in the wilderness is so critical. You need that time hidden away with the Lord. You need the time of refreshing, of spiritual growth, of feasting on and being washed by the water of the Word, of learning to hear the Spirit’s voice—and developing your own voice. You need to be in that place of cutting away and dying to self to have the unction of the Holy Ghost.

Stumbling Blocks

There are things that can get in the way of the unction of the Holy Spirit and hinder us from fulfilling our assignments. I call these stumbling blocks to the prophetic.

Mixing up your own opinions and views with the truth of what the Lord is saying is a big one for Elijah prophets. Remember, God’s thoughts are higher than your thoughts, and His ways are higher than your ways (Isa. 55:8–9). Never become narrow-minded or dogmatic about the revelations the Lord is giving you. If God starts speaking something new to you, be open to it. Stay tuned in to His voice, not the thoughts and inclinations of your own heart and mind.

Fear of man is another potential stumbling block to walking in the spirit and power of Elijah. Elijah could have chosen to give in to fear of Ahab and Jezebel. John the Baptist could have chosen to give in to fear of Herod and Herodias or fear of the Pharisees. And the Elijah prophets of today could choose to give in to the fear of whomever the enemy sends against them. But the Word of God says that “the fear of man brings a snare” (Prov. 29:25). Fear of man is a trap, so don’t fall for it. The fear of the Lord, on the other hand, is anything but a trap.

We overcome fear of man with the fear of the Lord. We overcome fear of man with faith. We overcome fear of man with love, for “perfect love casts out fear,” (1 John 4:18).

Another common stumbling block is being a respecter of persons. When the apostle Peter was preaching to Cornelius’ household, he said, “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality” (Acts 10:34). Other translations say that “God is no respecter of persons” (MEV). Respect of persons is often a religious spirit, causing people to try to limit their ministry to a certain denomination. Respect of persons can also be rooted in prejudice. But regardless of its source, it is a stumbling block for Elijah prophets. James 2:9 says, “But if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.” To walk in the spirit and power of Elijah, you must deliver the heart of God without partiality.

Human compassion—having compassion for something God is judging—is another potential stumbling block for Elijah prophets. You cannot allow human compassion to affect your prophetic flow. Ministering correction to people you love is difficult, but you are called to obey the Spirit. You are called to walk in the Spirit. When the Holy Spirit is prompting you to speak, failing to speak out of misplaced compassion is actually unloving. Prophesying truth brings deliverance to the hearer. Don’t leave someone you care about chained up in bondage to sin out of what you think is compassion. Jesus wants them to walk in freedom. Proclaim liberty to the captives.

Your time in the wilderness with the Lord will help with overcoming whatever stumbling blocks you are facing. To come against the stumbling blocks, you must first desire truth in your inward parts.

You need to desire the real truth, the truth of the Lord that reaches down all the way into the depth of your being. Don’t be led astray by any kind of deception, especially self-deception. It takes the mercy and power of the Holy Spirit to break through deception.

Holy Spirit Freedom

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth. He will give you the wisdom you need to root out any issues in your heart that may cause you to stumble. When the Holy Spirit reveals the flaws and failings in your heart, be humble and honest with yourself rather than trying to justify your actions and attitudes. Humility and honesty are needed for healing and deliverance to occur.

The next step is to repent immediately. Delaying your response to what the Holy Spirit has shown you will only hurt you since the delay can lead to hardness of heart and even to more deception. And remember that delayed obedience is disobedience.

The last step is to rend your heart. Rending one’s garments is a sign of grief or desperation that was practiced often in the Bible and is still practiced by some Jewish people today. However, God doesn’t want a grief that is only on the surface. He wants to see a change in your heart.

You need to tear your heart away from anything and everything in your life that will be a stumbling block to walking in the spirit and power of Elijah, anything and everything that will block the flow of the Holy Ghost. If you are stuck in patterns of sin, some tearing will be required for you to be set free. But Jesus wants you living and walking in freedom. Don’t stay bound up in the shackles of your sin. Deal radically with your issues—all your hang-ups and hiccups and hardness of heart—and be delivered and set free!

Stir It Up!

Unction comes from the Holy Spirit. There is no other way to get it. You can’t manufacture it. You can’t fake it. You can’t buy it. You can’t get it by pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. You can’t get it by doing good deeds. You can’t get it by reading about it or hearing about it or talking about it. You can’t get it with might or power either.

Unction only comes from being in a close, personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. There is no substitute for it. It starts in your wilderness time, in your waiting time. After God has purified and refined our hearts is when He begins to give us the unction. When you are bound together with the Lord, He will become your source—for everything. And that closeness, that solid relationship, that connection with the Holy Ghost is the firm foundation you need to walk in the spirit and power of Elijah.

If God gives you the unction to speak words of judgment, it is so that the people might repent, turn from their wicked ways, and be restored to right relationship with Him. It is an act of love, calling the prodigals to return to the Father who loves them. This demonstrates God’s involvement in human affairs and His ability to awaken and inspire individuals for a specific purpose.

The Lord is the one who made you a prophet. He gave you a good and marvelous gift. He is the source of that gift, the source of all that you have—all your blessings, all your wisdom, all your power, all your peace, all your joy, all your everything.

Don’t make the mistake of letting pride get in the way. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you earned your gifts or that you are better than others because of your gifts. Everything you have comes from the Lord, and He alone deserves the glory.

So walk in humility, no matter what position you are elevated to while still on this earth.

The Holy Spirit is the One who gives you the unction and also the One who stirs it up. He will stir up your passion, your zeal.

You just need to do your part to be ready.

Michelle McClain-Walters is the author of Chosen, The Prophetic Advantage and her newest book The Spirit and Power of Elijah, along with the Women of Influence series, including The Esther Anointing and The Deborah Anointing. She served as director of prayer ministry at Crusaders Church under the leadership of Apostle John Eckhardt. She and her husband, Floyd Walters Jr., live in Orlando, and serve as senior leaders of Overflow International Life Center.

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