For today’s writing I wish to begin with an excerpt from a book that impacted me greatly early on in my Christian walk as I was growing in my relationship with God:
“I returned to another Kathryn Kuhlman meeting in which she spoke of the price she had paid for the anointing on her ministry and the secret to the power of the Holy Spirit. She talked about death to self, carrying the cross, paying the price. She often said things such as: “Any of you ministers can have what I have if you’ll only pay the price.” In that service I began to understand that there is a higher experience, something more than just the presence of the Holy Spirit. There is an anointing, an empowering for service, and that comes through paying the price.” - Benny Hinn, “The Anointing” pg.37-38
Yes, those are the words of the world-famous evangelist Benny Hinn which He wrote in his follow-up book to “Good Morning Holy Spirit” called “The Anointing”. In my humble opinion, Benny has one of the most captivating stories in modern times of what God can do with a submitted vessel that is hungry for God and willing to spend time with the Holy Spirit faithfully for extended seasons.
BENNY’S INTRODUCTION TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
Benny was born to a Greek family in Israel, and spent his childhood there in the city of Jaffa where His father was the Mayor. Later as a teenager Him and His family immigrated to Toronto, Canada, and it was there where He began to encounter the Lord. As the story goes He was invited down to some Kathryn Kuhlman meetings which were being held weekly in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. When He first attended He shook like a leaf under the power of God the entire time, even for several hours leading up to the meeting, even though He had no idea what it was at the time. It was at that first set of meetings that He attended that He listened to this mysterious woman who seemed to float across the platform speak about Her best friend named “Holy Spirit”. Benny had never heard anything like it, but the moment He did He knew in his heart that this was his destiny. God was calling him to know the Holy Spirit like this woman evangelist was describing.
He returned home and began to seek the Lord with all his heart in his room after school on weekdays and on the weekends, spending all of his extra time with his new friend Holy Spirit. His father was very upset with him because in His eyes Benny was breaking with the tradition of the family and dishonoring the family by choosing to follow the Lord in this new “pentecostal way”. But despite the persecution He experienced at home Benny continued with his pursuit of the Lord in this way which He knew God had led into.
Before long people began to show various manifestations of the spirit whenever Benny would get around him. For instance, one afternoon a friend from church stopped by to pick Benny up and give him a ride to church, but the moment Benny hopped in the car his friend began to weep uncontrollably. Benny tried to console the brother thinking that maybe a family member had died or some tragedy had happened, but as the brother gathered himself and was able to speak again He described how when Benny got into the car it was like God got in with him. He felt the presence of God so strong that all He could do was weep and pour his heart out to the Lord in that moment uncontrollably.
BENNY’S FIRST PUBLIC MINISTRY EXPERIENCE
Within a year Benny was given his first opportunity to share a testimony from behind the pulpit at the church of a friend of his. Benny was very nervous because He was born with a severe stutter and speech impediment (similar to Kathryn Kuhlman), and He didn’t know if he'd be able to talk in front of all those people. But the moment Benny opened his mouth, the power of God touched his tongue and immediately He was healed of his stutter and speech problem. From that day forward He was able to preach and minister.
By the close of that service, as Benny came to the end of telling testimonies and his sharing his sermon, He didn’t know what to do next, so during the time when prayer was usually being offered to close the service He simply closed his eyes and said one word: Jesus. Instantly the room filled with the power of God and people began to physically react to the anointing all over the room. Many began to weep and cry all over the room like his friend before had in the car. Some began to shake and fall out of their chairs. Others just sat quietly in shock and awe as the fear of the Lord rested heavily upon them. There was not a single person in the building that day that did not feel the awesome presence of God, and it was evident to everyone present.
Benny turned around to find his friend who was a leader at the church, to try and hand the service back over to him so He could close things out. Benny pointed at the man to try and signal him to come over, but to Benny’s shock the man went flying backwards the moment Benny put up his finger. Other leaders tried to approach to help out, but none of them could get close to Benny without coming under the power and hitting the floor.
Eventually people started to gather themselves and a few began to head out as they were able, but this was the story of Benny Hinn’s first time ministering and most of it was filled with just the sovereign outpouring and moving of the Spirit of God without any effort on his part. It was simply an overflow and manifestation of what He had been doing alone in that room for about a year since that first Kathryn Kuhlman meeting he attended. Benny paid the price, which He perceived at the time to be hours alone with God and hungering for God day after day more than anything else in his young life. He paid the price and God visited him and mantled him with a mighty anointing for service.
From that night when God healed his tongue and used him mightily in the anointing, His ministry just began to “mushroom” as He describes it in his writings. Nearly everyday He got a new call to come and minister somewhere, and from there God continued to use him and raise him up to be one of the most influential power evangelists of our time. For Benny, from the beginning, it was all about paying the price for the anointing. I believe God is asking many once again today, “Are you willing to pay the price for my power?”.
THE PRICE IS THE SAME YET DIFFERENT FOR EVERYONE
There are certain immutable unchangeable truths which we glean from God’s word when it comes to the anointing and the price for God’s power that will never change. Prayer will always be a prerequisite. Even Jesus had to pray and spend time alone in the presence of God communing with the Father in order to be used by the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit (Matt.14:23; Mark 6:46; Luke 6:12).
I believe that fasting and sacrifice will always be a part of the price that men and women of God are called to pay for the anointing. This is well established in both the scripture and in church history. Some of the most anointed and mightily used men and women of God in history have great stories of how God led them into seasons of great fasting and sacrifice.
I believe that a daily lifestyle of devouring the written Word of God will always be required by the Lord for those that wish to walk in his power and anointing. Without the Word there can be no real strength of spirit and there can be no real strength of faith (Rom.10:17; 1 Pet.2:2-3). Without the Word there can be no true guidance by the Spirit in this day, for it is the Word that forms the foundation and direction of our faith moving forward. Yes, in history when people have encountered the Lord prior to the putting together of the canon of scripture God worked with them and spoke to them, even without this precious gift of the bible. But today there are very few exceptions to this rule considering the breadth of God’s written Word across the globe. It is an essential part of walking with God and nurturing the anointing in your life.
So these are things that are common to all who seek God and seek to be his anointed vessel, meet for the Master’s service (2 Tim.2:21), but there are other things that God will often require of individuals who answer this holy call, and those things which God’s asks of us will often be personal and unique to us as individuals, for it is God who knows the secrets of our hearts. God knows what are our weaknesses and what are our strengths. God knows what would truly be sacrifice to us, beyond things like time and food. God knows what unique idols appeal to us which vary from person to person. It is in these unique traits that oftentimes God will call individuals to lay additional things down in paying the price for the anointing which will be unique just to them. In this way the tradition of the Nazarite continues, for the Nazarites of the Old Testament were called upon to sacrifice things unto the Lord beyond just the normal requirements of the Law or for walking with God in that day. They were called to exceptional lives of consecration and sanctification in God, and God is still calling Nazarites today, even in the church around the world.
Maybe the Lord will have you quit watching television for a season, maybe He’ll have you take on a fasted lifestyle and never eat meat again, like Daniel did in the Old Testament. Whatever it may be, look for it if you’re keen on answering this call to pay the price for the anointing. Look for God to ask things of you that may not even be sinful things or unhealthy things in your life. They could be good things that are perfectly honorable or acceptable for normal christians to have or live with, but when it comes to walking in the anointing God is oftentimes unreasonable with his requests and requirements.
It might be quite unreasonable for a Nazarite to not cut his hair, but to God that was a perfectly reasonable requirement because of what it represented to God and to the people. It represented the willingness to say yes to God’s requirements, even if they didn’t make sense to the average man. Are you willing to look like a fool to follow your heart and sacrifice unto the Lord the things you feel He is calling you to sacrifice? If so, then you are a prime candidate for a fresh anointing, for a fresh empowerment for service in this season.
In the world we find ourselves living, in these troubled times, it has never been more important for these Nazarites to rise and shine, holding fast to these ancient ways of God; to these ancient ways of the anointing and the power of God which great men and women of God have championed since the dawn of time. Who will be the next Benny Hinn or Kathryn Kuhlman for this day? Who will pay the price for the anointing and be God’s man or woman for this hour, to help lead the church through these treacherous times, and continue to call the world to the foot of the cross to meet their Savior and their Lord? Benny is an older man now who has been through many battles and tests in his life. He needs a new generation to come alongside and help hold up his arms as the battle rages on. Benny proved that Kathryn’s work was not in vain, that there was a new generation which He was a part of that could take up her mantle and carry on where she had ended her race. Who will pick up the mantle today? Who will pay the price for the anointing?
In His Service,