The apostles used the method of laying on of hands in order to impart God’s calling on those they commissioned to follow in Jesus’ footsteps (Acts 13:3). This has become a basic principle and doctrine of our Christian faith (Hebrews 6:1-2). In fact, spiritual power and anointing is actually transferred by this practice (Genesis 14, 17-19).
For example, spiritual power came on Joshua when Moses laid hands on him (Numbers 27:16-23; Deuteronomy 34:9). Jacob passed God’s blessing on to Ephraim and Manasseh by the laying on of hands (Genesis 48:13-20). Paul declared that the gift of God, which Timothy possessed, was imparted through the laying on of hands (2 Timothy 1:6). Since the early church, the body of elders transfers the gifts of the Spirit to other men who are going into the ministry (1 Timothy 4:14).
When someone intends to set aside their life for full time service to the Lord, we pray for them by the laying on of hands (Acts 6:5-6). We also lay hands on people coming for physical healing (James 5:14), and deliverance from Satanic oppression and possession (Luke 4:40-41). In the ministry of the laying on of hands, we share blessings, spiritual anointing and encouragement (Matthew 19:13-15; Daniel 10:16-19).
Frankly, there is a danger in laying hands on someone who is not mature and full of God’s Spirit. Therefore, this should not be done without careful prayer, examination and consideration (Numbers 27:18; 1 Timothy 5:22). The power received by the laying on of hands is visually evident. Simon actually saw this and wanted to buy it for himself (Acts 8:14-19). God anoints people into His service and uses the leadership of the church to impart His gifts.
Father God, thank You for giving us Your power and anointing and for allowing us to share these gifts with one another. Please give Your wisdom to the leadership of Your church to know with whom to share these gifts, and who will not seriously desire to walk in Your anointing for Your glory. Remind us to always use them for Your glory and not for our own power and success. Keep us from glorying in the flesh, but cause us to walk in humility and grace.
Thought for the Day:
There is a spirit in each one, given to us by the inspiration of Almighty God, which provides us with understanding. – Job 32:8