When I was young my siblings and I would often visit my grandmother in the countryside. Just like all other homes in rural areas, the homestead did not have running water. As such, we would have to fetch water from a stream at the edge of the property. Since we lived in the city where there was indoor plumbing hence running water, we would look forward to this experience. My sisters and I would grab buckets and race each other to the stream. We would get on our knees at the end of the stream and scoop water with a calabash and pour it into the bucket until it was almost full. We would then balance the bucket on our heads and walk back to my grandmother’s homestead. Sometimes, in our haste and excitement, we would pick a bucket that had a hole that was not noticeable and would only realize it was leaking when water would begin to trickle down our faces as we precariously balanced the bucket on our heads. This would like to endless giggles. If the bucket had a sizeable hole we would get home with barely half a bucket of water that would often not be of much use for the chores grandma had for us.
As I reflect on this childhood memory, I am reminded of how some of us approach God excitedly asking for the anointing. Sometimes we desire for the anointing of God to flow in our lives because we admire the operation of the power of God in the lives of other people. What we often don’t realize is that for these individuals to be used by God in that manner they have gone through some unique stormy experiences. We are often not privy to the process where their character has been worked and shaped to the point where their gift can carry the anointing. It is one thing to be gifted and quite another to be anointed! Some people tend to confuse these two endowments which are quite different from each other. The gift can be used outside of the kingdom of God in whatever way the gifted individual desires because it is irrevocable (Romans 11:29). However, for the gift to be usable in the kingdom, it needs to be consecrated and covered, nay, saturated in the anointing.
God is to profound to pour the precious and costly anointing on a vessel that carelessly leaks. Don’t get me wrong! God is not looking for a perfect vessel. On the contrary, He is looking for an imperfect vessel that is willing and available to be patched up to carry the anointing. As such, it is necessary to have character than can harness the gift and yield it to be a carrier of the anointing, in order for it to be useful to the household of faith and beyond.
The problem is that some believers are leaking buckets! Their areas of gifting are evident but they lack the character necessary to sustain the anointing. These folks show up during every altar call and ask God to anoint them. God, in His grace may pour a dose of the anointing on them but because their character has not been worked on and matured, they quickly lose the anointing by the way they conduct their lives. This cycle can be confusing to some because they may be aware that they are gifted but wonder why they are not making an impact. Yap. There is a hole in the bucket!
How then, do we fix the hole in the bucket? Most people are reluctant to patch the hole because it is a process that requires patience. As such they continue to leak because they do not like the journey that closes the holes. Beloved, there is no shortcut! Do not be deceived by the “if you can name it you can claim it” movement. There is no drive-through to receive the anointing. Stormy experience will first burst the hole into a huge crack after which God will patch it with His anointing. After you have been through the storm and are open to be used by God, He will come in and work on you. Storms humble us to surrender the gift to God as we realize that without Him the gift is useless. Although you will have evidence of having had a hole you will be become a vessel that can be trusted to be a carrier of the anointing. Is there is a hole in your bucket? Is your character capable of sustaining the anointing? Has your gift been taken through the storm?