Someone recently asked me if Romans 11:29, which teaches that God’s gift and call to Israel is “irrevocable,” can be applied to ministers who fall into sin.
Yes, I believe it can be applied to a person. Even if someone rejects God, they can still have an anointing. Spiritists are often really communicating with the spirit world, but it is the dark side. Ministers have moved in the Holy Spirit, while living in adultery.
How can that be?
While sin can disqualify you for ministry; the gift of God will not disappear. Paul speaks about the potential for disqualification when individuals do not crucify their flesh.
“No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize” (I Corinthians 9:27).
I don’t think he is saying that a single sin will necessarily disqualify someone. Rather, if you live a crucified life, you are unlikely to cheat on your wife, become a drug addict or live in bitterness.
Why does the gift stay?
God’s gift in someone is for a specific purpose and people. What if He took away our gift when we sinned? You are getting ready to preach and you have an impure thought. Boom—no anointing for you! Then God would never be able to accomplish His purposes through man. We all sin – if not in action, then in thoughts.
Samson is an excellent example because his gift was visible. God continued to use him even in sin, because he was God’s protector over the people.
However, prolonged, unrepentant, blatant sin will be judged eventually. “God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows” (Galatians 6:9). But even then, his gift was not permanently taken away. Once his hair grew back Samson’s strength returned.
Your gift does not justify your sin
If you are living in chronic sin, do not use the fact that you are still anointed to justify your sin. “God must not care that I am looking at pornography. I am still anointed when I preach. People are still healed when I pray.” That is God’s mercy to bless the people. But a day of reckoning is coming.
I attended a dynamic church while attending Bible school. The pastor was a powerful preacher. Then one day he went on a prayer retreat and took a woman with him. He was caught and confronted by the elders. His wife’s first words were, “He’s still anointed.” Her main concern was that he could lose his position in the church.
If you are in such a position, get help. Turn to leaders you can trust. Confess your sin. Get the needed accountability, treatment or whatever is necessary; just don’t continue. It is far better to humble yourself before men in private, than for God to humble you in public.