The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I
have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be
on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one
of his sons to be king.” —1 Samuel 16:1
Although I’ve read 1 Samuel 16:1 many times, one day it was as
though a laser beam flashing from three different directions
illuminated the verse with a clarity that shook me rigid. In one verse
I saw three types of ministry: yesterday’s man or woman, represented by
King Saul; today’s man or woman, represented by Samuel, to whom God was
speaking; and tomorrow’s man or woman, represented by David, whom
Samuel was led to anoint.
King Saul, yesterday’s man, lost God’s approval but still wore the
crown. Tomorrow’s man, David, got the anointing but without the crown.
Today’s man had to break with yesterday’s man and cast his lot with
In recent years I have found myself using the expression
“yesterday’s man.” It refers to a person who ceases to be relevant. He
or she may continue to minister and say things. But such a person has
somehow “lost” it—he is out of touch.
He is saying the same old thing he has uttered in years gone by when
it probably had impact, if not power. But it has ceased to carry weight
today. Such a person often struggles to prove himself, trying to show
his relevance, but the power has gone. In other words, such a person is
a has-been in God’s sight, thriving on his natural skills, grace-gifts,
strong personality, or influential platform, and may lead many people.
But God has secretly passed the greater anointing to his or her
replacement—tomorrow’s man or woman.
Excerpted from The Anointing: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow (Charisma House, 2003).