Some years ago I pulled into our driveway and tried to get out of the car with several items in my hand. I was on my cell phone and had about 3 ounces of water left in a 24 ounce glass. Besides the car keys, I only had two other small items. It had just started to rain and I wanted to carry everything inside in one trip. But as I tried to collect everything in my hands while I continued to talk, I found myself having a ridiculously difficult time. When I got out of the car I dropped my keys and then the car door didn’t close completely. I finally had to put the phone and the other items down to go back for the keys and to close the door. I was reminded that many times we try to do too many things at one time. (It never crossed my mind to spill out the water instead of trying to keep from spilling it.)
What is that in your hand?
When God revealed Himself to Moses at the burning bush, He commissioned him to travel to Egypt to deliver God’s people. Moses responded by asking, “What if they will not believe me or listen to what I say?” (Ex 4:1) The Lord then asked, “What is that in your hand?” And he said, “A staff.” (v.2) For Moses, the staff represented all that he was – a shepherd. Yet God told him to throw it to the ground. I wonder how many of us are willing to lay down who we are or what we’re doing? (We will come back to this story in a few moments.)
An untold story
In late 2006, as we were seeking the Lord going into 2007, Renaid heard the Lord say that we were to “lay all our crowns down” (see Rev 4:10). We understood that all aspects of our ministry were “on the table.” Nothing was sacred. Almost from the beginning, I knew our monthly “Signs & Wonders Gatherings” were going to stay down. We were fairly certain the church we had started, Victory Christian Tabernacle, would continue. But there was another ministry that we had been involved with for over two years. We were a part of a group that did worship and intercession around the city. We had been together, on average, three times a month for those two years. The group led worship for our monthly meetings and conferences. We helped facilitate prayer during their monthly worship times of anywhere from 8 to 24 hours. We met together on a regular basis for prayer. Suddenly, and unexpectedly, the Lord spoke to both of us that we were not to continue. Part of us sure wanted to, but to do so would have been disobedience.
It was after we laid down these two ministries that the Lord began speaking to us about helping to start a house of prayer in Pittsburgh.
Mission trip to Ireland
Several years ago, the Lord spoke to Renaid about going to Ireland. He confirmed it by telling me when and why. He wanted us to be in Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) to “re-dig the wells of Patrick.” We had to do some historical research to understand what that meant, but that’s another story.
We connected with a church in the city of Cork and they invited us to come. They were having three meetings on St. Patrick’s Day. A few other opportunities for ministry opened up, but we found ourselves “sitting around” much more than to our liking. On many of our trips, we have found ourselves extremely busy and have always felt that’s why we were sent places – to minister.
One day, while in Ireland, I was telling the Lord that we would like to be busier. In my spirit came an immediate response – we could be busy or be obedient. Since obedience is better than sacrifice (1 Sam 15:22), we again chose to be obedient.
Testimony of Steve Gray
Steve Gray was the pastor of what became known as the Smithton Outpouring in Missouri. In his book, When the Kingdom Comes, Steve shares that on multiple occasions he would see God move powerfully when he ministered in other churches. But a few weeks later, a call would come that everything God had been doing stopped and pastors wondered why. Steve said that he would remember seeing the church bulletins in those places and think, “With all these activities, they don’t have time for revival.”
Graham Cooke’s children
Graham shares that when his children were small they would frequently ask for new toys. Graham would respond by saying that there really wasn’t anywhere to keep more toys. But the kids really liked the new toys their friends had or they had seen in a store. Graham would then tell them that if they wanted new toys they would have to clean out their closets and toy chests to make room for them. Eventually they “got it” and would begin making room whenever they wanted something else.
Tying this all together
Many are praying and asking God to send us revival. Is it possible that some of us need to lay down some things so that we can receive the new that the Lord wants to bring? Is it possible that we have so many ‘irons in the fire’, that we can’t keep them all hot? Is our ‘plate’ so full there is no room for anything else?
The testimony from the Brownsville Revival in Pensacola was that revival will affect every area of your life. Are we sure this is what we really want? Is it possible that in preparation for the promised outpouring, we need to make some changes? What I recently heard the Holy Spirit say is, “Many of My people are spread too thin.” I believe that we need to honestly ask the Lord to show us if there are areas of our lives where we are spread too thin. Are there things in our lives that God wants us to lay down?
The anointing on what remains
Remember the story of Moses? After God told Moses to pick up his staff (which had become a serpent), Moses left for Egypt. Exodus 4:20 says that Moses took the staff of God with Him. Did you catch it? It used to be Moses’ staff, now it’s God’s. I believe there is a fresh anointing on whatever God allows to be picked up again. Let’s continue to get ready, for the greatest days are yet ahead. God bless you!
Lord, help us to lay down anything You show us or tell us. Help us to let go of that which is precious to us if that’s what You require. Give us eyes to see the new things that You want to bring our way. Help us to stay humble with the new anointing on what remains. Amen.