A number of years ago, I had the privilege of sitting next to Dr. R.T. Kendall before he was to speak. Handing him a bottle of water, I asked him, “Is there anything you need?” He smiled warmly and with a relaxed tone answered, “the anointing.” His simple and profound answer impacted me.
A few weeks after that experience, I served as a worship leader for a multi-day event in another state. Before the first session, I went to see the meeting room set up. While the last conversation with my host indicated that they would provide an acoustic piano, a small electronic keyboard sat on the platform. A sinking feeling came over me as I realized that it was not a full-size keyboard and that the keys were not weighted. Taking a closer look, I saw there was no sustain pedal and no music stand. I then discovered that though the room was large, there was no mic and no way to connect the keyboard to the house sound system.
While surveying the room, an internal litany began recounting all that I didn’t have. Directing my thoughts to God, I whined, “How can I play this keyboard with so few octaves and how can I try to play with any sense of musicality with this type of key action? How can people worship when the keyboard sounds like a toy? Where will I put my notebook of music? How will they even hear the keyboard? God, I don’t have the vocal endurance to lead in this large room.” My prayers eventually dissolved into a single deep sigh of, “Oh God.” I stood in silence, disappointed with what I did have and equally disappointed with what I didn’t have.
At that moment, the Lord reminded me of my exchange with R.T. Kendall just a few weeks before. Recalling the dialogue, I sensed that the Lord asked me the very question I had asked Dr. Kendall, “What is it that you really need?” I recognized the familiar, “Martha-Martha-you-are-worried-and-troubled-about-many-things, but-only-one-thing-is-needed” tone in His voice (Luke 10:41). He went on, “If you had a top-of-the-line digital keyboard and a rocking sound system, but no anointing, would you be satisfied?” That question gently exposed my folly. Humbled and repentant, I answered, “No. What I really need is the anointing of the Holy Spirit.”
And so, I began to erase the items I had written on my “I must have this in order to minister effectively” list. I entered into leadership responsibility that evening with a confession: “What I really need is the anointing of the Holy Spirit.” In simple faith, I asked God for a fresh anointing both for me and for the participants. I asked God to take both what I have and what I don’t have and to use it all to glorify Jesus. God honored that prayer as the room was filled with the whole-hearted worship of people hungry to express their praise to God; unhindered and unashamed.
Perhaps you are being driven by disappointment with what you do have and equally driven by disappointment with what you don’t have. Maybe your “Must Have” list has gotten very long. Would you allow the Lord to gently reprioritize it? Put “the anointing” at the very top. We can’t minister without it! With that priority, I believe God will take care of the rest in His perfect timing and in His perfect way.
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