Lay It Aside

By Darlene Thorne
Worship Leader, EXW Contributor
June 17, 2024

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The day of new beginnings is here! I have to tell you, our last few services at church have been absolutely phenomenal. The power of God flowed through the house with such fervor, it was almost unbelievable. We experienced a move of God that we were not totally accustomed to. We danced before the Lord with such freedom. It was a time that will not be quickly forgotten.

In our lives, we will come to strategic mile markers that mean something substantial and this was one of them. Our church is truly going through a transition. We are growing and experiencing good growing pains. There is not enough room to do what we believe God is calling for us to do. It has been our prayer for land and expansion for a long time. It is soon to come. However, in the meantime, it is imperative to note that we are to be about Godís business preparing for the next phase. These past weeks have truly been times of rejoicing and refreshing.

Leaving 2004 and going to 2005 just seemed to bring such excitement and exuberance in the house. Our pastor has been speaking on forgetting what was in the past and prepare for what is to come. All of the messages for the past six months have been of preparation and cleansing. We need to cleanse our hearts, souls and minds of ungodly thoughts and things that are not profitable.

One of the last messages spoken in 2004 was about laying aside the weight. However, there was a twist to it. Most times we think about the sins we need to repent of and the bad habits we had to break them, but this was different. One of our elders (my husband) spoke about pruning. He talked about how when a grape vine is pruned at the end of the season, you would think you would keep the branches that gave a lot of fruit that season. When a vinedresser prunes the vine back, he cuts those big branches because he sees the new branches coming in. Should he keep the big branch, you may get a lot of little grapes, but there wonít be much sweetness to them. Why? Unless you cut off the bigger branch, you donít allow the sap to go to the smaller branches, thus you get a lot of little grapes that are not as good.

What he was saying about our lives and the laying aside is we may have been functioning in an area of ministry that was fat and flourishing, but the Lord is calling you to another area of ministry. You may not even be as familiar with that area as the one you presently function in, and thatís okay. Remember I said the sap goes to the smaller branch? Well, the anointing falls to the new ministry and if you try to maintain in your present state, you may stifle yourself or even someone else from excelling.

Hear what God is saying to you. Listen closely. He may be saying to you that it is time for you to put down something within ministry and take up something else. It is not that you are no longer good at it or that you will never function in that area again. What the Lord is revealing is Himself to us and His ability to see that we prosper in all that we set our hands to. Sometimes we can get the big head and think it is because of us that something flows well. We have to always remember that it is all about Kingdom building and not us. When we keep that in mind we will find ourselves truly depending on God for everything and thatís really the way He likes it.

Darlene Thorne
Worship Leader, EXW Contributor
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