“Do not quench the Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV
As I was recently praying before a church service, I saw a picture of a huge door that was being prevented from opening because of one small pebble wedging it closed. The power of one! If you have one pebble in your shoe, it totally interrupts your walking forward, let alone standing firm. So of course, you’d remove it! One small pebble can break a window or a mirror, or if swallowed can choke a child. One smallish pebble took out a giant called Goliath! And one small pebble can prevent the Holy Spirit from moving in your life and/or in your church. We can cry out, “Come Holy Spirit!” We can invite Him with our songs and our prayers. But a (im)properly placed pebble can be all that is preventing the answer to our deep cry for Him! This pebble can be people who are resisting, like pastoral staff or elders who are holding onto the religious ways “we’ve always done it!” This pebble can be a hidden sin that needs to be confessed and hence, moved from its influential place. This pebble can be the fact that we simply don’t make room for Him in our service or life. How rude is it to invite someone to come, but then don’t provide a place for Him to operate, or leave them standing outside!
Cry out for a grace for repentance in our city! Ask God to expose whatever is holding Him back in Athens! Cry out for the Holy Spirit to show you any pebbles that are preventing Him from moving more powerfully in your life. Ask Him to show your pastor any pebbles in his life. Cry out that your church leadership would see and remove anything and everything that is preventing His coming and doing what He wants to do in your services. Ask Him to shake up and expose every pebble that is preventing Him from taking His place, at every level on every square inch of our city!