Today is February 22, George Washington’s birthday. Today’s date (2/22) always reminds me of a series of events that took place in my life several years ago….
In 2000, while preparing for a cross-country flight, I happened to notice that my departure time was 2:22. I was then seated in row 22, and the total flight time was 2 hours and 22 minutes. My first thought was what a strange coincidence! Then I remembered that the Lord had been speaking to me regarding Isaiah 22:22. “I will set the key of the house of David on his shoulder, when he opens, no one will shut, when he shuts, no one will open.” I knew that in Scripture, keys symbolized authority and that shoulders symbolize government (see Isaiah 9:6). Would God do something like this to bring me a confirmation? I wondered.
A couple of days later, I received a phone call from a friend. While in prayer, he felt prompted to call and give me Isaiah 22:22. He said, “Dutch, God is giving you a higher level of authority to pray for our government.
Soon afterward, I went to D.C. on a ministry trip, and a ministry friend gave me a gift after the meeting. She said the Lord had impressed on her months earlier to buy it for me, with the instruction that He would let her know when to present it. It was a beautiful silver key; her words to me were, “This is the key to the city!” I knew it represented the key of authority spoken of in Isaiah 22:22.
Another man, knowing nothing about this, gave me three more keys after the same meeting. This had never happened to me before – no one had ever given me keys to symbolize anything.
Several dozen confirmations of this nature continued for two weeks: keys given to me, seeing the numbers 22 or 222, and words from the Lord given to me by individuals. God was clearly saying, “I am giving you a new level of authority (keys) to impact the nation.”
We truly have been given keys of authority from God to legislate from the heavenlies (in the realm of the spirit), opening doors that can’t be closed by satan or any person, and closing doors through which evil and destruction might otherwise enter. Matthew 16:19 tells us: “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”
A short time later, my belief in these confirmations was put to the test. While in Washington, D.C., I was awakened one morning by the words: “Go to the White House and, using Isaiah 22:22, close the door to the counsel currently coming to the president that is contrary to My will. Then open the door for My counsel to come to him.”
Though this seemed very unusual, I determined to obey the prompting.
It was a very cold and windy day, and I would be praying outside on the sidewalk. Not a good day to forget my overcoat! The more I prayed, the colder I became, which was very distracting. Lots of people were milling around. Because of 9/11, security was strong – I could tell that every move I made as I paced in front of the fence was being scrutinized. This intimidated me, which I’m sure caused me to look even more suspicious. As I prayed quietly, I knew the entire Secret Service was watching this strange man – me – pacing and obviously alone but speaking to someone. I could imagine that they pictured a hidden microphone that enabled me to communicate with someone waiting for a signal.
After about half an hour of this, I’d had enough. I felt nothing but cold, frustration, and intimidation – no anointing, no feeling of peace, no confirmation in my heart that I was accomplishing anything. My internal conversation went something like this: Who do you think you are? You’re not accomplishing a thing. God gives you a verse of Scripture, uses it in your life, and you then think you can do anything you want with it. You’re moving in presumption, not obedience. You might as well go back to your room and get out of this bitter cold.
As I turned to go, tail tucked between my legs, a young woman, pushing a baby stroller, approached me. “Excuse me, sir,” she said. “I hope you don’t think I’m weird, but is your name Dutch Pierce?”
That this lady wasn’t even sure of who I was made what was about to happen much more believable and impactful.
“My name is Dutch Sheets,” I said, “and I minister often with a guy named Chuck Pierce. Do I know you?”
“Oh yeah, that’s right – Dutch Sheets. No, you don’t know me. I hope you don’t think I’m weird,” she repeated, “but I heard you speak a couple of years ago, and you talked about a verse in Isaiah – 2:22 or 22:2 – something like that.”
She had my attention!
“It was 22:22,” I said.
“Yeah, that’s right – 22:22, the verse about keys to open and close doors. Well, this morning, the Lord awakened me early, reminded me of that verse and your message, told me to go to the White House, and said, “I’ll show you what to do when you get there.’”
“I’ve NEVER done anything like this,” she said, “and I don’t come here regularly to pray. But the impression was so strong that I bundled up my baby and walked a mile or so to get here. I have really struggled with what I’m doing. It’s cold, I had to bring my baby, and I was questioning if I really heard the Lord. Then I saw you and was shocked. I believe that is the man who preached about this verse in Isaiah! I thought. I’ve been watching you for the last thirty minutes, asking God if I’m supposed to approach you, and if so, wondering what I should say. I even called my husband, asking him if he thought I should speak to you. He told me this couldn’t be a coincidence, that I must do so! So, here I am.
“I know you already know this, and I feel really strange telling you, but the only thing I’m hearing is that the Lord wants to remind you of that verse in Isaiah and tell you, ‘you really do have the keys to open and close spiritual doors.’”
I was blown away! And deeply embarrassed.
“Ma’am,” I replied, “I’ve been praying and decreeing something God put in my heart, and using that verse to do so for the last thirty minutes. And I’ve been doing it in complete unbelief. You have fulfilled your assignment. Now get your baby home where it is warm. I’m going to start over and complete my assignment, this time in faith.”
I did. Then I signaled a taxi and headed toward my hotel. On the way, I received a hard spanking from the Lord, which went something like this: Don’t ever make Me get mama and her baby out of bed again and send them into the cold, to remind you of your authority – especially after I’ve already given you so many confirmations.”
Today, remember the authority you’ve been given…and use it.
If you or your family members do not know Jesus, remember Jesus died for everyone and made it simple. Call on the name of Jesus and you shall be saved. Then, you will be in Heaven with all other believers!