CLEANSING MY SOUL
BY: DAVE GARNER
MARCH 25, 2008
All yesterday evening I was in prayer about a specific answer that I needed. I was determined to hear the voice of the heavenly Father speaking to me. When I woke up this morning the first thing on my mind was ‘the church at Ephesus,’ and I began to look outwardly, searching what He might be speaking to me about. I heard Him say, “You asked me to show you about you… and what was in your heart. This is about you, not someone else.” It took me back for a moment, as I realized the Lord was responding to the cry of my heart. I know that confession is made into salvation, so here I sat, opening up the contents of my heart, putting down on paper His loving correction of me, so that I could be saved from this darkness that I have allowed to oppress my spirit for far too long.
Rev 2:1-7 To the messenger in the church of Ephesus write; he who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks says these things to you; I know your works, and your labor, and your patience, and how you cannot bear that which is useless and that you have tried them who say they are apostles (ambassadors of Jesus Christ – the church) but are not, and found them to be false: And have patiently endured for my name’s sake and have not fainted. Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee, because you have left (departed from) your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the first works, or else I will come and remove your candlestick (light holder) out of his place, except you repent (think differently). But this you have, you detest (loathe) the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also detest (loathe). He who will listen, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches; To him who overcomes I will give to eat of the tree of life which is in the paradise of God.
I found myself saying, “Lord I have labored hard for you and I know that I cannot bear setting on the sideline, feeling useless, like I don’t have anything to contribute. I have endured and suffered for His name’s sake.” He has been feeding me out of His word, as I have never experienced before; and it felt like I did not have any place to go with it. We were attending church services Easter Sunday and they were having a pot-luck dinner, the kind where everyone brings their own dish to the meeting, and there is a long line waiting to get to the food table. All of a sudden I felt the need to go outside and there were already several people standing around outside. As I stepped out the door, I heard one of the men say to his friend, “You are all dressed up with no place to go.” I know it may sound silly, but those words entered into my spirit and I could not shake them. So that evening and the day following, I was intently seeking the Lord. The next morning, immediately after I woke up, the Lord quickened the church of Ephesus to me, and I remembered those words He had spoken to me.
When I went outside of the church building I sat down at a little picnic table, and the Lord immediately made me aware of my posture and I asked the Lord to show me how to display an openness in my spirit, to express a feeling of invitation. I had set down with my back to the door, but I turned around and became very aware that over a period of time I had allowed myself to become closed up on the inside toward others and it was manifesting itself on the outside. This was His first stirrings within me, to awaken me to the truth. I had really lost sight of my first love. I do love people and I love to share the love of God with people. I so enjoy praying for others, and I love seeing a spiritual break–through come. I also enjoy watching another one fight through to victory over something that had them bound. It is a real joy to see someone genuinely fall out under the power of the Holy Spirit. It is an awesome feeling to pray for someone and speak a word of understanding to them that releases their spirit to freely begin to worship. I love getting hugged and mingling with people and listening to the sound of people’s hearts. I do like being in the midst of a group of people worshipping the Lord. I enjoy the feeling when the Holy Spirit touches me and those strange words begin to bubble up within my inner being. I love basking in a move of my heavenly Father’s presence. I love seeing people re–born in their spirit… watching their excitement, their joy (more than just stammering lips) flood into their being. I love going places and fellowshipping with God’s people, reuniting with old friends, making new ones and just being one with the body of Christ. I love being with God’s people and enjoy being in the Church of God. Oh, I want that love back and I am asking you to pray with me to get it back. I know that this has been what has been damning me up on the inside. I have allowed cynicism into my house, and I want it out.
Cynacism = An attitude of scornful or jaded negativity, especially a general distrust of the integrity or professed motives of others:
My heart has been loaded with cynicism toward the church body, and I realize that I have been keeping my eyes upon that which was wrong, instead of keeping my eyes upon Him, who is right within the church. I don’t like the Nicolaitin spirit, that pushy conquering, lording over God’s people spirit, that holds the church in bondage to its every whim, and it has allowed a root of bitterness to rise up within me and it has robbed me of my vision and devotion to the calling the Lord that has been placed upon my life. I had gotten to where I could not go anywhere without that bitter taste rising up within me. I never realized until this morning that it was I, who was the cause for the bitter taste. The last few mornings I have been asking the Lord to fill me with His love for people, all people, His creation, and give me a heart of thanksgiving. Oh Lord, open my eyes to see your glory in the midst of the church. I want to change my thoughts so I can walk in the heavenlies. I want to live and walk in the day. I want to feel that excitement again, that inner rejoicing, of His abiding presence, and know that He is Lord right now, at this very moment, over my present circumstances. I want to be that well of living water flowing with life… out to others, and I know I cannot be or do anything prosperous or effective spiritually, so long as I allow any darkness to remain hidden within my heart. My prayer is “Lord, restore my vision and cleanse my heart. Lord, help me to see you high and lifted up in every situation I may face… no matter where I am. Lord I desire to be fed from the tree of life.”
CLEANSING MY SOUL [Dave Garner] 3-25-08 1