”Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me” Psalm 51:10
Create In Me a Clean Heart
A few years ago I was contacted by someone I knew very well from my past. They were troubled and I offered to pray on a particular matter. Sometimes, just like this case, when I pray, the Lord’s answer has more than one purpose. It’s often hard for me to share everything the Lord shows me with the person I’m praying for, and beyond telling this person what they wanted and needed to hear, I have kept the details to myself until now. Partly because this is a time for it, and partly because of my own insecurities. As Christians, I pray that you will consider the greater meaning inside this personal message- it’s the first time I’m sharing it in its fullness. And to the person who the dream was for, I hope you will forgive me for not giving it to you in its fullness at the time- I don’t think you would have wanted to hear it all.
After fasting and prayer, I had a dream. In the dream, I picked the person up at the airport and drove them to a hotel on the beach where I had a room on an upper floor with a view overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It was a long flight and while the visitor slept, I sat by the window and studied the Scriptures. When they woke up, I drew them a bath and, after excusing myself, I went back to my studies. After some time, they came from the bathroom where I asked them to come to sit by me near the window. There was a small round table with seats on either side and they sat across from me and ate some food that I had brought with me earlier.
In time, I got up, and going to the bathroom, came back with a basin of water, a towel, and a bottle of anointing oil that I had prepared earlier when I drew the bath. I placed the basin at their feet along with the towel and oil. I put both of their feet into the basin and the water turned brown like mud. It was as fluid as water, but had a thick mud look to it.
I took out their left foot and began to wash it. As I did, great pain and sorrow came over me and I began to cry. I looked up at this person and they had a blank look on their face- there was no expression at all. I heard a voice speak the name “J” and I felt a great pain come from this person. The voice said to me that the left represents the world and the flesh and all it lusts. “Do not let the left know what the right is doing,” and I was given a message to tell this person, and as I dried their foot with the towel and anointed it, I said, “This person wants you to know that they wish you well, but they don’t want to talk to you any more. The Lord says that you should not carry any pain for the things of the world or the flesh.” And I put their foot back onto the floor in front of them.
I pulled the right foot from the water and began to wash it. And I continued to cry, but looking up, so now was my visitor- I felt a feeling of great sorrow in them. This time, the voice spoke the name “S” and I felt great guilt come from them. It seemed like all at once, I felt all of the times they thought they had failed to save someone. Times they felt they could have done more to help someone. Times they felt they let someone down.
I had a flashback to a time I was serving on a ministry team. My younger sister had just died and I was back in school the following week and was leading a ministry team. A woman had come on Sunday morning for ministry and after the others in the group had their say, all eyes turned to me and I blurted out, “The Lord wants you to know that she is ok and that she is with him.” I thought I had done something wrong. I thought that I was only said what I was thinking about and then saying what I was hoping for my own sister; the woman had started crying. But then she told us that her sister had died not long ago and that she had been everywhere hoping to hear from God that her sister had accepted Christ before she died. She had tried to lead her sister to the Lord several times and thought she had failed. She felt guilty and shamed and after not getting an answer anywhere, this place was her last stop. She had been at this place for a week, and hearing everything else, she thought that this place was a joke, but now she knew that the Lord had heard her prayers and used me to answered them. She was due to leave right after this ministry time and now she left in peace.
The same kind of sorrow and guilt I felt coming from this woman was coming from my visitor. The voice wanted me to tell them that there is no shame in our work in the Lord, but what they had been trying all along was of their own efforts; their own strength and knowledge, and not in line with the love of God. Therefore, He said, they had no shame to carry because “S” was at peace and they had no reason be bear any shame, sorrow, or guilt for anything else they tried to do for God. I dried their foot, anointed it, and put it down in front of them and started to get up.
And then the voice told me to put their feet back into the water. It didn’t make sense, but I did what I was told. The water turned as clear as a mirror. Still a liquid, but it gave a perfect reflection. I saw my own face in the water and heard the voice say my own name. The voice said that this was love that was not accepted. I looked at the visitor and they were smiling, and yet I cried harder than before. I could feel their release from the pain and shame they had come to ask me for, but now there was something else. They weren’t focused on how they got their healing, but their focus was now turned inward. They were happy with themselves. Their focus was on the joy of release. I took their feet from the basin and put them back on the floor.
I had a great sadness. I could only think that this is how the Lord must see Christians today. He takes our pain and our guilt and shame on himself and the church focus on itself instead of him. How joyful it is to be us. How wonderful we are. How terrific. But love is a servant. I had given my visitor what they wanted and needed, and all I wanted to do now was get away. I decided to go wash the basin and the bathtub and to be alone myself.
I went into the bathroom and knelt on the floor before the tub and I cried. I started to scrub the film on the walls of the tub where they had washed earlier. I tried to scrub off the soapy film, but it was hard for the film to wash off. I thought about all of the sacrifices Jesus made for us. All that is meant in our baptism. All that sin meant to be washed away. But it doesn’t really change most people. And I was shown it all. How it pains Jesus to see the spots and blemishes and the uncaring we have until we have a need. And just how dirty we are. I was scrubbing and crying so hard that I couldn’t see clearly through the tears in my eyes. I was determined to wash the scum off when I heard someone behind me. I turned and through blurry vision, I saw my visitor standing in the doorway and the voice said to me, “Fill the tub with water.” And the dream ended.
Smith Wigglesworth said, “The reason the world is not seeing Jesus is that Christian people are not filled with Jesus. They are satisfied with attending meetings weekly, reading the Bible occasionally, and praying sometimes. It is an awful thing for me to see people who profess to be Christians lifeless, powerless, and in a place where their lives are so parallel to unbeliever’s lives that it is difficult to tell which place they are in; whether in the flesh or in the Spirit.”
When you look at yourself against the grace and truth of Jesus and the word of God, which of the three people do you identify with above. Do you go to church on the weekend, but give all of your true energies to the lust of the flesh and the world? Are the worldly things you have and do more important than God? How much time do you wash your mind in the word every day? Are you just too busy? Or do you feel guilt and shame because YOU don’t do enough? Maybe you don’t think you do enough? Do you think you could do more? Are you driven and not called? Or, do you look into the face of Love and miss it; do you let it pass by? Do you not know who washes your feet? Are you focused on how wonderful you are and miss the servant before you?
The person who reached out to me was all three. They recognized that they were in pain and cried out to God, and He answered. Most Christians are so busy with their lives that they don’t take that chance. And that makes many cold to the fire within. It’s what you do when God answers that’s important. You are important enough for him to hear your voice and answer you. I don’t know what happened when I filled the tub with water. I suppose it would have been an experience similar to when I put their feet back into the water. The Holy Spirit would have washed them clean. I just know I turned to serve.
I implore you, before you get upset at this message, that you do a little old fashioned soul seeking. If you find that you have strayed from the Lord and turned back to the world, be as the Psalmist and ask the Lord to, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and restore a right spirit within me.” Ps 51:10. James wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double-minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” James 4:8-10.
I have much more to say. Let the Revival come.