On this particular evening, the family of Eunice (not her real name) was getting ready for bed when the phone rang. The husband picked it and was on with one of the top pastors in their church. The pastor requested that his wife Eunice prepare to take a workshop in the forthcoming conference that was bringing together different people from different countries in that continent. Eunice would be speaking to a group of women during one of the seminars.
After the phone conversation and her husband conveyed the message to his wife, Eunice was not that excited about the assignment but instead became troubled. That night, when all her family members had gone to bed, she decided to stay up and spend time in prayers. She felt the need to look inward and check herself.
Before this time, Eunice had had this feeling that some things were not right in her spiritual life. Although she was not committing sins, she knew something was wrong somewhere. Eunice was known to be lively and lovely was becoming cold, touchy, easily irritated, reading meaning into every call, etc.
She said to herself: ”I do not think l am worthy to stand before any group of women now to teach” She knew she needed to rediscover her identity in Christ and find out her level in the Kingdom of Christ first. So, she went on a quest that night on her knee, groaning in prayer. She abandoned herself at the feet of Christ saying, “l know Lord that I am your child, but l am not sure if l still worth one”. She knew the things of God is not about the activity but the backing of the Master, the Lord Jesus. Anybody could teach and teach well, especially when such has done it several times and has mastered it. But when the Author of the message is duly involved, all kinds of transformation happen with ease.
In this lowly state, she suddenly found herself among some groups of people, camping. They were all in groups of three or four. One common thing among them was their white garment, including Eunice. Suddenly, something moved her to check her clothing at the back. That was when she noticed a stain in her dress. Her glittering radiant garment had got a stain. She knew right away that she did not belong in that group of dignified royalty. She pulled back immediately to get rid of the stain. With determination, she started to wash off the stain. Then, she woke up and slept again instantly. She found herself back in the same camp, but this time in a place designated for washing and cleansing, like a bathroom. People were going in and out of the building for washing. She turned into the building and washed thoroughly. When she finally came out, she felt pure, happy, and free.
Something, however, happened after. There was a thick heavy scent that filled the entire room where Eunice had been praying. It was so much that it woke her up. She started sniffing her husband, waking him up and asking him if he got perfume at work. At that same moment, the fragrance began to gather together in one place like a cloud of smoke and was gently exiting that room through the wall. She turned to her husband and said: “’ X’ Jesus has just visited us in this room”. Without any doubt, Eunice was ready for that assignment. She took the time to get herself fixed spiritually before trying to fix others. Testimonies backed up her ministration at that conference.
Friends, how about the present situations of many children and servants of God these days? It is not surprising when people wonder if God still moves and perform wonders today. Of course, God does. He still answers prayers and still saves from sins. God is still the mighty Man of war. He still delivers and sets free. If only men and women of God could create time to mend their ways, rebuild their altars, and reinforce their war room.
There is no doubt that the “wilderness experience” is real in Christendom, and sometimes the children of God stray into it. Ministers also get tired and weary at some points. The splash of stains could get to them too and soil their radiant garments. Prophet Isaiah once cried out “I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips”. So, it is possible to get our hands soiled at one point or the other. This situation, however, becomes a problem when the beloved child & servant of God keep patching things up. “Dying but still pursuing” kind of David experience does not apply here. God, in all His revelations, frowns at sin and does not condone stain or defilement of any kind. He sees through every life. If the system of the world could be so developed to throw satellite into space and monitor some activities on earth, how much more the Power that holds the universe together. God cannot be bribed with religious activities regardless of how awesome they look. Once a stain is noticed or perceived, it is wise to pull back from any religious activity and set time apart to seek God, His righteousness, and His strength. Each time a man/woman of God humbles him/herself to restore and re-fire, miracles happen. It would never be difficult to feel God and the demonstration of His power amid such people.
God once opened the eyes of Zechariah in a vision to see Joshua a high priest standing before the Angel of God and Satan standing against him, resisting him. It was not difficult for the accuser of the brethren to do this because he could identify Joshua’s filthy garment (Zechariah 3). Sadly, it took a vision to bring this to light. God needed a reliable, diligent, and committed servant in whose hands He could commit a great assignment. He had found Joshua who was once a High priest before the exile, but for the filthy garment. How merciful is the God of heaven and earth Who is always willing to forgive iniquities and wash away stains. He commanded that Joshua’s filthy garment be taken off. God did not leave Joshua naked either but ordered that he be clothed with a changed garment. So, Satan lost, and mercy prevailed. However, God had a message still for Joshua that is worth ruminating over. Zechariah 3:7: “If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keeps my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by”.
Satan loses when we set time apart to look inward and stand before God, washing off the stain(s). The enemies back off when we operate in a transparent relationship with God. Conspiracy of hell is destroyed when we do not indulge in sins nor look for scriptures to justify the pollution and defilement. “Coat of many colors” like that of Joseph is unacceptable before the God of holiness in this context, but pure and stainless garment which signifies the righteousness of the saints.
This topic is not only about the ministers but every one that is mindful of heaven. Every child of God is a priest in a way and in his world. Stains and filth hinder the move of God. When we sincerely give the stains to God, He purges us and blesses us as well. It is dangerous hiding stains or masking them up with white paint. The accuser of the brethren is also watching.
Have you noticed any stain in your garment? How long have you been managing those secret sins? What do you do with your stain(s)? There is forgiveness with God when we sincerely and humbly fight off the stains instead of finding excuses for them. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise” Psalm 51:17 (KJV).
WE MUST CREATE TIME TO GET RID OF ANY STAIN BEFORE IT RID US OF GOD’S GRACE
Akinloye, O. Margaret