Herein I make no judgment or accusation. I simply record what God has laid on my heart to say to the church, the Body of Christ. I am not going to do a deep, comprehensive Bible study here for I fear that I will end up making both judgment and accusation. I am an undershepherd of the Great Shepherd and I love the Body of Christ and have committed an entire lifetime in service to the ecclesia, the called-out ones. I would never knowingly wound or cause harm to anyone, especially to my brothers and sisters in Christ.
I choose at this time not to engage in the ongoing, and sometimes caustic conversation about whether current government restrictions on public gatherings constitute “persecution of the church.” I offer neither support nor resistance to the actions of the government in these moments. I simply recognize what is––is, and we do ourselves little benefit by fighting what is.
“And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves.” (Matthew 21:12-17)
This morning I was at the church house putting food in boxes so that our Mercy Team can distribute some help to families in our community that are struggling. We have done this for more than thirty years now and are continuing to do our best to help in whatever small way we can. We were able to put up boxes of food for more than 40 local families in our small town who are having trouble making ends meet under normal circumstances and we are hardly in “normal circumstances.”
At some point in the morning, I loaded up my pickup truck with excess cardboard and some compost to take to the Waste Management site to dispose of them. As I drove through town, I had to pass several churches that have been in our community for many years, including our own. As I passed through the downtown area I felt a pressing in my spirit. I didn’t have a vision and I didn’t hear an audible voice. Yet, I could feel His presence in a very powerful way. I have prayed about this all day, aware that I can very easily trouble some folks, including some that I care a great deal for. Over the years though, I have learned to speak what I sense the Spirit saying and let folks sort it out for themselves.
I felt the Lord say, “It is not a man that is troubling the church in this hour. It is Me. I am cleansing My House.”
That is it. Nothing more and yet, as I drove through the town . . . my town, I knew that the Lord had settled something in me. “I am cleansing My House.”
Church houses that have long abandoned or perverted the Word of God – sit empty.
Church houses that have welcomed, even embraced, perversion and sin – sit empty.
Church houses that have sought to serve man rather than God – sit deserted.
Even churches that have considered themselves to be faithful, and pure, and righteous – are empty.
Pulpits are free of self-serving and unfaithful prophets.
Altars that have denied the power of the gospel and the authority of the Word are closed off.
Flags that celebrate sin and rebellion against God still wave in the breeze – but there is no one there to see it.
As He did in ancient Jerusalem, the Lord of the Church is cleansing His House. Even those of us who stamp our feet and pound our Bibles and shout from our pulpits, pretending to be bastions of purity, find our houses empty. And I want to say this: We should welcome the Lord when He comes to cleanse His house and rather to curse evil governments, perhaps our prayer should be,
Search me, O God, and know my heart today,
Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts, I pray;
See if there be some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from every sin, and set me free.
That is all.
You may draw some benefit from these words. You may snuff your nose and ignore these words. It is not mine to judge. Only to share what God has spoken to me.