This article appeared in The World Invader: Global Outreach Developments, Int’l Newsletter in April 2004. The preface was written by Mike Garner.
Due to Gregg and Paul’s three week trip to East Africa, India, and England, Gregg was not able to write this months “Thoughts.” But as I read this email sent out by Tara Garner, I was reminded that the Holy Spirit is responsible for the writing of “Thoughts” and true learning is only accomplished through the Holy Spirit.
About three months ago, each of us seemed to hit a hard place in our walks with the Lord. The Lord was “cleaning house” so to speak. Wow, and clean He did. And cleaning He’s still doing. To put it simply, the Lord had revealed to each of us that if we don’t get refilled every day through honest prayer and being in His presence, we will run dry and be of no help to anyone. Some of us were already at very desperate points, not understanding the frustration of feeling empty, having nothing left to give, and having nothing to offer the Lord. God spoke personally to each of our hearts about things, trash, sin that we were holding onto allowing us to hinder our intimacy with Him. There were many awful, ugly, hiding things, much of we weren’t even aware existed in us, that became exposed to the Lord’s piercing Truth. After bringing to the Light what was hidden in our darkness, and surrendering as a humble, broken, wrecked people before Him we began getting cleaned. We deeply and sincerely recognized our desperate need for Jesus, and after confessing our struggles, surrendering our strongholds, and pressing on to know Him like never before (which till takes place daily) Jesus has been faithful to respond - and this time we could hear Him.
Hosea 6:1-3 has become a thematic verse, “Let us return to the Lord. He has torn us into pieces; now He will heal us. He has injured us; now He will bandage our wounds. In just a short time He will restore us so that we can live in His presence. Let us press on to know Him and He will respond as surely as the coming of the dawn or the rains of early spring.” Many times as ministers, it’s too easy to just collect all the “gunk” we receive from others as they pour out their hearts and struggles to us. Too often, our mistake is to just take in all we hear, without arming ourselves with the Word and suddenly their weaknesses become our weaknesses, and in the end we end up feeling emotionally, and spiritually defeated. It was a sick cycle that was soon redeemed and reversed by the grace of our precious Lord.
On a daily basis now we humbly come together as a body and pray multiple times interceding as the Holy Spirit leads. Our prayer times are more powerful and effective now that we come completely honest before the Lord, baring it all, every sin and struggle and truly worshiping Him in Spirit and TRUTH. The women of the ministry (wives and singles) meet together at 5:30a.m. to pray, exhort, and bask in God’s presence, but mostly pray. It has transformed us all. So we rejoin and say thank you for your prayers which have been heard and faithfully answered as we are drawing closer to our Lord than ever before, and being sent out to the nations to tell of His goodness and deliverance. Hallelujah!