Vision of the Bitter Root
December 27, 1997
Saturday, December 27, 1997, at 5:00am, I had this vision in a half sleeping state:
I was standing in a church lobby looking into the offices when everything material began to disappear. All the walls and the furniture turned to a faint lucid blue crystal until it was so dim that you could barely see anything. The atmosphere turned into a hazy dark vapor. I was immediately impressed that God was giving me a vision of what He sees in the Spirit realm according to what's true and what He values.
As I turned toward the direction of the sanctuary, I saw, heard, and had a sense of even the smells that exuded from each person. My impression was that God was giving me a sense of what He sees and feels from His people.
Though I couldn't see anyone=s body or even the church building anymore, as I gazed across the area of the auditorium where everyone had been worshiping, each person had their own unique appearance. Some individuals were like glowing, misty lights with sweet smelling incense rising like smoke from their spirits. They were differing sizes and intensities. I was engulfed with a sense of the joy of the Father with the humble offerings of intense, adoring love and intercession coming from these individuals who's hearts truly manifested His glory in the heavenlies.
But there were others who had been worshiping and singing where there was a darkened, foggy shadow that seemed to hiss and pop with a rotten stench. I was deeply oppressed with a sensation of grief over the condition of their hearts before the Lord. It was as though the Lord was turning away from them with a fierce disgust.
My mind was overpowered with many scriptures including Amos 5:21-23, "I hate, I despise your religious feasts; I cannot stand your assemblies. Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps."
And Amos 6:1,4-6, "Woe to you who are complacent in Zion, and to you who feel secure on Mount Samaria, you notable men of the foremost nation, to whom the people of Israel come! You lie on beds inlaid with ivory and lounge on your couches. You dine on choice lambs and fattened calves. You strum away on your harps like David and improvise on musical instruments. You drink wine by the bowlful and use the finest lotions, but you do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph."
I was captivated and mortified at the limited number of pure hearts that were radiant. And I said, "Lord, how could this be?" Quickly, I became curious and turned around to look at the whole city of Nashville. I was overcome with a living picture of what looked like a tree stump or large, growing root. It was solid and thriving. It was swampy and seething with a putrid odor. The stagnant pools and visible masses of the root were infested with swarming snakes and decaying debris. I was inundated with the conviction that this "stump" before my spirit eyes was an inconceivably powerful root of "Wormwood" that had taken over the whole city, including the churches. (See Deuteronomy 29:18-19 & Revelation 8:11. Also see Ezekiel 47:11 & Exodus 15:25.)
I only saw an occasional light flickering from the spirits of a few, who through weeping and persecution, had stayed humbly obedient to God and worshiped Him and prayed with purity and reverence. All I could think was, "How can this be true? There must be more Christians that pray, seek, love and worship God with all their hearts so they can manifest His glory." But I perceived the Lord saying, "Many have been tricked and hindered by seducing spirits. Many of my people are distracted by the cares of this world and don't even realize they aren't spiritually hungry or thirsty anymore. Most no longer care what is in My heart and mind and they don't grieve over the captivity and defeat around them because they have become enslaved themselves." (At this time I remembered the scripture in Ezekiel 9:4-6 and I shuttered to think of what might come of Nashville, including the church, if something doesn't change very quickly.)
But, I protested, "There are so many good churches in Nashville. What about all the godly men and women and the pastors and leaders?" Then I understood the Lord to say, "There are truly very few who haven't been bribed into bondage to this bitter root. My people have been so blessed, but now they are self-serving, self-idolizing, self-ambitious, self-seeking, self-dependant, self-gratifying, and self-exalting, and they don't even know it. A bribe blinds the eyes of even the wise. And even my ministers that I have called by name have been desensitized and deceived by the love for money and self-glorification. They have forgotten to linger at my throne, so they no longer see their need or hear my Word I have called them to proclaim. They have put their doorposts and thresholds next to My doorposts and thresholds and called on My name to bless it. My people are religious but powerless. They cannot weep or grieve because they do not see or hear. They have been paralyzed by drinking the bitter tea of idolatry."
As the vision hovered before me, I understood the deception and veiling of truth and revelation that happens to us when we give in to temptation. The same power that blinds and deafens the minds of those who do not believe (see II Corinthians 4:4) can also come over God's children. Many scriptures came to my mind (Hosea 4:10-11; Hebrews 3:13; Proverbs 5:22; Jeremiah 10:23 & 18:15; Matthew 24:12). I was left with one penetrating conviction: The only hope for Nashville, or the body of Christ within its walls, is God's sovereign act of mercy coupled with our humble, reverent repentance and sacrificial obedience to the truth (Jeremiah 13:23; John 8:34; Romans 6:6; II Chronicles 7:14).
copyright 1997 Heart For The World, Inc.