THE “I” SYNDROME
This afternoon, while in worship, suddenly I saw a vision. Some visions approach gently, gradually moving across your mind, while other visions come at jet speed, full of power, and really grab your attention. It was one of the latter types which I saw this afternoon. Suddenly, a very large torch raced in with a whoosh and stood right in front of me. It blazed with fire.
Tonight, as we were in worship, I found myself in the throne room. Instead of the throne, however, there was a cross standing in its place, that suddenly erupted into a blaze of fire.
While being in the throne room I learned and still feel like weeping because of it; we are all crying out for revival, but we do not really want it badly enough. What we truthfully want is to be busy.
For the last several weeks, I have been fighting a terrible battle with my health. Some of you have been praying for me so God has already told you about my struggle. I have been concerned about how we are ever going to have revival if He does not strengthen and enable me to come and pray. I said to Him, “The people may quit coming if I don’t attend.” It is true. You, the faithful ones, come to the sanctuary or join us online whether I am at the service or not, and for your faithfulness God will bless you. Nevertheless, others seem to feel I need to be here or else they will not participate.
Addressing my concern, I think, Jesus spoke to me tonight, during worship, He tenderly said, “I’ve been testing the people to see if they will they come and pray when you, meaning me, cannot be here. Is it Me they want desperately enough to fight the battles to have Me, or is it to you they look, to be led in prayer?” We must pray that the Church will hunger for God regardless of the messenger. I respect you for coming whether I am here or not because you are the faithful ones standing in the gap. The time is going to come this year when so many will wish they had remained faithful to the vision. We need to pray that God will give His Church a heart to hunger after Him. If none of the prayer leaders were here, Jesus wants to know if you would still come, get on your knees, and pray. I do not want to see us have to be tested in that. My heart has been tearful ever since He spoke to me.
Jesus is so hungry for you. He is hungry to send His fire, to send His glory, and to send that part of Himself that is so irresistible, it will completely arrest you from the world. He wants to bring you to a place of safety from the storm. He wants to provoke you with His fire and His love, but you must look and wait for Him.
I know that none of you who are here tonight fit into this category, but do you know that there are intercessors who intercede just so they can take pride in their prayer lives? When you stand before the gates of His glory, how are you going to bring forth the holy prayer while still filled with pride and self-sufficiency? Prayer is a humbling business. It will break you if you are doing it right. The alabaster box that Mary broke over the feet of Jesus spoke of you who are willing to come and be broken at the feet of your Lord. Jesus, not man, wants your worship. He wants you to belong wholly to Him. We cannot serve Him enough to foster or promote what must happen. Only love can do it. Only love for your Savior can capture all of you and preserve you in a place of safety, prayer is the vehicle of passage.
There is a churning going on deep within my soul. Sometimes it is not fun to be a prophet. God does things with you that people do not understand, and which people will judge and criticize. However, when it is all over, these same people will stand before Him, and He will ask, “Why didn’t you hear the message I was trying to give you?” The song of the prophet is so beautiful. It is so sweet because the anointing that God puts upon the message is the call of the Bride to draw near while He is calling. Open your heart. Let Him impart His glory and that holy call into your heart. Let it pierce the veil of your heart. Let it pierce the innermost being of your nature until everything inside of you is crying, “Jesus, I must have You, lest I die! Bend me, Lord! Break me! Remake me and transform me! Do whatever You need to do to this haughty and unworthy heart to make it ready for You! I must have You, Lord! I must have Your life. I must have Your touch until my insides churn because I cannot bear to not have more of You! I must be filled to the brim with my Lord Jesus!”
Isn’t it amazing? God gives a message like this, and the ones who need it the most are not here. Pastor Matt just said, that is the way it usually is. I want to tell you that there is a river of glory and a river of sweet oil coming. There is One coming to those who are looking for His appearance, who are willing to break the alabaster box at the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is coming to those who are not coming to see a man, but are here to find Jesus.
Mt 6:19-20 Amp. Do not gather and heap up and store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust and worm consume and destroy, and where thieves break through and steal. But gather and heap up and store for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust nor worm consume and destroy, and where thieves do not break through and steal.
I want to go one step further and say, “Store up for yourself the glory of the Son!” What do these earthly things mean if you put them in your heart and grapple to retain them? When it is all over, they are only corruption. They have stolen the place of your Lord.
We must come clean with Jesus. We have to let go of the “I” syndrome. Have you ever heard of that? “I’m so great. It is wise that Jesus loves me. I’m such a good Christian. I read my Bible three times a day and pray morning, noon, and night. I love to look at the mirror and just remind myself how wonderful I am, how much I do, and how great I am in the doing. I, I, I.” The “I” syndrome. There is a pill for it, but the pill does not cure it; it only covers the ache from it. The pill is the world. Just keep shoving the world into that empty place called “I.” Pretty soon, you will not feel the pain of the loss of Jesus any longer. You will be so busy applauding and idolizing “I,” letting everyone know how wonderful “I” is, that you will not even hear His voice any more. This “I” syndrome is spreading like a plague. Never has it been so prominent in the world as it is today.
They have “I” promotion clubs now that try to help the afflicted who have the syndrome of “I,” but they cannot cure it. No man can cure it. It carries a horrible poison and leaves behind a stench of corruption. It gets the eye so completely off of Christ until His wooing, His calling, His crying, His pleading, and even His weeping can no longer be heard. Not only is it spreading like a plague, but when it over takes the human soul, it ravages it until one does not know how to be happy in Christ anymore.
I used to have a prayer warrior who prayed for our ministry incessantly. One day, the Lord gave me a vision and showed me this person. I saw that her soul had been suddenly filled with corruption because of her pride in being an intercessor. It got to the point where no one could tell her anything because she knew everything. This “I” syndrome grew so severe that she became entrapped in a terrible deception, from which we were never able to retrieve her.
It is a terrible plague. It steals the sense of being thirsty and famished for Christ. Christ hung on the cross, and what did He say? “I thirst.” (John 19:28) They thought they could give Him gall to drink to satisfy His thirst, but I have been before that cross, and I have heard my Lord say those words. I know what was in His heart. He was crying out to humanity down through the ages, “I thirst for you! I paid this price because of My hunger and My thirst for you!” Where is the anguish of the soul who is thirsting for the Lord in the Church? America will not carry you for long! You need Jesus! You must answer the anguish that pulls you out of bed at night and gets you up in the morning to pray. You need an anguish of heart that is so intense you will say, like Rachel, “Give me,… lest I die!” (Gen 30:1)
Who else is there to answer your need but Him? The world cannot cure this disease, but it will sure give you little pills to help you so that you do not feel so bad. Only One can cure the disease of “I” syndrome, and that is our Lord Jesus Christ, in the fullness of His glory. Do not accept less! How can you be passive? “Oh, we’ll just accept whatever He gives.” No! You must grab the horns of the altar, and cry out to Him, “I will not be denied! I won’t let go until You come!” There must be something in you that is broken for love. Cry for Him! Weep because your soul is desolate, and you do not know it. Cry out, “Lord, what is wrong with me? I feel like I am with Jacob at the house of Bethel. God was here, and I knew it not. What is wrong with my soul? What is wrong with me that I do not crave You? Why don’t I thirst for You like You thirst for me? When did I put too much of the world in my heart? When did I get the syndrome of “I,” and it became such a big tree that I couldn’t even chop it down? Come in Your mercy, Lord. You know that I’m trapped and bound. You know that I don’t even understand how desperate I am. Come.” Pray and cry out to Him. Tell your heart, “You will awaken, if it is the last thing you do. You will awaken to the cry of your Lord!” Cry out until He fills you with the oil from the alabaster box.
You are not hungry enough because you are too saturated with life. The Lord spoke to me in a vision a few days ago. He showed me that the shepherds and the sheep are too busy. When the terrible and difficult times come, they will not be ready because they are famished for lack of God. The shepherds became too busy to take care of the sheep, and the sheep became too busy to take care of themselves. There is a need for God in His Church. There is a need for the hunger, for the life of Christ and the Holy Spirit. I can feel it. It feels like a cavern in the heart of God. There is a hunger, which we are not satisfying. We are too busy satisfying our flesh.
Come to Jesus. Cry out to Him and repent of your apathy. Plead with Him for His mercy to change your heart that is so filled with the world. This “I” syndrome will leave you with spiritual leprosy. It will deform you and make you demented. It will take from you everything of value. Once it starts to ingest, it never stops. You have to catapult it out of your heart. Cry out for your Lord while He is near. Cry out for His mercy to break your heart, empty it, and fill it with Himself.
Jesus, You know our hearts. We are so empty that we don’t even weep. We have been empty for so long that we don’t even know how empty we are. We have grown accustomed to the luke-warmness and the emptiness. We do not even perceive the loss. Open our eyes, open our understanding, and open our hearts for us to see how desperate we really are. We need You, Lord. We do not need another. We need You.
Lord, we weep for ourselves, and we weep for the Church. The Church is filled with apathy, busyness, and bitterness. We sing songs, and we say that we love You and Your ways, but when we are put to the test, we discover that we despise Your ways, Lord. Change our wicked hearts. Let us know the hunger and the passion of the Spirit of grace. None but Jesus can satisfy. None but Jesus can fill the emptiness, the aching, and the longing of the soul. He alone can hold us. None but Jesus can bring us to the Father.
Lord, forgive the Church for our apathetic ways. Forgive us for not praying enough, for not desiring enough, and for the lack of passion for You to draw near. Forgive us, Lord, for our pride that causes us to be so self-sufficient. I feel the aching of the breaking of the pride, Lord! We are so self-sufficient because we are so full of pride! Forgive us, Lord. You alone are our sufficiency. Help us to capture the experience of knowing how empty we really are. Help us to know where we are now so we can start fighting for where we need to be!
Lord, send forth Your glory and revival. Lord, we can neither live nor continue without it. We need Your life in our hearts. We need what revival gives and brings. We need You, Lord Jesus, to draw near and to come. Save us from the “I” syndrome and from the world. Save us from the things that we cherish, Lord.
I am asking you to come to the low places in Christ. Paul said, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Gal 6:14a) Until we learn that the cross is the only thing in which we have a right to glory, we will constantly seek after the world to be our quest and our satisfaction. We must abandon all else for the sake of Christ. We must glory in the cross because you cannot get to Christ without the cross. You must go through the cross. It must create the cleavage in your flesh and in your soul to make a place for the pouring out of that which displeases Him, so that He can cleanse your soul with the sweet oil of heaven. Cry for the cross. Cry that God will humble you until the cross becomes your joy.
The door into the Holy of Holies is so small, my dear friends, for good reason. He will not allow the pride of the flesh to make it through that door. He wants the humbled heart and the broken spirit to enter in where the Holy of Holies will transform. Pride and self-idolatry are a stench in the nostrils of God. We all have the sickness. Do not say, “No, the Lord has conquered that in me” because you will be lying to yourself. Every human being has it except for those who have been crucified with Christ and who live completely in union with Christ at this hour. What do you think keeps you from union? It is the “I” syndrome. “I” is too big. It is scary that we do not even know how we suffer from it.
Cry out every day, “God, less of me, and more of You. I must have more of You. Send revival into my soul, and let me know what things prohibit my receiving that marvelous grace. What are the sins I cling to that keep me from being in revival? What has overtaken the hunger?” The Spirit lusts after you with fervent passion and vehement desire. What keeps us so unresponsive and so insensitive to Him? What is wrong with us that we do not lust after Him in the way He lusts after us? How can we tolerate this fallacy in our lives anymore? We must be changed. We must find our satisfaction in Him alone.
Oh Lord, we are so sorry. The sickness has persisted for so long that we no longer even know we have it, Lord. Forgive us. How can we nurture this thing? It is such sickness in the soul, and it keeps us from You. It grows like a cancer and drives us farther and farther from the truth. Oh God! Heal our sin-sick soul! Bring us to You! Glorious Jesus! Lord, we feel like Peter in the boat. Call us, Lord, and we will come! It matters not that the sea is stormy. We will come on Your word.
The Lord wants to put into your hearts a longing so deep and so compelling that you lose sight of you. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? All He is asking of you is that you pray until your alabaster box is broken at the feet of our Lord. He must be conqueror over all. He has been given authority over all flesh. (John 17:2) You must let Him conquer your flesh.
I want to ask you sincerely, out of a heart of love, please invite God to begin dealing with your attitudes. Every one of us has attitudes that keep us locked out of the glorious presence of our Lord. Ask Him to begin revealing to you those nasty attitudes that He hates so much. When He shows them to you, repent, and you will see a newness of the life of Christ in your life. Ask Him to show you how to plow up the fallow ground. As He does, take the plow and plow up your heart.
May I tell you something of a truth? I do not like your flesh. I do not like my flesh, either, and if you knew me, you would not like my flesh, either. It is the truth. Rotten flesh stinks. I love what Martha said. Jesus commanded them to roll the stone away from the tomb. Martha said, “Lord, he’s been dead four days. By this time he stinks.” (John 11:39) How long have you been saved? That is how long you have been dead, and your flesh stinks. Aren’t you glad to find out how wonderful you really are? We have to come to grips with this truth.
I just love this. Someone says, “I want you to mentor me and show me the way to Christ.” But the minute I touch one area of their flesh, they get heated and offended. That flesh gets so foul. They think I am crying because I have been too close to an onion, but I have picked up the Kleenex, and I have been crying and blowing my nose because that flesh stinks.
We all want to be captured by the Spirit of life. We want Jesus to have His victory in us. We want Jesus to bring us close to Him without Him having to smell our rotting flesh. We want to bear the fragrance of the alabaster box and its scented oil. When we draw close, we want Him to say, “Please don’t leave. I like it when you’re here.” My dear friends, find Christ while you still can. Do not say, “I already know Him.” You do not! Find Him! You will know you have found Him when you cannot live without Him and the magnanimous, manifested presence of the Lord.
Do you know that I love you? Do you know that Jesus loves you? He would never, ever put you through a message like this if He did not love you. It is love that does it.
Come all ye who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest!
In His Love,