Several years ago God brought me to a place in my walk with Him to deal with deep rooted sin and immorality in my heart. Even though I had been risen to new life though receiving the grace and forgiveness of Jesus Christ, I was still wearing the grave clothes. Just as Jesus had called Lazarus out from the grave after being dead for four days, He had called me out of the grave. When Lazarus emerged from the grave he was still wearing the grave clothes and so was I. Filthy rags draped around me with the stench of sin, shame, guilt and unforgiveness. But just as Jesus told the people "Unwrap him and let him go!" (John 11:44) Jesus had faithfully sent His people into my life to gently unwrap my grave clothes to set me free! There was a history of sin in my life that needed to be cleansed. A dear friend of mine walked with me for nine weeks though this process of cleansing. Every Saturday morning we met together and invited God to meet with us. And meet with us He did! Though prayer, intense study of His word, and sharing with one another in a safe place, little by little the rags were coming off. Week by week I was beginning to feel lighter and smell better. Until finally the rags were gone and I was naked before my God. God still had much to teach me in this process. As I followed the spirits calling, I was led to write down each sin of immorality that I had committed in the past, and place them in a small envelop. Though prayer the Holy spirit revealed each one to me. I carried those sins with me for three weeks everywhere, and realized they were a heavy burden. I knew I was being called to do something physical to release them. God had a plan. Through His word, God lead me to be baptized, which simply means to immerse in water. So I found myself, naked with God and my little envelop of sin in a tub of water. I went though an agonizing period of confessing each sin, forgiving, and releasing that sin to Jesus, placing it back in the envelop never to be taken out again. Huge drops of sweat was falling into the water and I could hardly bare the process. I then emerged myself in the water fully expecting to arise, feeling refreshed and clean, but I didn't. If anything I felt worse. This made me angry. I did everything I was suppose to, what happened. The next morning was the same. As I was driving to church I heard a song that made it all make sense. I was being purified. I was not in a cleansing rain but a purifying fire. Three days after my confession I met one last time with my dear friend and we burned that small envelop in the fire. A late summer thunderstorm was rolling in and I stood outside holding three white balloons. My pastor had said Sunday," Forgiveness means to send away." So I let the balloons go. Cool drops of rain hit my face and I could hear thunder roll in the distance. We stood in silence and watched as the balloons rose in the sky. As the rain fell all around us those balloons formed a perfect cross, and we stood staring until they could no longer be seen. Ahhhh, the cleansing rain. The Lord said to me "It is finished, it was finished at the cross, I love you, my precious daughter." I went from grave clothes, to nakedness, to clothes of righteousness.
"Be strong and courageous and do the work. Don't be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the Lord is finished correctly." 1 Chronicles 28:20