As someone who has been part of Cleansing Stream both as a participant and as a leader, I can tell you from both sides of the fence that taking Cleansing Stream will not solve all of your problems; however, it will give you the tools to be victorious in the everyday challenges of life.
Cleansing Stream serves as a healing ministry for the church. Participants engage in seven weeks of connect group-style teachings using the Cleansing Stream workbook, Scripture readings, and books followed by a one-day retreat. Like most things in life, you get out of it the effort you put into it.
I was one of those people who didn’t think they needed to take the course. I was already a leader of a vibrant connect group and I had done other eight to nine-week discipleship courses before. I had the unfortunate arrogance of thinking that sanctification was a one-season event. It took me a while to realize that the biggest battles in life aren’t the big, overwhelming, and unforeseen trials that come our way but the daily, petty issues that get stuck on our hearts, emotions, and minds. That’s why Cleansing Stream for me was so refreshing. It wasn’t “new truths” about God that blew me away or some deep spiritual breakthrough but the reminder of the core truths of the Christian faith that sometimes get buried in the busyness of life or forgotten in the slow and steady straying of the heart.
One of the key tools you get during Cleansing Stream is how to effectively pray through specific attacks against your soul. You learn how to pray through the pain of rejection, how to prayerfully dismantle unhealthy soul-ties, how to uproot bitterness and unforgiveness in prayer. That is why I tell people that the course doesn’t end when the retreat is over; rather, it has only begun. Like a college-level seminar that combines classroom teaching with in-field work, Cleansing Stream gives you the classroom skills for your real life work.
For me, it restored a sense of value to my heart that was buried in the rumbles of past regrets. One of the workbook lessons helped me see God as my Father, and allowed me to release my earthly father from a debt he could never pay.
During the retreat, I felt the shame and condemnation of unhealthy soul ties break off my life and a respect for myself restored. As great as those breakthroughs sound, they didn’t solve the problems in my life because those problems were means in which God was working out my character and dependency on him. Nonetheless, Cleansing Stream gave me the right framework to view those issues and the strength to fight.
For those who are considering taking the course, I highly recommend it. You might have a major breakthrough that changes the entire trajectory of your life or you may simply find a safe space to unclutter the junk that has built up in your heart. Even if nothing truly spiritual is attained, you’ll still get to meet some great people who can become some of your closest friends. At the end of the day, the course is not meant to replace your relationship with God. Instead, everything about it deepens your desire to know God, even if it’s for the first time.
Marian is a leader at this year’s Cleansing Stream. At Every Nation NYC, she also leads a connect group and helps lead in our youth ministry, Urban Saints. Cleansing Stream starts March 7th, 2019. Go to ENNYC.info to register.