A powerful dream interpretation the Lord gave me to understand the importance of self-awareness in the Spirit.
I had a dream last night and it taught me a great deal about the church of God. The dream was so intricate and had many layers and sections, however, I've decided to write about two particular sections that I think us, as children of God need to be aware of:
In the dream, there were various types of people in a church:
First, I saw an extremely large hall filled with people shouting and dancing—it seemed as though they were worshipping. On stage, there were various individual church branches that kept coming on to do their part, and then would step aside. I saw one leading pastor and evangelist who got up on the stage and although he was in a suit and well-dressed, he kept running from one side of the stage to the other. He was zooming past so many times, and at such speed, I didn’t know where to look to find him. As he was running, he kept lifting his arms to worship, to preach or evangelize to the people. But he was screaming at the top of his lungs, constantly in a rush. As his arms went up, so did his jacket and shirt, and it exposed a big, neglected belly underneath. One you couldn’t see when he had his arms down. The shirt and jacket kept riding all the way up to his underarms. Now and again, he pulled them down, only to have the same thing happen again and again.
This particular image was interpreted to me by the Spirit as wrong priority. There are leaders in the church—and when I say church, I mean the universal unity of all brothers and sisters believing in the gospel and seeking salvation, not one particular branch—who have a great love for the ministry. They are dedicated, motivated and always available to preach, evangelize or do whatever is necessary to play the role. Whilst this implies a passion Christ does want of us, the danger of mixing priorities is very high. There are clearly leaders that rush (just like in the dream) through their ministry with the desire to ‘do it all’. They’re so captivated of being used by God, that that becomes their only priority.
In the Bible (Matthew 7:21-23), we read about how Jesus speaks to someone having prophesied, performed miracles, and driven out demons, and says to them ‘I never knew you’. The scary part is that it is incessantly easy to be the 'perfect Christian' on the outside, and yet never have a true relationship with God. In those circumstances, it clearly states in the Bible that all the ministries and great work done for the kingdom are not even regarded by Christ at the gate of heaven because they were all done with the intention of 'ministry', not to serve God or follow His will. Spiritual relationship is what first matters to God, not ministry. Whilst He desires to use us and advance His kingdom, and yes, we all have a purpose on this earth which we should all strive to serve (or our so-called individual ministries), but the Lord’s greatest priority is to ‘know us’.
What does that mean? It means having a relationship with us. Ministry is often misconstrued as more important than relationship; henceforth why huge, busy pastors can have so much to do, and yet their personal search for the Lord never develops beyond their needs. Plus, our ministries can change over time and the Lord can have you doing one thing today but wanting something new tomorrow. Only by remaining with our eyes open and priorities straight can we always know the will of God. Otherwise we'll just act upon what we're familiar with or what is expected of us by man instead of pleasing the Lord.
No matter what your role is in the church, whether a leader or someone who helps put away the chairs at the end of the service—do not rush. This dream clearly shows that some of us are doing too much and forgetting the why behind it all. Do not expand yourself to doing as much as possible only because you want to be involved. Prioritise your time with God. Have intimacy with Him and allow Him to lead you where you need to be for that season. Don’t be afraid to say no. And if right now, you feel you have nothing, then maybe He just wants you all to Himself for a while. I believe we will truly be able to serve our King with an honest, humble, and endearing heart only when we know Him personally and keep putting Him first on a daily basis.
Another image I saw in the dream was that of crowds of church people all separated in their own groups and doing their own things. There were masses that were just there for the performance/the concert: they were jumping up and down, seemingly in worship but doing little else. Others were leaving happily. And there were people that talked to some but not to others: it’s like they filtered who they wanted to speak to even if the recipient sought a conversation with them. There were also a few in the congregation that wanted what others had: they saw people carrying bible verses and they wanted the same thing so they kept enquiring how they could find them too.
I believe this scene shows the variety of habits, lifestyles, and characters that we can find within the church. First, we have those who are only there for the performance. They get in on Sundays and know how to worship at energy level 100: they know all the words, and jump up and down without any shame, thinking the louder the better. However, during the week, they are as miserable as they come, bound to sin or addiction, or they find the concept of worshipping God on a daily basis as completely foreign. They merely go through the motion and maybe say good night to God at the end of the day but little else. The truth is, if you’re not able to worship God any time of the week with the same energy and life you do on Sundays, without all the lights and drums and music, then your heart isn’t truly in it. Worship can easily be empty. And that is not something that brings any form of pleasure to God.
As for the people who were leaving happily, it reminds me of when we tend to only come to church to receive. Of course, there are seasons and different circumstances where that is a healthy choice. However, even though we should prioritize time with the Lord before running to serve, it doesn’t mean we should only be self-involved and selfish. Maybe God wants you to pray for that person you always see crying in the service, or maybe he wants you to talk to that girl at work who is always alone: there are many ways to serve the Lord. It’s not always just about which church team should I join?
Other times, we can be those that decide I’m only going to love person X, Y and Z but everyone else doesn’t matter to me. Those are the people in the dream who filtered who they spoke to. I’m not saying we need to be close friends with every person in the church (that’s not healthy or truly possible anyway), but to be ready to love everyone and treat them equally. And I mean, truly love them, not just give a hug then talk bad about them later. Jealousy, gossip, resentment, all can sneak in and make us misjudge one another. God is the ultimate judge and attempting to judge others based on information found through this or that person basically means you’re playing God. As Zac Poonen puts it (from the 'The God-centred can build the church’ podcast), hypocrisy is the ultimate danger the church is in, more so than worldliness. Being a Christian is not just about how you look to others, but what your heart and intention truly is (Matthew 6:1).
Finally, there were people in the dream who sought after more of God. They saw those who carried the light, who loved the Word and always sought more. This is something we should all be: people that seek and yearn after God, wanting more of Him and not being satisfied with what they have. God is limitless and He’s waiting for us to pursue Him with the most earnest heart in order to reveal Himself to us more deeply (Jeremiah 29:13). The sad part about this section of the dream is that most of the people asking for God’s word were of older age. Let’s be honest, our younger generation is so easily bored and distracted. We all tend to keep our phones closer than our Bibles or give more time to entertainment than to prayer (and don’t think I don’t refer to myself also when I say this!). In these end times, we need to ensure that the church’s first love and thirst for Christ doesn’t die with the old generation, but that it catches fire like never before.
I hope this message from above was able to encourage and strike you as strongly as it did me. You may be wondering, why is it important to talk about this? Why is this blog emphasising this dream so much? Well, I’ve grown to discover that with our relationship in Christ, we need to be constantly aware of ourselves: are we reflecting Him in our character, are we speaking as He speaks, are we listening to the Holy Spirit’s nudges, are we in His will? True relationship with God can never be put aside and dealt with once or twice a week. It’s constant. And if we’re not aware of who we are, or who we could become, we may easily fall in those lost categories.
This post isn’t to shame anyone but merely to wake up the church and shake our faith in understanding that we need to keep watch! And all of this involves me too, I’m certainly not saying any of this from a higher place. It just worries me because too many of us fall into categories we’d never think we fall into, but never admit the truth.
With a humble heart and open mind ask God today: ‘Lord, where am I? What can I do to become more like you? I open my mind, Lord, tell me, am I doing anything that displeases you?’