Jan 18, 2023

I HAD A DREAM LAST NIGHT

Written by: Ginger Banks ©January 1, 2023

I HAD A DREAM LAST NIGHT

Written by: Ginger Banks ©January 1, 2023

 

I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.” Philemon 6 NIV

It’s no surprise God made us to be fulfilled by outward-focused Kingdom work rather than selfish ‘me’ focused activities.  Our Creator God, through His wisdom and understanding, sees our heart and that it is naturally self-centered and our motives self-serving.  We don’t need help with feeling good about accomplishing the types of activities that bring attention and praise to us, however, it’s much harder for us to do those things that gain us no recognition but give all the glory to God.  So, our Heavenly Father made us with a hole, one that is fulfilled by Him alone, a work of art, complete only when we focus on Him and our efforts outside of ourselves.

When was it? A year ago, three, maybe it was ten or even more than sixty years ago that God opened your heart and eyes to see His presence, and to accept the free Gift He offered to you in His son, Jesus Christ? Do you remember the freshness of new faith, the excitement to share with others what you yourself had discovered? When was it? Yesterday, a month ago, perhaps a few years ago, you last lived your faith on your shirtsleeve, on fire to win people to the Kingdom and to intentionally make those around you thirsty for the hope you have in Christ?

The darkness of the Sinner’s life is prevalent and frightful; do you remember what it was like, to live without light and without a glimmer of hope to call one’s own?  Step away from the brightness of your Hope, only for a moment, as I take you on the journey, to fan your faith into the blazing flame of hope God has called you to be in this lost and dying world.

I’m about to share with you one of the scariest, most vivid and horrifying dreams I have ever had, one which came to me in the early morning just before I awoke today. As you read, take heart, have courage, and seek the hope that is in Christ.

It started out like many others. Someone was after me and wanted to kill me, I didn’t know who but I was running until I reached a room with a balcony that overlooked what appeared to be a town square.  As I looked out and around trying to find a way down to hide from the one who was chasing me, I saw people of all ages, genders and nationalities wondering about looking lost and uninterested in what was going on around them.

Some wore business suits or uniforms of all professions, others wore jeans or shorts and a casual top, and still others a full-length robe of different styles and formalities, the variety of dress or lack thereof was astounding. There was the proud and powerful all the way down to the lowly and poor, represented by the blue collar and white collars alike, there were old and young, there were singles and couples, there were homeless, there were families.

Every type of class and genre of people imaginable was there; each individual as far as the eye could see was focused on themselves and their own lives.  Going but going nowhere, seemingly with no intentions of doing more than living for themselves and for the moment. Those who seemed to have direction and purpose followed a path that led to barren emptiness.

To one side and underneath the balcony, from where I could not see, I heard a single voice of one desperately shouting for those in the square to stop and hear what could bring purpose and life to their meaningless wanderings. Of those from the square who stopped to listen, some heard and accepted the Message; others mocked or just walked away only to take up the same path they’d left before. There were some who, though they accepted not the Message, wanted to take part in the life behind the speaker, so they left the square and joined the others.

Then a breath later the scene below changed, the people were no longer wandering aimlessly, and they no longer wore different clothing.  Each one wore a brightly colored T-shirt and a pair of non-descript pants.  Each T-shirt was a different color and the wearer was now a living corpse, screaming and wailing at the top of their lungs.  On each shirt was emblazoned the word for their sin: Liar, Depraved, Thief, Murder, Adulterer, Prideful, God-Hater, Perverse, Compassionless, Manipulator, Dishonest and Rebellious…the list seemed to go on for eternity.

No sin was greater, none was smaller, all sins were viewed the same, and there was every color and shade of each sin represented.  Bold for those that had been open (and perhaps haughty) with their sin, encouraging others to partake as well, and there were the lighter shades for those sins which had been hidden in the deepest regions of the heart and about which only they and God knew.  As I watched, unable to turn from the scene before me, God sent His own beings to force the living corpses into the distance, having judged and sentenced them to their destruction.

I looked up and far into the horizon I saw a chasm open up, fire and sulfurous smoke belched forth staining the sky and great clouds began to tower over those below.  All the living corpses were on their way to the chasm by one form or another.  Although the living corpses saw their own guilt and were shamed, they begged for mercy and cried out promises to change – but to myself and to those behind me who’d already accepted the Message.  “If you save me, I’ll change, I promise!”  We heard the cry over and again, but it was too late, they could no longer be saved from their fate.

Most of the living corpses’ faces bore the same acceptance of a fate which they knew they had earned and now deserved; however their wailing, screaming and cries of regret carried over the balcony on which I stood. I started crying and the desire to speak overcame me but when I opened my mouth nothing came out. I knew I was being kept from speaking for it was no longer within my power to warn them.

I saw some of the living corpses walking proudly towards the chasm, even after having been judged and found guilty – they dared to flout their sin.  Still other corpses, alive but lifeless, overcome by their own guilt, were pushed by or driven in cars, or dragged by God’s beings with chains and dumped into the chasm.  There were flying beings that carried living corpses, and beings that bore whips or any other means required to forcefully drive the living corpses into the chasm.  As I wondered why the Lord’s beings would use cars, it came to me that the cars represented the things of this world by which people are led astray.

Then, all at once those beings who’d been chasing me, caught up to me and tried to make me a living corpse as well, but these beings came from the enemy, the one called Satan, and they had no power over me.  Though these beings tried many times I cried out for help and the Message came quickly to my aid.  Nor could the enemy’s beings harm those people who had previously heard and accepted the Message, so the enemy’s beings rushed off in anger and frustration to find other peoples to turn.

As one, the people of the Message turned back to watch from the balcony as a woman came from somewhere beneath it, accompanied by the enemy’s beings and crying.  We heard her say, “You promised!  You said that if it was only once, it was just trying it, and that it wasn’t bad!  It was only going to be bad if I kept doing it!” and the beings laughed at her, capturing her arms and turning her into a living corpse.

As the now living corpse came before God He judged it accordingly; and the living corpse was clothed in a T-shirt emblazoned with the word “Fool”.  God then sent for two of His own beings that picked up the living corpse flew to the chasm and dropped it therein.

I reached out my arm but I could not span the town square nor stretch across and reach those in the chasm, and I heard the voice of God say, “It is too late for them, they can no longer choose, you cannot help them now.” At that moment I awakened trying to shout out the Message to anyone who would hear… for surely wasn’t too late!

A frightful dream, is it not?  More often than not it is difficult to be a shining light of the Message of Hope, people don’t want to hear it or they’re too busy.  We have, as a believer in Christ, a call by God to lead others to the hope that is in Christ.  We are no longer meant to live a life without purpose, or without sharing the Message.  Although this life may have challenges and the way of Hope sometimes dimmed, overall God’s Holy Spirit within us enables us to bring the light of Hope into the darkness of this world.

 

Lost people don’t know they’re lost.   The lost people with whom you come into contact don’t know or realize they’re going nowhere, without hope, and seeking that for which they know not they’re looking.  It states in Romans 10:13-18 “For, Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.  How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?  And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!  But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed our message?  Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.  But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”

Lost people get and stay busy.  The busyness and the activities of life keep them from slowing down long enough to see the reality of their own lost-ness and hopelessness.  Slowing down would mean taking the risk of not being with other people who are just as lost, just as hopeless, and give them that comfortable feeling with their life.  To bring back an old saying, “I’m okay, you’re okay”.  We need to be diligent to set the example, and purpose not to be ‘caught up’ all the time with the busyness of participating in meaningless activities.  It is not by our participation in the lost person’s useless and meaningless life activities – never taking opportunity to share the Truth – which saves them from judgment and hell.  I think this is what Jesus meant when, in Luke 9:25, He said, “For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?

Lost people generally don’t ask questions about life.  The questions lost people have are questions they can’t put into words, or don’t want to.  If they put the questions into words they might not want the answer because it would force them to see the hopelessness of the life they now live.  Sometimes we have to help them define their question. John 4:7-10 states “When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

Lost people are hope less. The life without hope looks very much like our own, filled with trials and troubles, except when these come to a lost person, they cannot see the Hope beyond the problem. We as born again Christians are aware; life on this earth along with its problems is temporal. We know real life begins when we get to heaven and will spend eternity with God. We can and are called to share this Message of Hope. John 16:22 and 33 states, “So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy…I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

The born-again Christian knows that a life worth living is one focused outwardly and with a purpose to serve at least one drop of the life-giving water that is found in Jesus Christ.  He is our Message of Hope, the Light in the darkness of a lost and dying world.  Take the next few hours to observe the world around you, do you see a positive outlook?  Is there a glimmer of Hope?  Who around you needs to hear the Message from you today?

In the coming days, ask yourself the following questions:  Am I living my life like, if others know I’m a Christian, they’ll make fun of you or put you down?  Is my thinking skewed so that my attitude is that as long as those around me don’t know I’m a Christian, I can sin or mess up and it’s okay because nobody around me knows I’m supposed to live a better witness for Christ?

Am I living my life as if I’m terrified someone will see me bow my head or hear me speak the name of my Lord?  Do I live my life as if there’s no hope, even through Christ, here on earth?  Does my attitude say that I can’t wait to be in heaven so I don’t have to deal with the continuous troubles here on earth – thus forgetting those who need my encouragement in this life here on earth?  Is God on the outskirts of my life so that He’s only a part of it on Sundays and Wednesdays?  Do I set my Bible down when I get home and not pick it up again until the next time I go to church?  Has everyone I come into contact with, aware that I am a follower of Christ, how would they know?

A positive outlook and a message of hope are becoming rare commodities, even among Christians. If a lost person cannot look upon the nearest Christian and see the Message of Hope, a Light within the darkness, upon whom should they look? God put us in a dying world so that the world might see the Message of Hope! The Christian must allow their life to reflect the Message of Hope and the new life one has in Christ! Ask God to help you rediscover the ״newness״ of your faith so that your ability to reflect and share that Message of Hope can also be re-born.

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