I am a firm believer that God uses dreams to speak to us. He did it in the Bible after all. Why wouldn’t He still do so today? I had a particularly vivid dream the other night that I feel was easily a message from the Lord:
I dreamed it was my wedding day. My groom was at the church waiting. All I had to do was get there…
After a slew of frustrating events – such as getting drenched in a downpour and much other chaos – I was finally alone, dressed and ready. There was just one minor obstacle. I had to navigate through some seriously dangerous wild animals to get there. I’m talking whirlpools of dozens of sharks and all sorts of dangerous creatures from snakes to jaguars. Yet somehow I managed to do it.
It was now four minutes until the wedding. I was seemingly homefree. Perfect timing. I jumped down from the ledge where I stood, ready to make my final stretch to the church. And that’s when a lion that had apparently been sleeping nearby, awoke. And he seemed very much interested in devouring my flesh.
I began to run as if my life depended on it. Well, my life did depend on it. I reached a sliding wooden door which I attempted to slam closed, but there was no lock. I ditched that effort and turned to sprint. But the lion smartly and expertly used his nose to whip the door right open and come after me. And in one stride he had taken hold of my entire right leg with his jaws. Just as he was about to bite down and surely end my life… I woke up.
This dream seemed so real to me. It was one of those dreams you wake up from in a cold sweat. Now, I don’t think this dream was really about an actual wedding. I think this dream is about heaven, that it is a metaphor of our lives.
See, the Bible explains that we are the bride of Christ.
“I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.” – 2 Corinthians 11:2
But getting to Christ as a pure bride is not the easiest task.
The most logical way to interpret this dream and scripture is to think of actual purity – being physically pure when we get married. That is something even some of the most godly of people I know struggle with greatly. It’s such a battle between the spirit and the flesh.
A friend of mine asked me to speak to the high schoolers at my church recently about purity, and as I sat there looking around at them – these kids who already face such great temptation, who already are fighting a very real battle, who are surrounded on every side by the tainted messages of our culture – my heart ached for them.
I just envisioned this thick black muck – not only in regards to the temptation we face in the realm of purity, but also the temptations we face in every area of our lives – through which we have to fight our way. Daily.
Satan is so real. No doubt he wants nothing more than for us to believe the false messages we receive daily from our culture. No doubt he wants nothing more than for those of us who are fighting to live our lives for the Lord to feel as if we are outsiders, that it doesn’t matter, that the way of this world is better, more pleasing, more rewarding.
No doubt he is the sleeping lion – always lurking, always watching, always waiting to devour.
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” – 1 Peter 5:8
The craziest and most ironic part – more ironic than rain on my wedding day? After navigating through wild animals, risking my life, and miraculously making it through. I literally had one stretch. After all that I had been through, that hellish journey, I could see the end in sight.
I thought I was home free. So I let my guard down, sort of thought “Here goes nothing,” and just sprinted. And that’s when the lion attacked. And that’s when Satan attacks.
When we have already fought such a long battle, when we have overcome so much, when we are completely and utterly exhausted, at the end of our rope.
Unfortunately, we can never let our guard down. This life is a long battle. And the more we try to fight the battle for Christ, the tougher the battle is going to be. But the more rewarding that battle is going to be.
When it’s over, when we finally make it to to the church (Heaven) where our groom (Christ) is waiting, we will be united with Christ for all eternity. And it will all be worth it. Every tear, every moment of despair, every ache of our heart, every longing unfulfilled.
Revelation 21:4 promises:
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
That is a promise worth believing. That is a promise worth the battle.