Comforts aren't graces
when they slowly trade places
with the Love that is to be
more heavily weighted
We may have four walls
and a comfy bed
but the Son of Man
has not one place
to lay his head
Wherever our treasure is
there'll be our hearts
(which grow old)
Do we buy many things, yet
refuse the cost of gold?
Beware wooden idols
of the world's pretty lies
the pride of life and the mind
and the lusts of the eyes
–the things that are not
by this dead world, despised
If the inns are full
God will find an old barn
and there, he will every
high thought, disarm
Wherever the Spirit
cannot find Him room
will wither into
"The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful." Matthew 13:22
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 1 John 2:15
I had a dream that I believe is about the church. Please pray for wisdom. Some of the details are symbolic.
I was in a big house. It was crowded. Many were overweight and sitting around in Lazyboy recliners. There were a lot of TVs that people were watching. They were together, but not really "together", aside from being in the same house. I remember not being able to discern any real meaning for the gathering.
The people who had gathered there appeared tired and preoccupied, and were only socializing to make small talk about parenting challenges. I overheard grumbling about problems that people were having with their kids. I felt sadness that the kids and babies who were present seemed to be a burden rather than a joy to the mothers. I saw the backs of fathers' heads, as if they were ignoring and "checking - out". Balding hair at the crown was highlighted to me.
As this was taking place, I was rummaging through cupboards to look for something good to feed to the people in the house. I had a sense of urgency that people needed to eat. A mom turned to me and said, "The kids are really hungry and need to eat, before they expire," though she didn't lift a finger to help.
Regardless of feeling a bit "stepped on" by her tone, I decided to prioritize the kids and was able to put some snacks together, though it was hard to find anything in the cupboards except for processed, convenience food and a few plastic bottles of water.
When I woke up and remembered the dream, I realized that it was about the church and began to pray for the interpretation.
For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 1 Peter 4:17
The house represents the church. The house of God.
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
The first meaning is a call to repent for any way we may be neglecting to teach children the Word of God. Jesus is the bread of life (John 8:35). A time is soon coming when the Bible and preaching the Word of the Lord will be outlawed - punishable by imprisonment and even death, as is happening currently, in nations like Nigeria, Pakistan, Syria, India and many more. If we aren't instilling in our children, the word of the Lord now, and what following Christ truly entails, they will fall away with the rest of the world, when there is a famine for the scriptures and persecution against followers of Christ.
Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Psalm 127:3
Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’
If we are using entertainment as a means to preoccupy, raise or teach our kids, we neglecting our God-ordained responsibility. The parents in the dream were expecting others to to their job of teaching and "feeding" their kids. All of the screens in the dream indicate that the church is preoccupied with idolatry and slothfulness (hence, the lazyboys) which is a sin in scripture. As the mom said, in the dream, there is an expiration coming.
The spirit of the antichrist is the "god of this world" and so, produces much of modern entertainment. It's leading our children astray with its worldly values and "virtues", and now, perversity. If our children are in the public school system, we must be extra-diligent in teaching and praying, because of the explicit indoctrination of antichrist beliefs. I say this as a former public school teacher. There is much deception in school curriculum, as there is in most places of "the world." Lazyboy "Christianity" isn't going to cut it.
Discipline your children, and they will give you peace of mind and will make your heart glad.
The mothers were grumbling about the state of the world and the events of the news. The fathers appeared to be in a daze. We can think that it is our duty to learn how lawlessness is unfolding in the world in the name of righteousness, yet neglect the very thing that combats it -- the sharing and teaching of the word of God. I profoundly felt the Lord's grief at our neglect in raising the younger generations in his righteousness. His mercy, by this dream, is that if we begin to correct this now, then it won't be too late.
As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. John 9:4
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
The second meaning of the hungry children is a symbol of the lost, or those who do not know Jesus. The phrase, "deliverance is the children's bread" came to mind as I prayed for more interpretation. Studying this phrase, within the context of where it's found in Matthew 15. Jesus is "the bread of life." The church is grumbling about "the children" (the lost) and the increase of lawlessness in society, while neglecting to share the gospel that sets people free from it, by calling them to repentance. It's easy for us to complain about the increase of lawlessness from the comfort of our armchairs and "feel" righteous. But, the gospel calls us the righteous to go forth and set captives free. To feed the "children's bread" of deliverance in Jesus.
A third time (Jesus) asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.
Jesus' disciples did not accuse or condemn the demonized. They didn't fret and shake their heads in bewilderment at the ugliness of the sin and injustice around them. Jesus' disciples preached the gospel, healed the sick and cast out demons in order to propel the good news of the Messiah. Our priority is to refocus on the only thing that changes the problems that we are currently facing – the turning of hearts towards Jesus. We should be preoccupied with our own obedience as disciples. We too were "children" once. Lost and stained with as much sin, except for the grace of the blood of Jesus that saved us. Jesus did not call the righteous, but sinners (Luke 5:32). Jesus, the Word of God, went forth in the loving-kindness of healing and the gifts of the spirit, in order to demonstrate the forgiveness of sins, through God's love and grace, alone. He calls his followers to do the same.
But, there were only a few plastic bottles of water in the house. The rest was juice and sugar. Junk food. No running, living water - the Word of God. No real nutrition.
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. 1 Corinthians 4:20
The fact that there was no discernible meaning to the gathering shows that Christ is not at the center of many institutionalized churches anymore. We can gather and sing songs and call it church, but not be walking in obedience. Obedience is the highest form of worship. See what the Spirit says to the churches in the book of Revelation, "Repent and do the first works, lest I remove your lampstand from its place." Return to your first love!
Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever!
According to scripture, the balding heads of men represent the loss of the covering of God and a disqualification for priesthood (discipleship) because of the neglect of upholding the truth or by adopting the forbidden practices of surrounding nations. The men were sort of "spellbound". They were preoccupied with careers or entertainment. Watching sports. Others, news. Others, Hollywood etc. Anything but God and his Word. They appeared aloof and apathetic, rather than the zealous leaders that God has called them to be, not just for the Lord, but as coverings for their wives and children.
The lazyboys were demonstrating that this church is not buying oil for their lamps, as commanded in the parable of the 10 wise virgins. They are not preparing their wedding garments, as in the parable of the wedding feast, which are required for entry into the kingdom of heaven and the wedding supper of the Lamb. Because of a lack of diligent seeking of intimacy with Jesus, much of the "church" is not rising to its calling to be intimate with Jesus, in boldness of faith, in teaching children, in evangelizing or in serving one another or in operating in the gifts of the Spirit. There was no presence of the Holy Spirit in this house. No mission. It was a half-dead social club of grumbling "prayer requests" that looked a lot like the world, instead of a set-apart holy people with a focus and a mission.
All of these are fruits of a true love for God.
The fact that this dream took place on Black Friday means that many are also preoccupied with materialism, wealth and building kingdoms for ourselves, like those reprimanded in James 5 and the Laodicean church is Revelation 3. The things of this world dim our eyes. The cares of this world strangle the seed of God's word (Matt 13). When the flesh is strong, our spirits are weak. Check out the church of Sardis in the book of Revelation, that is warned against laxity and mediocre faith:
"I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see."
How are we to gather, then?
1 Corinthians 12
"Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective."
Jesus calls us to follow his example. He said, "greater things shall you do in my name, because I am going to the Father." (John 14:12) Let pray for the body of Christ to wake from her sleep and take hold of that for which Christ has taken hold of us.
A time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. John 4:23