A month ago, I had a dream.
In that dream I was walking through the downtown, urban section of a city. I came across a storefront church. It was bustling with young, urban attenders that were very much of the hipster variety. Everything about this church had the buzz of “cool.”
After hanging around for a while with people I didn’t know, I found out that the person I was hanging with invited me to preach but I was totally unaware. The leader of this church had asked me to preach on servanthood, but he was wanting a message on servanthood so that he would have an easier time recruiting people to serve the ministries of this church. He had no interest in servanthood as a value in the Kingdom.
From the front of the building, we walked into the sanctuary with the pastor and his assistant. The sanctuary was actually a stadium-style ice rink. The pastor asked me to sit in the highest row, which is where he spoke from, but the worship of the meeting actually took place at the bottom of the stadium out on the ice. As the worship progressed, I began to realize that this church’s worship was a very detailed production/show and that everyone was dressed very formally. There was an orchestra, dancers and because an ice rink was central to this church, they even had ice skaters. Somehow I had ended up in dressed in a suit but had no shoes and was feeling very awkward about it.
Then suddenly towards the end of the “worship time” it became clear that the ice rink was melting. But it wasn’t just the ice in the rink at the center of the stadium that was melting, but the whole building. Unbeknownst to me the entire building was made of ice and was beginning to melt. The stadium seats, the floors, and even the walls were melting and cracking. It disrupted the whole service and we could not continue. I woke up with this phrase on my spirit: “The frozen church is melting.”
Interpretation: I believe that this is a warning to the church, particularly in the West. The church built on entertainment, cultural relativity, and business values will begin to come undone. This will be in large part due to “atmospheric change” that the church in the West will find itself in. I’m unclear about whether this will come from greater hostility toward the church from society in general or a greater intensity brought to bear on the church by the Lord Himself, resulting in more fervency in the body and a rejection of these values. But one thing is clear: a Christian organization built on man’s organizational values that feeds a consumer mentality in the body of Christ in order to further the success of one or two leaders will be a recipe for a “melting church.”
Hebrews 12:26-27: “At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, ‘Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.’ This phrase, ‘Yet once more,’ indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain.”
Application: The call then, based on all of this, is to repent. We need to repent of those areas where we’ve been working for our fulfillment and notoriety instead of the Lord’s glory and the advancement of the Gospel. We need to reject human leadership values and church structures based on marketing principles and not God’s word, even if you can vaguely construe Scripture to justify your approach. Go back and do the things you did at first when Jesus was your first love. Begin again to follow Jesus, listen to His voice, and look to Him and His word for how you and your church can begin to follow Him based on what He values.
Now: Do you see anything in the interpretation or application of the dream that I missed? If you do, please feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below.
Not just the kind of dreams that are a vision for your future that you want to achieve. I actually believe the dreams you dream at night are sometimes the communication of Heaven to your life.
That means the dreams you dream are sometimes God talking to you.
Why do I believe that? Well, the book of Job (33:14-18) says this:
For God speaks in one way,
and in two, though man does not perceive it.
In a dream, in a vision of the night,
when deep sleep falls on men,
while they slumber on their beds,
then he opens the ears of men
and terrifies them with warnings,
that he may turn man aside from his deed
and conceal pride from a man;
he keeps back his soul from the pit,
his life from perishing by the sword.
So God uses dreams to get our attention. He uses them to connect to us when we’ve been so busy we haven’t been attending to His voice. He uses our sleep to speak to us about our lives, if we’d only hear it.
I also believe in dreams because God has used them so consistently in the past. He’s used them with Joseph in Egypt, Daniel and the pagan Kings of Babylon, Joseph (Jesus’ father),and others in the Bible. It’s also a way He promised to speak to us after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Wolfgang Simson says that the bed may be the most prophetic place on the planet for human beings. Most of the time, however, we ignore what we see in dreams because we don’t believe they carry messages from Heaven. They do, if we are willing to seek God out for what those messages are.
In my own life, there have been numerous times Jesus has shifted the direction of my life or spoken into a situation through a dream He’s given to me or a dream He’s given to a friend of mine about me. Many dreams have cleared up confusion about a situation I’ve found myself in. Some have foretold things to come. Some have just drawn me closer to Jesus. The fruit has been healthy and well worth the journey.
I also believe dreams are a reality we’re all called to experience. I believe you can go to bed tonight and God can begin speaking to you in away you’ve never imagined. If you’re still reading this, I pray tonight God begins to speak in your dreams and that tomorrow morning you wake up with direction you could have never imagined. Take a notebook with you and write like mad anything you dream about. Then when you wake up, pray about what you remember.
The tricky part comes when we believe in dreams. Because once we believe that God is communicating to us, we become accountable for the messages God is hand delivering to our nocturnal in-box. We get to live the dream.
If you’ve had a dream that God spoke to you clearly in, leave a message in the comment section below.
This blog was temporarily overtaken In September by my Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness Challenge. This post is one of the final days I did not get to post until now. You can find out more by checking out the Introduction.
One of the joys of this journey is that I’m beginning to hear on a much clearer level than I have in a long time. This is great. The only problem is, what happens when you totally do not understand what you hear? What do you do with those things you don’t quite get?
Case in point: I woke up this morning with a very clear word on my heart. It was like God whispered it to me when I woke up. He said, “I’m giving to you the books of service.” What does that mean? I immediately began to recall the heavenly scrolls that God would give to his prophets. These weren’t for reading, the scrolls (or books) contained heavenly realities that were being imparted to the prophets (Ezekiel 3:1-3, Revelation 10:8-10). So, I guess I have a little bit of a grid for what God is talking about.
The other interesting thing is when I went to lunch today I was thinking about what I heard and was tempted to write it off as just something I dreamt. But as I was eating, I read some of Nudge by Leonard Sweet. I just “so happened” to be reading the the part of the book where Len focuses in on spiritual hearing being the main source where we become awake to what God is doing. To paraphrase what I read, everything begins with what you hear and whether you are willing to listen.
So while I feel like the Lord is confirming what I heard, it doesn’t answer any of my more specific questions. What is a book of service? And what should I do with it? What is it supposed to impart to me? And how do I respond to this? I’m asking Him these questions when I’m not listening. I’ll let you know when I get a response.
As you were listening, did you hear anything you didn’t understand? What did you do about it? Tell us in the comment section.
Join us on the “Thirty Days to Greater Fruitfulness” experiment. For all of September we spent 30 minutes in silent prayer listening to Jesus and then acting on what He asked us to do. Then we blogged about the changes that were occurring in our lives through the marriage of listening and obedience. It’s not too late. If you’re just checking out that experiment feel free to jump in. And if you want more information, you can check it out here.