Have I told you I believe in dreams?
A few weeks ago I had another dream. It’s been a little while since I’ve had a dream I felt was significant enough to share. This dream was both significant, and, in praying it over, I felt like the Lord directed me to share it as broadly as I could. So here goes.
In the dream I was in a home that I remember from my childhood. It was in a small town with a very religious background. I was meeting with a house church in the home and two people who I know currently were meeting with the house church. This couple is older than me and I love and respect them both personally and in the Lord. However, in real life, several years ago, they were hurt by the church that they were part of and since that time have not been active any church, house church or otherwise.
We were sitting in a circle in the living room of this house talking about different things affecting this house church. The time was late. It was definitely dark outside, so we were probably meeting at 9:00 PM or even later. This wasn’t our normal time to meet. In fact, in the dream I knew that there had been a last minute re-arranging of our meeting time in order to make sure that everyone who was a part of our fellowship could be at the same place at the same time.
The problem was that it caused pain for some in our house church, particularly the wife of the couple I described earlier. This was compounded by the fact that I hadn’t done a great job at getting the information to everyone in a timely manner. My poor communication had caused people to make sacrifices to be there and it was inconvenient. As the conversation became more awkward, there was a knock at the door. That seemed odd because of the hour of night it was. I went to open the door and when I touched the knob, I woke suddenly from the dream.
Immediately after the dream ended, though, I had a sense of urgency that alerted me that this dream was from the Lord. Two verses immediately came to my spirit:
There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.
As I’ve prayed about this dream, I feel like it has serious consequences for the body of Christ. We are currently in a season when many people are walking away from the body of Christ and are trying to pursue Christ apart from other believers. Many share frustration with the politics and hurt they’ve endured from the body of Christ. And in many ways, I’m sympathetic toward their complaints.
But we are coming into a season where in the Earth where it will be crucial to be a part of the body of Christ in a true and connected way. And this will require us to love each other in ways that will be inconvenient. We (like the house church in my dream) will need to be intentional about meeting with other believers, even if it requires great sacrifice. While this is not the full scope of laying down our lives, it’s the initial step. It’s hard to lay down your life for another believer if you aren’t willing to be inconvenienced for their sake.
But I feel like their is a promise in the dream: For the people and churches willing to love one another and lay their lives down for each others, there will be others (the knock at the door in my dream) who will begin to see us and understand that we are the true followers of Jesus. This will be part of (but certainly not the only) way that we will reap the great harvest.
Friends, the days ahead will require us to be a part of true fellowship. This true fellowship will be costly. It will mean going out of our way to include each other. It will mean giving up our safety and preference to include others. But the reward at the end of the day will be a life full of love that is noticeable to the outside word. Some will see it and hunger for the reality of Jesus in our midst.
Will you join us? If you’ve left the church because of hurt or disappointment or fatigue, will you surrender your rights to Jesus and join a fellowship where you can lay down your life? If you haven’t left a church, but have kept your life as your own, will you surrender yourself to Jesus at a new level and lay down your life for your brothers and sisters? I guarantee it will not be easy, but it will be worth it.
Photo Credit: It’s All You Need by Patrick Emerson