May 13, 2013 – Allen and Diane Lake
We are living in days of accelerated restoration where we will see the Lord restore many things to His people that have been lost. (See Zech. 9:11, 12 and our article Kingdom Governmental Rule and Change.) I recently had several dreams which vividly illustrated how the enemy of our souls (or Satan) works within the spiritual realm to steal and take advantage in our lives. (John 10:10)
In the first one, my husband and I owned a particular vehicle. Two people came in this dream and borrowed the vehicle; when we wanted it back, they refused to return it. Then we found out that in addition to refusing to return it, they actually had changed the title to read that it belonged to them!
The second dream (a night or two later) featured a very unkempt man in filthy clothes who was hanging around outside our house. I cautiously gave him some food, thinking he might be hungry. There was a knowledge in the dream, however, that I needed to be careful—that he might quickly take advantage of the situation.
Next I was in my kitchen. I glanced over and noticed that the man was lying on the floor between the kitchen and dining room! I marveled at his nerve and wondered how he had gotten in, but I seemed to get distracted and did nothing about it.
The dream shifted again, and this man came charging into the house through the back door. Striding purposefully, he rounded the corner into the kitchen area as if on his way to another part of the house! If that were not shocking enough, he wore nothing but an open trench coat!
Of course I was incensed by his indecency and abject boldness, but the focus of my indignation was for my child. I had a young daughter in the dream who had witnessed this from an adjoining room. She was so traumatized by what she had seen that she vomited later.
Enough is Enough
I knew the Lord was speaking to me about the need to be spiritually on guard to the ways of the enemy and to be bold and forceful in standing up for our inheritance. (2 Cor. 2:11; Rom. 8:17) Certainly we have all had things stolen from us by the devil – be it financial, relational, emotional or physical. Some things lost or stolen can even be generational in origin. (Jer. 2:9)
I experienced a deep sense of hopelessness in the first dream, like – “what’s the point of protesting now?” After all, the thieves had a title to prove they owned the vehicle, so who would believe us?
Zechariah 9:11,12 calls this being a “prisoner of hope,” but declares that because of the blood of our covenant, He will restore twice as much to us! The Lord is encouraging us not to give up hope, but to trust in Him to restore even more than what we’ve lost.
The second dream reinforced that in a spiritual sense we need to know when to say (to the enemy), “Enough is enough. Get your hands off my children, finances, health, etc., and get out of my house – NOW!” This particularly applies when we have already closed all known open doors through repentance, deliverance, inner healing and canceling generational sin.
The trauma my daughter experienced illustrates that the forces of darkness always seek to destroy the seed of the righteous – but we are destined to overcome! We do this by the power of the blood and Jesus’ name and by putting on the whole armor of God. (See Rev. 12:1-12; 3:21; Eph. 6:11.)
These dreams demonstrate that if we do not draw the line and defend what is ours, the enemy will take full advantage. We don’t wrestle against flesh and blood but against “spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” As we resist the devil he will flee from us. (Eph. 6:12; James 4:7) We must be bold and vigilant, and tell the enemy that in Jesus’ name – enough is enough!
The Gentle Church
Many saints are hampered in spiritual warfare by the perception that we are to be a gentle church. It’s hard for those with a gentleness mindset to come against unclean spirits (think about the filthy man in the dream) with any degree of spiritual force. Some are hindered by their perception of “gentle Jesus,” who let men spit upon Him and mock Him without resistance. (Matt. 11:12; 27:30, 31)
Gentleness is included in the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22, 23) but does not mean believers can always avoid conflict. (See Grace Under Fire: Navigating Conflict.) Gentleness embodies excellence of character or demeanor, and encompasses the whole nature of expressed “goodness.” It does not refer to passivity, no more than it refers to apathy. Gentleness can be bold and firm. The key is discerning the nature and timing of what’s involved, much as Jesus did in John 6.
Many were offended in this passage by Jesus’ “hard sayings,” but rather than placate even His own disciples, Jesus pressed the issue further. When Jesus asked His disciples if they wanted to leave too, He was not being mean or unkind. (See vs. 41-69.) He was separating and dividing hearts – God is not after numbers; He is after hearts. In much the same way, we are in a season of conflict and contrast for the purpose of the separation of men’s hearts. (Mal. 3:18)
I believe the church in Sardis, addressed in Revelation 3, was a “gentle church.” I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest to you that the church at Sardis was politically correct – unwilling to offend and acceptable to all. Verses 1b and 2 say:
I see right through your work. You have a reputation for vigor and zest, but you’re dead, stone-dead. Up on your feet! Take a deep breath! Maybe there’s life in you yet. But I wouldn’t know it by looking at your busywork; nothing of God’s work has been completed. (MSG)
Notice that this church was not guilty of unrighteousness, as were the churches in Pergamos and Thyatira (2:12-23). Rather, they were endlessly busy – yet accomplishing nothing of God’s purposes. Still, they had an acceptable reputation to those lacking discernment. In other words, there was nothing about them that would offend anyone.
Remember, Jesus in John 6 was not concerned about those He offended (vs. 60-64). Political correctness might be a term coined in our day, but it has certainly been around a long time. Jesus warned that many would be offended in the last days, and many would hate one another. (Matt. 24:10) We should not be surprised to see this more and more.
The believers in Sardis were guilty of “wallowing in the muck of the world’s ways.” (Rev. 3:4, MSG) In other words, they were very well liked by the world. Not everyone will agree with this stance and that this is cause for concern. But it’s worth considering… because one or the other of us is wrong. (John 15:19)
Recently I had a dream that was set in a large church full of people. The carpeting was brown, and there were varying shades of brown everywhere. I was invited to play the piano, but a woman came over and somehow busily blocked the keys. She clearly thought she was accomplishing something, but it forced me to stop. No longer able to touch the keys, I explained why I could not continue, saying, “A lot of what I do, I do by feel.”
This is so true. In a spiritual sense, a lot of what I do, I do by feel (including playing the piano). It’s called being led by the Spirit. Romans 8:14 says, “For as many are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” The Greek word for sons in this verse is “huios.” This is the rendering for mature sons, as opposed to those born of God who are yet children. (See John 1:12)
Believers should be able to hear the voice of God (John 10:4), but much of what a mature son does is by sense, or feel, or nudge. 1 Thessalonians 5:21 tells us that we should “Test all things; hold fast to what is good.” The way we test things on a day-to-day basis is largely by the leading of the Holy Spirit.
We need the strong foundation of God’s Word (2 Tim. 3:16, 17), and nothing we hear by the Spirit will contradict His Word. But scripture alone is not enough – we need the living Spirit of God. (2 Cor. 3:6) The directive to test all things is set within the context of an admonition not to quench the Spirit or despise prophecies (1 Thes. 5:19, 20) because we cannot operate as mature sons (as necessitated in this time) if we are not led of His Spirit.
Remember the brown carpet and shades of brown in the dream? I believe it represented a position of neutrality where none are offended. You might be put to sleep by brown carpeting, but who could be offended? It’s interesting that the church at Sardis was the church warned of falling asleep. (Rev. 3:2, AMP)
Days of Awe
The ten days starting with Rosh Hashanah and ending with Yom Kippur are commonly known as the Days of Awe (or the Days of Repentance). I believe we are entering a season that in a different sense will be called days of awe – as the glory of the Lord is displayed to the awe of the inhabitants of the earth. And this awe will bring many to repentance. (Ps. 33:8; Isa. 40:5; Joel 2:32)
As watchmen, we prepare the way for the people. We proclaim the Lord’s purposes and lift up the banner of Jesus’ name. (Isa. 62:10, 11) I recently heard the Lord say, “The time for playing games is about up; we’re going to have to decide.” As individuals, congregations, regions, and nations, the time of decision is near.
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and moon will grow dark, and the stars will diminish their brightness. The Lord also will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; the heavens and earth will shake; but the Lord will be a shelter for His people, and the strength of the children of Israel. (Joel 3:14-16)
1. That many would be brought to decision – unbelievers to repentance unto salvation, and believers to a place of deeper intimacy with God. (John 6:44; Rev. 3:20)
2. That believers would not quench the Spirit of God, but be led as mature sons walking in the fullness of His purposes. (1 Thes. 5:19; Col. 1:10)
3. That the saints would resist political correctness – remaining compassionately firm in righteousness without compromising their effectiveness due to worldly pressures. (Rev. 3:4, MSG)
1. Declare and believe that any attempt by spiritual forces of evil to bring curse against you will be turned to blessing in your life. (Deut. 23:5)
2. Declare that any spirits of robbery or hopelessness operating in your life must leave in Jesus’ name. Believe God for vindication and to turn things around on your behalf! (Prov. 6:31; 13:12, MSG)