In August, 2010, I had a dream in which monstrous dragon-like beasts were chasing down and slaughtering members of the Body of Christ. These great beasts were adapted to both land and sea. As nobly as I tried to help as many as I could to safety, groups of people were being picked off one by one. I felt frustrated and helpless as some would insist on going their own way, foolishly leaving the protection of ones who had weapons. Yet still, many of those who remained in the protection of the ones with weapons would sometimes become distracted or would believe they were unseen by this foe, and the beast would sneak up on them and defeat them.
Recently, I was directed by the Holy Spirit to read an article about the Church that involved a great Red Dragon. It was incredibly profound and has powerfully affected me and penetrated the depths of my heart. It has brought me to my face in weeping and repentance. This article, coupled with revisiting the above dream, has resulted in my being so overwhelmed I was unable to put my thoughts in writing about it for several days. I knew the Lord was specifically speaking to me for a specific reason. Through much prayer and time in the Scriptures, the Lord is bringing me back to a place of rest in Him. But still, the burden remains. I know that God has allowed this burden to remain because He has given me a means to fulfill a call He has placed upon me. I am honored and humbled that God has entrusted me with this, yet still, a bit baffled as to how He wants me to impart it. I must remain alert to this thing the Lord has brought to my attention and take action. However, this burden is not mine alone.
Ultimately, the burden is the Lord's and I have laid it at the Cross for His purposes, but without a doubt there are many within the Body of Christ who are at this moment being enlightened to the same burden and who have a similar charge from the Lord. This call is not for the faint of heart, but it is one that causes its vessel to have the scars of the battles from years of painful preparation. These are not just the typical battles that life brings to every human being on the planet because we are a fallen race. These are battles fought on often unbalanced playing fields that at first wounded and damaged us so badly that we were left for dead. Probably not physically, but certainly emotionally and spiritually. Some battles were quick and only left us wounded for a short time. A few were longer and much more lethal, taking more time to heal. Much of the wounding was done by the very ones whom we call friends and loved ones. Many were even people we trusted nearly every week within the church structure. Others were from outside relationships, but all involved a battle of wills for our soul that left our heart dulled and even numb. So much so, that some of us believed we had to resort to living nonchalant and sterile walks in Christ in order to become fully mended.
That may sound like an oxymoron. And in fact, it is. But if you look at the American church today, you will find the numbing of emotions to the carnage around us, the walls we ourselves put up to protect us from getting hurt again. And you will discover in every church on every corner a belief that if we participate in just enough "churchy" activities, that do not interfere with other things in our lives outside the church building, then we have "done our duty" until the time comes that God has fixed us enough to finally see us as ready to be summoned into our "real" calling. On the other side, we fall into the fallacy that we have an obligation as Christians to work ourselves to the bone within the church of our choice, serving and ministering to one another, but only superficially on Sunday and maybe a mid-week service or fellowship, as our lives outside the church are just that, "our" lives, separate from the church, and no one else’s business. These ideas hinder us from building genuine and adhering relationships in service together for the cause of Christ. These types of relationships, this type of community, are actually thought of as optional in the church today in America. We are being deceived, and for the most part, have become desperately blind, deaf and anesthetized to our true purpose as the Body of Christ.
And to those who are right now saying that God is bigger than any struggle or problem I or my church may face, and certainly bigger than anything the devil can do....I resoundingly say, YES! That is absolutely true! Even just the name of the Lord is higher than any other name! But God prepares us through our trials and tribulations. He allows difficult events and circumstances to take place in our lives and then waits to see how we will react and whether or not we will learn to trust Him enough to actually believe what He says. He sees our beginning to our end and all the in between, and He will use whatever is necessary to cause us to become the creation He means for us to be. Sometimes we may fail, sometimes we come out weary and scarred, but nothing is wasted and everything always has a divine purpose. By His Spirit, and if we allow Him to, He will take those broken and stained pieces, putting them back together to look like the vessels they were intended to be, and make us equipped for His marvelous plan at any given time. So if He can and will do that, do you not think that if we chose to go our own way, remaining in a self-absorbed state of apathy, that He will do whatever necessary, by whatever means, to get us to wake up? Even utilizing Satan himself in order to work in us a more perfect and righteous being created for His use; to demonstrate His great power and authority and the utter weakness of our own state without His glorious compassion; to confirm to us that compared to Him, the devil is merely a troll that must bow to the very mention of His name; to loose those things that keep us bound and separated from the truth? Think about it.
I know in my spirit there is a remnant of those vessels, tattered and worn, but restored and inflamed in the fire of the Lord, now prepared for something spectacular that God is about to do in the earth. These battered vessels have asked God some really tough questions about the Body of Christ and the religious structures that have defiled the very idea of the Bride fulfilling its mandate to be the Church. We have carefully examined our own hearts, the Scriptures, and what we see in church. We have become disillusioned and disenchanted by church as normal. We have been neglected, abused and 'rolled under the bus' by the very ones who were placed in these establishments to care for and feed His flock, merely because we are seeing things in a new light, and perhaps more clearly, and not following the status quo for “doing” church. We are scowled on and ill-treated for feeling there is something erroneous about following man-made and hypocritical dogma institutionalized by authoritarian church leaders. I once read a book a few years ago that described this appalling activity as slaying our own while they were already beaten and wounded. What a tragedy! And then we invite people to our churches wanting them to get saved and walk that same path. Dear Lord! How can we ever be in one accord if we are disputing over fabricated denominational and theological boundaries with one another while we disgracefully, blatantly ignore a simple Biblical responsibility to be one Body and love them like Jesus?
Repentance and forgiveness is the key to be reconciled back to the Lord. That is a fact that most Christ followers know. Every individual Believer must get in the habit of repentance and forgiveness in his own life or will remain in a state of bondage and bitter indifference. We will not connect with our Bridegroom in an intimate way, nor will we be able to connect with other people and have meaningful relationships, if we fall short in doing that. We certainly will feel incapable of fulfilling the command to go into all the world, preach the Gospel and make disciples.
How can we be of any kingdom use if we have become dulled and hardened in our heart through disputes, dissensions and vain imaginations? And yet, that is exactly what has happened to His Church. We have argued and split over theology and doctrine. We have become territorial and thought that our way was God's way. We have left our first Love. We have settled for complacency and mediocre Christianity. We have refused to demolish our idols. We have infused the Gospel of Jesus Christ with self-seeking philosophies and beliefs, labeled them as the mysteries of God, and even twisted some of them into "new" religions. We have sought the signs, wonders and miracles of God, but have forgotten basic Biblical principles. Our temples are filled with whitewashed tombs and the stench of dead bodies and we don't even recognize it. We have become enticed and drawn away by false teachings, distracted and immobilized by our own self-centeredness; therefore, we are virtually ineffective as the Church. All the while, the streets of the world are filled with the cries of the hopeless, the broken, the lost and the dying.
The only way to destroy this massive beast that is looming over the Church is through deep repentance, individually and corporately. This thing is only slain by a profound and holy remorse. It can only be driven out when the the Body of Christ falls on its face and pleads with God to remove everything in us that stands between Him and us. We must implore God to reveal to us His pure Truth, and to burn up any idea that is man-made. We must ask Him to remove the scales from our eyes and unplug our ears to see what He sees and hear what He hears, even if it's painful. We must repent for going our own way.
Some may say they have done this, and maybe you have. But if you are thinking that this has not affected you or your church, then think again. The way this beast works is through deception. It causes us to believe we are fine, that we are operating in God's will through God's Holy Word, and that we have nothing to repent for that we haven't already. It veils our eyes and lulls us to sleep and then creeps up behind us to cast the ultimate blow. Death. If you dare, ask God to show you His untainted Truth, ask Him to reveal to you His uncorrupted Word. With nothing added, nothing removed, and everything exactly as He meant it. Do you believe you are living out effectively the Great Commission? Are you practicing in full submission to the Lord the First Commandment? Do you truly take up your cross daily and follow Christ; giving up everything for Him?
In conclusion, I ask you to painstakingly examine your heart and your life. Search the Scriptures and ask God some tough questions. God can take it....He's been patiently waiting on you. Ponder and pray about what is printed here in this simple Blog. Perhaps you are convicted, or challenged right now, or at the very least, stirred. Don't hesitate to repent and make a shift. Perhaps you are one who has already awakened, been prepared and are part of the remnant who will help bring reformation to His Church. Praise the Lord and welcome! Put on your armor, draw your sword and join the ranks of 'wounded warriors' for Christ! But if you are thinking, this is really NOT about me, this isn't FOR me, and this certainly cannot be happening in MY church! Then maybe you should think again. Others still, may be thinking this is far too negative and controversial. Maybe. But there's a very positive message in it if you are honest with yourself and open to the Lord. And if it's touched a nerve in that way, then it is to the slightest degree something to consider.
The lyrics are quite fitting. Please click on the video link below :
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