|Fireworks similar to those in my dream.|
Photo from Josiah McLain, 7/4/11
"So, you're really excited about being kidnapped huh?" I asked her. While she explained all the signs and omens that pointed to the impending kidnapping she was so eager about, I saw a shooting star. I tapped her shoulder eagerly, apologized for interrupting, and pointed out where I saw the star.
Another one shot through the sky almost immediately. We both got excited and forgot about the conversation at hand while we stared at the sky, hoping to see more stars fall.
More did fall. Two, three, four more glittered through the sky. We watched happily until, before we knew it, huge patches of stars began falling.
Soon, it appeared as though entire galaxies were descending down upon us. Our delight became a wave of fear. "It's like the sky is falling," my friend said. "We need to sit down and pray right now."
We sat on the sidewalk and prayed while we continued to watch the sky. I began to form a picture of Jesus in my mind, saying his name aloud while focusing every ounce of my will to determine the sky wouldn't fall and end us.
The streets grew more and more crowded as people came out to watch. Panic make the crowd restless, but fear immobilized them. I continued praying, my voice shaky but growing stronger until I was speaking in tongues.
Suddenly, fireworks were launched. A few scattered sparkly ones at first - they looked much like the shooting stars. As people's attention was attracted to the fireworks, they began to question whether they'd ever seen galaxies falling or if they'd been watching fireworks all along.
Soon, they sky was so filled with pyrotechnic color, the stars were no longer visible and everyone had forgotten what drew them outside in the first place.
"It's a coverup," either my friend or I said. And I woke.
God and I talked about the dream while I got ready for my day. He reminded me of a few verses from Matthew 16. The pharisees and sadducees were demanding that Jesus show them a sign from Heaven. Jesus responds with something my dad has always said: "Red sky at night, sailor's delight. Red sky at morning, sailor take warning." Jesus's point was that the pharisees could interpret the weather signs, yet couldn't interpret the signs that pointed to Jesus being the son of God. (1-3)
More often than not, I've found it easy to pay attention to the crap Satan is up to and to react to it. If you've ever watched the news, you've seen that Satan is the focus. Satan makes stories exciting and newsworthy.
Right now, I think Dad is pleading for us to abandon our focus on Satan and redirect our attention to Him. Dad's work is just as exciting, just as worthy of story. Dad won't trick us into looking at him, though. Satan, will.
Satan has two weaknesses I'd like to point out here. One: he isn't omnipresent. Though we attribute much of the bad stuff in the news and our lives to him, he can't have done it all. Satan can only be in one place at a time.
Two: he isn't in on God's plans. He can only react to what God and God's people are doing. His planning is limited and reactionary.
One of our greatest strengths as heirs to Dad's Kingdom, is that we are in on Dad's plans. We don't need to pay attention to Satan's plans in order to be victorious over them. If I focus on Dad, intently listening and watching Dad alone, I'll walk around crushing Satan and his pals without giving any power to them.
For example, I love healing illness. I thrive on it, live for it. One thing that kept me from starting was a deep distaste for labeling another person sick or disabled. I'm beginning to understand the root of that repulsion. By looking at someone and seeing brokenness that I want fixed, I'm seeing the work of Satan and reacting to it. Instead, I'd prefer to look at someone, see their identity in Christ (which is whole, complete, healed), and release them into it. I don't think any recognition of Satan's work is needed for healing to take place.
Sometimes we get so focused on the brokenness in the world, so excited about what Satan is doing, we forget to look at what Jesus is doing. He's calling out to us, pleading for us to gaze upon Him.
Intentionality is vital, without it Satan's firework show will steal your attention back. Both Satan and Dad are capable of "signs and wonders." A good way to determine whose signs we're paying heed is to remember, there is no fear in love. Perfect love casts out fear. Stop what you're doing, stop reacting, sit down and focus on Jesus.
If any thoughts, ideas, or interpretations occur to you about my dream, you should totally share! I'll conclude my interpretation with John 5:19-20:
... The Jewish leaders began harassing Jesus for breaking the Sabbath rules. But Jesus replied, "My Father is always working, and so am I." So the Jewish leaders tried all the harder to find a way to kill him. For he not only broke the Sabbath, he called God his Father, thereby making himself equal with God. So Jesus explained, "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing. In fact, the father will show him how to do even greater works than healing this man. Then you will truly be astonished.