Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Remembering and describing the dream now makes it seem harmless enough that the screaming seems a bit of an overreaction. I mean, the man didn't appear to be armed or trying to get into the house. He had no particularly menacing expression on his face. He was creepy, yes, but in real life, I don't think I would have sat there and screamed in helplessness. I would probably have yelled at him to get lost, hurried to another part of the house and called the police. In my dream, I was absolutely paralyzed in fear.
I felt so incredibly vulnerable, with no way of defending myself.
The dream has haunted me throughout the day because, at some point, it hit me like a ton of bricks: I have made myself vulnerable lately.
In a spiritual way, I mean. Spiritual vulnerability can sneak up ever so gradually. An attitude here. An action there. A word spoken unkindly. These don't cause us to lose the precious gift of eternal salvation that can't be bought. But they give our enemy a foothold. We then leave ourselves vulnerable to all kinds of unsavory things.
It seems it all boils down to what we choose to worship, much like my sweet son wrote the other day. We show what is important to us by what we choose. Or by what we leave in the shadows. Idolatry (anything we make more important than God and His ways) is slavery, though it doesn't always appear so sinister to us at its beginning. Appealing in some way at first, it sinks its claws into us and won't let go until we make some very difficult decisions and act on them.
It's always hard when we recognize idolatry in our lives and decide to change. It's difficult to practice self-control even as the idol is pulling at us. It *seems* like slavery to follow guidelines that oppose our idols, but it's actually very freeing.
See, as Christ-followers, we already are free.
"Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." (John 8:34-36)
Sometimes we choose not to walk in freedom, though. We don't like how it feels at first to give up our idols of slavery. It takes awhile for freedom to *feel* right. But living by how we feel is what got us in trouble in the first place. By our feelings is a dangerous way to live.
God sometimes uses my dreams to speak to me. I'm not talking about telling the future or anything like that. Many times it's a matter of my having a very vivid dream about a specific person. I've learned to pray for that person as soon as I wake up, and continue to do so, because very often I find out later that the person was experiencing something and was in need of prayer. Other times, it's a general impression that I need to pay heed to something in my life. God has all kinds of ways to get our attention, doesn't He?
I got the message loud and clear this time! :) Time to rid my "house" of some idols!
PS. I'm not saying I think God *gave* me this creepy dream. I know, though, that He allowed it, and used it.