The Eternal Danger of Not Knowing the War and other convictions

18 Apr

(For the sake of people’s feelings, I have not used the actual names of the people involved in the following story)

When the Lord rescued me from the domain of darkness, I knew very little of spiritual warfare.  I could definitely feel the war, I just wasn’t sure how to name it.  However, the Lord gave me a very alarming dream a few days after I was baptized.  I would not understand this dream until years later.

For a full year after my baptism, I lived with the girl who led me to Christ, Stephanie, and her family.  A year after my baptism, I moved to Joplin, Missouri, to attend Ozark Christian College.  That first year with Jesus was a blessed time of rest, joy, prayer and evangelism.  It was also a time of persecution from my former friends.  Stephanie and I both were attacked by various people for our faith.  However, we counted all of the trials pure joy for the Lord.  And Stephanie was a deep encouragement to me when others persecuted me.

I also had many dreams throughout that year.  The Lord taught me that I needed to count the cost of following Him.  I know that my Father’s love is better than life.  That to know His love is worth forsaking my thoughts, my family, friends, home, reputation, respect, culture, possessions, talents, poetry, music, food, health, time, hobbies, EVERYthing.  He is MORE than worth it all and to compare any of those things to my glorious Lord is embarrassing and shameful.  The Lord gave me many dreams in regard to following Him and what that would be like in a very dark world.  A world that I was once a part of, enslaved to.  A world that from which He set me free.

About 3 or 4 nights after my baptism, I had a very vivid dream.  It was one of the best and worst dreams I have ever had and I will do my best to explain it.  The following is a description of my dream:

An earth shattering sound woke me up from my heavy sleep in the living room of our home.  The sound was loud and very terrifying.  I sat up to look out of the living room window and saw that it was daytime but something was very different.  It was summer but nothing was green outside, instead, it looked like it had rained blood onto everything.  Everything I could see was red.

Bam!  Another loud sound went off and it shook the entire house, even to the point that it caused me to fall down hard onto the floor.  I quickly realized that bombs were going off.  In a panic I ran outside to see what was going on.  I saw something that my mind could never have been prepared to see:

I went outside and stood just a few feet away from the front door and into the front yard.  The ground was muddy with blood and above me, planes covered the skies as they dropped bombs everywhere.  There were hundreds of soldiers running chaotically and like maniacs, they shot everyone in sight (it was very crowded outside with lots of people, even though I didn’t know who they were or where they came from).  It was a war. A terrible, bloody war.  Dead bodies and body parts flew everywhere and even hit me, knocking me to the ground.

It didn’t take long until I also was running chaotically, insensibly trying to find somewhere safe although there was none.  I ran, stumbling upon dead bodies and feeling bullets burn across my skin.  The soldiers were shooting at me.

In a panic I began to look for Stephanie.  “Stephanie?  Stephanie?  My sister, please don’t be dead!  Stephanie, where are you??!!!”  Terror filled my voice as my soul cried out for my good friend.

Suddenly, I saw Stephanie, standing across the yard, a good distance away from me.  She was just standing in one place, not running chaotically like all of the people around her.  I quickly ran to Stephanie to see if she was okay.

“Stephanie!  Stephanie!  What is happening here?  I don’t understand this, it’s soooo horrible!”  I said to Stephanie.  But Stephanie didn’t seem to hear me.  In fact, she just stood there, as if she were laughing and talking to someone that was not there.  She just stood there, with blood splattered on her face laughing.  Suddenly a soldier and ran after us and shot at us.

“Stephanie, get down!”  She stood there laughing and didn’t seem to hear me so I pushed her down onto the wet, bloody ground.  She had a glazed look over her eyes as if she could not see me or anything going on.  Soldiers came running after us again!  I pulled Stephanie up and ran but she just stood there, laughing even though a soldier was shooting right at her.

“Stephanie!  What is wrong?  Can’t you see that we are in a war?!”  I asked, in disbelief of her behavior.

I looked to my left, I saw dead bodies.  I looked to my right, I saw dead bodies.  I looked everywhere and saw angry soldiers, stabbing and shooting people.  Blood was everywhere, it was even all over me and Stephanie.  In the sky, airplanes were dropping bombs.  All I could hear were guns, bombs, airplanes, and screams so horrible that it made me wonder if I were standing at the gates of hell.  I felt a deep distress and oppression, it was enough to make me want to die in despair.

In the middle of all of this, I fell to my knees and they sank into the bloody, muddy ground.  I looked to the heavens and screamed, “Aaaaaaaaah!  Oh God!  Help me!  Help me! Help me!  I can’t do this anymore!  I hate this, I can’t do this oh God!  Please help me!  I am going to die!!!  I can’t survive this, help me pleeeaase!!!”

Suddenly, the skies opened and I saw visions of heaven.  I do not know how to explain what I saw…all I can say is that it was frightfully beautiful and I have never seen anything like it on earth.  When I saw this glorious sight, I also heard a deep voice that said, “Leah, I am with you.  Don’t be afraid, for if you die, you will be with me.  I am with you my precious daughter.”  I felt release, peace and heavenly joy.  My burdens were lifted.

Bam!  The sounds of bombs caused my body to violently fall onto the ground.  I looked up to see Stephanie still laughing and yet covered in blood, totally unaware of her surroundings.  “Stephanie!  Run!  Run!  These guys are going to kill you!”  I screamed!

“Ha ha, what Leah?  Ha ha ha ha ha!  What?”  Replied Stephanie.

“What is going on?  Why can’t she see this war?  She is going to get killed.”  I thought to myself.

I grabbed Stephanie and ran, dragging her behind me.  I tried to find a place of shelter for us both but pathetically failed.  There was nowhere to hide.  I ran around the yard screaming, pulling Stephanie with me.  I could never leave her alone, not for one second, for she was unaware of the war around her and nothing I did awakened her to this reality.  She was in constant danger and she didn’t know it.

After running for some time, I became exhausted and distressed.  I felt as though I was going to die, the stress was too much for me.  I couldn’t live in the sight of this horrible war.  I fell again to my knees and cried out to the heavens, “Oh God, help me!  Help me!  I am going to die!  I cannot do this anymore!  Lord, I hate this, I hate this, I hate this!  Oh God, help me!  Help me!”

The skies opened and I again saw glorious visions.  I heard the Voice of Life gently tell me, “Leah, I am with you.  Don’t be afraid my daughter.  If you die, you will come home to me.  Please press on!  I am with you! I love you!”

My burdens were lifted as I watched in blissful awe the visions.  I whispered into the skies, “You are with me my God.  You are with me my Father.  I will overcome this world, I love you.”

Bam!  A bomb went off and caused my body to fall down again.  “Stephanie, run!”  Of Course, Stephanie stood there laughing and didn’t move.  I ran and dragged Stephanie with me.

In my dream these things kept happening over and over again: I fell to my knees, cried out to God, saw visions and heard Him speak truth into my soul.  I kept having to chase Stephanie because she didn’t know there was even a war going on.  The distress I felt was unlike any other I have ever felt before.

I woke up from the dream flabbergasted and exhausted.  I didn’t understand my dream but I thought about it often that first year that I knew Jesus.  Stephanie and I continued to persevere for the sake of the Gospel.  Even though we were persecuted by old friends, we encouraged each other in Christ. With all of our hearts, we delighted ourselves in the Lord, Jesus Christ.

After I attended school in Joplin, Missouri, Stephanie fell away from the Lord.  Not only this, but she began to furiously hate me.  My friend who once encouraged me in persecution became one of my heaviest persecutors.  Confusion and shock filled my mind for years as I tried to reconcile Stephanie back to God but the tension only became worse.  Her hatred for me only seemed to increase.

“What has happened?  How could this be?”  I stayed up many nights weeping and praying for my friend but she only went from bad to worse.  I was devastated, as if my best friend had died.

After this happened, I remembered the dream that I had about the war.   Do you notice something about Stephanie in that dream?  There was a war going on….it was constant, bloody, obvious and everyone was involved in it.  There was no end or shelter from the war…the only way to overcome was through prayer.  But what do you notice about Stephanie?  She didn’t know there was a war.

The reality is, we are daily fighting a war, a spiritual war.  What happens if we walk through a war, totally unguarded and unaware?  The answer is obvious.  How much more if we daily live without the armor of God in a sinful body that wages war against our souls?  Not only this, but we are daily fighting against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Surely the wars of this age will devour us whole if we are not careful.  Don’t you know that satan literally roams around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour?  Don’t you think that is pretty serious?

We may be tempted at times to not read our bibles.  Is this serious?  God’s Word is our spiritual sword against satan himself.  Don’t you think we need it richly living in our hearts and minds in order to be sanctified from the corrupt mindsets of this age?   How serious is it when we are tempted to not read our bibles and give in to spiritual laziness?  Spiritual laziness is another word for spiritual death.

If we know that we need to read our bibles and instead, play a game, go for a walk or read another book for an hour, our hearts will become harder within that hour and it will become even more difficult to focus on His Word than it was before.  What is this?  What is happening here?  It is a spiritual battle, an invisible battle.  Daily there is a war happening that is far worse and serious than the war that I described in my dream.

Have I been praised for thinking this way?  Ha!  No way.  I have been told that I need to go to a mental institution for thinking this way.  I have been told many times, “Leah, relax, watch a movie, get a hobby.  you don’t have to pray all the time.”

The Lord has never said to me, “Leah, please relax, watch a movie and forget about the concerns of my heart for a few hours.  Even though you are in a war, your neighbors and family are eternally perishing and I am returning any moment…it’s not a big deal…relax, get a hobby and find interests in things besides me.”  WHAT?!  NO WAY!  The Lord has never said that to me yet countless Christians have.

That dream and Stephanie’s example has served as a great warning to me.  Stephanie is doing a little bit better these days but I think she is still lost and it breaks my heart.  I would rather be tortured and imprisoned for the rest of my life than have my friend’s soul be lost for eternity!  That is the truth.

My friends, please remember to devote yourselves to prayer and to the Word.  Always wear the full armor of God.  Whether you are a nursing mother or in a nursing home, the time to pray is now.  “Praying is not the most important thing.”  I have heard this from many people and when I hear this, it is like satan is whispering into my ear, “just take your eyes off of Jesus for a few minutes.”  No way!

All of our service, concern for the poor, wisdom, strength to serve and love our family in Christ is the fruit of prayer.  ALL of it.

Also, ask yourself this question, are you trustworthy to share in the visions, burdens and secrets of God?  A dear sister of mine recently told me that about twice a week, she has dreams that she is watching people being flung into the fires of hell.  Through that, the Lord told her, “You need to fast twice a week and pray 6 hours a day concerning these things.”  

Can the Lord trust you with such things?  Are you burdened with His burdens?  Are you overjoyed with His joy?  Or, are you more interested in your hobbies and activities that you plan throughout the day?  Don’t be blinded, don’t be foolish, BUT BE ON FIRE FOR THE LORD!!!

Amen.

One Response to “The Eternal Danger of Not Knowing the War and other convictions”

  1. Linda S. April 19, 2012 at 2:57 am #

    Thank you for sharing this. What a powerful message! I really needed to read this~ just at this very moment. I want to always wear the full armor of God, to always have a hunger for His Word.

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