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Recollecting a Dream
I do consider myself a dreamer, but not in the sense that I have a lot of Godly (prophetic) dreams. As a kid, I truly believed every dream I had was from God. If I remembered it, then it must have been from God. I’m glad I escaped that thought process, it leads many to false beliefs. We must first remember that our mind, our lives, our very being is carnal and is not perfectly aligned with God. So now, I immediately pray and consider the dream against the Word of God. We must align any dream or vision against the Word before even considering its value and worth.
Allow me to first say, I did not want to share this dream with you. Some of you may have heard this dream in my past. Essentially, I had moved on and forgotten about this dream. But suddenly, I was reminded of it and it continues to haunt me each day. Is this it? Have I arrived? Is the dream taking place now? Am I ready? I don't want to believe people are near death. But, here we are. I pray you journey with me as I share something more personal.
It was nearly 2 or so years ago. I had a dream that I was at a church service. We were all engaged in worshiping God, when suddenly someone came over to talk to me, “Are you ready to speak?”
“Sure thing!” I said quickly.
Then the realization stuck. Wait, I’m speaking today? Crap! I don’t have anything prepared. I began to pray to God in my head. Lord, what would you have me speak to these people today? What is Your Word? What is it that You want to say? Let Your will be done today.
Suddenly, I am walking onto the platform. I approach the lectern. As I do, I notice that my clothes are far too baggy for me. I had to keep one hand on my pants to keep them from falling down. I was incapable of escaping the sense that I looked as a fool. Standing at the lectern, the lights were bright upon me. Nervous, yet confident in the Word God gave me. Ironically, I did not even know what it was – but my dream-self did.
As I stand at the lectern, I look out at the congregation below. It was blended with various people in my life. Some faces from Living Faith, some from other churches in the Ogden area. I wondered to myself, what event am I at that has this strange mix of people?
As I go to say my first word, I wake up from the dream. Upon waking up, I sat straight upward in bed and hear, “Revelation 3.”
Honestly, this was a bit of an odd experience even for me. Many of you may feel this is common ground. Some of you may not relate. But for me, I don't usually wake up and immediately receive a passage from the Word. I believe in a normal situation, I would wake up and think phew, it was only a dream. That was about to be a mess. Baggy clothes, no prepped sermon.
Once I realized what just happened, I opened my phone’s Bible app, I knew that Revelation 3 was about one of the churches, but in the moment, I couldn’t think of which one.
“To the angel of the church in Sardis write: ... ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, and yet you are dead. Be constantly alert, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Then if you are not alert, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you. But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. The one who overcomes will be clothed the same way, in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
Fairly quickly, I understood what God was speaking to me. Firstly, I recognized that my season to speak God’s Word and step into my called position was quickly approaching. It would likely take me off guard, to some extent. Secondly, the oversized clothes represented me stepping into a position/mantle/anointing that was too big for me. I understood this to mean that I needed much more spiritual growing to do – because as is, I was far from ready (my pants were falling off!). Thirdly, God showed me specific faces. I know that this meant these individuals were as the Church in Sardis – dead, or concerningly near it.
God has placed a mantle upon my life, obviously pastoral – but also, to speak to the dry bones – and in this instance, dry bones are flooding the church. God has placed the hard mantle upon me to call out dead Christians. Let us revisit Revelation 3.
What we find in this particular passage:
· Christians with deeds
· Christians with a name, well-known
· Yet, they are SPIRITUALLY dead
· Be alert and strengthen that which remains: represents a falling away
· What was about to die: even the Christians who make it, were near spiritual death
· Our deeds are futile unto God (so many futile “causes” now-a-days)
· Remember what you have received (seen, partaken) and hear : when you do this, keep it and repent (this is instrumental in my personal burden for our church)
· If we are not alert, we will miss God’s return and not make it to eternal paradise (heaven)
Unfortunately, this all rings true to this day. So many Christians are busy supporting causes, service projects and things of that nature – while missing out on God. Many Christians today have a name, many churches as well – but, with frustratin – the American church is looking painfully dead. Look around, it took one virus with a 99.7% survival rate to cause many churches in America to close their doors. I believe in safety, I believe in loving your community - but, as a church, we have to stare fear in the face and remind it of our faith in Jesus Christ.
I believe the majority (not the minority) of the American church is near death. I believe we can awaken and bring the church back to life, but it will take nothing but the power of the Word of God. The truth and nothing but it.
If you are reading this and you are from Living Faith, you are about to hear my vision statement for our church. It is found in 1 John 1.
“That which we have seen and heard we proclaim.” – 1 John 1:3 [ESV]
This also aligns with what Revelation 3 says, “remember then, what you have received and heard. Keep it, and repent.”
If you are reading this, understand- I am with you. This is me sounding the alarm, not just for you but also for myself. We now have a mandate – focus on what we have received and heard, we must keep it and repent. It is time for the remnant church to rise up. If you are reading this, you are within my sphere of influence and I pray you prayerfully consider what I am saying. Many of us do the right things, say the rights things and partake in the right things, but we are woefully dead.
This is a hard blog post, but be encouraged. Many of us will still make it to heaven, in fact, I dare say God revealed who he revealed to show me they were “near death” and not dead. I know whoever clings to Christ will be saved. My never ceasing prayer is that we all run from death and escape to everlasting life.
“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” - Luke 16:25 [NASB]
Think on it,