I’ve been wrestling lately with feeling like I’m not as close to God as I would like to be.
I know I have not been praying nearly as much as I should be, nor reading my bible as I should.
Anyway, I tossed and turned for what seemed like hours before finally falling asleep. (That’s when it got weird).
I found myself standing on a beach, to my right was this large, deep and, beautiful lake it was cool and crystal clear and it seemed to draw me in; and to my left and around the whole perimeter of the lake was every kind of big and impressive structure you can imagine.
There were: hotels, casinos, movie theaters and restaurants of every kind, there were bowling alleys, dance clubs, colossal financial institutions and skyscrapers, there were amusement parks and water slides, there were street vendors and musicians on every other corner. And every where you looked there were bright lights and laughter and people scurrying about. I could feel myself being pulled in that direction.
Then I turned back and looked at the lake and I found myself captivated by its beauty. I noticed brilliant and strange looking creatures swimming under the water. The surface of the water was like a sheet of glass, and there was a cool and gentle breeze blowing toward me off the lake. When I focused on the lake, I almost forgot about the shore, it just seemed to fade away. Out toward the middle of the lake I noticed, there were people swimming. There were not nearly as many people as on the shore, and they were not laughing and hollering and scurrying about like the people on the shore, but they seemed to be really happy. They seemed to really be enjoying themselves. There was a look of contentment on their faces and they seemed to be completely at peace. It really seemed like such an odd contrast.
Then I started feeling this tug of war going on inside me. I felt pulled toward all the things that were going on around the lake, at the same time I felt drawn to the water. I really wasn’t certain what to do.
Suddenly I noticed there were people all around me. Most were enjoying all the pleasures that surrounded the lake. Some of them would walk up to the water from time to time, take off their shoes and dip their toe in the water. The majority of them would recoil as if they saw a snake. That water is way to cool for swimming many of them said. Plus, my friends and family are waiting on me so I really don’t have time to swim now, maybe another day.
Then there were some who would step in for just a moment, but when they saw a wave coming in their direction, they ran out of the water and said, “It’s way too risky and hard to stand, I feel much safer on the shore, I don’t feel comfortable in the water”.
Then there was a smaller number who even though the water was cool decided to venture a little deeper. Some went in up their knees and some up to their waists.
For a while they seemed to enjoy the water, but they kept hearing the sounds and voices from the shore. You could see a struggle going on in their faces, and unfortunately the pull was too great for some of them and they left the water and went back to the shore.
Then, there was even a smaller group who entered the water and didn’t look back. These people dove under and totally submerged themselves in the beautifully clear and cool water. When they came up, there was such a look of contentment on their faces. You could tell that many of these people had lived hard lives and been through a lot, but they seemed to be so at peace after submerging themselves in the water.
I was really troubled by all these images and didn’t know what to make of them when I heard a very loud and powerful voice behind me. The voice I heard roared like the sound of Niagara Falls, yet extremely clear.
The voice called my name and I turned around and felt as though I was looking into the sun. The brightness blinded me and I found myself dropping like a sack of potatoes. I felt this feeling of insignificance and fear. I then felt a hand touch me and the voice said, don’t be afraid, be at peace.
I felt my strength come back and stood and turned toward the One who had said, “don’t be afraid, be at peace”. He no longer had the appearance of the sun, but looked like the image of a man and said, “walk with Me”.
He asked me if I understood all the things I had seen, and I told Him, “no, I am very confused over it all”. Then He proceeded to explain what I had seen.
All the things you saw around the shore, like the hotels, casinos, movie theaters and parties, the restaurants of every kind, the bowling alleys, dance clubs, colossal financial institutions and skyscrapers, the amusement parks and water slides, the street vendors and musicians all about ARE THE CARES AND THE THINGS OF THE WORLD.
The beautiful large and deep lake that you saw that was full of brilliant and strange looking creatures. The one whose surface was like glass and had the cool and gentle breeze that blew against you, THAT IS GOD’S SPIRIT AND HIS KINGDOM.
The people you saw that were scurrying around all the buildings and happenings that surround the lake ARE THE PEOPLE OF THIS WORLD,
The people you saw dipping their toes in the water ARE THOSE WHO HEAR THE WORD OF THE KINGDOM AND DO NOT UNDERSTAND IT, THEN THE WICKED ONE COMES AND SNATCHES AWAY WHAT WAS SOWN IN THEIR HEART.
The people you saw who waded out a little further, but ran out when they saw a wave coming ARE THOSE THAT HEAR THE WORD AND IMMEDIATELY RECEIVE IT WITH JOY; YET THEY HAVE NO ROOT IN THEMSELVES, BUT ENDURES ONLY FOR A WHILE. FOR WHEN TRIBULATION OR PERSECUTION ARISES BECAUSE OF THE WORD, IMMEDIATELY THEY STUMBLE.
The people you saw who ventured into the water up to their knees and some up to their waists ARE THOSE WHO HEAR THE WORD, BUT THE CARES OF THIS WORLD AND THE DECEITFULNESS OF RICHES CHOKE THE WORD, AND HE BECOMES UNFRUITFUL. (This is the place where so many people fall)
The people you saw who entered the water and didn’t look back. The ones who dove under and totally submerged themselves in the water. Those that came up with such a look of contentment on their faces. The ones that though they had lived hard lives and been through a lot, yet seemed to be so at peace after submerging themselves in the water, THEY ARE THE SAINTS OF GOD, THE ONES WHO HEAR THE WORD AND UNDERSTAND IT, WHO INDEED BEAR FRUIT AND PRODUCE SOME A HUNDREDFOLD, SOME SIXTY, AND SOME THIRTY.
Then He said to me, “Michael, why do you struggle so”. “You submerge yourself in the depth of the water then keep walking in the direction of the currents that tend to drag you back to the shore”.
“You live in a day and age that seems to make your walk with God so challenging.” “Do you know why that is”, He asked me. “No, I said as I looked down sheepishly. “It’s because you let the busyness of this world come between you and God.”
Instead of reading the word in the morning, you get up as late as possible where you have to rush off to work, or put on the news and close Me out. Instead of taking time during the day to go into your room and pray, you find other things to busy yourself with. Instead of making the last thing you do before going to sleep, spending time with God, you end your day with the news drinking in the horrors and sadness of the day. Instead of going to sleep with the Word in your heart, you go to sleep with the worries of the world on your mind and weariness in your spirit.
Then He put His hands on my shoulders, looked me strait in the eye and said, “Come to me Michael, you and your brethren. I know you labor and are heavy laden; I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” “You must stop trying to find time for Me, or fit Me in; you must make time for Me.
I then woke up and felt compelled to share this dream with you. You see, I learned from this dream what I already knew, that God must become number one in our lives.
God must be more important than your husband, more important than your wife, more important than your sons or daughters, more important than your mother or father, more important than your boss or your job, your friends, your hobbies, your fun. God must be paramount in our life or we run the risk of being lukewarm in the eyes of God and being spit out of His mouth.
Stop trying to find time for God. Make time for Him!
Of course, I didn’t really dream this but believe allegories and metaphors are such great teachers. And although this is a re-post from 2012, but felt it was a good time to re-share it. We are living in perilous times, and there is nothing more important right now than our relationship with God. As we head into these perilous times, we need to stop with the toe dipping and being afraid of the waves. It’s time to submerge ourselves in the Word of God!
“If you like what you’ve read, please feel free to share it with a friend; and recommend yourspiritmindandbody.com to them”.