Saturday, April 21, 2007
I don't have God-dreams very often. And when I do, they aren't the trippy, apocalyptic dreams like Daniel had. Nor are they glimpses into the future (which would come in pretty darn handy at times!).
My God dreams always seem to zero in on the hidden motivations and struggles of the heart. Both mine--and the hearts of those around me.
Last week, I have a very vivid dream about my Native friend, Chief. Chief (you might recall from earlier blogs) once lived on the streets, but has been sober and serving the Lord for the past nine months. He's involved in several recovery ministry groups, plugged into his church, and preparing for a mission trip to Alaska in June. His spiritual growth has been very exciting to witness.
In my dream, however, Chief was drinking and headed back to the streets.
I awoke from the dream, my heart pounding, at 4:30 a.m. Too distraught to fall back asleep, I prayed fervently for Chief until the alarm went off at 6:30. Later that day, I called his house and left a message.
Chief didn't call me back, so I just kept praying.
Several days later, I ran into Chief at our church. He let me hug him, but definitely wasn't his usual cheerful self.
"How's it going, Chief?" I asked, hoping to get a feel for his spiritual pulse.
"I've been feeling like I want to drink again," he said quietly, looking me in the eye.
"So, what's been going on?" I asked, both relieved and startled by his honesty.
"It is very hard where I live right now," Chief explained. "They drink and take drugs and call me 'holier-than-thou' because I don't. I get so angry and so tired of it. Sometimes I just want to be a regular guy."
"But Chief," I countered, "you aren't a 'regular guy.' God has a plan for you--He has amazing purposes for you life!"
"I know that's true," Chief said, looking down at his feet with a sheepish little grin. "But it's still hard . . ."
I told Chief about the dream I'd had.
"You know, that wasn't a prediction of what's going to happen," I explained. "It's a warning. The stronger you grow in the Lord--the more you share your testimony--the more of a threat you are to Satan. He will try to take you out, Chief--by getting you to take that first drink."
Several folks from Chief's small group had gathered around us as we talked. I asked Chief if we could pray for him.
"Sure!" he replied, his countenance brightening.
So we did. And, dear reader, I humbly ask that you will too. Pray for Chief not to have a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind. To be sanctified in the truth--the Word of God. Pray that no weapon of the enemy formed against him will prosper and that all the Lord's good plans and purposes for Chief's life will be fulfilled.
And that he makes it to Alaska . . .