And afterward, I will pour out my spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophecy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. – Joel 2:28
I don’t know if it is because I am actually well rested with this whole quarantine going on, or if it is because I am entering the beginning stages of being “old” as described in Joel 2:28, but my dream world has been activated big time. Before these past couple of weeks, I might have had a few dreams per year that I could actually remember. Now, I’m having them quite often. I want to tell you about one in particular in which the Lord spoke to me.
I was in an unfamiliar house. The house was crazy big because it seemed like I walked into a hundred different rooms and down a ton of different hallways. I kept running into and talking to lots of people from many of the different churches I’ve attended in the past. Most of the visits were just small talk. Then, my eye caught these kids playing in front of an open door. I could see that a set of very old, worn-out steps was right behind them. I so badly wanted to go and close that door, but as I tried to not startle the kids and slowly moved toward them, this little girl stood up, looked at me, and fell backwards down the stairs. I ran towards her, barely missed her, and watched the most horrific fall I’ve ever seen. I ran down the steps, picked her up off the concrete floor, placed her on my shoulder, and put my hand on the back of her head. She was not moving at all and blood began to run down my hand and arm. I began to pray, “Lord, please don’t let this fall end in death, please heal this little girl.” The blood immediately began to run back up my arm, back up my hand, and back into the girl’s head. She opened her eyes, looked at me, and said “thank you.” At that moment, her mother came rushing down the stairs. I handed her daughter to her and was just about to explain what had happened. The mother just screamed, “Get away from my child! Don’t touch my child!” and stormed back up the stairs. Then, I woke up.
The contrast between how cool it was to see the little girl healed after taking that fall and how awful it was to be treated like I was some pedophile holding this woman’s child was just crazy. I’ve been thinking a lot about what it could all mean.
God has allowed me to preach and teach in a lot of places. As I’ve talked to the youth of today and have gotten to know them, they have fallen into some pretty dark places. I remember one particular youth camp where kids just started confessing stuff like crazy at the end of the service. I remember trying not to act shocked at some of the stuff that I was being told. I also remember that, as we prayed, it was like so many of these kids were being set free. They were finally able to unload their darkest sins and were able to move forward. It is the first and only time I’ve had in my life where I went to bed absolutely exhausted from praying with and for people for hours.
The kids that prayed were from all walks of life. Some were church kids, and some were not. However, all of them had fallen into the darkness. I think because the house was so huge in my dream, and the fact that everyone I met was from past churches, that the house represented the church. I also think that it means that church people refuse to believe just how bad falls can be. They don’t realize how much darkness there is to fall into and just how important it is to use every resource possible to help our kids get to a place where they are confident in who Jesus is, understand what He is like, and are confident in their salvation. I don’t know about you, but I’ve fallen into darkness more times than I can count. I’ve been bleeding and almost dead on the concrete many times. Yet, 100% of the time the Lord sends just the right person to heal me up and place my feet back on solid ground. Every time it happens, I want to preach harder, pray with more people, and keep going forward in His Name. There has to be many out there just like me. I want to be one of the ones who finds those people and helps them get up. There just isn’t time to be defeated all the time. Our time on this planet is short and the evil one knows this. All he can really do is render us ineffective for as long as possible by keeping us wallowing in doubt.
I still think about that woman who acted like I was infecting her child by holding her. She wasn’t even aware of the fall her child had taken. Kids today are surrounded by and have unprecedented access to darkness. It is crazy that most parents who were raised in church and are raising their own children in church don’t believe their children are being affected by it. Yet, if those kids get into a really Spirit-filled environment, they confess, they pray, and they worship. Let me tell you, there is no worship like a group of kids who feel clean and have been set free.
I just Googled “average life expectancy.” It said 78 years old. This means that if you are more than 39 years old, you’re in the last half of your life on average. What will be your impact on the kingdom? There are too many people content with keeping themselves free from this old, sinful world, going to church, waiting for the rapture, and basically saying “I’m good to go . . . to hell with everyone else.” I’m telling you, there are fallen children of God out there. They may appear fine on the outside, but they are dead on the inside. There are others who don’t look fine on the outside. They are messed up and have gotten themselves wrapped up in all kinds of sin. They need help, too! Be willing to go to the dark places, find them, and help them up. Yes, you will make some church people wonder what the heck you are doing. Yes, you will probably be judged by some Pharisees. Go after them anyway. You were worth going after. They are too.
Lord, please help this make sense to someone. Thank you for picking me up so many times. Thank you for the people who don’t care what others think and will go into the dark places, get messy, and help others find their way. Where would I be without them? Give us a spirit of boldness. Grant us a spirit of urgency. It feels as if darkness has descended upon our land these past few weeks. We know that light shines brightest in the darkness. May the light of the church to shine ever so brightly. Amen.