The past few weeks have been a real challenge for me as The Lord has shown me different things and the challenge has come in how to share the things He has shown me.
I have had several dreams. One where I saw before we worshipped there were still dirty cups that needed cleaning out before we could worship. As I went to wash these cups out, my Father and Mother gave me some ashtrays to take back with me to the meeting.
Another picture I had was of a beautiful Christian family that I know and I was meeting them in their lounge and as we were talking their house started to sway and I saw their foundations were in sand.
So firstly the one of the cups needing cleaning. That talks about the inside of people needing to be cleaned out before they come to The Lord for worship. I believe The Lord is trying to show us that coming to him 'dirty' is not what he wants. For me that makes sense. When you go to someone's house for a meal, you do not go in your dirty clothes from work but you have a shower, get cleaned up and then go out. I believe it is the same for The Lord, too many of us are coming to worship, are coming to him, but not taking the time to get cleaned up before coming to him. We are coming with our stains, our hearts, our sorrows, our walls up and so when we come we cannot actually have relationship with The Lord because there are walls up around our hearts. The ashtrays can represent according to a dream interpretation book, things like sorrow, oppression, bitterness etc. And I believe The Lord is saying those are things that make you dirty, that hinders the fullness of the relationship with The Lord. The Lord has made you clean when you came to Christ but once made clean we have a responsbility in the Lord to keep ourselves clean. Like at the beginning of each day you get dressed and go to work but through the day you get dirty and need a shower sometimes before you go to bed or the next morning, so it is with the Lord. There are things that happen during the day, in our lives that bring a stain to the inside of our hearts and these are the things that need attention. He wants us to worship Him in spirit and in truth and these things like sorrow and bitterness is actually not coming from a place of truth in our hearts, to some level I believe, and have seen in my own life. Unless you deal with these, unless you get rid of this sort of stuff, you cannot have fellowship with The Lord and with the Holy Spirit.
Eccl 7:3 says "Sorrow is better than laughter because a sad face is good for the heart. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure". These things mentioned above like sorrow and bitterness etc. are actually really good for us as it shows us the state of our heart, but it also makes us question about why we feel the way we feel.
And in the questioning, in the sorrow, or the bitterness, The Lord is leading us to truth if we allow Him too and don't shut off the process of pain, so as that we can be healed. The Lord's desire is that we be free with nothing that hinders as we come to worship as He has set us free, but some of us stay in bondage because we don't know truth and perhaps are not willing to deal with it or see it.
The Lord wants to set you free so that you can live a life of joy and of peace and of hope but things like sorrow and bitterness rob you of what you can have in The Lord, the fullness of joy. And so that is why in Eccl 7 sorrow is better than laughter because it makes you take a look at areas of your heart that are in pain and if you allow, The Lord wants to bring truth and healing and freedom to it.
The other dream I had about the beautiful christian couple whose house was actually on the sand too is a picture that could be taken the wrong way but actually what The Lord is wanting to do is show you the truth and reality of the state of your house, not so as to be judged, but for you to learn things so that when the storms come in life, you will not be hurt, you will not be moved as once again he wants so much more for you than where things are at right now. In Luke 7 it talks of the story about houses built on sand and those built on the rock, and the difference being that your house will be built on rock when you put into action the Jesus words. Verse 47 says "I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it because it was well built." The other day The Lord showed me a picture of my own house and I saw a flood underneath my foundations to a metre under our deck but it didn't come any further and I was safe and that is the place that we want to be, knowing that when those storms come and they will that our house will not be washed away. Those storms can be anything from the loss of a job, from a diagnose of cancer, to the loss of a loved one, or even words friends would say that would hurt you. Whatever it may be, the Lords heart for us is to be able to stand through whatever trial and temptation comes our way and hence the pictures he has given me to share because there are those right now that are looking good on the outside but the truth of the matter is another story. For myself The Lord showed me that there was a flood but that we were safe but I also know that Jim and I have been digging down deep and putting into practise the words that Jesus has shown us and that it has cost us many things in doing so, but as we have done this the joy of The Lord has just become such a deep thing that whenever things come to challenge me, I tend to just laugh now because I know whose hands I am in and that nothing that can come against me will shake me, yet at the same time remaining in a position that knows that without The Lord I cannot stand, and without The Lord holding me up I will fall because I can do nothing in my own strength and the moment I think I am standing firm, then I have done it in my strength and I need to be careful.
I don't know how I will react to the different things that come but I just have to trust that Jesus does and He is my rock, my refuge in times of trouble and I will run into him.