Saturday, July 4, 2015

Man Down!



In this dream, I am returning to my hotel room in a strange city at night. The only way I know how to get there is to take a narrow side street, but it is barricaded. Afraid I will get lost if I don’t go this way, I cautiously slip under the barricade and instantly regret it.

In the middle of the street is an open manhole, surrounded by a circle of firemen in fluorescent yellow and orange coats, each lying prostrate with his head facing and eyes peering into the manhole. A little girl stands outside the circle, clutching a small, gray mutt in her arms and yelling excitedly, over and over, “Daddy saved Scruffy!”

Her mother, huddled over her, is sobbing uncontrollably. The awful realization hits me that the mutt ran into the open manhole; and the father risked his life to deliver him, but now could not himself escape. Even worse, apparently he was tangled in some electrical wires, and if the firemen could not extricate him or if they crossed wires in the attempt, he would be electrocuted instantly or set on fire in an explosion.

Some of the wires they had partially freed were now stretched out of the manhole and into the street. To my horror, I realized that I had disturbed these by wandering too close to the scene and that I had endangered the man’s life even further.

I awoke in a cold sweat and began to think about the symbolism of the dream regarding the Gospel, and our reaction to it. God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to pay for our sins, so that anyone who trusts in His death, burial and resurrection will have eternal life (John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4). He died for all (1 Corinthians 15:3), and He offers His freely given gift of salvation to all (Romans 10:13; Revelation 22:17). 

But some people are like the dog in the dream – oblivious to their own transgressions, and to what He has done to save them and what it means to them. They don’t know they will spend eternity in hell unless they trust Christ (Mark 9:45; John 3:18), so they have no reason to appreciate His sacrifice. And yet, ignorance is no excuse (Romans 1:20).

Some are like the little girl, happy to have her pet safe and sound but unaware that her father’s life was still in danger. Some Christians get excited about receiving God’s blessings but have little love for others who are not yet delivered from the pit of hell (John 13:3-8).

Like the wife weeping for her husband, who could die at any moment, some who are born again (John 3:3-35; 15:17) do earnestly grieve for their loved ones in danger of eternal damnation (2 Corinthians 7:10). Sadly, they are so consumed by this fear (Philippians 4:6) that they are ineffective in leading them to the Lord by witness, prayer, love, and showing a strong testimony of faith (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8; Colossians 4:12 James 5:16,20; 1 Peter 4:8).

Looking at my own role in the dream, I was in a strange city at night, symbolizing our earthly journey as we pass through this dark, foreign country until He takes us safely home (Hebrews 11:13). I knew there was only one way I could go to reach safety. He is the only Way to salvation (John 14:6), which can be entered only through the narrow gate (in the dream, squeezing under the barricade; Matthew 7:13).

But once there, I failed to help anyone who was in danger. In fact, I made the situation worse by tangling the wires that the firefighters had worked so hard to make straight (Isaiah 42:16). It saddens me to think how many times I inadvertently was a stumbling block, getting in the way of someone being saved, whether through careless words or behavior that is not Christ-like (Romans 14:13; 1 Corinthians 8:9). 

I wonder how many times evangelical missionaries lay the groundwork for salvation in their preaching to the lost, only to have an uncaring believer disrupt it by an offhand remark or an unloving attitude.

The firefighters in the dream represent those Christians who are on fire for the Lord (Luke 24:32), doing all they can through His power (Philippians 4:13) to rescue souls from the flames of hell. The firemen worked together (Acts 2:44-47), as a formation team positioned around the chasm of hell, to deliver the endangered soul. 

Yet so often Christians allow Satan to divide and conquer them (Proverbs 6:16-19), dissipating their collective power, rather than being like a building fitly framed together (Ephesians 2:19-22) so that the gates of hell cannot prevail against the church (Matthew 16:18).

Each of the firemen was face to the ground, symbolizing fervent prayer (James 5:16), which is essential if the church is to win souls to Christ. Each was fully suited up in his protective uniform, just as Christians should put on the whole armor of God daily (Ephesians 6:11-13) before they attempt soul-winning or even getting out of bed! And each of them was highly focused on the task at hand, letting God work through them rather than being distracted by the commotion and chaos all around them (Hebrews 12:1).

Ultimately, it is Christ Who alone has accomplished all that is needed for our salvation through His shed blood, perfect and sinless sacrifice, and completed work on the cross (John 19:30; Romans 3:25; Hebrews 10:10-14). He rose from the dead to conquer sin, death, and the devil and to give those who trust Him eternal life (1 Corinthians 15:24-27, 53-57). Only the Holy Spirit can convict unsaved souls of their sin and need for a Savior and work in their hearts for them to be born again (1 Corinthians 3:6-7).

But, praise God, He has given His children the awesome privilege and responsibility of leading souls to Him through verbal witness, lifestyle testimony of loving behavior, prayer for others to be saved, and working together as the church to reach the unsaved and encourage one another in soul-winning in our local communities and across the globe.

May we daily thank Him for His freely given gift of salvation, guard our own words and lifestyle so as not to hinder anyone from being saved, keep our eyes fixed on Him, and work together as His body to increase His kingdom!

© 2015 Laurie Collett
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20 comments:

  1. Amazing analogy! Joining you from Small Victories Sundays.

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    1. Thanks, Angela, for your sweet comment! God bless,
      Laurie

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  2. I love you analogie too. Ja, let us daily thank Him for His freely given gift of salvation.

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    1. Thank you, Ariella! May we always praise Him for saving us by His grace through faith!!
      Love in Christ,
      Laurie

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  3. Hi Laurie,
    I love the way that dreams warn us of many things and also reveal things to us. You are so right that we work together as a body, and we each have our separate gifts, some apostles, teachers, evangelists etc..... I know that I could never go out into the streets and witness the way God has brought my friend and myself to without being called by God, and equipped by Him to do it.
    You made me smile when you said that in your dream, your path was blocked but you crept under the barrier and immediately regretted it. It reminds me of the scripture 'Many are the plans of a man's mind, but the Lord directs his path'. Sometimes we will go down a path that the Lord has not taken us down, and is trying to prevent us from going down.

    I believe absolutely that the Lord has brought you to share this dream for a reason, and that your post could speak to some who maybe is trying to do something in their own strength, instead of using the gift that the Lord has given them. The Lord has beautiful way of speaking to all of His children, and one of those ways can be dreams which are shared.
    God bless you Laurie in your lovely ministry, and God bless anyone who it will speak to personally.

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    1. Hi Brenda,
      That is an excellent point about the symbolism of creeping under the barricade -- so many times we push ahead to where He would not have us go, even though He has warned us with a road block. I have Proverbs 3:5-6 on plaques over my desk to remind me that He will direct my paths if I acknowledge Him in all my ways.
      Your kind words are such an encouragement to me -- you are a real blessing!
      May God bless you and your lovely writing and witnessing also!
      Laurie

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  4. Dear Laurie,
    The whole message of your dream has reminded me why the Lord wants every believer to live holy lives - blameless, irreproachable - for the very purpose of bringing lost souls to faith in Jesus. It is unfortunate that some Christians view holiness as a condition to remain saved, James chapter 2 is an example of such texts used in that way. But this, along with all other Scriptures exhorting us to live holy lives, simply encourages us to shine as lights for Jesus in this dark world.
    An excellent post. God bless.

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    1. Amen, Frank! May we never lose sight of Him and His purpose for each of our lives -- to fulfill His specific plan for each of us with the shared goal of bringing souls to Him. May His light shine through us daily!
      Thank you for emphasizing the importance of leading holy, separated lives so that we would help direct others to Christ rather than blocking their view of Him.
      God bless,
      Laurie

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  5. One of the worst fires I responded to as a fireman was the result of an employee at a propane plant smoking while filling propane tanks. the customer pointed out the no smoking signs and asked him to stop smoking, so he laid the cigarette down next to t bottle he was filling. It ignited the propane, burning down the building, the customer's vehicle, and setting the entire plant on fire. So often people are like that, ignoring the warnings, and even when reminded, trying to slip by on a technicality, The end result of ignoring God's warnings are even more serious than ignoring signs like the no smoking sign. We need to remind people of the danger, and make sure they understand just laying down the cigarette or quitting what their doing at the moment is not enough.

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    1. What an amazing story, Donald, of the employee's ignorance, rebellion, negligence, and reckless endangerment, with disastrous consequences. But, as you say, the consequences of ignoring God's warnings are even more disastrous, for there is no worse outcome than spending eternity in hell. Thanks as always for sharing your insights. God bless,
      Laurie

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    1. Thank you, Denise! So nice to hear from you! God bless,
      Laurie

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  7. Dreams are so meaningful and interesting. What a dream... and I love how you analyzed it. ...sometimes great analogies can be found in unlikely places. Including our conscious while we sleep.

    Thanks for sharing at #SmallVictoriesSundayLinkup ...I've pinned your post... hope you join us again this week!

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    1. Thank you so much, Betsy, for your encouraging words and for pinning the post! May God bless you and your ministry.
      Laurie

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  8. Thank you for sharing your dream. I feel like you were Joseph. We have to raise up Christ and His love and truth to others to save all.

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    1. Thank you so much, Mary, for your sweet comment! May we share Jesus at every opportunity He gives us!
      God bless,
      Laurie

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  9. "Yet so often Christians allow Satan to divide and conquer them (Proverbs 6:16-19), dissipating their collective power, rather than being like a building fitly framed together (Ephesians 2:19-22) so that the gates of hell cannot prevail against the church (Matthew 16:18)."

    So true, so true. May we be united with fervency in these last days! Beautiful story. Your neighbor at Faith and Fellowship ♥

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    1. Thank you so much, Nanette, for your sweet comment! May the church act as one body to glorify Him and spread His Word.
      May you have a blessed week in Him,
      Laurie

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  10. What a terrible dream especially interesting is that in your dream you thought you had done something to harm someone and you were horrified. Well, I'm glad it was just a dream!! But Jesus is not a dream (although it feels that way sometimes). He is real, isn't He? Thanks for linking and believing. Linda @Crafts a la mode

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  11. Hi Linda,
    Thanks so much for your comment & for hosting! Sometimes the best part of dreams like these is waking up! Praise God that Jesus is not only real but the Truth, the Way and the Life!
    God bless,
    Laurie

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