Saturday, January 8, 2022

In God’s Army

I dreamed that I was being conscripted into the Armed Forces and sent to a different country for boot camp. My husband is helping me pack. I take three pairs of ballroom dance shoes, made of cloth rather than leather, and am pleased that they fold up compactly and fit easily in my duffel bag. I realize that I don’t have a military ID, but my husband says I can use his, because “they’ll never check.”

Upon awakening and thinking about the meaning of the dream, I realized that once we are saved and born again (John 3:3-8) by trusting in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), we are not meant to be passive bystanders, but to be soldiers in God’s army. He has designed each of us specifically for His unique purpose, each individual assigned their own rate and rank, working together corporately under the command of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 12).

Yet He also has a general plan that applies to the life of every believer – our marching orders, if you will. We are to seek God’s kingdom first, and His righteousness, and then He will supply each of us with all our needs (Matthew 6:33). Each of us is to spread the Good News, or Gospel message, so that others can be recruited into His ranks (Matthew 28:18-20). Each of us is to love Him and one another (Luke 10:27), following His commandments (John 14:15), which is only possible through the indwelling Holy Spirit (Romans 7). Each of us is to study and follow His Word (2 Timothy 2:15), which is the code of conduct we must live by.

The dance shoes in this dream could represent the talent of dance God has given me to serve Him through our dance ministry, with the three pairs reflecting both the Trinity (Galatians 4:6) and man’s number (6; the total number of shoes). Their being made of cloth, easily folded and packed, could indicate my desire to carry this gift with me into my service in God’s army, to be flexible in its use even in what seems to be an incongruous situation.

Dance shoes would seem to be a strange weapon of choice. Yet throughout Scripture, God has used not only ordinary people, but ordinary things, to accomplish His purpose. David carried five smooth stones to the battle in which God used him to fell Goliath (1 Samuel 17:40-51); a small boy gave his lunch for Jesus to transform into a feast for thousands (John 6:5-13); and Christ’s followers used palm fronds to worship Him (Matthew 21:1-9). What matters is not what we bring to the battle, but whether we yield ourselves and what He has given us to His command.

Yet the dance shoes may represent not only our dance ministry, but also a personal passion of mine to express myself through dance. This could be a warning not to be encumbered with personal desires as we seek to follow and obey Him. The shoes in the dream were not made of the customary supportive and durable leather, but rather of cloth that could easily wear out or even cause blisters or a twisted ankle.

Not exactly combat boots! While dancers strive to have pretty feet, with flexibility and line enhanced by proper footwear (Song of Solomon 7:1), Scripture refers to beautiful feet as belonging to those who preach the Gospel (Isaiah 52:7; Romans 10:15). Christ’s disciples and missionaries throughout the ages have trod on dusty, rocky roads, no doubt with calloused, bleeding feet, lacking physical attractiveness but reflecting the spiritual beauty of the truth of salvation.

In His second letter to Timothy, the apostle Paul warned his young protégé to endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, and not to get entangled with the affairs of this life; that he may please Christ, who chose him to be a soldier (2 Timothy 2:2-3). Like Timothy, all believers are to fight the good fight of faith so that we may lay hold of eternal life (1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 4:7).

The centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant sick with the palsy recognized that His authority far exceeded his own over the many soldiers he commanded, and that His spoken Word was sufficient to bring about the healing he desired. In turn, Jesus commended him for his great faith and granted his request by merely speaking it as a fait accompli. (Matthew 8:9-13; Luke 7:1-10). May we have such faith!   

Not having my own military ID in the dream, and considering using my husband’s ID, was a reminder that each of us must pledge our own allegiance to our Supreme Commander. We must each have our own identity in Christ by personally asking Him to be Lord and Savior of our life.

We can’t depend on church membership, or being born into a Godly family, or associating with Christians to get us into Heaven (Ephesians 2:8-9). If that is our only claim to salvation, we will be sorely disappointed. It’s not enough to talk the talk -- we have to walk the walk, not only in the good works that spring from our salvation (James 2:18-26), but in our heart attitude of trusting and obeying Christ.

Those without that personal allegiance to Him face an eternal future in hell rather than in Heaven, as Christ bars them from the gates of pearl (Revelation 21:21) with the words, “Depart from me, for I never knew you.”  (Matthew 7:21-23).

But those of us with legitimate credentials – those who trust only in the blood of Christ to wash away our sins (Romans 3:25, Ephesians 1:7, Colossians 1:14) and have been sealed with the Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:22, Ephesians 1:13, 4:30) – will be enlisted in the most glorious army of all time.

After the Rapture of believers (1 Corinthians 15:52-57; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17) and Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9), Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 17:14; 19:16), will return to earth to defeat the enemies of Israel, Antichrist, the false prophet, and Satan, with the Word of His mouth. Accompanying Him will be an army of all believers of every time and nation, each in fine white linen, riding a powerful white horse (Revelation 19:11-21).

In my dream, I was packing for boot camp in a different country. In a way, our life on earth is like the boot camp where we are being trained for that great ultimate battle, which will take place once we have attained citizenship in a new, heavenly country.

May we be willing to endure the hardness of battle for the blessing and honor of being in God’s army, not only in this life, but when Jesus Christ comes again! 

© 2022 Laurie Collett



Frank E. Blasi said...

Dear Laurie,
I do find it difficult to compare a dance ballroom with its music and graceful movements to that of a battlefield where gunfire is constantly heard and soldiers march on.
But I can thank Paul the apostle for writing that our warfare is not against flesh and blood but by the spiritual realms in the heavenly places. - Ephesians 6:12.
Blessing to you and Richard.

Laurie Collett said...

Dear Frank,
Amen -- spiritual warfare is where the true battle is fought. May we put on the whole armor of God, including our feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace, to be equipped in that battle. Thanks as always for your insightful comment, and God bless,

Brenda said...

Hi Laurie,
lovely post, and very scriptural. There is nothing better than serving the Lord - Who is our loving Saviour. When we trust in Jesus as we journey through our trials we realize that the battle is not ours, but His, and He has already won it. God bless you Laurie as you too journey on in Him to the promised land.

Laurie Collett said...

Hi Brenda,
Thank you for your encouraging comment. Praise God that the battle is the Lord's, and that Christ gives us the victory. May God bless you and your lovely ministry until He comes again,

Susan said...

Hi Laurie, you mentioning going to battle in dance shoes reminded me of King Jehoshaphat who sang and praised the Lord and got the victory so they sang and praised Him even more. I just picture them filled with so much joy while praising the Lord that they must have been dancing while singing! Great post! With God on our side we can sing and dance because He has already won the battles for us! ❤️☺️

Laurie Collett said...

Hi Susan,
Thanks so much for that highly relevant reference and encouraging comment! Song, dance, praise and worship are all so closely intertwined -- as when David danced before the Lord, or Miriam praised God for the Red Sea miracle. And all are held together and inspired by joy in the Lord, thanking Him that the battle and victory are His! God bless,

Tanza Erlambang said...

spiritual war is fighting to reach God's values....
agree with your lovely text....

Thank you for sharing....

Have a wonderful day

Laurie Collett said...

Thank you, Tanza, for your encouraging comment! Hope you're having a wonderful weekend!
God bless,