I finally had my ‘Aha’ moment on Sunday. Our pastor was reading out of Joshua 7. He was talking about how the Israelites were getting their butts kicked by Ai’s men. His main point was that the Israelites became content in the things of the Lord and that is why they were being defeated. They stopped pressing into Him. Eventually, there were things in their lives that made them ‘liable for destruction’ (vs. 12). The Lord told them to consecrate their hearts so that they can stand against their enemies.
“Go, consecrate the people. Tell them, ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow; for this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: There are devoted things among you, Israel. You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove them.” (Joshua 7:13)
I was thinking about how easy it is to become content and complacent. News flash! We are in a spiritual battle! We will always be in one until the Lord comes. I think the enemy wants us to become comfortable with our lives and our walk with Christ. We stop pressing into the Lord. Stop needing Him. This is exactly where I have been recently.
I got comfortable with where my relationship with Christ was. Before I knew it I forgot what it was like to really love Him. It’s like a marriage. How long could you be complacent about your marriage before it suffers? I would be upset if Drew went one day ignoring me! This sermon reminded me of a dream that I had a couple of years ago. Normally I don’t put much stock in dreams, but this one was so thought provoking I haven’t forgotten it.
I dreamed that my husband and I were getting ready for bed when I found a snake in our house. I quickly went to Drew and told him what I had found and asked him to remove it.
He nonchalantly replied, “Its fine. I’m tired. I’ll get it out later.”
We were both exhausted after a long day, so I didn’t think there was any harm in waiting. The next day we were walking beside our house when I saw a hole going underneath the house. I showed Drew the hole and said, “Look Drew! That must be where the snake got into our house. We need to kill it!” He walked up to the hole and told me it was just an innocent, little snake. While we were discussing it, the snake moved. I watched as it slithered to Drew’s feet. While it moved around his feet it began to grow. Soon the snake was wrapped around him.
I yelled at him, “Drew, get that thing off of you!”
He replied, “You are overreacting. It’s harmless. If I just stay still, it will go away.” The snake was so big now it wrapped around his entire body. It started to squeeze him. I watched helplessly as Drew struggled to breathe.
I looked at the snake’s big head and said, “What are you doing? Jesus Christ crushed your head. You don’t have the authority to do this!”
The snake looked back at me with a smirk and slurred, “Yes, but he doesn’t know that.”
I was taken aback. Angry and panicked, I quickly looked around for something to get the snake off. Drew was turning blue. I finally noticed a sword in my hand. It was double edged having a cross at the point. I swung the sword down onto the snake with all my might, but the sword bounced off. I tried again and again.
The snake laughed and sneered, “You haven’t sharpened your sword in awhile, have you?”
I was filled with dread and horror. Fearing that I was going to lose Drew I cried out a prayer.
The snake yelled at me, “Stop that! Stop doing that!”
Shocked and encouraged that it distressed the snake I started to pray more fervently. The snake cursed me and squeezed Drew harder, but it was shrinking. The snake threw every insult at me pointing out my every insecurity. I kept praying. The snake called out and I saw a great many creatures coming towards me growling and sneering. I was terrified. I cried out to God asking him for His shield of protection. I expected to receive a metal arm shield that I would hold as I tried to fight off the creatures with my short, dull sword. However, the second I called out for His shield of protection a white dome covered me on all sides keeping the creatures from me. I fell to my knees in relief, and prayed for Drew with renewed vigor. Then, I woke up.
I may have been the one holding the sword in my dream, but in reality I feel like I’m having the life squeezed out of me. My complacency has opened holes in my life for all sorts of distractions. Neglect of God’s word has left me fumbling as I try to wield it. I have mistaken Satan’s lies for truth. I have foolishly laid down my fight believing that sin will just ‘go away.’ But no more! I’m so thankful that our God is merciful and patient. That all I need to do is call on the name of Jesus and I am covered by his love, forgiveness and protection!