Christian Dream Interpretation — God drew me closer to Him through a dream — Part 3 of 3.

It’s been said a lot, but it is true:  “Christianity is not a religion; it’s a relationship.”  And it is because our God’s main concern is having a close relationship with us, it is for this reason, that He gave me “The Black Crows dream.”

In the dream I was looking up into the sky at a large white sail that was being carried by half a dozen crows.  As I continued to watch them fly away, I realized that they were not carrying a sail, but a robe.  It was my own white robe that the crows were taking away from me.  I looked on, bothered by this fact, and meanwhile I was chewing a piece of raw meat.  I just stood there, watching and chewing.  I was not able to swallow the meat; it was impossible to swallow.

Upon waking, I deduced that since the crows had taken my “robe of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:10) it must be that God was clarifying His disappointment with me, and telling me that I had become unrighteous.

During this time, I was listening to the “Spiritual Warfare” series produced by Living God Ministries, and thanks to the truth presented through these messages, God began to show me that the dream was actually a really clever way of teaching me about Law versus Grace, the lie versus the truth.

God saw that I was in danger of believing the devil’s lie, so he chose to “wake me up” through a dream.

He used this dream to show me what NOT to believe; to reject the lie that my sin makes me unrighteous. . . . Because believing that lie prevents me from being able to eat “the meat” of the Scriptures.

God is amazing!  And so personal!  He knew exactly what I needed to hear.

The interpretation that God gave me is this:

Satan is a liar who wants me to believe that I can lose my righteousness.  The devil condemns me, accuses me, and gets me to think that my inability to overcome certain sins makes me unworthy and unholy.  Satan wants me to believe that he has the legal right to remove my ‘robe of righteousness’ (he uses his minions, his demons, represented by the crows, to accomplish this task.)  And as long as I believe the devil’s lies, I cannot swallow the meat of the Scripture.  I will not grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.  My Christian life will be stunted and stagnant, as I remain a baby, one who can only drink milk.

I then memorialized what He taught me by writing this poem in my journal:

The black crows carried an ivory sheet,

Five birds flying with a large white sail.

But on second look, it was a cloak.

A robe.  A symbol of my righteousness.

They were stealing it, taking it, flying away.

But it was not theirs to take.

I was watching it happen while eating the meat

that had become inedible.

The theft was induced,

By iniquity and shame.

The theft was produced,

And I granted their gain.

My enemy is skilled with thievery and lies,

I doubted not the black crows’ rights.

Yet robbers they were.  I began to see,

That the white cloak remained on me.

Our God wants to have a close relationship with us, and He wants us to trust in the fact that He has completely forgiven us of all our sins – our transgressions have been removed as far as the east is from the west.

The images in dreams are often symbols or types, so if you think He has given you a dream, ask Him for the interpretation, and He just may tell you what all the symbols mean!

For me, the meaning of the dream was all about His acceptance of me.  He not only loves me, but He accepts me and relates to me in the midst of my sinful condition.  . . . Because of the fact that Jesus finished the work 2,000 years ago.

Must faith be accompanied by works?

Forgive me, Father, I have sinned; it has been four months since my last blog post.

Just kidding!  . . . About the asking for forgiveness part.  Not kidding that it’s been four months since I’ve written anything here.  My personal life has been overwhelming and consuming and causing much anxiety — a ‘down-cast heart.’  I have simply not had the energy to blog.

But God is active and living and He is ever-present, dwelling in my innermost being, as I live through the storms of life.  Though the world may slay me, yet will I praise Him.

So, getting to the point, must faith be accompanied by works?  . . . Of course not!  We are saved by grace through faith, and we are sustained each and every day by His grace through our faith; through our trust in Him; our resting in the work He has already accomplished.

But what about the book of James?

But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? (James 2:20, NASB)

Gee, thanks for the encouragement, brother James.

No, sorry.  He got that part wrong.  Faith is IT.  Sola fide.  We are justified by faith alone.

The five chapters of the book of James are filled with things we must do.  There is not one mention of the death or resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.  No mention of the divinity of Jesus.  No mention of our forgiveness or justification by faith.  James believes we are justified by works.

You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. (James 2:24, NASB)

Did you know that the book of James was ABSENT from the first list of New Testament books known as the Muratorian Fragment.  James’ epistle was not confirmed as a book of the Bible, included in the canon of the New Testament, until the fourth century A.D.!  James was added to the Bible in AD 367, after the creation of Roman Catholicism!

Yet there is an excellent argument to be made concerning the fact that including the book of James in the Bible is important because it illustrates the differences between Paul and James, between a life of faith and a life of works. (Click here for a Bible Study by Living God Ministries on that topic.)

Sure James makes some good points, such as “if you stumble at one part of the Law of Moses, you are guilty of the entire thing.”  But, mainly, when I read the book of James, I think, “Man, he’s a raging legalist!”

I’m thankful that I have been set free from a life of works.  I am thankful to live a life of freedom in Christ Jesus; a life where I am free to walk in the Spirit, and live each day according to the Law of the Spirit of Life, and not according to the Law of Sin and death.

 

 

November 6, 2019  9:58 AM

The Righteous Man Shall Live by Faith

man walking in the forest
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” (Romans 1:17, NASB)

I’ve been texting with a friend, a sister in the Lord, about what it means to live by faith.  We are both learning what it means to trust in God and to wrestle with Him; we are learning how to live by faith through the hard times of life, through the difficulties, the pain, the struggles, and the circumstances that tempt us to trust in the world or to trust in religion.  Through all of this, through the storms of life, we are learning to remain steadfast and to trust in the Lord, to depend on Him for our strength. . .when we are obviously so weak.

I have been walking down this new path of freedom for 12 years, and my friend has been walking it for just a few, yet we are both learning the same thing . . . because the learning never ends.  And in 20 or 40 years, I will still be learning to trust in the Lord – because He is infinite and I am depraved.  While I remain on this cursed earth, I will grow to trust Him more and more as I experience the difficulties of life .

My friend and I began this texting discussion after both listening to a radio program by Aaron Budjen on “Living by Faith.”  In his message, Aaron talks about Romans 1:17 and the quote from Habakkuk that says that the righteous man will live by faith.

“Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith.” (Habbakkuk 2:4)

Although I was saved 28 years ago, I spent 14 or 15 years not trusting in the Lord, even though I was born again and had a relationship with Him.  I spent those years trusting in religion and trusting in my church.  I was trusting in the acceptance of other people, in the attempt to earn their acceptance through working so hard doing ministry work.

I looked to and trusted in religion which is really just an aspect of the knowledge of good and evil. (The Lord God said not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but we did, so the tree is a part of this world that we live in, it’s a part of this fallen world.)  Although I was not necessarily doing evil, I actually was, because Jesus said there is only One who is good.  He alone, God, is the only One who is good.  Other than Him, there is none good.

So even though we try to live according to the knowledge of what is good, it ends up being a life of evil, because our motives are wrong.  Our “good deeds” are often attempts to earn the acceptance of others, to earn the acceptance of God.  We try to remain in a relationship with God by doing good works, repenting of our sin, asking God to forgive us, and then being firmly devoted to living a life of obedience . . . but all of that is a life of vanity and emptiness.

Being set free from such a life by discovering that I am a forgiven person, started me down a path that will never end.  As long as I am in the flesh, I will always be discovering and anticipating and growing. Learning every day what it means to live by faith.

 

 

June 13, 2019  2:14 PM