I had a dream the other night that has been sitting on me for a number of days and I’m happy to say that dreams can be important messages to our lives.
In this dream I could see a man stood next to a single escalator that went down into a large complex. The entrance was very well protected by thick concrete walls and barbed wire wrapped around the whole building. There was no way in other than through the permission of the man guarding and the escalator that led to an unknown space. Whilst dreaming I explored the whole structure from the roof, the rear and I even tried to dig a tunnel underneath that led to more concrete and barbed wire.
I could tell that the guard was extremely proud of the structure and the way in which visitors were forced to enter. Whilst trying to understand what I was seeing, Ollie my 7yr old son approached the guard. The man told him “The only way into this building was to take the escalator, there is no other way!” Ollie simply looked the man in eyes and confidently said “OK, I will just have to build my own Church.” He then just turned and walk away.
I have been praying about this dream and I believe I have 2 points that I would like to make that could give a possible interpretation or insight to my sleeping imagination.
First of all let me give some interpretation to the imagery in my dream.
Large Complex – This represents the Church and our perception of God’s Kingdom.
The Guard – People in responsibility / leaders.
Escalator & Barbed wire – Our restrictions, guidance and rules.
Ollie – Future generation.
Before I go on, I have to mention that this message is not talking about any particular Church, movement or people.
I believe we as Christians and leaders have to walk in tension holding the present in one hand and the future in the other. The decisions we make now affect both! In the 70’s the Church was very much focused on Jesus coming back soon – “the end of the World is at hand and Heaven is our home”. This is all true, however it stopped us focusing on our present. We lost that “Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven.” We stopped building for the future because to the Church then, there was no future.
Our evangelism was aggressive “Turn or burn” because we thought we had to hurry people into heaven without teaching Grace and offering long term relationship to our communities.
So when I saw Ollie walk away from the Church, I saw him walk away from the structure. He didn’t want to access the Kingdom through the activities and rules of the Church of the day. So this has led to a question in my mind – What are we building that will encourage generations ahead of us to thrive?
I believe that the Church is focusing on the now. Focusing on “Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven.” This is so encouraging! It means when our future generations come they will inherit revival and a culture of grace. So lets build for the future!
Wouldn’t it be awesome if our grandchildren were born into cities without cancer? Wouldn’t it be amazing if a 100 years from now our grandchildren were born into a world where the Church had such an influence that they were being asked run the social welfare of the country?
Ollie and your children are our future Kingdom builders. So when they have an idea, listen. When they say do church this way – listen! I don’t think we should pass on the responsibility of Church when we feel we’ve done enough. I think we need to be doing it side by side now!
We don’t want our children say “I will just have to build my own Church”
“In the Spirit the angel carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of the sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb.
The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. Its gates will never be shut by day and there will be no night there. People will bring into it the glory and the honour of the nations.” Apostle John the Revelator.
In the dream “I could tell that the man guarding was extremely proud of the structure and the way in which visitors were forced to enter.” The scripture above clearly is placing the importance on Christ. The structure is Christ! The building is Christ! isn’t it amazing that even the Sun and Moon has no real significance in the scripture because of Christ! Whatever we build must never take our attention from Jesus. Our practices, our programmes must come second to people having access to Jesus.
Jesus said “I am the gate; whoever comes in through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.” – Gospel of John 10v9
This scripture puts it clear that Jesus is the gate – He is the structure!