by Marilyn Roberts
I am not one of those people who frequently have visions or sees into the spiritual world. Although I know people who regularly operate in spiritual gifts outlined in 1 Corinthians 12; I am normally not one of them. The people I know and trust who frequently function in these gifts of the Spirit have proven reputations and track records that yield consistent results. The spiritual gifts that have manifested in my life are more often from an anointing needed at the time, and I was a willing, obedient vessel the Holy Spirit could use.
I dream a lot. Most of the time the dreams make no sense, or I forget them almost immediately after I’ve awakened. But, now and then I not only remember a dream, but it stays with me. Usually, when this happens, the dream doesn’t need interpretation or I immediately know what the Lord was communicating. Often, He uses the dream as a way to minister to someone I know or to minister to an area of my own life. I’d like to share a two-part dream I had not long ago. Both parts ministered to me, and I believe they are a Word from the Lord that will minister to you also.
In my dream, it was night time, and I was alone. I was walking on a street that led me into the woods. I remember thinking that at any moment something or someone scary would appear; but, instead, the concrete sidewalk that led into the woods appeared to be covered with dirty water. The water wasn’t deep, but it was a barrier to hinder crossing. Normally, I would have looked for another way to cross over, but I decided I could jump and make it to the other side. When I did, I was suddenly weightless, and I heard what sounded like angels singing. I don’t remember the tune or the lyrics, but I remember they were singing about the assurance only God could bring.
Since this dream, I have returned to this declaration in the angel’s song over and over again. The dictionary defines the word assurance as “a positive declaration intended to give confidence; a promise.” Some of the synonyms of assurance are: “word of honor, pledge, vow, oath, bond, guarantee, and commitment.” The angels of the Lord were singing about the true assurance that only God could bring! They were singing a declaration from the Living God intended to give me confidence!
A situation in my life brought a tremendous amount of stress. The remedy was in God’s hands. I could not do anything to bring about the desired outcome. I could only patiently wait for God’s intervention. The situation was time-sensitive. Ever have one of those? I’m reminded of Joyce Meyer’s words, “God is never late, but He’s rarely early!” I was compelled to cast my care upon Him (Psalm 55:22, I Peter 5:7). One night the stress of this situation caused me great anxiety. I received Godly counsel, but how many of you know that it was up to me to not only agree with the Word but to act on it. The Scripture tells us to “be anxious for nothing but pray about everything and thank God for what He has done (Philippians 4:6)! So, I knew this stress attack was not the plan of God for me.
I got alone. I found a few worship songs that exalted our Lord and I began to worship and magnify His name. I then gathered Scriptures to increase my faith in the area of my need. I spoke them out loud so that my ears and my spirit could hear the Word of the Lord and faith could arise in my heart (Romans 10:17). The Lord brought to my remembrance the song of the angels; assurance that only God could bring. I received His assurance, and I spent time with our Lord until the weight of that stress lifted. Over the next few days, I continued to pray; but instead of praying with anxiety, I prayed with faith believing that God would answer and He did.
Is there a situation in your life that’s causing you stress? The song of the angels, the declaration of assurance that only God can bring, is for you also. In a devotional from Jim Cymbala, Pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle Church in New York, he wrote a profound, yet simple statement, “Finding new truth is not as important as repeating and bringing to remembrance and putting into practice the things we already know.” If you have known the Lord for a long time, you know you have to cast your care upon Him. You know you can have confidence in what He says. As a friend always says, “Sometimes life comes at you fast!” In those times, we have to put into practice His Word and Presence that brings assurance!
In another part of my dream, I came upon a brightly lit room. Inside it were two warriors with swords. I instantly knew which one was good and which one was evil. Since I know nothing about fencing, the only way I can best describe what I saw is to reference what I’ve seen in movies or on TV about sword fights. There comes a time in the fight where the opponents cross their swords and are face to face. Normally, they’d exchange words, and then they would push off of each other. In my dream, they had come to that part of the fight. Except, they didn’t push off. They simply pushed against one another.
The good warrior’s sword kept going limp like rubber. It would straighten out and harden, but it would soon go limp again. Every time it did the evil warrior would sneer and laugh. He finally threatened the good warrior by saying, “The next time this happens, I will finish this!” I then heard my voice shouting, “No, you won’t because he has the sword of the Lord!” And in my dream, I suddenly exchanged places with the good warrior, saying, “And so do I!” then I woke up.
Well, it doesn’t take a spiritual giant to know that the good warrior’s sword was the Word of God. (Hebrews 4:12) What God communicated to me and I believe, to all of us, is that we have the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, but often we allow it to go limp by not using it consistently or giving up before we see the victory. We start off well but soon tire or neglect to continually use it against our adversary, the devil. Satan is just looking for the time we allow our swords to go limp so he can take full advantage of us. Our deliverance is often hindered or delayed because of our failure to follow through. God was reminding me to fight the good fight of faith! “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” Galatians 6:9 (NIV). On this side of the cross, we will always have spiritual battles (John 16:33). We live in a fallen world, but our God is faithful and ready to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16) and He has set in place spiritual laws accessible to us to carry us to victory. I believe God gave me this dream to remind me and you not to let our swords go limp! He wants us to use the Word of Faith that is in our mouth to defeat the enemy (Romans 10:8).
How kind our Father is to communicate to us what we need when we need it. He does it because He loves us. When someone preached the first half of 1 John 4:16, it changed my life! John said, “We have come to KNOW and BELIEVE the LOVE God has for us!” This verse has been an anchor for me. When things are stressful, tough, or senseless, I remember that God loves me. His plan for me is good (Jeremiah 29:11). He knows how to give good gifts to His children. (Matthew 7:11) and I make it a point to say it out loud to myself so that faith can come. I quote that Scripture to the Lord, myself, and all the devils in hell, “I have come to KNOW and BELIEVE the LOVE God has for ME!” I find myself reminding myself even in the good times how much God loves me. It fills me with His assurance, that positive declaration intended to bring me confidence! Let the assurance that only God can bring come alive in you today!