I woke up this morning from a troubling dream that I now realize was a vision. In my dream, there was a large dragon (which I simply thought was just a Godzilla like creature). The dragon towered over the trees and caused terror and fear wherever it went. I screamed and ran like everyone else I saw. The worst part was the anticipation of the dragon appearing once again. You see, the dragon would disappear for a time, but everyone knew it was just around the corner somewhere and constantly were on the lookout for it to reappear. Everyone moved with urgency and fear everywhere trying to stay out of the open, myself included. The nerves that were within me, I experienced a fraction of while playing capture the flag in paintball. This was intensified because of the life and death nature of the ordeal.
In the final scene of the dream, a group of people and I were walking across a gigantic field surrounded by tall trees on all sides. For some reason, we needed to get to the other side, I guess for safety. It was weird, like I had been here before, like deja vous. I knew the dragon would come and get us and there was no chance of crossing the field unharmed. The question was only from which angle would the dragon come? We walked in the middle of the field so that we had more time to run from the dragon once we saw its location. The field seemed to be a few miles long and about a mile wide. At first when the dragon came we would run to save ourselves hoping to escape as it attacked the ones closest to it. Then the dragon would disappear again to stalk us in the woods in order to attack from a different angle. The next time the dragon came, I realized there was a large body of water that stretched almost the length of the field near one of the tree lines I ran towards to escape. I jumped in and swam deep to avoid the fury above. To my surprise, not being able to breathe under the water wasn’t a limitation and I could swim unaffected beneath the water for a great distance. I came up out of the water a way down the field to walk some more and keep on the lookout for the dragon to appear once again. Now when the dragon appeared, I would immediately jump into the water and swim with a few other people while many others still ran above and when the dragon left, we would come up again to walk.
Towards the end of the field as our destination was very close, the dragon came out right next to me as if I was the target. I then quickly jumped into the water to escape as I did many times before. Only this time the dragon came into the water too and had me cornered. I then came out of the water cowered in fear at the feet of the dragon when I realized there were many who came to the dragon with gifts and were pampering the dragon. The dragon seemed nice to these people as they painted its toes and nourished the dragon. I quickly joined these people and began to help paint the dragon's toes and then I woke up.
The running from the dragon part of the dream I realized I must have dreamed before and that is why it was familiar, but the last part seemed to burn into my mind as I wondered if there was any significance to this weird dream. What was most alarming is I hardly ever remember my dreams. I maybe remember 2-3 dreams per year (though I wish I remembered more) and of those maybe 5% have any form of fear in them. When I realized this dream wasn’t being shaken from me anytime soon, I began to ask God about it. I immediately remembered there is a dragon in the book of Revelation so I opened my Bible to refresh my memory. You see, most Christians do not thoroughly study the book of Revelation because it is confusing. I know enough to talk about it in a general sense, but never really studied about the dragon, beast, and other mysterious characters and signs in depth because I know I don’t fully understand. Here is what I read:
7 And war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels fought back, 8 but they were defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9 The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, proclaiming,
“Now have come the salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Messiah,
for the accuser of our comrades has been thrown down,
who accuses them day and night before our God.
But they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony,
for they did not cling to life even in the face of death.
Rejoice then, you heavens
and those who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
for the devil has come down to you
with great wrath,
because he knows that his time is short!”
13 So when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle, so that she could fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to her place where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. 15 Then from his mouth the serpent poured water like a river after the woman, to sweep her away with the flood. 16 But the earth came to the help of the woman; it opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. 17 Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her children, those who keep the commandments of God and hold the testimony of Jesus.
Well crap, I was so scared I started to paint toenails! I began to question why I didn’t just call out to my Savior at any time in the dream. Why wasn’t that my first response? After beating myself up a bit more, I then began to ask what it all meant and what needed to be done so that God could transform my mind to where it needed to be. All of the people in the dream I realized had been given the Word of God. I do not know if the seed/ Word was implanted in all, but I do know the dragon's goal was to prevent the seed or Word from becoming fruit. The Word of God is a seed that is planted. The Word in itself is perfect and complete, lacking nothing. The ground in which it is planted is the make-it or break it. God shows us how to cultivate good soil, walk in the light, and nourish the seed. Jesus spoke of the need to stay connected to him who is the trunk of the tree or vine in order to receive the nourishment found in the sap of the tree (John 15). Meanwhile, God prunes the unproductive branches and fertilizes the flower so that fruit is produced, and a great amount of it. The fruit in itself is a testimony and infuses hope in others who come to it for nourishment. The fruit is unaffected by outside circumstances and can be seen in saints who are not afraid of the dragon, but in the midst of persecution respond in love, joy, peace, perseverance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. There is no compromise to the dragon, but full surrender to the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Messiah.
The dragon has already been defeated, but is only overcome in the here and now by the blood of the Lamb and the word of His testimony. Jesus is the Lamb who was slain and it is only through him that the dragon is defeated. It is in Jesus testimony of overcoming death that we boast. It is only through Jesus that we have life and life outside Him is death. How we interact and react to the dragon is a series of life or death decisions. Those who live life focused on the fear created by the dragon live a life motivated by finitude or death. Those who live a life not dictated by worries of this world, but by Jesus Word choose life.
I want to note that I am not speaking of specific people as being the dragon but of things that are unseen to the naked eye. Do not associate various individuals as being demons or Satan. People are used mostly unknowingly of what is at the root motivating their actions. The war is not with flesh and blood. Most people operate in a darkness and fog they are unable to comprehend because they have never seen the light. I wear glasses now, but prior to getting them in high school, I didn’t have a standard to compare my poor eyesight. Once I walked outside with my new glasses on, I spent most of the day staring at trees in amazement. The people who seem to be behind the persecution are not who the war is against. They are simply in darkness and most of the time do not fully know what they are doing, this is why Jesus asked “Father forgive them” toward his oppressors. Love is the unseen standard that gives a new set of eyes. The world speaks of love, but has a blurry view of it at best. For this reason, we are called to love our enemies. Not only does it follow the example of Jesus, but it introduces a new standard that was previously unknown. One can not have fruit without Love, and those who are fruitful are like a bright light in darkness. The truth of the light has the power to unleash the chains of oppression the dragon has on individuals. The light has the ability to produce a hope within an individual that leads them to let go of the rope that pulls them further into the darkness and walk in faith towards the light.
In my vision I was able to operate as most forms of believers of Christ. I was first, one who operated in fear at the thought of Satan and lived a life afraid to even be seen in the open. One example of this individual is one whose friends openly mock God and other Christians not even associating the person to that group because they see no difference. I was then one on a journey out in the open, but still fearful and motivated by self preservation in my every interaction. One example of this person is one who professes faith strongly and focuses their attention totally on reacting to attacks to their worldview. Every believer is called to have a defense for the hope within them, but this person will also attack other believers weaknesses and condemn still others. They react based on their own intellect and strength and not by God's love. Then I was the one who selfishly abandoned everything and everyone at the mere sight of trouble, but when the coast was clear was back in the open again with the rest of the people on the constant lookout for the dragon. Then finally, I was publicly outed and confronted and bent to the pressure of self-preservation. I chose to appease the dragon so that I could have what was a counterfeit peace. In all these instances, I never really believed I was victorious. I operated from a place of an orphan and not as a Son of God. Fear won the day and the fruit was never allowed to bud. The light was covered and the world left hopeless. I ponder what would happen if I declared the finished work of Christ and the power of the blood. What would have happened in the vision if I raced forward in the strength and armor of God and the good news of the Gospel. What if I walked confident that I wasn’t alone and knew I was loved by the creator of all I saw? What if I truly understood Psalm 23 in that moment? How would that affect the ones who cower in hiding, walk in fear, bail at the hint of trouble, or compromise in compliance?
I know that by me standing and proclaiming the testimonies (mine in how I am renewed and His in He did all the work), I will be a target. My fruit will begin to show and that is the very reason the dragon attacks. The dragon knows the power of the light and will hang on every opportunity to find fault with me which will become obsessive at times. However, I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. This life which I now live in the flesh here on earth, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loves me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 paraphrased)