Every Christ FOLLOWER has an incredible adventure story, this one is mine. I try to add to it every Friday.
I had a dream. A dream within a dream actually. When I woke I wrote it down feverishly so I wouldn't forget the details. I am adding it to my "Wave Walker" entries because I believe this isn't just for me to remember what happened clearly, I believe as I continue to tell this faith journey, this particular story will end up amongst some of the most important pages.
If you take the time to read it, I hope that you are encouraged.
"In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams." - Acts 2:17
Lately, I haven't been sleeping well. Allergies and other random reasons wake me, but almost always at 2:30 in the morning. In passing, I mentioned my lack of sleep to a couple of other men at my church. It seemed a funny coincidence to find out that they had also been struggling with sleep lately for various reasons. We found encouragement, however, when we realized that each of us had decided to use the extra time to be in prayer for our church, neighborhood, state and country. BUT, when we realized that it always seemed to occur at 2:30am for each of us our ears perked up and we decided to press into what God might be inviting us into. After digging a little deeper we realized that we each had a deep desire to see a REAL HUNGER in God's people to SEE the LIVING God and to have that hunger call His people into the harvest. We agreed to continue to pray for each other (and for some other stuff) but specifically that God would move in a mighty way to bring glory to Himself, the TRUE and LIVING CREATOR purposed to create a holy hunger to KNOW their Creator. I believe this dream is directly related to actively seeking God's face by intentionally pointing my mind's attention and heart's affection on HIS story and HIS plan for HIS creation through prayer and fasting.
I awoke last night aggravated with my allergies and annoyed with my running nose. (Super frustrating.) Admittedly, I didn't check the time as I just assumed it was 2:30 and began praying with, "Okay Lord, I'm up. Please be with Chad as you've probably woke him with another bad dream and Brian with a crying infant..." lol and ended not too much later with, "Okay, Lord, I love you. I'm all done, now can you PLEASE let my nose breath so I can get some sleep?" Then I dozed off.
What seemed like minutes later I woke again to my nose draining. Uncomfortable, and quite frankly a bit annoyed at God for making me with allergies, I tossed over onto my back annoyed that I was awake again. To my astonishment, peeking through my eyelids I saw two angels hovering over my wife and I, praying as we slept. One was larger than the other but I was too frightened to open my eyes entirely. I was super duper brave and courageous so I lay as still as possible and pretended to be asleep. I wasn't afraid in terror. I was afraid in awe. That's the only way I can describe it. My heart raced and my rapidly increasing gasps for air through half clogged nostrils began to make so much noise I was nervous that it would wake my wife. I've never had the joy of hyperventilating before, so I can't be certain that's what I was actually doing but that really is the best explanation for my panicked attempt to breath while suffocating in holy fear. It sounded ridiculous but I realized as I was staring at these two angelic figures through squinted eyes that they didn't seem to care whether or not I was awake... because they definitely knew I was awake. Somehow, I just knew they were praying over us.
Then I heard a voice speak with an impressively commanding presence. Like that of a male lion roaring. Not like actual roaring, but the kind of noise that carries bass into your chest cavity and you can feel in your lungs. I turned my head towards the direction the voice was coming from. I knew instantly that I wasn't awake but neither was I dreaming and I believe that the voice was God's. (I am such an idiot, I literally thought, 'ummm, this is NOT a still small voice. This. This is like a lion.) Only I didn't UNDERSTAND what He was saying. I was hearing it clearly but it was in a language I cannot even describe. Apologetically, not frightened, just genuinely sorry, I replied "I don't know what that means!" - I said it like, "I don't understand!" The voice repeated itself and whether I was given the ability to understand or the voice chose to speak english I cannot say but when He repeated Himself I understood. It said "APPROACH THE THRONE."
Now, I blame the sleep, but I immediately changed His Words when I repeated them to myself. I thought, "Uh, the ONLY reason I can go to the THRONE ROOM is because I've been washed by Jesus' blood." (< See what I did there? I changed "throne" to "throne room." Small detail but you'll see why it's a big deal later.) - The only way I know how to approach the throne is to read God's Word. So, I grabbed my Bible and headed to the living room so I wouldn't wake my wife. As I walked I realized that I was still dreaming or still having a vision and I didn't want to forget it so I started speaking what I saw out loud so that I wouldn't forget what I was seeing. I was walking through what I knew to be my house but I did not recognize it. So, I said aloud, "I am in my house but it not my home." I was carrying a sphere in my other hand. It was black and smooth but had one circular spot on it signifying that was the top of the sphere. So, I said, "I have something stupid I don't know what." It was awkward to carry and I knew that it held some spiritual significance and was important for the place where I was but I was disgusted by it and thought it to be useless. (Like a false idol or something) As I walked I continued to speak out loud. Looking out the window I realized that I was not of that world. It was different. So, I said out loud, "I am not of this world. It is amazing but it is not mine." I began to grow uneasy because I realized that there were others there and they were trying to find me because I was speaking. I was afraid that they would realize that I didn't belong. Then I realized in my other hand I was still holding my Bible. It was MY Bible. The familiarity with it made me feel like I was with a friend. Everything else was different but MY BIBLE WAS THE SAME. It even smelled the same. It gave me great PEACE to know that I had it and I desired greatly to open it. When I did, it opened like one of those pop-up cards or elaborate children's books that have all the moving pieces. It was very beautiful but very intricate and didn't offer anything but questions. The more I studied it the more obvious it was that it had been designed by something very intelligent but it was locked. Like it was missing some of the important cogs to unlock it and make it work.
The others there didn't scare me anymore because, like me they all also had Bibles. When they realized I had a Bible they weren't alarmed at my presence. Having a Bible made me an outlaw like them. When they realized my Bible was locked like the rest of theirs they became disappointed and depressed and began searching again for someone that could help them unlock their Bibles.
That's when I realized that I HAD THE KEY to open mine. Excitedly I called them back as I looked over and inspected the key. It was just as intricate as the mechanics of the Bible and it had many moving pieces so it could to be applied correctly to fit the machined parts in different ways. I realized that the key could be folded or twisted or turned to be applied in many different ways but it was easy to find the combination it was a key not a lock! As soon as I placed it in place in my Bible it worked like a gear. When I twisted it the parts worked together like origami to unfold hidden chambers and open little gifts. With them, great revelation and wisdom too. I knew that the key could be applied in more ways to continue to unlock more but I didn't want to take my eyes off of what had just been revealed. I just wanted to stare at it before moving on.
I realized that I had gained the attention of those standing around me again and their excitement had returned with hope. This underground group of outlaws were SO EXCITED they had found somebody that could unlock their Bible and could tell them how to do it. I knew my complex key was specific to my Bible and wouldn't work with theirs so I didn't fear them wanting to steal it. But when they realized that my key wouldn't work for them they started losing hope again. - That's when I realized that my key was the Holy Spirit. I was SO EXCITED to SHOW & TELL them that THEY ALL had been given their OWN keys when they believed in Christ. Once they started realizing that they had their OWN KEYS they started unlocking their Bibles. As soon as one would open another would see and open theirs and another would see. This went out in a shockwave like light. Light and gold dust would illuminate the persons face and they would be filled with joy and excitement. I saw it spreading to the whole world like a shockwave.
That's when I woke from that dream. I thought I was awake BUT TO BE CLEAR I WAS NOT. I was back in my world and my house. Familiar! Few. Then I remembered the words "Approach the throne." Only I remembered it as "Approach the throne room." I thought to myself. "Whew, it was only a dream... I really want to go to sleep Lord. I just want good rest buuuut I don't want to miss the throne room either! Okay fine... fine... I'm up. I'm up." - (It's okay, you can smack your forehead... I am too. What moron has time to think about sleep at a time like this?) - I got up grabbed my Bible and instantly remembered how much peace it brought me in the previous dream. I walked out of my room into my living room and I enjoyed how familiar it felt in my hand. I also enjoyed how familiar my home was after the dream I had just had. The living room was still very dark because it was the middle of the night but I found my children sleeping on the couches. They had tried to come to me in the middle of the night because they were scared and lost their way because it was so dark. As I comforted them, they saw the Bible in my hand and I was SO excited to teach them that they had the Holy Spirit inside them to unlock it for them on their own to teach and give them incredible truth and wisdom just like I had seen in my previous dream.
That's when I woke up for real. Again, I remembered the words incorrectly "Approach the throne room." Again, reluctantly I got out of bed and grabbed my Bible. (LOL! You think I'd be jumping out of bed by now.) It was very dark in my living room and I stumbled around trying to fully wake up, finally sitting in a chair next to one of the only reading lamps in our house. I was very uncomfortable because my grumpy old dog was already sleeping in the chair and I didn't want to disturb him. Not knowing where to start, I decided just to start with what I had planned to read in my daily reading. That's when I heard the still small voice say "Start in Psalms!" - So, I intended to start there but in my sleep stupor I couldn't seem to find it. PSALMS. It's like the largest book and RIGHT in the middle of the Bible. Your Bible should fall open to Psalms if you randomly open it. I actually said that out loud, "How is it possible to miss the Psalms!?" So instead of leafing through the pages again I just let the Bible fall open and sure enough, it fell open to Psalm 100. "Good enough Lord!" I thought and tried to read through the blinding light reflecting off my pages from the lamp in the very dark room.
A handwritten note grabbed my attention next to verse 3 so I started there...
Psalm 100:3 - KNOW that THE LORD, HE IS GOOD! It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture."
Then I moved because I was so uncomfortable on account of my stupid old grumpy dog refusing to relinquish his position on HIS comfy chair and as I did the pages of my Bible turned and I was now in Psalm 73. Again a handwritten note in the margin grabbed my attention so I read the entire Psalm. These are the parts that I wrote down.
Psalm 73:11 - And they say "How can God know? Is there knowledge in the most High? 12 Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches. 13 All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hand in innocence. 14 For all the day long I have been stricken and rebuked every morning. 15 If I had said, "I will speak thus, "I would have betrayed the generation of your children.
16 But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed a wearisome task, 17 until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end.
25 whom have I in heaven but You? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 27 For behold, those who are far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to You. 28 But for me, it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.
There was a part in verse 28 that REALLY stuck out to me. But for ME it is GOOD TO BE NEAR GOD; - There was a cross reference to these two verses:
James 4:8 - "Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded."
Hebrews 10:22 - "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water."
Both of these verses I have marked and underlined. Next to the verse in Hebrews I had written a note that reads, "Dude - don't forget what an incredible privilege it is to have access to the living Creator!"
So, I believe the Lord was reminding me that HE is my Creator and He KNOWS me and I am HIS. He also intended to call me into HIS presence to help me understand that which is beyond me. TO. THE. THRONE. Where truth and wisdom come from... the ONE who SITS on the THRONE. HIM. He was inviting me not just to the throne room but TO THE THRONE! That's when I remembered that clear instruction and how the base had rattled my chest. "Approach the throne." - Why did I not go sprinting!? Oh God forgive me! What an incredible privilege because of the blood of Christ. Now fully awake and wide eyed I knew He wanted me to look up "throne" in my Bible's concordance. He wanted me to see what He was calling me too.
Immediately Isaiah 6 jumped off the list. I know the story well but excited to read it with fresh eyes and ears.
Isaiah 6: "In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2 "Above Him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another and said:
"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!"
4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of Him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 And I said: "Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips. For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts!"
6 Then one of the Seraphim flew to me, having in His hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the alter. 7 And he touched my mouth and said: "Behold, this has touched you lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for."
8 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said, "Here I am! Send me." 9 And He said, "Go, and say to the people..."
I heard a voice that shook me to the core. A voice that could shake the foundations of the thresholds. The command was simple. "Approach the throne." Come and be with ME. We only have this incredible privilege BECAUSE of what Christ did on the cross.
In my close circle of friends and at my church we've been growing in our hunger to see the living God pour out His Spirit on His people and our culture SO THAT His glory would overflow in such a way that we would develop a holy hunger that cannot be satisfied in anything other than a relationship with the one that Created them.
I believe the vision of teaching God's people to unlock His Word by applying the Holy Spirit to His WORD is what He was telling me to do. To lead by example and show other's how to do it in their families as well. Then let the living Spirit that ALREADY lives inside them do what only HE CAN DO. There is still a lot here to sort through but I believe this will become the main branding and messaging for Famplify. - My continued prayer is that God's plan for Famplify in 2020 would be to use it to bring glory to Himself by using it to help parents unlock the power inside God's Word, not only to teach their own house but to do it in a manner that teaches others how to unlock it too. Of course this relies on a people hungry to draw near to their Creator by unlocking His Word in a supernatural way. If you believe in Jesus Christ, you already own the key and if you're listening you can hear the roar of your King that shakes the foundations of the thresholds when He speaks as He calls YOU to APPROACH THE THRONE.