Difference between a vision and a dream

I just awoke from a dream.  I must have been standing in a dark corridor because I couldn’t see anything but blackness as night.  Then I heard the voice of a woman who was crying out to God.  However, she only knew to call Him ‘Alla.’  Her voice had an element of fearful distress … I knew in my spirit that she was seeking a confrontation with a living God.  Before I awoke, I had the impression that I was somehow witness to this as though this were a private place.  I was also aware that I wasn’t the only witness, that there were others that had access to this private place.

When I awoke, I had the distinct feeling that the private place was somewhere in the body of Christ.  I can liken it to the brain in that, we perceive many things from our senses, and our brain then decipher them, however I would say that it felt more like the heart because it was more than just mere perception I was experiencing.  I’d like to believe that this was the place of Christ’s heart.  It was as if He was revealing to me that there is a place where we can only get to when we truly seek Him with all our heart and once we get there, it’s a place where true ministry takes place.

However, my message isn’t so much a heart message.  I prayed for the unseen woman and by faith, I know that Christ will reveal Himself to her.  After all, it is only by personal revelation that you can gain a proper understanding of who God is.  I trust that Jesus will give this woman a correct understanding of who He is in a way that she will understand that she needed a course correction.

My message is more so about the dream itself.  I felt impressed to look up the story in Acts 16:9-15 where Paul had a vision in the night of a man beckoning him to come to Macedonia.  The next day he went that way and lo and behold, the man turned out to be a woman named Lydia.  Not only Lydia, but her household, were baptized.  What a work of ministry!

I know we are in the days of apostolic revival and just like in those days, we are seeing things like this happen today.  The cool part is that we have the benefit of learning from those that have gone before us and we have tools like the internet, books, sermons online, and other media that make it so very easy for us to get the proper training and knowledge to be truly effective in building God’s kingdom.

Let me share with you something I just learned that may perhaps help you.  In looking up this scripture, I found that there was a distinct difference in vision vs. dream.  A vision comes from a root word meaning to discern clearly, to attend to, to behold.  According to Webster, ‘vision’ in scripture is a revelation from God whereas a dream is a series of thoughts not under the command of reason and hence, wild and irregular.

Whether the vision comes in the night as Paul’s did, or during the day, the beauty is, the men in the bible knew without a shadow of a doubt where the message came from, even if the details of direction weren’t completely spelled out.

Back to my vision in the night … I wonder, why would God show me a secret place and give me indication that others are witness’ there as well?  I’m certain the answer will become clearer as God leads and guides my steps, but for now, I walk away with a strong feeling that God is revealing just how connected in the spirit we really are.  I felt He was showing me the importance of the body being in one mind and one accord.

I believe this is the place He is taking us too, a place of unity and understanding.  A place where our attention isn’t so much on the other workers in the secret place, but the voices of those that He is wanting to bring into His kingdom.  While He will do the work of revealing Himself, He will need us, His body, to attend to, teach, support, encourage, and love those spiritual babies that He is scooping up in His arms.  How blessed are we to be a privy to a time when it’s all ‘coming together!’

Wow!  How exciting it is to be a part of Christ’s kingdom!  Apostolic revival, here we come!

The Healing Place

A couple of years ago, I attended a ladies retreat where there was a tongues and interpretation.  The room was filled with 2000 ladies.  I recall that despite that there were so many women in that room, I knew in my heart of hearts, that the message spoken was for ME.  Of course, when God speaks to the body, the message is for everyone.  Maybe its pride, maybe it’s arrogance, or maybe it was really just something that spoke in my soul that said .. I want this.  I want this message to be mine.  The message spoke of listening, really listening, to the ladies on the stage because God said … they had been to the healing place.

Of course, at the time, I didn’t really know what that meant.  What exactly was the healing place?  Was it a specific location?  Could anyone go there?  Was there a cost to go there?  Where do you even begin? …. So many questions and not many answers left me with a deep-seated desire to get to this place.  Despite that I was Holy Ghost filled and blood bought … despite that I had spent many hours at several alters pouring my heart out to God … despite that I had spent hundreds of hours in prayer … there were still things inside of me that I just couldn’t get away from.  I’m not even sure I can accurately put my finger on it other than to say that there were holes in my heart that hurt.  Things in my life that haunted me that while God knew, I somehow didn’t know how to let go of.  Some people put up walls and call it being free, others put on a smile and hide the hurt, I seemed to be plagued with my hurts seeping through at the altar behind unspoken words and sobs as my soul begged for mercy.  This was a couple of years ago.

I sought pretty hard for God after that.  I wanted the healing place.  I wanted to know what true freedom really is.  I found out that healing and freedom were none of the things I thought they were.  I thought that once I had reached that place, that it would be nirvana.  I thought that I would finally be able to walk around and not feel insecure.  I thought that I would finally be able to feel the joy non-stop instead of continuously having life frustrate me with challenges.  I thought I would always be able to handle every situation with a smile and calm and know that it was real instead of feeling that I was hiding behind a wall of pretense.  Nope … the healing place was none of those things.  Neither is freedom.

We had a guest preacher in today that spoke of the healing place.  He didn’t call it that, but that’s exactly what it was.  I’ve been there now, so I know.  He was talking about the healing place.  It’s the place where we are confronted with all kinds things that we never expected.  It’s the place where we are forced to face some of the most dreaded things in our lives.   It’s the place where you life seems to be falling apart.  It’s the place where you are certain, you can relate with Job.  It’s the place where you find out people will fail you .. even family.  It’s the place where you find the world will fail you.  It’s the place where you find out that yes, the church too will fail you.  It’s the place where you learn …. complete dependence on Jesus.

But it’s not just learning about being let down.  It’s also learning about trust and confidence in God.  Not just in God, but His ability to restore.  His ability to rebuild what He had just torn down.  His ability to work in others and regain your trust in those who may have let you down.  It’s about learning to depend on God for finances and health and trusting that even if it doesn’t look like you thought it should, God’s got it all under His control.  It’s about learning to fear the power of God and not take it for granted.  And somehow, through all of this, at the same time, He pulls you in closer and lets you see HIS heart.  I’m sorry, but if you want to be close to God, there is absolutely no way to do it without jumping in the fire.  You can get close and feel His heat, but until you allow the fire to consume you .. you will never get to the place where you see Him standing in the flames with you.

Please don’t be afraid of the healing place.  Please don’t be afraid or refuse to go through the valley.  If you look at your circumstances and think you might be there, please be encouraged.  It’s a frightening place but this is the place where you learn to discern the hand of God.  This is the place where you learn to discern God’s touch.  If you are looking at the fire and have been afraid to jump, be encouraged, He’s at the door waiting for you to ask Him to lead you through.

This is the place where you learn that God will truly never leave you nor forsake you.  There is so much beauty there!  There is so much that God wants to salvage from that place!  But He will only salvage those that want to be salvaged.  He will only rebuild those that choose to go through this process.  We, the church, have been blessed so much.  It’s time for more of us to be willing to enter in to the healing place.  There is a world out there crying out to God to show them just how real He is.  There is a world out there crying to see Him alive in others.  There is a world that wants to know the true blessing of serving a God that is alive and holy.  And there is a God who wants to guide you through this place to show you just how beautiful it really is … just how MUCH there is to salvage!

The healing place is where God teaches you to close your eyes and listen with your heart …… it’s only then that you hear the lost souls crying out.

So caught up in the why, never considered who …

I’ve been studied the Holocaust for some time now.  I wanted to know how one man could lead an entire country to destroy human lives as though they were cattle getting ready for the slaughter.  I also wanted to know how so many people could just turn their head to such disaster.  So I started reading Mein Kampf.

Perhaps you’re thinking that wasn’t such a good idea, and I was a bit hesitant myself knowing that the government probably now has me on some black list because I got it from the public library.  However, I felt a strong urging in my spirit to move forward.

I heard a sermon recently that told me the Jewish people face East and facing East meant facing backward.  So they move forward, facing the past, knowing where they’ve been, just like in a row-boat.  I happen to agree with this.  It’s not only been Hitler that slaughtered millions of people at a time and got others to turn their head, there’s been others.  At some point in time, we need to start asking ourselves, how did this happen and how can we prevent it?  I’m beginning to find out that, unfortunately, the only way to understand madness is to take a really good look at it and pray that God leads you to His understanding.

While Hitler’s book wasn’t an autobiography, there was enough personal information in the book to get an idea of who he was.  I was quite surprised to find that this ‘madman’ had many traits that were desirable, that he was intelligent, artistic, empathetic, and loyal to his country to a fault.  I was also surprised to read that in his own words, he tells how in the beginning, he wasn’t against the Jews.  He was a man of keen observation and not just of events, but of the effects of those events on people.  He seemed to be caught up in how he was responding to events around him and was unafraid to openly show his struggle with his internal man.  He was unafraid to show how quickly he could be persuaded to ‘change opinions.’

Despite these findings tho, there were some marked events in his life that gave me a better understanding of how he perhaps started on the path he ended up on.  From my perspective, I could see a determined arrogance that was fueled by a hate of those he felt repressed the German people and he seemed to take this battle very personally.

After getting to page 65, the last page of chapter 2, I’ve decided that regardless of what the rest of the book says, I got the answer I was looking for.  There it was, in his own words, ‘And so I believe to-day that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator. In standing guard against the Jew I am defending the handiwork of the Lord.’  He honestly thought he was in God’s will.

So how does an atrocity like the Holocaust happen?  Hitler was so caught up in the whys of his day that he never stopped to consider who he was following.  There is not a shadow of a doubt in my mind that this was a spiritual battle where Satan merely needed an outlet to gain power.  Unfortunately, he found it at the expense of millions of lives.

While some may balk that I could see any positive in a man such as Hitler, I honestly believe that he had a greatness in him that was designed to be used in a positive way.  Unfortunately, it didn’t play out that way.

How careful we need to be to search our hearts!  This man claimed to be doing ‘the work of the Lord.’  Yet, clearly, it wasn’t.  We don’t hear of him having conversations or thoughts asking God what God thought.  We don’t hear of him having thoughts of praying about it and seeking God’s face.  Nor do we hear of him addressing the hypocrisy of his own thoughts and actions.  Instead, he very plainly points out his faults with every intention to correct everyone except himself.

He never stopped to listen to the small still voice inside telling him, ‘this is wrong.’  Instead, he kept barreling ahead towards the voice that fed his pride, his self-righteousness, his hatred, and ultimately, his insanity.  What I get out of all of this, is that it only takes 1 human vessel for Satan to get his hands on to mess up a whole lot of other people’s lives.

And while the good news is that it only took 1 human vessel to die on a cross and save our souls, we still have to live this life out.  We still have to face the evil present in the world and we still have to face the fact that, we could be persuaded to partake in that evil just as easily as this man was.

How we need Jesus!  Not just as a Saviour for eternal salvation, but we need His leading and guiding every day!  While this study hasn’t been easy, I walk away understanding now, more than ever, just what Christ did for us and how we need Him.  Fact is, we can’t do this alone and even if we think we are, Hitler’s actions remind us very clearly, there is a spiritual entity that understands our power more than we understand it ourselves.  If we don’t use it for God’s glory, he’s more than willing to use it for his.

God help us.  I’m sorry this has such a downer tone, but the promise and hope comes in mourning and remembering those who were a part of this and other atrocities.  That their lives weren’t lost in vain.  There are very real people effected by this garbage.  But we can’t just pick up the book and hate back.  We have to stop and say … WAIT!  That’s how he ended up down that path.  Yes!  I know his soul may be in hell; me pointing out the goodness that God put in him doesn’t change his soul status.  What it does is show that if we don’t take time to see ourselves in men like this, we might just find ourselves being led to be the monster he became.

If we aren’t careful, we might just find our own selves getting caught up in the why and never consider who we are following.

Jesus went to Hell so we didn’t have to!

There is nothing like the infusion of fresh joy, excitement, and anticipation from missionaries coming in to visit your local church!  Wow!  Like John the Baptist being in prison, sometimes we need to be reminded that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the light .. that people are being healed! .. eyes are being opened! .. and that revival has come!

As I listened to his stories, the message I felt so compelled by was an unspoken message.  He never said these words, but it hit my heart like brick .. Jesus went to Hell so we didn’t have to!  The Bible is clear, Jesus died and went to Hell .. stayed there for 3 days .. He took the keys .. then He came back!   He came back and showed us how it is HE who gives life.  It is HE who revives the soul!  It is HE who looks at the roster of Hell and decides who makes the list and who doesn’t.

How many times have we allowed our spirits to be vexed?  How many times have we allowed Satan to take our focus off of the path of Life and pull us into the drudgery of  anger, wrath, apathy, loneliness, bitterness, and all kinds of other ugliness?  Remember the fiery furnace?

Shadrach, Mechach, and Abednego were sent to the fiery furnace because they REFUSED to worship anyone other than Almighty God Himself.  The God who delivers!  The God who saves!  So King Nebuchandnezzar not only heats up the fire, but has it heated seven times hotter than normal!  So hot that it burned up the very men who brought them there.  In goes the 3 men and this is my favorite part, check this out …

Daniel 3:27 ‘And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men. The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them.’

Not only that, but the King saw a 4th, ‘like as the son of the gods.’  Who was it that was there with these men, but Almighty God Himself!

Jesus really did do it all!  It is my belief that His revelation is simply this .. Jesus wants us to LIVE!  When we are cast into the fire, we are NOT in Hell!  He may use those situations to help rid us of sins, transgressions, or wrong thought processes that have attempted to attach themselves to us, but we don’t have to go to Hell!  It is our job to LIVE!

I can’t help but think that this must be what people see in a Holy Ghost, Blood bought, Redeemed soul!  They look at us and they see us, consumed by fire, yet untouched by the flames!  They look at us and they may see our faults,  our flaws, and our struggles, yet they are literally perplexed as they see our overwhelming joy!  And if they aren’t perplexed, then perhaps it’s because YOU haven’t gotten the revelation yet … Jesus died so YOU didn’t have to!

We are consumed by fire, but you know what, God promises LIFE!  JOY!  PEACE!  Yes!  We have things that need to change!  But the beauty of the fire is that God will perfect us.  When we get focused on the dead stuff God is burning off us, we lose sight of the LIFE that we have been granted!  Check your eyesight and if you need glasses, let my words be your lens!

We have God’s resurrection Spirit inside of us and the best part is that when we fulfill the prophesy of joy and focus our intentions on life, we begin to help other people realize, they were never intended for Hell either!  Step up into Life!

Jesus IS the way!  The truth!  AND the Light!

When you fully realize the Power you have in Christ, He leads you into ALL truth.  He will provide what you need.  If you haven’t seen that you need water baptism in Jesus name, He will reveal it.  If you haven’t seen the importance of receiving HIS Spirit, He will show you and provide it for you.  Your job .. turn towards Him with all your heart and be determined to not let anyone or anything get in your way from trusting that it is He who really is God.

Oh Glory!  Jesus, I know that you hear me, but I write this prayer out for the sake of those who are reading these words.  I pray that those that read these words would feel conviction in their Spirit and allow you to revive and refresh their soul!  I pray that my words would resonate within their souls and help them see, you desire LIFE for them.  I pray that you would distinguish for them the difference between their actions that cause death and those that give life!  I pray that you deliver them from the oppressive spirit of unworthiness and any other unclean thought of death that has plagued them.  I pray that you provide what they need and empower them to live in the resurrecting Spirit that you have so freely, and graciously shared with us that they might be a light to others around them.  In Jesus name, AMEN!!

Satan doesn’t know you …

I had an experience recently that gave me a revelation .. Satan doesn’t know you.  I had an encounter with someone who was severely under the influence.  This person has no recollect of the conversation, and I was certain, the words spoken, were entirely led by a demonic presence.  (They don’t call it ‘spirits’ for nothing!)  The profound thing to me was being witness to this and being able to clearly discern what was happening.  In the past, have I not had some personal experiences in my life with demonic presence already, I might have been freaked out.  However, in this instance, I really seen a person who wouldn’t remember anything, so the only person that could be effected by the words spoken was the other person in the room .. i.e. me.

As I’m listening to the words of this individual, I’m hearing that my loved ones are being followed by Satan and all kinds of other strange things.  I disregard the comments and speak to the person directly, by name.  Again with the strange comments.  Then they start in on me.  ‘Dionne.  I remember you.  From before.’  This is the part where, had I not been privy to this strangeness from the past, I might have been freaked out.

It was then that I had the revelation.  The statement was made almost like an attempt to engage me, or trick me into saying or doing something that would somehow trip me up.  I imagine it was much like this for Jesus when the Pharisees kept trying to trip Him up back in the day.  Now, I’m not Jesus, but I do have His Holy Spirit in me, and I am thankful to say, He gave me the ability to see things from an entirely different perspective that day.  Have you seen the movie based off the ‘Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe?’  It’s the one where the girl on the beach is captured by these invisible creatures that appear to be giants?  Turns out that when the facade is over, the creatures are really just silly looking creatures with one big foot that have no capacity to do much of anything once they are seen.  This is how I see Satan and his band of demons.  He has no control over our lives unless we turn it over to him.  There, the secrets out.  He doesn’t know me, and neither does he know you.  I imagine he walks around with some sort of spiritual notebook taking notes on how you respond to his attempts to get your attention, but once you get an understanding of this, the gig’s up.

On the other hand, God knows you.  God doesn’t trick, seduce, or play on your emotions to get you to follow Him.  He allows you to explore for yourself who He is.  Go ahead and go where He doesn’t want you to go.  He won’t stop you, especially if you are adamant about going there.  But He’ll be patiently waiting for you when you finally realize that all those things you have been following were not Him.  He’ll be patiently waiting to pick up the pieces and help you rebuild what you were so hell-bent on destroying trying to prove your point that it was your life.  He never argued once with you about it.

I am in awe of God!  What does He want?  He wants us to be willing to let Him see Us for who we really are.  Here’s another little secret, He knows all this already.  After all, He is God.  Not to scare you or anything, but His word tells us that, “They were not faithful to the covenant I made with them, so I paid no attention to them.” Hebrews 7:9  All that craziness where you thought you were getting God’s attention … ummm .. He wasn’t even looking.  The only attention you were getting was from the demonic presence God allowed.  I’m sorry, but you were neglected.  You made your point, you wanted it your way, so God gave you what you wanted.  He wants us to be willing to show Him our sins and take accountability for it.  Yes, yes, you’ll have to pay the consequences of your actions in this world, but the good news is, He isn’t going to banish you to hell for those actions.  He already took care of that price by dying on the cross, but it’s not yours unless you choose to take it.  By taking accountability, it allows Him to help you stop doing things that are hurtful to yourself, harmful to others, and displeasing to God.

Repentance .. it’s not only the first step, it’s the most important.

See?  Satan doesn’t know you.  He’s just a tool God allows until you realize, it’s the attention of God that matters.

Happy day!  🙂

Back in the garden ..

I often joke about what happened in the garden of Eden .. you know the part where they blamed someone else?  However, truth be told, what happened was pretty serious.  Now I know that Eve is the one who took the first bite, but for the purpose of this blog, my focus is on how they .. specifically Adam, reacted.  He lost his proper perspective and blamed God.

God calmly handled the situation.  There were some things that needed to change.  There was a very serious lesson that needed to be learned and God was going to have to administer some tough love to do it.  Up until this time, God had provided everything.  All man had to do was enjoy.  He didn’t have to work for any of the things God provided.

While God loved Adam and Eve, I’m guessing that He understood from the beginning, the relationship He desired with man would never work if man blamed God for choices man himself had made.

So after handing out the sentence, God covered them, and gently ushered them out of the garden.  They had to learn personal responsibility.  Blaming God for problems that exist will always create a gap in the relationship.

Adam and Eve would have to learn that power lies in taking responsibility.  Power lies in accepting responsibility that it was our own choice that led us to do what we do .. regardless of circumstance, regardless of our past, regardless of how we arrived to do what we did .. we made a conscious choice.

It’s then that God can offer reasoning and understanding and use the situations to teach us why He told us not to take those actions in the first place.  It’s then that the relationship can be restored to what it was designed to be.  It’s then that God can use those things and work them for the good .. to those that love Him and that are called according to His purpose.

Sometimes tough love doesn’t feel good, but God uses our mistakes to teach us why it really is best if we just let Him BE God.  When we blame Him, somehow, we put ourselves at His level.  We are not gods.  Nor are we His equal.  We call Him our friend and His grace allows us to feel His nearness, but really, it’s important to keep a proper perspective of who He is.

When we take personal responsibility, we really do get a chance to see how God can turn ugly things into blessings.  Taking personal responsibility allows us to see from God’s perspective, which is always positive .. always good .. always on the ways of love.  Even if that means tough love.

God is good.  ALL the time.

.. sometimes I, personally, need to be reminded ..

I may not understand.  But the moment I blame Him for my choices, I’m making myself His equal.

gulp  ..  

Yeh .. not such a funny thing when you look at it like that.

Like I said, God is good.  ALL the time.

False balance or just weight?

The scripture in Proverbs 11:1 caught my attention this morning.  It says, ‘A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his delight.’  It made me think of how we often try to achieve balance in our lives.  I know there have certainly been times in my life when I was trying to create what I thought was balance, but instead, it was really a false balance.  You know the times, when you put on a smile or a good show for the neighbors when inside, you really are feeling horrible.  Somehow though, the show helps to make you ‘feel’ better, but truly, there’s something still rotting inside.

Or in others, we recognize that they ‘appear’ to have everything in order, but there’s this mischievous look in their eye or an arrogance in their speech that tells you, they don’t have it together as much as things appear.  There is a particular political figure that reminds me of this, and no, it’s not either one of the presidential candidates.

When it’s myself, God usually gets my attention pretty good to make me realize that I’m out of whack.  I’m thankful that when I have moments of too much pride, God send in His angels to knock me to my knees and remind me that pride was the very thing that cost Lucifer his prestigious position.  However, what of those who obviously don’t know God?  I’m thinking specifically of this particular political person.

It’s easy for me to have mercy on men and woman who have never had a fair shot at life and have followed the path that comes with being at the bottom of the barrel.  It’s easy to look with understanding and see how circumstance and training led them to the place where they made horrible decisions.  However, what of those who had that silver spoon in their mouth?  What of those who were bred and born into pride and human riches?  Can I find mercy for these people?

I suppose I’m going to have to do a gut check and realize that yes, Christ died for even those folks.  Perhaps these are like the Pharisees and Sadducees.  Those who had it all, yet never understood the full meaning of what the law was intended to do, which is cleanse the heart.  I suppose that means that instead of putting a wall up and ignoring those individuals, I should work harder to pray for them.

Otherwise, I risk being just like them.  Gulp.  Hmm … just weight doesn’t always balance out.  But I suppose when you use Christ as your measuring stick, He takes care of getting things to equal out.

I think that now more than ever, our political leaders need our prayers.  Not just the ones we like or plan to vote for.  Deception is running rampant in the political arena.  They need our prayers just as much as the next guy.