I dreamed that someone had murdered a person close to me. No one talked about who was murdered or when, but I just understood it happened and it affected my family and friends.
The person who murdered them was still out there. And he was planning to come back for the rest of us.
We decided to all stay together in one house for the time being. The house that I grew up in. My family was there and many friends. We even invited the neighbors, and any stranger who seemed to be hanging around the neighborhood, to come stay with us. We told them about the murderer, and that he was coming for us. He was watching the house and everyone in it, but we would be safer in numbers. So hunkered down to keep watch, while blanketed by fear and uncertainty.
For some reason I had a leadership role in this operation. I organized who stayed in what room, who kept watch and on what shifts. I knew what the police were doing and where they were at with the investigation.
I also spoke to the murderer.
He would call the house and we'd talk on the phone. I knew it was him and he knew we were looking for him.
Most of the others in the house didn't know I spoke to him. Those who were aware, didn't know what we talked about. I thought that by taking his calls we could track him down easier. Figure out where he was, his next moves. Except none of that happened. In fact, I hadn't even told the police I had contact with him.
When the murderer called, we spoke quietly to one another. It didn't seem as if he had any ill intent toward me or anyone else. His voice was gentle and, at times, a little melancholy. It was like he was a lonely friend with a pain that only I could understand...and possibly heal. I began to feel sympathy and the desire to soothe him. I had become frighteningly comfortable with him.
And everyone in the house became increasingly apathetic to the whole situation. Passing the hours with mindless entertainment, punctuated with bouts of complacent worry that kept us in hiding. We would invite more people in to the "safehouse", but do nothing to guard ourselves from our enemy.
Why did I let him convince me that I enjoyed his "friendship"?
Why didn't I tell the police...let them trace the call?
What are we all doing here anyways?
I finally made a plan with my grandma. I told her everything that was going on. We decided the next time he called, I would answer and she would call the police. Hopefully they could track his location and this would all be over.
If there was a next time...
Then I woke up.
My first conscious thought was, "Why are my dreams so ridiculous?!" and then, "Why am I so stupid in my dreams?!" HA! I hope I'm not the only one....
Before I could push it out of my mind, I realized, there is a lesson in this dream. It's a reminder for me, for sure. Possibly for you too. And it's not so far from reality.
The truth is, we all have an enemy.
And he is a murderer. (1 Peter 5:8)(John 10:10)
He is also a master counterfeiter (John 8:44), posing as good and godly (2 Corinthians 11:14-15). He manipulates and woos our hearts in those secret moments, blurring the lines between truth and lies. Unless we decide to turn and run, (or stand and fight), we will befriend him, nurturing the relationship until we seep with apathy or are ultimately destroyed.
Can you relate? Have you ever befriended (or felt tempted to befriend) the enemy?
He is subtle and reassuring...like during the phone calls in my dream. I can honestly say I've answered a few of his calls and felt the pull of his charisma; the desire that builds when he twists the Truth. "You will not surely die..." (Genesis 3:1-7)
But that is his whole purpose! To steal, kill and destroy. He will steal our joy and destroy our self-worth. He will wound and even massacre our relationships.... if we let him.
Have you been answering his calls?
Thankfully, there is another One who calls. And He does not woo us with empty promises. God fulfills His promises; promises that bring us LIFE. And He fights with us, for us, providing a way to escape the pursuit of our enemy. His Word says:
- God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able (1 Corinthians 10:13)
- If we resist the devil, he will flee from us (James 4:6-8)
- Sometimes our first move should be to flee (2 Timothy 2:22)
- God gives us armor so we can overcome the devil (Ephesians 6:10-19)
- God also promises to protect those who love Him (Psalm 91)
I'm glad I woke up before seeing the outcome of my dream. There's still hope in dreamland. I made the right move confiding in someone older and wiser than myself, someone to hold me accountable. Someone to call upon the authorities with me. If I'm wise, I will spring into action and awaken the others from their stupor as well.
That's why God gives us one another. Not to grow apathetic and ignore what is done in secret. Or to pass the time with mindless entertainment. But spur each other on and battle the enemy together. To confide in one another, to pray to together, to point each other to the Truth in God's Word (James 5:16)(Hebrews 10:24).
I'm thankful for those I can confide in and trust to hold me accountable. And I am especially thankful that God has empowered me with His Spirit to overcome the enemy! It is not too difficult for us (Deut. 30:11-16). Because He is our strength and He is in us.
So what do you think....too much sugar? ;-)
Actually, I'm rather glad I had this crazy dream. Next time he calls, I'll remember that behind the soothing voice is the heart of a murderer.