Two Dreams and WORD for the Anointed
This is a follow-up to the recent column on gossipers that generated so much feedback from pastors and other politicians. Several folks, especially a handful of Jesus-loving-Bible-believing-berufed pastors that I have been counseling, have asked for specifics on how I have handled irregulars, irascibles, and irreconcilables. Well, while I'm still scratching the surface of my relationship with Jesus by the book after 48 years and counting with more energy and enthusiasm than ever because of the new wineskin entrusted to us on the Corner of Lincoln and Main, I guess I have picked up a few pointers on surviving a vocation with a shelf life akin to a running back in the NFL. So here are two dreams and WORD for the anointed along with some touchstones.
Paraphrasing Jesus in Matthew 7:15 within the context of Romans 16:17-18, Titus 3:1-11, and Jude, Luther said bad guys fueled by poneros (the evil one) appear as "angels of light" to confuse, puzzle, trick, and deceive us into believing they are good guys.
They are sneaky bastards.
Before the previous sentence freaks you out, look up the word.
There are authentic Christians by the book as enlightened by the Holy Spirit who never contradict Jesus by the book and there are posers aka sneaky bastards that are not really His children.
Read Matthew 7:16 for more on that.
It's easy to distinguish them.
Good guys build bridges, relationships, friendships; and families; and are notoriously encouraging, graceful, merciful, and forgiving with exclamation points of agape.
Bad guys tear down, pick apart, burn bridges, fracture families, separate, segregate, distance, degrade, denigrate, devastate, and destroy.
Good guys pick each other up.
Bad guys use the weak and vulnerable to pull others down.
Denise Frangipane: "Satan is a master of illusions. He plays upon our weaknesses and exaggerates our problems."
When I encounter the bad guys, I keep a few things in mind that I've learned over the years:
1. Trying to be rational with the irrational is illogical.
2. Don't get into tinkling contests with skunks.
3. Sometimes it's better to talk to God about some people than to talk to some people about God.
4. Francis Frangipane: "How do we defeat the enemy? Victory begins with the name of Jesus on our lips. It is consummated by the nature of Jesus in our hearts."
5. People that mess with the anointed/called/presbuteros are in deep trouble sooner or later, usually sooner than later, and definitely in the end; or as Martha Young counseled me so many years ago, "You love 'em and let God judge 'em; and love 'em enough to tell 'em that God is gonna judge 'em."
6. I often read Psalms 62, 91, and 116 along with Romans 8:28. There are so many Biblical promises and encouragements.
7. I often go to YouTube and listen to Martin Luther King, Jr.'s last sermon on April 3, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee; especially the last few minutes that begin, "Well, I don't know what will happen now..."
Two dreams come to mind.
Mine was about wrestling with the enemy itself. I moaned and whined at first and my wife heard me talking in my sleep. She said I sounded afraid. I was. Then I said to myself in the dream, "You're being such a _____! Don't you remember Ephesians 6:10-20, James 4:7-8 and 1 John 4:1-6?" Reminded never to underestimate poneros and its witting and unwitting accomplices, Jesus is kurios of all. The enemy is no match for Jesus and the anointed.
The other dream wasn't mine. A friend shared it with me about seven years ago. He was walking along a dirt road with the cross in the distance. The road was lined on both sides by rocks, weeds, thick brush and dark woods inundated by slimy, squirming, slithering, and shouting demons. We agreed the message was to keep our eyes on Jesus in order not to fall into danger. Along with Hebrews 12, I recalled my visit to Mamshit National Park in the Negev Desert near Dimona, Israel back in the early 80s. Among the ruins of the 2K year old Nabatean city of Mamshit is a tall column with a weather-beaten but deeply carved and remarkably beautiful and preserved cross at the top; bringing the words of an old hymn to mind: "In the cross of Christ I glory, towering o'er the wrecks of time...When the woes of life o'ertake me, hopes deceive, and fears annoy, never shall the cross forsake me...Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure, by the cross are sanctified...Peace is there that knows no measure, joys that through all time abide." In short, Jesus wins sooner or later, usually sooner than later, and definitely in the end. Within the context of Matthew 10 and John 10, we talked of our ultimate victory in/through/for Jesus that causes our irrepressible strength, calm, and serene sanity to live happily ever after and through the meantime.
During a late night prayer on April 23 concentrating on the assaults of two pastors - a woman that has modeled a reconciling heart and conciliatory head in an increasingly apostate ecclesiastical franchise and a man that inherited a dysfunctional staff and leadership only coincidental to Jesus - along with my grief over posers that will be left behind if the rapture comes in our lifetime and leaders that entertain, enable, and ergo fuel demon oppressed or even possessed lunatics that especially bring Romans 16:18 to mind, WORD came to me.
Irregulars, irascibles, and irreconcilables are distractions from our purpose to worship, gospel, and serve in a Matthew 25 kinda way.
They are so navel-gazing and selfish and drain our energies, emotions, and sometimes even enthusiasm.
If we can keep reminding ourselves that irregulars, irascibles, and irreconcilables are not part of the family pero poison, pollution, dilution and witting or unwitting assassinating instruments of darkness - DISTRACTION - our resolve to resume our purpose will be rekindled.
Yes, we are Luke 15 kinda people.
There must always be a way back home for everyone.
It doesn't happen unless some folks turn on LIGHT to see through darkness blurring their vision.
1 John 1:5-10.
Our responsibility is to keep shining with the reflected radiance of Jesus that will incarnate James 4:7-8 into our lives and ministries.
Resolution will defeat distraction.
When in battle, Navy Seals say, "Drink water and drive on!"
Here's a paraphrase in the battle for souls: "Never forget that you are baptized in/through/for Jesus! So keep on' keepin' on! Gotta save one more!"
Or as we say at the end of most worship services on the Corner of Lincoln and Main as a charge before the benediction, "If you want to stand strong, stand with Jesus!"