Last night I had a dream that we were at war. In said dream, I was trying to help the people fight, but they urged me to stay “out of the way”. They asked me: “How can YOU help us?” I replied: “This is how” and then I knelt down, raised my hands, and began to PRAY & intercede for my city/nation.
I woke up startled and when I fell asleep again my dream continued. This time the enemy was killing people left and right. It was a slaughter. He had me and my family lined up and I knew in the dream… we were next. Then something remarkable happened… I crossed the line and began to PREACH right there in the middle of the street- to the very people who were trying to kill us.
In the dream, I was preaching from Matthew chapter 10. More specifically, verse 13, which says: “and if the household is worthy, let your peace be on it. But if it is unworthy, let your peace return to you.” The verses that follow detail the persecution the disciples would suffer for the cause of Christ.
In this chapter Jesus also gives them a set of instructions on how to endure “to the end”.
- He tells them to be as “shrewd as serpents and as harmless as doves” In other words, we must be astute- “able to accurately assess situations or people and turn this to one’s advantage.” We must be strategic in how we present the Gospel to those around us. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23
Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
Does this mean we should sin to win sinners? Not at all. Jesus says we must also be “as harmless as doves.” Another word for harmless is “inoffensive”. We are not to use the Gospel to hurt people, but to tell them the truth with love, while staying true to who we are in Christ. We speak to them in their language, so that the message of the cross is not lost on them. So, if I am talking to Teens, for example, I would say, Jesus… this message… is RIDE OR DIE. It’s not I’m with you today and tomorrow I’m with someone else. It’s “I ride with you… I die with you”.
- He tells them not to worry about “how” or “what” they should say because they will be given the words when the time comes. In fact, he says that God will speak through them. Many times we’re unsure how to articulate what God has placed in our hearts to say. Don’t worry, when the times comes- the words will too.
- He tells them if they are persecuted in one town to escape to another. This also goes with being “shrewd or astute”, you’re alert of the dangers that this message may pose. If someone does not receive it- shake the dust off your feet and move on. We cannot continue to “cast our pearls before pigs” or waste anymore time sharing this message with people who do not appreciate its value.
- He tells them not be afraid of men who can kill the body, but not the soul, and to fear God who can destroy both. In the same verses he says, “What I tell you in the dark, speak in the light. What you hear in a whisper, proclaim on the housetops.” Preach the message with boldness, even when facing death.
I believe that a time of persecution is coming for the Church. Now is not the time to stay “out of the way” because of fear or worry. An OBLIGATION has been placed on us! 2 Timothy 1:7 says:
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound mind.
If Satan continues to “kill, steal, and destroy” our homes and families- then we must continue to STAND FIRM against his schemes.
THIS MEANS WAR.