A Church Asleep

|PJ’s In The Sanctuary!|

Several years ago, my friend was attending this wonderful growing church. The people had just moved from a smaller location to a larger church building, and there was a great excitement in the air over the new move. The crowds were large, the people were ready to take on the new adventure. After a few months at the new location, my friend had a dream that left her bewildered and shaken. In the dream, she runs into the church to get help because a woman is trying to shoot at her and other people on the street, but when she gets inside the building everywhere she looks the people, the pastor, all are asleep in their pajamas while sitting in the pews. She said that she went around, one by one, and tried to shake them and wake them up to let them know that danger was outside. Even her husband was snoozing on a nearby bench, and after much prompting he finally got up to help her, but he was the only one. Together they go outside to handle the problem. Now, the dream continues a good bit more, but I want to stop with this main portion and focus just on the word to the church. When my friend woke up she felt disturbed in her spirit about this dream. She and her family were very happy at this church, and they had been there for many years. Things had been going so wonderfully, and yet it seemed like this dream foretold of something that was coming. Sometimes in the natural, things can look so amazing on the outside. In the natural, things looked to be expanding, booming, growing by leaps and bounds. Yet, how many of us know that strife and offense are tricky little demons. They can so easily slip into a congregation and cause more damage than a drove of termites to a foundation. So, what could the dream mean?

|When the Dream Meaning Isn’t Something We Really Want To Hear.|

As usual, it is easy to try and rationalize what we think a dream might mean especially when our flesh doesn’t want to accept that things are shifting and changing. The flesh likes to war continually with the Spirit, and if the flesh can rise up and distract then the Spirit is often left weak and unaware. A dream like this one is bound to make people a little edgy, so needless to say the leaders at the church began looking for alternatives to what this dream could mean. Maybe….it’s a time of rest for the church now that the storms seem to be over? Welllll……(I had to exaggerate the word to add my skepticism here). It’s nice to think that things are going smooth, but a dream like this doesn’t usually refer to peace. Maybe……it means that we have peace and serenity in our new building. Ummmm………it doesn’t look like peace and serenity if the enemy is lurking outside in the dream to shoot bullets to wound and kill. The warning comes through the trumpet (in this case it was my friend’s voice sending out the warning call to wake up and be vigilant). So, let’s look at some main facts surrounding the dream:

1.You are running from danger (someone with a gun is shooting to kill)
2.You go into a church building (her own church building) and everyone is asleep
3.Everyone is wearing pajamas and refuse to wake up

It’s fairly self-explanatory. In many ways, this is a dire warning of things to come, and also an example of what happens when the body refuses to listen and line up to the Word. In the first place, someone with a gun in a dream normally represents words that are being “shot” at you (or if you are the one with the gun then it is you shooting the words) to cause pain and inflict wounds or death. Second, a church is the body of Christ, and in this case they are all asleep. That, in and of itself is concerning enough. So, what happens we physically fall asleep? We become unconscious to everything around us. Unless you wake up you cannot hear, see, smell, taste, touch things that are going on around you. Being asleep renders your five senses asleep. Without the senses being activated we are comatose, paralyzed in a sense, and unable to defend or fight because we are unaware of what is taking place around us. Third, the congregation in this dream are all in pajamas. I mean, how many people would actually be in PJ’s in church? This shows that not only are they unconscious and unaware, but they are also unprepared. Pajamas show ease, settled, a level of comfort, which on one hand can be good, but in this setting it shows lack, vulnerability, even a level of disrespect.
We are called to be warriors, to put on the full armor of Christ, and to lead others to His great light. How can you lead anyone if you are pajamas? You are vulnerable to every attack and an easy target, even more so if you are asleep. Joel 3:9,12 says, “Proclaim this among the nations: “Prepare for war! Wake up the mighty men…Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat.” and again in Romans 13:11 “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.” Our flesh is weak, but He is our strength. The Word encourages us to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh…” This means to submit to Him, to accept His standards, and to live in divine fellowship with Christ. Stop pampering that worldly mindset. It’s all about being prepared.

|So What Was Going On With This Church?|

This dream could possibly carry a two-fold meaning. In all truth there are many churches today that are sleepwalking. In the Song of Solomon (much revered as an allegory of the Bride of Christ and His return) , the Shulamite states, “I sleep, but my heart is awake; it is the voice of my beloved! He knocks, saying, ‘Open for me . . .’” She is dreaming of her beloved and she hears him call, but cannot seem to get awake enough to let him in. In her sluggish state she says, “I have taken off my robe; how can I put it on again?” She is sleeping. Her nightly preparations have been made, and in this paralyzed state she is unable to fully comprehend what is going on around her. Even when she does get up to go after him she is unable to accomplish anything because she is like a sleepwalker fumbling through the dark. Without His light we are merely sleepwalking through life. Are we, the Bride of Christ, paralyzed by spiritual sleep? Romans contends with us to awake out of sleep. It is high time, as Paul states. This is obviously an age old battle. Even in Biblical times, they were being shaken, prodded, and encouraged to wake up and get prepared for battle. Are we any different today? Are we worse?
The second meaning relates more on an individual basis in the body of that church as a whole. In many ways the dream represents a people who have allowed complacency and ease to settle over their Spirit. It looks like great unity because everyone is in pajamas (like carrying the same mindset); however, the “flock” is unguarded and unaware. Danger lurks, and as my friend went, in the dream, from person to person to warn them of the impending danger no one responds to the plea. In this case, the danger is too many words being shot out over that church like a wounding bullet, and the unaware have been injured through the enemies onslaught.

|Did The Dream Come to Pass?|

Sadly, yes. The church suffered, in the natural, a tremendous loss when over half the congregation left shortly after they were settled in the new building. Where were the warriors? The intercessors? The Pastor? If all are asleep, who is fighting the battle? Who is guarding the flock? Whether any of them ever received the full understanding of the dream, the seceding events created a great wake-up call for the entire church, and many began to see that to be falsely at ease is much like sitting in the eye of a hurricane and thinking it’s okay, or the hard times are over, and the winds have ceased. No, it is only a moment of calm right before the onslaught hits harder than ever. “But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore, He says, ‘Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light” (Eph. 5:13-14). It is high time!

|What Does This Have To Do With Me?|

As the body of Christ it is our position to stand guard on the ramparts and watch and wait to see what He will answer when we are corrected, much as Habakkuk did. It is time to seek His face like never before. Shake off the lethargy and stagnancy of the enemy. He wants us to be unalert and unaware so that he can continue to wreak havoc as the time draws nearer to the return of our LORD JESUS CHRIST. It is time to put on the armor of Christ and having done all stand “against the wiles of the devil” in order that we may receive the eternal prize. Has my spiritual man fallen asleep before? Yes. A lot of the time this occurs after hurts, wounds, offenses, within the church body. However, I refuse to allow my Spirit to be unaware. Shake off that lethargic heaviness and “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the ‘spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” be strong in Christ! Have you ever had a time when you felt like you were spiritually asleep or comatose? Have you struggled with hurts and wounds that have caused you to shut down and walk away from the body of Christ? Share with us some of the things that you have dealt with during this struggle? Have you overcome these obstacles? What did you do to shake off that heaviness and step boldly into your position once more? Thanks for reading and sharing. Blessings to all.

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