November 26, 2021:
I had a very coherent dream last night for the Body of Christ. It's as much a graceful picture of the Bride as it is an admonishment for the Church.
Tripp and I were in a vehicle, driving along the outskirts of what looked to be a pretty large city. We could see it in the distance, though the buildings looked void of vibrancy and the normal activity you'd see in a city environment. There was a real feeling of sadness that hovered there - one of not having a direction or knowing what to do next.
Still in our car, we came upon sort of a run down neighborhood to our right that was across from a large field of weeds to our left. We could see a lot of the houses had fallen into neglect. We felt the nudge to turn down the main street into the neighborhood, which had a big sign needing repair at the front entrance. We immediately saw a man standing on the curb a couple blocks down, motioning in our direction. The closer we got to him, the more animated he waved his arms up in air. Now almost to where he was standing, I could tell he was smirking and trying to distract us with his antics. Another sudden wave of urgency fell on us to get out of this neighborhood as quickly as we could. When we got to the same entrance with the large sign, we were unable to pull back out onto the main road. The ground looked split. I got out of the car for a closer inspection and realized that the earth had opened from one end to the other of this main street, making driving impossible.
I started to walk toward the city. Something was pulling me toward it. The distance to the city disappeared in an instant, and I found myself standing at the end of the road, looking at two separate buildings in front of me.
To the left, there was a hill flanked in old cedar trees and overgrowth. The cedar branches shrouded the rolling hillside below, like a quiet cover of protection. At the top of the hill, there was small white wooden cottage with ornate eaves and peeling paint, and a wobbly looking old front porch. I could see one older woman standing on the porch through the trees, but I couldn't tell what she was doing. I saw there were three separate natural pools of water coming down the hillside in front of the cottage. The higher and middle pools had waterfalls that flowed into the pools below. The woman was saying something but her words were swallowed up by the hush of the moving water. It was very peaceful, even though it looked so wild.
The right of the cottage revealed a very different picture. Only a few feet away, a massive brick church sprawled down the street as far as the eye could see. It had very wide, clean concrete stairs, almost as if they were brand new. Its lawn was perfect, as was its sparse landscaping. The trees were few and young, and supported artificially at their spindly bases by ropes and plastic stakes. Not a thing was out of place on the outside. Maybe one or two people were on the sidewalk in front.
I found myself now inside of the church. I was standing in a room that felt forgotten and tucked out of the way. The room had a very high ceiling, and the walls were also brick. It was packed full of old, discarded items stacked on top of each other like a junk yard. There was a window at the back of the room. I could see the cottage next door, and the waterfalls sending up mist down the hillside.
Looking back into the center of the room, I saw a long heap of metal that was nearly completely rusted with most of the bottom missing. The panels of it were barely being held on by rivets. It sort of looked like an old tugboat. It had many windows or portholes, but they were very small - barely big enough to see from or have any headroom. In front of the tugboat, my eyes rested upon a vintage baby walker. It was made from metal and looked like it was from the 1960's. There was a little steering wheel in front of the cradled seat, and on the front of the walker was a sticker that was peeling off. The sticker was a picture of a super hero, similar to Superman. I realized I was in the storeroom of this church.
I left the storeroom and found myself standing in another location. It was a room only slightly larger, with people milling about. Many of the people were queuing up into different lines. They were holding papers, and about half of the people had small children with them. I noted that they were all dressed in the same drab and desaturated colors. Many were wearing garments that were fraying and didn't fit. At the back of the room there was a bank of desks with men and women wearing white lab coats. There were full syringes on several desks, but these syringes were of unusual size - grotesquely so. An old acquaintance of mine from a past church walked up to me with something in her hand. The object was a small gauge nozzle attached to a length of dangling flexible tube with a trigger attached, similar in shape to a gas pump nozzle, but much thinner and lightweight. She wanted to give it to me, but I recoiled. In her thrusting, she brushed the tubing against my knuckles and face, leaving a sticky, viscous residue on my hand and lip. It burned hot and I quickly ran over to the desks and grabbed a small glass alcohol bottle and some cotton to clean off the substance. The bottle had a shattered and jagged rim, but I could carefully extract the alcohol without getting cut or getting glass on the cotton.
I'm now in the middle of another room. I was taken aback at the size of the room. It didn't seem to end in either direction. The room had very small tiers going up from where I was standing. Each level was only a couple of inches up from the one previous - not even enough height for a true step. Nonetheless, each level had side by side white folding tables running its length, with people sitting on both sides along the entire expanses. Thousands of people sat across from each other from all walks of life - young and old, rich and poor, and every nationality. It jumped out at me that the tables were absolutely spotless. Not a crumb of food. No plates. No wear and tear. Not anything. The people were just sitting there in chairs, some talking to each other, like they had been there for a long time expecting something.
Something else caught my attention after noticing the tables. There was a man sitting at one of the tables to the right of where I was. I could see under his table, and his shoes were absolutely covered in what looked like sticky, wet mud. The mess puddled out from his feet onto the floor around him, and went up his pant legs, soiling his clothes. I took a few steps closer to him to help wipe the mud off of the floor. As I took one pass at the floor with a towel, he looked up at me and laughed, with contempt in his eyes. He said it was feces, and he didn't care it was on him. He didn't want to clean it up.
Sad and appalled at what I just witnessed, I looked down and saw there was a slow and steady flow of water coming into this huge room. It had already come up to my own feet, and though it was only about an inch deep, it was starting to rise onto the next tier up from where I was standing. I turned to locate the origin of the water, and I saw it was spilling over from the waterfalls. I was immediately translated to the porch of the cottage, near the woman I had seen earlier. Her hands were cupped open with her arms spread high over her head. She was joyful but serious and intent, swaying back and forth, and absolutely immersed in intercession in the spirit. I had a word of knowledge in my dream as I observed. I knew she had been praying without ceasing for the adjacent church for many, many years. It felt like an eternity of years. I knew she wasn't going to give up her post, and I was encouraged.
And then I woke up.
The Lord gave me an immediate interpretation.
It was clear that this church represented The Church That Does Not Know Its Identity. There has been a generational lack of real food, and an ineffectiveness and unwillingness to disciple lasting purity and reformation. There has been wasted and overflowing storehouses that were designated and designed to grow, mature, move, and strengthen the Body, but instead they have been tucked away and forgotten, full of dust and brokenness.
But much to the contrary, the Lord is well pleased with those who have pursued with tenacity in faith! The woman represents the love and covenant of the Bride, and her unwavering commitment to stand on the mountain top. She is not only willing but resolved to confront Goliath, furling the smooth stone with her intercession and worship. She is fed by the refreshing pools of the river of life. She is sheltered under the majesty of a fragrant cedar canopy - unashamed, undistracted, and full of joy, for she knows her prayers have never been in vain. She knows the Lord will surely do what He says He will do! Amen! So be it!
What's more, did you know that cedar trees are mentioned over sixty times in scripture? The Bible Gateway website says this:
CEDAR (אֶ֫רֶז, H780, firmness; cedar work, אַרְזָה, H781). Cedar is mentioned in sixty-five texts and “cedar tree” in six texts. It undoubtedly refers to the Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani). This word “cedar” appears to come from Arabia, the meaning being “strong and firmly-rooted tree.” This cedar can grow to a height of 120 ft., and is often thirty to forty ft. in girth. Starting as a rule about nine or ten ft. from the ground, the branches grow out horizontally and become very wide-spreading. When young, however, the cedar is almost pyramid-shaped. The cones the trees bear are fascinating. They start the first year pale green and small; the second year they become browner and about three inches across; and the third year they turn a dark brown, and open out to release quite small seeds. There are cedar trees today over 2,000 years of age.
Cedars are much admired, not only because of their beauty, but because of their fragrance. The wood is not attacked by insect pests; it is of a pleasant, warm red color, and is free from knots. It has remarkable lasting qualities. It is no wonder, therefore, that Solomon used it for his palace and for the Temple. It is certainly the monarch of the evergreens.
Not only do the branches spread out well, but so do the roots, thus Hosea 14:5 (KJV) says: “He shall cast forth his roots as Lebanon,” while the righteous, of course, grow like the cedar trees (Ps 92:12), and Israel itself is strong and happy like cedar trees beside the waters (Num 24:6).
In the Amplified, Ezekiel 17:22-24 says this:
"22 [a]Thus says the Lord God, “I Myself will take a twig from the lofty top of the cedar and will set it out; I will crop off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one and I will plant it on a high and lofty mountain. 23 I will plant it on the mountain heights of Israel, that it may grow boughs and bear fruit and be a noble and stately cedar. And birds of every kind will live under it; they will nest [securely] in the shade of its branches. 24 All the trees of the field will know that I the Lord bring down the tall tree, exalt the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make the dry tree flourish. I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will fulfill it.”
This isn't the first time He's given me a prophetic dream specifically with cedars. He wants us to get into alignment, and we need to listen. Tribe, the fruit of our lives matter. Our preparation and follow through matters. How we nurture what the Lord entrusts to us matters.
Decide. Settle it. Let us always be intentional and hungry to position our eyes to see and our ears to hear with supernatural and mature acuity. Let us not be satisfied and proud with bringing the lost to His table without also giving them life-sustaining bread to eat. Let us stay on the wall for as long as it takes and never forget the cost of not interceding and remaining in faith. And let us never steward our storehouses with apathy and preventable apology, nor forsake the power of His simple, wholly complete, and beautiful Gospel.
Selah and Godspeed.