A Dream That Shook Me

A Dream That Shook Me

 

I woke up at zero-dark-thirty this morning after having a vivid dream. In the dream, I was preaching to a moderate-sized crowd in a more traditional church building (it had stained glass and pews).

 

In the group gathered, every one of them was a former member of Eastpoint (the church I pastor). There were some who had recently left our church, and many I haven’t seen in decades.

 

As I was teaching, the crowd was unresponsive, unimpressed, and somewhat antagonistic. It was a struggle to communicate what was on my heart, and I felt frustrated.

 

While I was preaching, in my mind I was complaining to God, “Why am I here? Why are these people here? This is ridiculous!”

 

Then I paused, sighed, and looked out an open side window to my left. Out on the sidewalk was a thirty-something couple yelling at each other. Both of them looked and sounded as if they might be drunk, and they were so broken.

 

Just then, it started to rain hard. The dream was so vivid I could almost smell the rain-soaked air.

 

Then, in one of those “aha” moments, something powerful dawned on me.

 

I was frustrated and depressed about all the people inside the church who had given up on me and walked away, but it was that couple—outside in the horrible storm—that mattered most to Jesus.

 

 

Like so many pastors over this past Covid season, I have seen too many Christians leave the church, perhaps for good. Sadly, even before Covid, I’ve watched fickle followers come and go, and more often than not for all the wrong reasons.

 

But here’s the thing . . .

 

The people still outside the church, the lost, the broken, and those far from God, are the ones He came to save.

 

Of course, He cared for and invested in His disciples, but the “church people” of His day weren’t His focus. The lost mattered most to Jesus. He said, “I came to seek and to save the lost.”

 

No doubt, I must get better at discipling disciples as Jesus did.

 

Absolutely, it’s part of my job to invest in the spiritual health and growth of believers.

 

But sometimes, I worry too much about the shifting saints (i.e., those who move from church to church when they get unhappy about something).

 

I’ve poured too much emotional energy down the drain of trying to keep the “already convinced” content and satisfied.

 

In real estate, they say it’s: “Location. Location. Location.”

 

In the Kingdom of God, it’s primarily about: The lost. The lost. The lost.

 

 

Sadly, those who don’t like to hear that statement, and the ones who react with a lot of “yeah, buts” are often the ones whose eternal destiny is already secure.

 

I once had a Christian say to me in anger, “What about me? Why is it always about the lost?” She left our church after that, and I’ve never seen her again.

 

I’ll admit it; I’m a monomaniac.

 

For me, it must be primarily about those who will spend eternity in hell unless they embrace the cross and accept the free gift of salvation.

 

These last few years, I felt like I’ve been in a dark place where I’ve grown weary trying to keep the “religious crowd” happy.

 

I’ve been frustrated and disappointed in believers (and in myself). People are standing outside, without a relationship with Jesus, in a devasting storm, and they’re dying. Literally, eternal life and death are in the balance for them . . . and billions of others.

 

 

Sometimes faith is waiting in the darkness of personal frustration and discouragement and simply believing that it’s not the end of your calling—because it’s not.

 

God’s not done with me (or you). Not yet. Not now. Not until the whole world hears the good news that they need now more than ever before. We must let our light shine again in the darkness that threatens to forever devour the devastated.

 

We simply cannot be distracted from our God-given responsibility to go into all the world, including the world outside of our polished pews and stained glass windows.

 

 

When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness,

for I want to bring the weak to Christ.

Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone,

doing everything I can to save some.

I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.

1 Corinthians 9:22-23 (NLT) – From Paul, another monomaniac

 

(Visited 444 times, 8 visits today)

16 thoughts on “A Dream That Shook Me

  1. I like your sermon. It’s touching and right on cue. I like. That you have people who help others,, I have a friend that receives your help. I. Go to VALLEY FOURTH which is a church a great deal like yours. We are always seeking the lost. Keep up the good work.

  2. Dear Pastor, if you could see my face now !! Huge huge smile! I’m so pleased when my prayers have been answered! I was concerned about whether you were trying to save the lost ( those outside our church building) anymore. I’ve been praying for you and Laura. I asked God to send you dreams and visions God never lets my prayers go unanswered or without confirmation!! Love this so encouraging!! Keep up the awesome work for Christ Jesus!! Thank you

  3. Thanks Kurt. A very timely read for me. Christ as Savior, Christ as sanctifier, Christ as healer, Christ as coming King. Keep Christ and the Gospel the main thing.

  4. Great word for today and always!
    God is wanting all of us to go outside and look around and make disciples of the nations!
    Go for it! We are praying for you and for the Church to go and do what Jesus tells us to do!
    It’s about the lost always!
    xoxo

  5. “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:10). This is what Jesus said at the end of the story of Zacchaeus. When the people (probably the religious) saw that Jesus had gone to the house Zacchaeus they said: “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” Jesus, the guest of sinners. What a compliment. What love. What powerful truth wrapped up in a short, little story. May we be accused of such. We wait for sinners to come through the doors of the church while all along they are waiting for us to come through the door of their home. Something has got to change. We have to get out of the “box”. Love you bro.

  6. Amen Kurt.
    It is all too easy for us to spend a lot of effort and energy trying to please those within the Body – out of fear that they might walk away over a disagreement or a perceived slight. It can’t just be about US within the Church.
    Hardly anyone would walk away from their birth family the first time they have a disagreement about something or get their feelings hurt.
    Like the old saying – you get to pick your friends but you don’t get to pick your family.
    We don’t get to pick our Church Family either, and we need to be as committed to our Church Family as we are to our birth family.
    I firmly believe you’re on the right track with this blog. The message may not be well received by everyone, but keep right on speaking the truth in love.

  7. We all should have dreams like yours Kurt. Jesus wants not just one to be saved but all to be saved and we can be a part of that. Blessings.

  8. Pastor as I read your blog I thought about how so many Christians want everything to be about them, my church, my seat, my giving and no pacifier (the baby kind) will ever bring about change until we have a renewal in our hearts to truly do and be what God has called us to be. A mighty man or woman of God doesn’t become mighty just coming to church and making sure they have their seat and give their 10%. They become mighty because they have a true relationship with the Lord, they spend precious time with the Father, they study the word, they care for the lost. Your dream Pastor is unfortunately what has become the Christian. The rain is the fresh anointing that His children need in their lives. When the pacifier is pulled then the Christians will hopefully see what they have become and run to their 1st love.

Comments are closed.