Lately, I’ve had to deal with a very interesting cocktail of emotions that stem from my own pride. Say hello to Anger, Despair and Paranoia. So, there they are, playing like terrible background music, trying very hard to set the emotional tone in my mind. Unfortunately, out of habit, I often find myself unwillingly singing along.
So, to mix things up a bit, when I find myself battling these thoughts, I’ve been trying to turn my energy into something creative, like writing, for example. I’ve noticed when I turn inward it almost seems to feed these voices. Not that I’m against self-reflection, but when it’s my default and no longer working, I need to try some other strategies. And that’s where I found myself today, going through unpublished blog posts, looking for inspiration, when I came across a dream I had recorded 5 months ago. (1/25/16 to be exact) I don’t even remember writing it down, but it turns out it’s like the weirdest dream ever and I’m glad I saved it. Wanna check it out with me?
Here’s the dream:
I was walking down a path and came across two floating bars of steel. They were full of rage and evil. They were resisting being bent and vibrating with a force of strength I could never overcome. One of them began to speak pridefully, and the power in which it spoke caused others to immediately be in awe of it.
The other, bigger more powerful bar of steel bit my bottom lip and prevented me from speaking. The more I struggled the harder it seemed to clamp down. When I finally stopped struggling it let go, but it began to speak boastfully, with a worldly wisdom that was attempting to fool people into honoring it as a god.
The more I resisted, the stronger these things seemed to become.
After I awoke from the dream, I got this verse – James 4:7 “Therefore, submit to God. But resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.”
Weird, huh? I’m so glad I received a verse, because without it I would have been completely lost and dismissed it as a ‘pizza’ dream.
So, how to go about interpreting this dream? Let’s try walking through this together shall we?
I was walking down a path.
So, right off the bat, this dream is about me and no one else and speaks of the direction the Lord is leading me toward (the path of life).
Two floating bars of steel were preventing me from traveling farther down this path
Something was preventing me from going further.
The floating bars of steel were evil, full of rage and spoke pridefully.
The traits of these bars of steel obviously seem to be pointing to the sin of pride. But who’s pride? My pride? Was I angry about something? Yes, actually. I was reminded how angry I’m feeling about perceived injustices or personal slights against my character. Ouch. Bullseye.
The smaller first bar of steel was prideful, the second larger more powerful bar of steel was clamping down on my lip preventing me from speaking.
Two sins of pride are preventing me from moving forward in my life. One is a boastful pride, the other is a fearful pride that prevents me from speaking. The second more powerful one preventing me from speaking is the one that has the most hold on my life, though both of them are present and need to be overcome.
The more I struggled, the harder the sin of the fear of man clamped down on my lip. When I stopped resisting, it let go, but began to speak loudly on its own with a worldly wisdom and attempting to fool others into honoring it.
The temptation in my life is to stop resisting this sin when it becomes too hard and painful. However, if I give up and go silent, it will strengthen this sin and deceive me into to honoring it as humility and wisdom. Oof! Bullseye, again.
The more I resisted, the stronger these bars seemed to become. James 4:7 “Therefore, submit to God, but resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
At first, this confused me because in the dream it felt like my resistance to these things was making them stronger. But as I looked more closely at the verse, submission to God was the first instruction, then resisting.
So, now to sum it all up into an interpretation of three sentences or less. Why only three sentences? Well, as a writer, my personal philosophy is that if I can’t sum up an idea in three sentences or less, it’s a good indication I don’t have a good grip on what I’m talking about and I need to process it more.
Here’s my best guess at an interpretation:
Two sins of pride are preventing me from moving forward in the direction the Lord is leading. For me to move forward I must confront these sins of boastful pride, and fear of man/ false humility. By submitting more of my life to God the more these sins will lose its power and influence over my life.
Simple, huh? Most of my own dream interpretations leave me with, “Well, duh. Why didn’t I see that before?” lol
But now the hard part. What part of my life needs the most submission to God to overcome these sins of pride?
I’m guessing it has to do with my thought life.
2 Corinthians 10:5 “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
It’s funny, because I waste a LOT of time having fantasy arguments in my head. And of course, I win every debate. Wow. Not my favorite admission.
Dreams for me are beneficial in several ways. One, it bypasses my rational mind and gets through the defenses of pride. They cause me to seek after God and his Word for an interpretation. Once interpreted correctly, they speak to me personally and specifically to what I am facing. They give me clarity, remove the fog of war, and provide a compass for when I lose my bearings. And in this case, it affirmed the path I was on even though it was blocked by an obstacle of my own making. The dream was corrective in nature, but not condemning, it dealt with the bitterness of my sin, but followed it up with a sweet spoonful of hope. If there is a characteristic of the Lord’s voice in my life, this dream bears all the hallmarks.
“In a dream, a vision of the night,
When sound sleep falls on men,
While they slumber in their beds
Then He opens the ears of men,
And seals their instruction,
That He may turn man aside from his conduct,
And keep man from pride…,”