Picture a huge outdoor amphitheater like the ones at Disney’s MGM theme park or Universal Studios and you’ll be able to imagine the scene of an unsettling dream I had.
(Come to think of it, all the dreams I’ve written about have been unsettling. Thankfully according to Scripture, I may be stirred—but never shaken.)
I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.
I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure.
Psalms 16:7-9 NIV
In my dream the stadium seating formed an enormous arc around the stage. Several thousand spectators were glued to the action below. (It was something like the Indiana Jones stunt show at Disney World.)
I sat in a row way up high near the back. A grassy hillside sloped gradually away from the theater.
I turned from the high-octane entertainment on the stage far below me, and gasped at the sight of a lion on the prowl. He slowly crept up the hill toward the amphitheater.
Like a wildfire, an awareness of the approaching danger spread through the crowd. I stood up and shouted, “Do not be afraid.”
Who knows why, but my voice rang throughout the stadium and the panicked people quieted. I’d gained the attention of everyone, even the actors far below.
“Believers in Jesus have authority over this lion,” I declared with calm assurance.
By now the lion paced along the last row. Terrified eyes shifted from me to the lion and back again to me.
I walked up to the lion and in a loud voice ordered, “In the name of Jesus Christ, I command you to leave this place.”
The lion froze and stared me down. “You cannot harm those belonging to Jesus,” I declared. “Go away and leave us alone!”
The lion turned and walked away. At once, a cheer went up. I realized the crowd was shouting my praises. “Who is this woman that a lion obeys her?” they said with awe and wonder.
Swept up by their adoration I tried to break free. “It’s not me the lion obeyed!” I deflected. “The only authority I have comes from Jesus.”
But they wouldn’t listen to me.
I felt sick. I did not deserve their adulation. It felt like worship. I emphatically pointed to Jesus, pleaded with them to give Him the praise.
But they wouldn’t listen.
Suddenly someone cried out, “Look at the poor puppy!”
There on the grassy slope cowered the cutest little puppy. The lion circled closer and closer.
I immediately began declaring the same orders I’d given just moments ago. But the lion ignored me and continued stalking the puppy.
Why can’t I help the puppy?
Instantly yanked into wide-eyed consciousness, I asked God, “Who’s the puppy?”
I heard His still small voice say, “Your daughter.”
Okay. THAT freaked me out! What did it mean?
I waited until a reasonable hour of morning and then called my girlfriend, Laura. She’s really tight with the Lord and has tremendous insight.
I told her about the dream and asked her what it meant.
“Sarah’s at an age when she has to take responsibility for her own spiritual battles,” she said. “You can teach her about the armor of God, but it’s up to her to use it. She can no longer depend on your knowledge of Scripture to fight Satan. Sarah needs to stand on the Word on her own.”
I hung up the phone and spent the next hour talking with my daughter about how to resist the devil and make him flee. She reacted with fear at first, but after she called Laura and heard her gentle instruction, Sarah settled down.
Stirred, but not shaken.
My friend, Lyn Swanson has just completed a family Bible study based on Ephesians 6:10-18. I’ll let you know more about it when it becomes available. Until then, please draw your kids around you and teach them how to put on the full armor of God.
They may be our cute little puppies, but they must be mighty warriors as well.