After I got baptised with the baptism of the Holy Spirit, I began to see visions — not many, a few, but they were significant. I’ll share three here.
The first vision I saw was a tightly closed house with shutters. I am in the house with a friend. It’s warm, bright and secure inside but outside is a dark raging storm beating on the house and the shutters were rattling in the wind, threatening to come loose. My friend calmly fixes the shutters. I don’t do anything; I watch and became aware of and concerned at the attack on the house.
In the next vision, I see myself standing on the ground with some of my friends. There are others coming from a distance. Before they can reach me, though, something like a spaceship swings by and my friends and I get in and the spaceship lifts off. I look down out of the window and see that the group that came from the distance was left behind and they are waving at us. But, we are gone.
I am not the type who sees “visions”! When I saw these visions, I was amused: rattling house and spaceship! What’s this?! Vaguely, however, I wondered: “Is this the rapture or what?” It was only recently that I fully understood them.
In the first vision, the house is the Church of Christ, being beaten from all sides, but it remains intact and those in it are safe. The fact that I am watching — not doing — is a picture of my role: I watch, observe and see.
The second vision is, of course, the rapture. The time period of both visions is the end times when The Church will come under attack and the rapture takes place. The time period suggests that my role will be in relation to the end-times Church.
It is in this context that the third vision took place. It was a disturbing vision and it made me sit up and start observing. In this vision there’s a box with an opening on top like a trap-door. The box is full of bright activity and excitement and people are trooping into the box, and there’s a great deal of applause; I am part of this spectacle-making. In the midst of the applause, I see the enemy get on the box and shut the trap-door tight. And he smiles.
At the time I saw these visions, I was lacking in confidence and not quite sure of their significance, and said nothing to nobody. However, once, I found the confidence of our Lord, I began to take note of the visions, especially the last one as I felt it referred to the faith community I was part of.
Calvary Church (my church) is famous for its evangelistic endeavours during Christmas and Easter and “looking good”. We present ourselves and our productions very well packaged — nothing wrong with that. Yes, some people may find our productions too glitzy but I could see why it may have some appeal to others and if it drew people to our Lord, why not? As you can tell, I bought into the reasoning for the package.
But, the vision made me observe and I began to see what the enemy was doing. In itself, the packaging is neither good nor bad, depending on how you use it. The problem is that that is precisely what the enemy wants to keep that way! He wants the packaging to be applauded and continued because it blinds us from seeing the real issues that our Lord wants to redeem for His Glory — which is for our good!
When I began to see this, I took myself out from such spectacle-making endeavours — not because they are wrong, no, they are not — but because I wanted an uninvolved objective perspective to examine the real issues it hides and do my part in addressing them.
The real issues are personal issues we have neglected or suppressed or ignored or sacrificed in favour of the spectacle we create to “draw people to Christ”. But the opportunist enemy — the roaring lion waiting to devour — has found in unredeemed human nature, a foothold with which he has gone to town tearing apart faith communities from within. By working through unredeemed human weaknesses and shortcomings, he has created strife, stress, rifts, dissension, frustrations, unfulfilled desires and inner distress — things that block the outflow of Christ’s redeeming love!
That is the reason why I have shared these visions here: I want to expose the enemy’s strategy. He is keeping us blinded to the real issues our Lord wants addressed, even if it means abandoning spectacle-making, because that’s how we have to be ready for His return.
NEXT FRIDAY: “My Heart …