Thursday, June 1, 2017

Dream: The Sticker on the Window

by Nicky Smith

Two nights ago I had a dream in which there was a window. On the window was a large sticker covering most of the window, blocking the view. I began to remove the sticker, pulling it off carefully, but as I was pulling it off, I realized there was another sticker underneath. I then pulled the next sticker off and to my surprise there was yet another. This happened over and over until there were no stickers left and the window was clear.

When I awoke, the Spirit told me that this is a symbol of sanctification. Initially, the process of becoming pure and sinless involves repentance of all the sins we are currently aware of [we remove the sticker]. However, as we progress in repenting and forsaking our sins, God reveals more to us that we were previously blind to [we see another sticker]. This process continues over and over again until we are pure before the Lord and able to see and come to know Jesus [see out the window clearly].

When I began the process of sanctification, I could easily identify the sins I knew I needed to eradicate. For example, I knew God wanted me to stop speeding while driving. This was a simple fix. I also knew I needed to stop being defensive and critical when interacting with others. This took a lot longer to change. Later, when I was doing well at overcoming those, the Lord told me I needed to stop feeling jealous and stop feeling frustrated with my children. Then some time after that, I came to know I needed to stop telling white lies and I was only to say things I would be happy saying in another's presence. Furthermore, the Lord told me to become patient, to have self-control, to be considerate, to have more faith, to be humble, to be charitable, and so on. These, and many more, are the things I have been working on. At this point I cannot even name all the sins God has revealed to me that I was committing. And, as I continue to repent, I know God will reveal more to me. Looking back, it is amazing how 
when I began I had no clue regarding the many ways I was sinning. We truly are blind to our condition!

When the rich young ruler came to Jesus, He wanted to know what he needed to do in order to obtain eternal life. 

16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? (Matthew 19)
The young man wanted to know what else he needed to do. But, when Jesus told him, he wasn't happy. 
21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. (Matthew 19)
This man had been blind to how much he loved the things of the world. Jesus asked him to repent of his love of worldly possessions, but he was unwilling to give that up. He loved them more than Jesus. When we are unwilling to sacrifice for God and repent of all our sins, we cannot obtain the blessings we seek. Jesus states that those who have their hearts set on the things of this world will struggle to sacrifice all that is required in order to obtain eternal life:
23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 19)
When we are reluctant to give up our sins, we show God what we are placing our affections on. We show God what we love more than Him. Most of the time, we justify ourselves in our sins, thinking "I am repenting!" But, we never get to the point of forsaking them. Other times, we think, "They aren't that bad!" or "I'll overcome them eventually." Each of these thoughts (along with many others) lead to our procrastination of walking the narrow path of sanctification.

When you say to God that you desire to become pure, He will work with you in helping you overcome all things. You will not do it alone. He will then address every aspect of your life: the way you treat those you love as well as strangers, how you spend your time, how you pray, your beliefs, your finances, what you think of yourself, how you view others, and so on. When you decide to become sanctified, everything is on the table. The Lord will uproot every sin and false belief you have so that you can remove it. He will show you every impurity in your heart and test whether you will sacrifice everything for Him. If you are obedient to Him in every thing He tells you, you will eventually find that you have become a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17), dead to sin (Romans 6:6-7,11). 

Walking this path may sound scary. You may be afraid of what you might lose. In general, we want to feel safe, secure, and comfortable. But Jesus is never interested in comfort! Rather, He is interested in your progression. He is interested in helping you become the type of person who can lay hold on eternal life. 

This requires us moving outside of our comfort zone. It involves the risk of losing some things and this may cause fear. Usually the boundary of our comfort zone is fear. In other words, when we begin to feel a bit of fear, we can know we are at the edge of our comfort zone. 

When you truly want to follow Jesus, He will always lead you out of your comfort zone. Staying in your comfort zone and following Jesus never lead to the incredible blessings God has to offer, such as seeing visions, having angels and Christ visit you, being taken up into heaven, being introduced to the Father, and so on. Yes, you will still be blessed while maintaining your comfort, but you will miss out on far greater blessings, including eternal life. 

Whatever we might lose while becoming sanctified, remember that the blessings are so much greater than anything you will give up: The happiness we can feel surpasses anything this world can give us; the love we feel from God cannot be described in words; and the knowledge we receive provides greater security than we previously imagined. We move to a new place of "comfort," where we are willing to do anything the Lord asks of us because our faith has grown and we trust Him. 
And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. (Matthew 19:29)
In the end, if we want to receive eternal life, we have to be willing to give up everything for the Lord, whether it be the things of this world or our sins and weaknesses. It begins with peeling off the first sticker from the window. 

Ask God which sins He wants you to work on now. Ask Him for help as you obey Him. Then, continue to ask Him to reveal more to you until you are pure and holy before Him. Eventually, you will be able to see Him as He is because it is the pure in heart who see God (Matthew 5:8). 
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. (1 John 3)

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