Kelsey is a dreamer. She has dreams that connect to other dreams, include more characters than a made for tv miniseries, and connect the dots between national happenings and day to day life.
I dream too….but mostly, I hear voices.
Maybe that’s an oversimplification, but more often than a dream, I’ll ‘hear’ a sentence or two in the fuzzy minutes between rocked out asleep and fully awake. Usually it’s a fully formed thought that I was in no condition to form on my own. I’ve taken to accept these nuggets as the Lord’s voice to me – He can give some intricate dreams, but for others (like myself) He follows the encouragement the old southern congregations would shout to their preachers – “Make it plain!”.
This morning, He made it pretty plain. Forty five minutes before my alarm went off, I began to stir just a little bit – I certainly wasn’t awake, but I wasn’t asleep. I was aware that it had rained last night. I wasn’t sure what my name was. You know the feeling.
I grabbed my Blackberry off the nightstand to check the time, and seeing that I was still in the Grace Zone, I laid it on the mattress beside my head to zone a little longer. I do remember thinking “It would be good to get up and spend some time with the Lord – earlier than I need to get up…”.
As I paddled back from the shore of cognizance, I heard the Voice. I don’t want to make this any more fantastic than it was – it wasn’t audible, the windows didn’t rattle and the kids didn’t wake up – but it was real. On the verge of an invitations of sorts to spend time with God, and choosing to get a few more allowable minutes of sleep, I heard the Voice say “an invitation to a battle ignored is a battle lost….”.
Now, fully awake, it seems God’s syntax is a little fractured, but in that moment of in-and-out, spirit awake, body in limbo, it resonated like a clear drum. I often speak of invitations from the Lord – little things He asks us to do “if we want to…”. I remember getting ready to start a 21 day fast with others years ago. We were starting on a Monday…and the Friday before, I felt the Lord say “You can start today…if you want to”. I wanted to dive in so badly that I started early .
I have to admit, I haven’t answered every invitation. Sometimes, I’ve pretended not to hear it. Other times I’ve explained to Him why I was going to pass on the invitation – “I’ve bought a field, I’ve married a wife…”, that sort of thing.
What I heard this morning was that those invitations, while tender and voluntary, still represent real battles. They are not drills. They are not practice. Their existence does not hinge on our participation, but our survival does.
A battle rages that He invites us into, but it’s not as if they’ll call the battle off for lack of participation on our part. In fact, you can seem to opt out and suffer loss from the battle regardless of your lack of involvement. Thousands of farmers on both sides of the battle lines opted to stay home from the Civil War to quietly tend their crops, only to have those crops later burned, their cattle butchered, and often their own lives taken. Opting out of the battle didn’t work for them; it would have been better to fight.
I do not suppose to know what battle the Lord is inviting you into. I’m trying to ascertain that for myself. This thing I do know – His invitation is kind, but it is urgent. It’s far better to be on the battlefront, doing your duty, than to lay back in comfort while the battle rages at your doorstep.
You don’t have to fight. Unless you want to win.
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