Worldly Treasures Dream
Our belongings were being loaded onto a large transport ship. My gold jewelry was the last to go. They were being stuffed into a trunk and sealed with a padlock.
I said to Rick, “can you imagine the sunken treasures at the bottom of the sea over the centuries?” I told Rick that if the ship were to sink I’d have no way of escaping from inside my trunk and I’d go down with the ship. I then envisioned the trunk sinking and I’d end up at the bottom of the sea like the treasures long ago. This didn’t concern me. Rick told me we would travel on top of the ship and we’re free to move around. I knew this, but somehow forgot this was normal.
“If the ship were to start sinking a plane would rescue us,” Rick said. At that moment, a plane arrived and was floating beside the boat (this also seemed normal in the dream). I didn’t want to be separated from the people on the ship. I wanted all of us to stay where we were, but when they boarded the plane I didn’t want to follow.
I asked what the backup plan was if the plane crashed. “What if we’re hit by a tidal wave?” “Where‘s the safest place to go?” “Would we float on the wings?” I told them I heard if a plane was floating to stand on the wings to keep it from sinking. (I thought of the true story of Sully who landed the plane on the Hudson River in New York in 2009.) I told Rick if the waves were too strong we would to need stay inside the plane for protection. I gave instructions to the passengers to move to the safest part of the plane, which was a small room behind the left side of the cockpit. I silently prayed if a tidal wave hit us from the side we wouldn’t flip over.
In the last scene of the dream I sensed something about Africa. The only detail I recall was a conversation with two friends. “Maybe one day we’ll be in ministry together,” I said. End of dream (July 3, 2018)
Ship and Trunk: This dream reveals a condition of the heart and this scene represents an unwillingness to part with earthly treasures. I was more concerned with my belongings than my life. The Bible states, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21
Like the lost treasures from centuries ago, I was willing to lose my soul forever. Mark 8:36. A way of escape was unlikely and yet I was blinded to what was most important (things vs. eternity). Matthew 19:16
Plane: Sadly and without hesitation, what “flowed from my heart,” were excuses. I thought about the “what if” tragedies because I wanted to stay where I was. I wasn’t willing to take risks and change direction (ship to plane). “For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.” Matthew 12:34 Proverbs 4:23
Loved ones: I was comfortable in my surroundings. When the time came to follow those I had been with, I hesitated. When I decided to take a risk and board the plane, I was focused on my comfort level, not those who around me. I made an effort to ensure the safety of those onboard, and though it “appears” to be a worthy one, the motive of my heart wasn’t about them.
“If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.” Matthew 10:37-39
Africa: In Matthew 19:21 Jesus told the rich man in order to gain eternal life to sell his possessions and follow him. Selling all and going to Africa may not be literal, but this scene reinforces Jesus’s warning to have a heart that is willing and ready to follow him.
How God asks me to follow him will be different than for you. A life in Christ is to walk God’s path, not our own or the path of another.
How the message of this dream challenges me:
When God asked Rick and me to give up my career and leave family and friends and move to Germany, we did. This dream caught me by surprise because of the different kind of sacrifice Rick and I made in 2011. . Isaiah 6:8 (This journey and our new beginnings is captured in Beautiful Dreamer: Dreams - God’s Personal Navigation System.)
Upon waking up, I realized that I’m in a new stage of life and it’s a new day to ensure I don’t get too comfortable where I am. I thought I was ready to give up my current lifestyle to follow Jesus the way we did in 2011. That was until this dream. The dream was so real I felt the need to give God an immediate answer upon waking up. It wasn’t a moment to say “let me pray about it.” “I’ll get back to you.” “Let me ask my friends to pray for me.”
The Bible says, “to leave house and home, family and friends.” In my dream, I wanted to stay close to my treasures. In reality, it’s not because I’m rich, it’s not because I have a love and hold for earthly treasures, but because in my heart I have valid reasons for what and whom I need to stay near.
Rick is scheduled to retire in 2020. We’ve had several conversations about what we would do with our belongings should the Lord call us into temporary ministry outside the United States. What do we purge and what makes sense to put in long-term storage? We’re still undecided, primarily because we’re trying to be practical. Practical is good, right?
I had a pragmatic approach to what we would store and what we would sell if God were to direct us away from where we are. Rick and I said many times it would be a waste of resources to return and repurchase everyday, household items. Therefore, those were the items we’d put into long-term storage (lock them in the trunk). My full surrender to the Lord was about being responsible. Doesn’t God want me to be responsible?
I also struggled letting go of items with sentimental value. As I looked over my belongings, my list grew and all I could say was, “I thought I was there. I’m not there yet. I’m not there.” Tears filled the spaces of my heart because I knew the treasures I was looking at will one day “sink into the sea” and be lost forever. Things that one day “moth and dust corrupts.” Matthew 6:19-21
In my dream, I wanted options (i.e., ship, plane, comfort, level of risk). I wanted to choose the how and where. It’s easy to make plans about where I would like to live without ensuring that before I get on a plane, that it’s where God has said to go and live.
Also in this dream, I was making excuses and rationalizing how full surrender should look. I shouldn’t assume obedience to God equates to selling everything and moving to another continent. Our next journey is unknown. We may be close to our loved ones or on a different continent (like the dream depicts). Following God may be to stay where we are.
For many, it may be a job change, buying a new home vs. renting, or taking a risk and stepping into the ministry God laid on your heart years ago. If God ask us to make a drastic change near or far, or no change at all, every step we follow should be the path God laid out for us.
How this dream applies to my life:
I thank God for this dream. It is a warning and it reveals a truth about myself I didn’t realize was hidden in my heart. The message is two-fold. It’s not about rushing out and selling my belongings. It’s about self-sacrifice; a willingness to deny myself and follow God at all cost. Matthew 16:24
When God says, “it’s time,” I want to have a heart that is filled with excitement and expectation, not excuses. It’s not about what makes sense to me or others. It’s about being obedient to God’s calling.
When I remain submerged in God’s love and presence I don’t remain blind to what the treasures of heaven are and I won’t be led astray. When God remains my greatest treasure, he gives me the courage to follow him at a moments notice. “I was blind but now I see.” John 9:25
I’m using this dream as a guide for how to pray strategically that I remain close to the heart and will of God. I need the strength and willingness to say “Send me, Lord” at a moments notice. I’m thankful that a God-dream can reveal a path to draw closer to God and to continually remain fixed on things above - God, who is the Treasure of all treasures.
You can use this dream as a way to evaluate where your heart is in full surrender to Christ.
“Follow me:” Yes or no, you would leave in a moments notice to follow Jesus?
If yes: Remain close to the heart of God. Don’t lose your passion to serve him with full abandon.
If no: I suggest making a list of your excuses. Note what immediately comes to mind that is holding you back. i.e., people, things, community, job, other?
Is your “no” list above God?
What are some other scenarios you find it difficult to make a full surrender today to follow Christ wherever he leads you?
Ask the Lord to reveal areas in your life you have yet to sacrifice him. Daily living examples may include eating healthier, giving up smoking, visiting a friend.
“Someone came to Jesus with this question: “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?”
“Why ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. But to answer your question—if you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments.”
“Which ones?” the man asked.
And Jesus replied: “‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
“I’ve obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied. “What else must I do?”
Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I’ll say it again—it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”
The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked.
Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”
Then Peter said to him, “We’ve given up everything to follow you. What will we get?”
Jesus replied, “I assure you that when the world is made new and the Son of Man sits upon his glorious throne, you who have been my followers will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life. But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then. Matthew 19:16-30
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