Garrett Crawford - 04/28/2009
(David's notes in red)
In this dream, I recall being inside a house that was owned by a semi-Christian believer who is in sin with his girlfriend. I had left his house and went into the street to sleep with nothing but a coat on the ground to lay on. Looking back, it was almost like I was downtrodden but I would rather be in the street than ina household of sinners.
As I was laying there, a group of men from my past gathered around me.These were guys whom I had known in my high school days and thereafter; men that I had partied with and hung out with but I always knew had hatred for me. They started to kick me in the head and curse me. They were beating me like a dog in the street. I looked around at them and noticed one of them was a recent convert of the Lord, that I have been helping to disciple.I was shocked to see him in the midst of these attackers because I have done so much for him, by sending him money and food, writing him letters of encouragement and being the only person there for him during his time of trouble. I cried out to him, "Why are you just standing there? I have done so much for you!" He just ignored me and watched as I was beaten.
As the attack went on, my anger was kindled and I began to fight back, but with Samson-like power. They could not stand before me. I was knocking them down like bowling pins. I knew that this was not Godly behavior but the persecution was so intense that my flesh prevailed and fought back with the attackers. (Jesus said, "Turn the other cheek"; "Forgive and you will be forgiven"; "Love your enemies"; "Resist not him that is evil"; "He that lives by the sword will die by the sword"; etc. Paul said by the Lord, "Overcome evil with good"; "Avenge not yourselves"; "Render to no man evil for evil"; "Vengeance is mine saith the Lord"; "Bless them that persecute you; bless and curse not". Obedience to these commands is to take up our cross and follow Jesus so we can be His disciples.) All the while, I was so distressed that this brother had sided with the heathen. After I physically prevailed against them, I remember being in severe trouble with the court system and police department.
Very heavy charges had been brought against me for attacking the men, even though I was merely defending myself. The world had completely sided with the men and I was under severe judgment. They brought me before rulers and councils which were always against me. A sense of fear and dread laid heavy upon me throughout the dream. I was so scared and hopeless. I was in so much trouble and was facing many years in prison for my crimes. I remember making so many excuses for my actions and trying to justify my behavior, but it was all to no avail. Not only did none of the authorities side with me, I had no boldness before the Lord.
You must understand that throughout the dream I felt my life was over; it was like a nightmare. I wanted to wake up from the nightmare but could not; it was like I was trapped in this other realm where nothing made sense and I could not get out. After what seemed like weeks and weeks, I found myself in a room with a arbitrator and the men, all of whom were in agreement that I was in the wrong. I finally got the revelation that I had to forgive them and apologize for fighting them back. I did not make any excuses and just asked my enemies to forgive me and say that I should never have hit them. AS SOON AS I DID THESE THINGS, I INSTANTLY WOKE UP FROM THE NIGHTMARE. IT WAS LIKE BEING LET OUT OF PRISON. THE DREAD LEFT ME AND I WAS FREE. I was realized God was teaching me that soon I may be attacked and persecuted, even by Christians, but I cannot get offended or fight back. It will be better in the end for me if I take it patiently. There may be times we may feel alone and many will leave our side, even those we have helped, but we cannot fight or get offended. Even if we do fight back in defense, the world and its authority will side with the worldly and we will be in trouble for doing what only seemed natural.
Important related teachings:
How Shall We Die? (audio) How Shall We Die? (video)