continued from Part 5: Learning from Others
~ learning from a dream ~
And if all this teaching were not enough…
One night I had a dream. It was different from an ordinary dream. It was clearly a dream sent with a purpose. It was a nightmare, and I struggled awake with my heart pounding and the dream imprinted vividly before my wide eyes. I soon fell back to sleep, but the next day I worked through what I had learned.
In my dream, I was face to face with the devil. His arms reached out toward me and his hands gripped my shoulders, trying to grasp my neck. My arms were stretched out toward him and my hands gripped his shoulders, trying to push him away and break free. He shifted rapidly through the likenesses of several men before settling into the form of a green man with red eyes.
He kept saying to me, “It’s you, you are the one, you are the red-eyed monster.”
We struggled and wrestled and all I could say was, “No, no, you are the one. It’s you, not me. I know it’s not me. You are the monster.” I knew if I agreed with him, he would have me and that would be it. The struggle continued until I startled awake, the accusation still echoing through my brain.
I realized that this was the battle I faced every single time I entered into a disagreement with someone about God’s truth. The other person always argued that I was misrepresenting God’s word, while I always maintained that I was faithfully speaking the truth from God’s word at God’s specific prompting. Every time, I wrestled through their accusations, asking myself if there was some way in which I might be wrong, some way in which they might be right, some way in which I might be deceived. Every time, I reached the conclusion that I was trying with all of my prayer and understanding to share God’s word in truth for their good. I prayed that if I was wrong, God would please reveal it to me, because my whole desire was to serve Him faithfully.
In every argument, there is an opportunity to give in. There is an opportunity to whole-heartedly believe that what you are saying from God’s word is right and true and necessary, but to say instead, “Okay, well let’s just agree to disagree. Getting along is more important. We all have our own way of viewing the truth.”
But I have not found myself able to take that path. I can certainly allow another person to disagree, but I can’t in any way agree against a truth that the Lord has taught me. And suddenly, I realized that this dream showed me exactly why.
If I agreed that it was okay to teach that God just wants everyone to be happy, or that it’s acceptable to believe in the theory of evolution, or that God gives us His blessing to pursue divorce when we feel we need to, then I would be agreeing with the devil himself. If I agreed to a lie, however seemingly-small, I would become the monster. I suddenly realized with an overwhelming shudder that if I agreed, I would never be able to tell the difference between the truth and a lie again. Seem extreme? Here it is in scripture.
Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying.(John 8:55, KJV)
All the Pharisees wanted Jesus to do was to agree that no one has known the Father. It was so simple and so universally-accepted.
But Jesus would not agree with them. He would not agree to disagree. He said that if He agreed, He would be a liar like them.
And the destiny of all liars is destruction. And this is the path of those who exchange the truth given by God for a lie given by man:
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is forever worthy of praise! Amen. For this reason God gave them over to dishonorable passions. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. Likewise, the men abandoned natural relations with women and burned with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. Furthermore, since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, He gave them up to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed, and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant, and boastful. They invent new forms of evil; they disobey their parents. They are senseless, faithless, heartless, merciless.(Romans 1:25-31, BSB)
It is not pretty. Not only does this path lead to a world of corrupted behavior, but to a depraved mind which can no longer see and follow the truth.
And what if I simply agreed with those who said that I was being unkind and doing the work of the devil by sharing a truth with them that they did not like? Not because it was not the truth, but because it made them feel bad? Certainly, I could see that I had upset them. Even though I was trying to help them for their eternal good, could I really disagree with them when they said that the result was that I was doing evil instead?
Do not allow what you consider good, then, to be spoken of as evil.(Romans 14:16, BSB)
Even in this simple matter of opinion, I couldn’t agree. Because if I was honestly trying to do what was good according to God’s word (which takes some serious self-examination for sure) then I must not agree to calling it evil, no matter how upset the person has become. Or I would be a liar. And I would become the very monster that I was wrestling so hard against.
up next: Why, Lord? Part 7 ~ conclusions ~
by Sydney Michalski