I had a dream that faded almost as soon as I was awake. All I remember of it were impressions: I had something embarrassing happen to me, but I don’t know what. The devil tried to make me feel ashamed for the embarrassment, I don’t remember how. I shrugged off embarrassment, and the Lord told me (the only thing that I remember clearly): “Where pride is absent, grace abounds.” Perhaps that means that hurt pride results in shame.
I don’t always dream about the devil, but when I do, I tend to remember it. A couple of times, I’m sure that’s because he was actually there. I will tell you about them, not because we should be fixated on the devil—not at all! But I think these particular dreams are instructive.
The first time I dreamed about the devil I was 17 years old, born again, and newly filled with the Holy Spirit. However, I didn’t really know or understand how to walk with the Lord. I had been raised in the Episcopal Church, and made my decision to follow Jesus the night before my Confirmation. But I just didn’t know that we could pray spontaneous prayers, so when I had a need (sick relative or whatever), I looked it up in the Book of Common Prayer and prayed from the book. But when I was 17 my parents started going to a Charismatic Episcopalian prayer group. They invited me, too. I had never heard people pray like this, and I loved it.
A man from the prayer group was involved with the Full Gospel Businessmen, and invited us to come to a meeting. The man who preached talked the whole time about the Holy Spirit. I was fascinated. We Episcopalians always called Him “The Holy Ghost.” And He was the mysterious member of the Godhead. But this man talked like he actually knew the Holy Spirit. At the end of his sermon, he invited anybody wanting to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit to come down front. I had no idea what that was, but I wanted it. So I went down front. I hadn’t known it at the time, but my parents were right behind me. The man laid his hand on my head and immediately I had strange words in my mind. I hadn’t known what to expect, nobody had told me. But the man said, “Speak those words.” So I did.
The first devil dream came shortly afterwards. I dreamed that I was in my bedroom, with everything exactly in place, just as I had left it before going to sleep. He entered my room by the door and walked around to the side of the bed where I was laying. In the dream, my skin jumped up to goosebumps and I was very scared. Then he grinned and sat down on the bed beside me. I felt the mattress compress under him. That’s when I woke up, and I could still feel the mattress compressed where he had sat. I was very frightened and completely weirded-out.
Now, I understand why the devil visited me in that dream: he was trying to catch up with God as usual, but he was too late.
He showed up at other times in dreams through the years, doing scary things like walking around my bed in my new house. The floor in the bedroom was linoleum, and although I didn’t see him, I could hear his hoof-steps on the floor. Another time I saw my Bible get pulled out of the bookcase by invisible hands and put in backwards (spine inward). But sitting on my bed was the scariest thing of all.
This winter while I was home visiting my family for Christmas break I had the first devil dream I had had in a many years. Again, in my dream I could see my room exactly as I had left it before going to sleep. I saw the devil standing by my window, backlit by the landscape lights outside. Immediately, I turned my back to him and in my dream went right back to sleep. A few weeks later I heard about how Martin Luther handled the devil’s nighttime visits. He wrote:
When the devil comes at night to worry me, this is what I say to him: “Devil, I have to sleep now. That is God’s commandment, for us to work by day and sleep at night.”
Ha! Just what I did, but I didn’t talk to him.
A week or two later, I had another devil dream, and this one paralleled the first one. My room was exactly as I had left it before sleep. The devil came in the door and walked around the bed to where I was sleeping and sat down on the bed. Again I felt the mattress compress under him. But this time instead of fear, I got angry. I told him to get out of my room. And I woke up.
As I observed above, I believe that the devil is just trying to catch up with God. But he can’t. I heard a Joseph Prince sermon recently that I wrote about in I Will Make You Know. Basically he pointed out that where you see the devil interfering, God has already been at work blessing you. Therefore, give God praise and thanksgiving for blessing you in the area where you see trouble. You can read it in more detail by following the link.
Just imagine the trouble we could give the devil if only we really understood our inheritance as God’s children. We were made to live as more than conquerors, so why are we living ordinary lives? In the movie Superman II (1982), Superman gives up his superpowers for love. Very romantic, and not so much different than God becoming a human because of love for us. But many Christians are living Clark Kent lives that are excruciatingly ordinary, when we have been given the right to live the supernatural lives we were made to live.
This is day 7 of my fast for understanding of these End Times, and how better to prepare for what’s ahead. I believe that living in God’s supernatural empowerment is key. God is good!