8-9-16 Steps of Faith & Grumbling dream of a bus ride to missionary school
That night I had so many God-dreams that I couldn’t write them all down, but the Lord told me not to be burdened by the writing/recording but just to experience them. Each dream was like a “step” that led to the next, like Paul’s thesis in Romans 1:17 citing Habakkuk 2:4, “the righteous shall live from faith to faith,” and idiom meaning “from one step of faith to another step of faith.” Enjoy the experience of one step (one dream in my case) as it leads you by its own enabling-power to the next step (or dream), not by your “might or power” but “by my Spirit, says the Lord” – Zechariah 4:6.
The last dream was very convicting: A bunch of guys and I were going on a bus to a Wisconsin missionary school. I grumbled that the trip would be so long, so I decided to sleep. When I awoke, I thought we were at a rest stop but they said we were already at the school. Because of my grumbling I had missed an entire step of the journey and didn’t know the guys were one “step” a head of me.
They all streamed into an old white church that would be our classroom, but I headed toward the mess hall where a bunch of church people were eating and talking. I didn’t engage with them but just helped myself to their free food. I grumbled about the flimsy tongs used to pick up the roast beef – how cheap the church was! I was so busy complaining that my food slipped off the flimsy paper plates into a rain gutter and I went to grab it (5 second rule), but a dog got it before I could!
Then I remembered they were charging $3333 a semester and I grumbled it was way too much for a place like this, that they were taking advantage of us – just another church using people to make money. It reminds me of the Calvary Chapel Bible College I went to in California. I grumbled knowing I’d have to raise this crazy fee over and over until I graduated – just like Calvary’s – all just to be a poor missionary. It seemed really unjust, so I considered using the money to take a bus back home – after the first semester at Calvary as the valedictorian, I never returned for similar reasons. In my grumbling, I was going to miss out on another “step of faith,” miss out on the experience, the comradery, and eventually of being a missionary.
Later that day, in a proseuche conversational-prayer and worship time with my counselor-friend Elizabeth Brown and my wife Charlotte, Elizabeth was given Isaiah 28:5-6 for me: “In that day the Lord of hosts will be a crown of glory, and a diadem of beauty, to the remnant of His people, and a Spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment, and strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.” I was obviously the “him who sits in judgment” of others, and was called to “let go, and let God” and focus instead on the “glory and beauty” of the “Lord of hosts.”
What also amazed me was she was given a verse by God that I was just studying about how God would resort to preaching the gospel with supernatural tongues, where Paul cites Isaiah 28:11 from 1 Corinthians 14:21, because the Jewish teachers would be stuck in their childish gibberish (as the Hebrew indicates) of teaching God’s logos message expositorily “precept upon precept, line upon line” (v. 10), just like Calvary Chapel prided themselves in, even though “they move forward a little, then then fall backward, and ultimately fall down broken, snared (trapped by their study-teaching method), and are taken captive” (v. 13) – see New Covenant Ways – BT17.