They May Say I’m a Dreamer

“Look, this dreamer is coming!”

That’s what they said before Joseph’s brothers plotted to kill him out of their own fear, jealousy, and selfish ambition. They were too focused on Joseph to seek God in their own destinies. If they asked, they would be told of all the unique and world-changing promises God had for each of them. One big purpose being that they would, together, become the great, twelve tribes of Israel. The brothers only saw their present circumstances, while Joseph saw his future.

“Look, this dreamer is coming!”

I sense the Lord is saying that this statement, this taunt, this mocking jab towards one’s purpose and calling is clanging loudly throughout the earth still today. It is the sound suffocating a child’s wonder and creativity out of her, wavering her direction to go up a success ladder of consumerism and personal gain. It is the deceitful whisper telling dreamer’s of change to point their guns at one another.

It is the sound of the enemy.

“Look, this dreamer is coming!” His finger, pointing at you in disbelief; preceding a plan, an attempt, to silence your voice and capture your identity, to kill your vision and crush your dreams. It is here, encompassed with this feeling of being stupid, so stupid, to believe in such big dreams, that many are stuck. Listening to the devil’s taunt on repeat, mocking who they could be, the dreams they once had, the calling that was too big. It is the sound of the unbelieving taunt, the unbelieving sin, that so easily entangles us.

Coming in agreement with that unbelief will bring about an inner torment that will rewire your brain from its original design. And soon your personally-designed, real purpose in life becomes so lost that it is now you pointing your finger at the other dreamers of the world. This has been me many times.

For so long humanity has listened to this clanging symbol, labelling the dreamers from the normal people, believing the unbelief, and hence, never stepping out into the fullness of Christ. But I sense that God is saying, first,

“Enough is enough.”

Enough of settling for the lie, and remaining outside of the abundant kingdom life God has in store, right here and now, for His beloved.

Oh the dream! His dream for His children.

That the body of Christ would walk as one Bride in the fullness of Christ, the glory of God made manifest in her, the abundant life that Jesus Christ died for her to live.

What if the key is this…

What if we were all made to dream? Made to cast vision for the impossible to become possible through Christ in our lives?

I believe we can.

Second, I sense that in this season the Lord is awakening the dreamers to dream once again. He is transforming that taunt, meant to snuff out our fire, into a steady beat for us march to in pursuit of the goal for the prize of the upward call in Christ (Philippians 3:14). And He wants us to know that there is a tool we can use, a belt that we can fasten upon ourselves to secure us against the unbelieving taunt from the devil. God is highlighting the belt of truth for His people to put on once again. In this season God is calling us to boast in our weakness, boasting in the truth. The truth that our dreams can not be accomplished without Him, without God’s all-sufficient grace. This is the armor covering you, His armor. This is the light, the light of Jesus Christ, keeping your eyes fixed upward. This is the melody, the song of deliverance, surrounding you, and playing louder than the unbelief. You are loved. You have a purpose and a calling. And Jesus? Jesus is coming back, and He is calling His Bride to ready herself. To realize that she carries the kingdom of God on earth, and to not merely be a hearer of the word, but a doer.

If we step into this open invitation from the Lord, an invitation to dream again, could we unite as one body in Christ and celebrate each other’s progress? Could we not only dream the impossible in faith, but also see it come to pass? The miracles, the healings, the deliverance, the chains falling off of nations? Could we see in our lifetime the glory of God covering the earth as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14)?

I believe we can, if we are willing.

There is another piece to all of this that the Lord is reminding us of in this time as well. Our walk of faith, our obedience to the call, will not come without challenges. You see, we might think that Joseph had a special calling. But God doesn’t show favoritism (Romans 2:12). Your calling is just as big as Joseph’s was, and his dream came with many struggles. Yours will too. Joseph was betrayed by his own brothers, sold into slavery, shown favor, but then betrayed again and thrown into prison. Still, God never left him. God never stopped working things out in Joseph’s favor. Even though Joseph was brought low. Even though it seemed that the odds were always against him. Even though his circumstances didn’t line up with his dreams. Joseph believed that God was able. And He was. Through it all, God brought the vision, the dream to pass. I can hear Him whisper to us,

The hardships were part of the dream coming to pass.

To press on in this new season, we must know that our present, past and future hardships are all being worked together, by God, for our good.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Romans 8:28 NKJV

So love God. Dream again. You are called. You have a purpose. And no matter the trials that lie ahead, remember that God is working it all out for your good. Believe, not in yourself, but in Him who is able to do exceedingly, and abundantly above all that you could ever ask or think (Ephesians 3:20-21). To Him be the glory forever and ever.

Evangelical Sisters of Mary

I didn’t know what to expect when one of our leader’s announced the opportunity to stay the night at the evangelical nuns’ monastery a few towns over from our base in eastern Norway. Regardless, my spirit leaped at the thought of staying away from kids, school, and the busy missions life for a few days in solitude with the Lord. I had preconceived ideas about nuns, and I expected they wouldn’t speak much English so I planned to stay in my room and pray or fast for most of my time there. The Lord didn’t explain why I was to go, He only whispered,

Go. Come away with me.

Boy, was I in for a treat.

Most of our team went together that Saturday morning. The plan was to stay there until dinner; eating with the Sisters, praying and worshipping with them, and gardening/helping out on the grounds. After about an hour long drive, we pulled into Kanaan Land and immediately I felt the presence of the Lord amidst the soft silence coating the oasis. Interesting. I knew then that I had no clue what the Lord had in store for me here.

All was quiet and still, yet the Lord was so near. His whispers were close enough for me to feel His gentle breath touching my ear. After a long day the team went home and I stayed the night there. I had the most amazing time at Kanaan with these three Sisters of Mary. It was a weekend filled with great conversations, Heavenly worship and prayer times, and timely revelation. The sisters love Jesus, they live in His peace, they love people, and in summary they brought an important part of the body of Christ that I’d never known was necessary. What exactly was the difference between this place and other ‘holy grounds’ I had visited? Churches of all different denominations and cultures, Christian conferences, baptisms, prayer gatherings, worship sessions, you name it and I’ve probably been to whatever ministry event you can think of. I’ve seen radical movements of the Holy Spirit and even experienced touches from God that took me to another place. And yet still in all of those wonderful, real encounters with God in both private times and public, there was an aspect of God’s nature that I had never quite dug deep into. The peaceful stillness that comes from God’s divine silence.

Silence is a foreign concept to my generation. We are always sharing our feelings with others, always speaking or typing out our experiences, and always listening to music, sermons, podcasts, and television. The noise is our normal. Our brains are constantly stimulated by words and our mouths, always pushing out every random thought that enters our mind. We are so adapted to the noise that silence actually feels like “the bad guy”. After living your life in the stimulating noise, brief periods of silence can grab your hand and walk you to the edge of the cliff that feels like madness. Here’s an example once describing my reaction to silence.

Silence falls and immediately your mind will wander, as questions and thoughts surface. Soon the thoughts go from shallow things like to-do lists and turn introspective as the silence prompts the depths of your heart to come out and reveal hidden insecurity, fear, pain, and doubt. Suddenly your ears are ringing from the sound of silence, your mind is racing, your heart is beating, and your throat tightens with anxiety as depression falls in an instant from your revelation of your own brokenness and sin.

You see the lie here is that silence is not normal, that it’s bad or makes us crazy. Where the ways of this world is noise, the kingdom of God is silence. God created life out of silence (Genesis 1). Silence is our resting place with Him. Silence rebuilds the God-given boundaries in self and relationships that sin and ignorance destroys. As for our mind’s initially chaotic result to silence, our brokenness was never meant to be a cage holding us hostage within our minds. God’s intention in creating us was not for us to live in fear of being alone with our thoughts. Christ died to set us free. Free from sin and death. Free from ourselves. It is only in the silence that we can let our minds love God. As the silence provokes the lies within, we are able to recognize and hold captive these thoughts that don’t bow down to the name of Jesus.

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.”

2 Corinthians 10:3-6 NIV

Silence is a space for God to begin mending our minds, hearts, souls, and bodies in Christ Jesus. This ushers us into knowing how to love God, and in return, love people-all of which is obedience. In Matthew 22, Jesus charges us with the greatest commandment being to love God with all of our heart, our soul and all of our mind, and we can not love Him fully if our minds are held captive by our thoughts, feelings and emotions. I have not yet attained this fulness in Christ, yet I press on alongside you in this journey (Philippians 3).

Finally, I would like to peer into the typically watered down concept of the stillness of God. So often we reference being still before God, but what does it really mean? What does being still look like? Is it having “quiet time” each morning as we read a quick chapter before the kids wake up? Reading our Bibles each day is our bread, our nourishment, and is completely necessary for abundant living. However, that time with God is not the same as being still. Most know the familiar story of Elijah running from Jezebel and ending up in a cave. God asked Elijah why he was there, and by Elijah’s response we can see that his mind was greatly resembling my previous example of a toxic thinking mind: insecurity, doubt, fear, and pain. So God tells him to go out and stand on the mountain because God is about to pass by Elijah (note: this mountain is Horeb the same one that God first descended upon in terrifying wonders to the Israelites after the Red Sea). A mighty wind, an earthquake, and a fire all shake the mountain with force before Elijah, but God wasn’t in any of that.

“and after the fire a still small voice.”

1 Kings 19:12 NKJV

The word used here for ‘still’ is Hebrew, דְּמָמָה (demamah). Demamah means a whisper that is calm, silence, and still. God’s whisper is silence. To be still before God is to be silent. It is in that silence, which surpassed all the natural wonders Elijah witnessed on that mountain, that God whispered in silence the truth that set Elijah’s mind free. The revelation was birthed in the whisper. And again we see God create life out of silence.

I challenge us as the body of Christ to dare to step back into the quiet, the pure stillness of God. To schedule times in our week of pure silence, to be still and know that God is God. No worship music in the background (as a worship leader I know well the need for worship, but that is not what we’re discussing here), no sermons, podcasts or other feeding tools for Christians-all of which are beneficial parts of our walks with God. In these divinely commissioned appointments of silence, just be in the presence and bask in the soft caress of divine silence. Let the Holy Spirit guide you on the journey in your mind. As your brokenness and hidden sin become revealed, receive forgiveness and let the blood of Jesus wash you clean. Let God become your stronghold (Psalm 27). In that silence you will discover ancient gates within that have yet to be opened so that the King of glory could come in, it is there Jesus wants to dwell with you-all of you. Here in the silence, Jesus is waiting. For you.

Lazarus (my son) kneeling before a statue of Jesus in the Sister’s prayer garden

My retreat at this monastery was an incredible refuge along the way in my journey with Jesus, and I can’t wait to visit the sisters again! If you would like to learn more about Kanaan land and the Evangelical Sisters of Mary here in Norway, check out their website! (They’re main location is in Germany and you can find that English translation here.)

Spirit and Truth

The humming first note in a violin’s gentle melody pierced the car ride home. Home. The low hanging moon snagged my attention as I gazed across the large lake encompassed by small mountains. Home. Where is that anymore? The violin ministered a supernatural song that sounded so like my Dad in Heaven’s voice.

Yes, this is Me.

Whoah. The melody tugged me upward towards that waning moon shining crystalline as it shared the sky with the setting sun. While the notes of the violin increased in a crescendo my heart swelled with inexplicable love. This was a dance between Him and I. I felt the swaying, the climatic back and forth, as I struggled to believe a love so deep.

This is real.

He told me again and again: I love you, Lacey.

He says He loves me because He loves me, because He loves, because He loves me, because that’s who He is, that’s what He does. God is love. The crashing love rolled over me like a tidal wave, sucking the dusty air out of me and flooding my lungs with grace. In a season of mystery where everything feels possible and yet still too good to be true, do I trust Your leading? His reminding of His goodness caressed my brain and dissolved all unbelief. Yes, I trust You with everything I have. The love of God hit me to the core and tore down the lingering belief systems and self-protecting mindsets I had presumptuously left uncharted within. And I felt the peace that surpasses all understanding come in like a wind blowing away the fog. He loves me, and He has me in His hands.

This is wild, right? I’m away from everything I’ve ever “known” here on earth, yet I’ve never felt more at home. Not always physically, but right here in the hallways of my heart, the depths of my soul, deep into the marrow of my bones. The Lord gently leads me on. And as I press in to actually speaking to Him and listening to His response, God the Father, Holy Spirit, and Jesus are becoming more tangible. My faith is more evident to me.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Matthew 11:28 (MSG)

Those unforced rhythms of grace made up the very song hitting me within that violin. So here I stand on the edge of the horizon, letting go of myself long enough to be caught in the arms of Jesus- the very surrendering He died to make possible. Though I always strived to, I’m seeing that it’s not so centered on me loving Him as it is foundational to let Him love me first. Every second of every day. To worship in spirit and truth. Love is the key, and there’s an order to it that I just can’t afford to miss: receiving His love, pouring it back to Him, then turning that love towards myself, and bursting it out towards other people (Matthew 22:37-39). A heart tapped into the streams of living water, and from there everything changes.

Photo taken by Adine Schweizer
Song referenced above