The Target and the Marksman

I had a dream about a marksman sighting in on a distant target. He was using a telescope rather than iron sights. He started out with his first shot and at least hit the target out in the white rings. He adjusted his scope so his next shot would be down and to the right. The next shot squeezed off hit the x. He continued to get 10s until the center ring was completely shot out. He then picked other random spots on the target and was able to hit them as well. He kept adjusted for changes in the wind and was obviously highly skilled.

Then the scene changed to a war zone. There was an enemy with a flamethrower that was terrorizing a small group of allied troops. One was the current focus of his energy. The man with the flamethrower was hiding behind a gate that had a wide bar at the middle that covered his complete back so that only a small strip was visible between the closed gates. All it took was for the long distance marksman to take the shot and put the soldiers out of their misery.

But he didn't take the shot. Instead, the enemy was moving freely in the back field of the allied forces starting fires, spreading seeds of doubt and fear, and then retreating back behind the closed gate where he was harder to hit. This went on for a long time.

The scene fast forwarded to a shot of the bulk of the allied troops. The men were dressed in tuxedos and the women were in their finery. No one was ready for battle. They were all eating and drinking and enjoying their formal invitation only dinner. The enemy (a mechanized division with air support) was quickly moving toward the hillside where they were at. They were completely ignorant of the danger they were in.

Next it switched to the president and his advisers. He was aware of the situation. He sent out people who signed with their hands and sent doves to communicate his warnings to the troops that were at ease to rise up and prepare to fight. They tried to communicate to the soldiers, but the soldiers were too interested in their dinner to pay any attention. The enemy struck and struck hard. Only the women noticed the enemy and tried to get involved.

The dream ended without a complete resolution...

Where are you at today Christian? Is your shooting great... as long as it is at a paper target that can't harm you? Are you cowering in a depression in the ground, afraid that the enemy is going to sneak around behind you and attack your rear? Are you just hoping that someone else will take the shot so you don't have to get involved?

Is your church great when it comes to social activities but poor when it comes to the real work of the church [Mark 16:15-16]. Is God trying to talk to you? Is He sending signs and wonders your way? Is the Holy Spirit giving messages and interpretations in your services? If so, what are you doing about them? If you got a message in tongues and an interpretation last Sunday do you even remember what was said now? If someone had asked you at lunch on that Sunday would you have been able to repeat the interpretation? Are you just forgetting what God is saying under the assumption that it must be "meant for someone else". Could you tell someone what the sermon or the Sunday school lesson was about? Did you go to Sunday school? Did you study your lesson?

When God spoke through Paul and other New Testament authors, they wrote down the words and sent them off by letter to the intended recipients. When those letters arrived, they were preserved and passed down through the ages. Where would the church be today if the early church had been as nonchalant about the words of God as we are today? There would be no New Testament around... that is for sure!

The Christian church is asleep, and the enemy is preparing to tear it asunder. It is time to wake up from the coma we are in in the United States and Europe. It is time to quit being a social organization - worrying more about the next church social than the lost family living next door to the church.

Let every denomination, church, or local prayer group that hears from God spread His words for the church today far and wide. Everyone will need to seek discernment to weed out those who are reporting false things. That is what the gift of discernment of spirits was given for. But don't hide His words away.

God's prophecies printed in the Bible are not for private interpretation [2 Peter 1:19-21]. Neither are his words today. Many words given today are harsh, calling to work, calling from slumber. Some of the messages won't look very good in print. Pastors may cringe when a message in tongues arrives, hoping that there are no guests this Sunday because God has been hard on his congregation lately in what He has been saying.

But you know what? Many of the churches in the New Testament had less than stellar letters written to them. They still kept the letters around through the ages even though they weren't flattering. Pass on the harsh words He speaks to you along with the good words. Present an honest image instead of a polished image to the world. You'll have more success being honest than deceitful. Deceitfulness is the realm of the enemy. If there are problems in your church that God is pointing out - correct the problems. Don't try to cover them up. Let other churches benefit from how God is addressing your problems.

Let God's words be spread again. With the internet it is easy to reach so many people. Let God worry about directing the people who need to hear a particular word to a particular site. He's good at that. You don't need advertising. You don't have to work for good placement on search engines. You don't have to have the perfect site URL. God's words that you make available to the world may only need to be seen by one particular person. Trust God to let that person find the words you have provided. Even if your site only gets a single hit, that may be God's will. So be it. But get involved in reaching the lost.

Don't let the internet be your only ministry - reach the lost one-on-one as well. But don't neglect the technology that is available to send forth God's word for today! Awake from slumber. Get back to the work of the church! Reach the lost! Talk to your friends! Talk to your enemies! Spread the Gospel message.