One of the primary reasons Connections Church conducts weekly prayer meetings in Newtown, Connecticut today is because of a dream I had in early 2011.
It was simple, beginning with me inspecting the outside of a green, colonial-style house in what seemed to be the Northeastern part of the United States. I lived in New England at the time, in a similar type of home yet different in color and many other particulars. This ‘house’ was a custom, historic green model, older than mine and obviously located in a more matured setting. I believe it represented the modern church in a wider sense, as it was founded on many of the practices and traditions of those believers who originally came to the east coast of North America.
My focus in this dream was on inspection. It was an overcast day and I was examining the outside of the home where everything appeared to be solid and in tact. As is the case with so many of the older homes here, it was not overly ornate but it had a subtle elegance built into its high quality original construction. The grounds matched, lending to a sense of solitude and serenity about the entire property. Nothing stood out, either as in need of repair or as calling attention to specific things being more notable than others. It was a generally beautiful, comfortable environment.
I did, however, feel drawn to pay particular attention to inspecting the roof. From the ground level, it appeared to have black shingles, the one thing I later remembered was like my own home. I looked from several vantage points and everything seemed fine. The ridge and all other lines were straight to my eye. No obvious problems from below. For reasons that would become obvious, however, I suddenly found myself with a different view. Instantly, I was on the roof examining it at close range from above!
This is when I realized there not only was a problem but it was a big one. My heart sank upon realizing that what had appeared to be so perfect from below was in reality quite the opposite. The combination of a dark color and the natural shadows, which often occur because of backlighting when looking up into the sky, had caused a tremendous misperception. The roof of this house was actually mostly not there! The holes were so large that they had created huge dark shadows of their own. From below, the dark attic simply blended in with the natural appearance of the black shingles. The roof had been gone for quite some time.
I was so discouraged at the thought of the amount of work this would take to repair. The beauty of the rest of the property paled in comparison. I felt that old familiar feeling I have had a few times on construction sites in my past. You know, the one that tells you it might not be worth fixing?! It wasn’t quite that bad, but I knew enjoying this house wasn’t going to be quite as much fun as I thought at first glance. It really was worth it – it would only FEEL like it wasn’t while performing this tedious remodeling work!
I know this dream has had a partial fulfillment in Connections Church, as we were just pioneering it here in the Newtown/Southbury area at the time. Prayer has had to become a primary spiritual focus to keep this local house or people in tact underneath it. What appeared so promising in the beginning has been challenged a few times in ways that we would not have originally viewed as problematic issues. On the other hand, I know how the Lord uses me and my dreams usually have a bigger meaning than just one church or ministry. They usually foretell something coming to the Church world or tell forth something happening behind the scenes.
I believe the whole issue before the Body of Christ today is one of misperception and lack of prayer covering for God’s House or Temple. We are living on a very ‘green’ level that is so natural it can’t see into the spirit realm very far or accurately. On top of that, the roof is too dark. In order to restore what is missing we need a higher and closer view. To see the problem, we have to go into the heavenlies and to fix the problem, we have to learn to live there in a different way than the religiously comfortable ones we have grown accustomed to. There is a need for repentance and restoration today on a very wide scale. We have sinned in keeping a 300 year old shell yet allowing its roof to rot. It has caused the people living inside it to no longer have the vision or skill to care for its upkeep from the top down!
Many will see it as disheartening to hear that their Christian and church lifestyles are being challenged. That will only increase when they first suddenly realize it is true. A mere walk around the property isn’t enough anymore. The clouds are gathering and what covers us spiritually is almost completely missing! It won’t be long until we won’t be able to gather as we have in our past. The house WILL soon suffer irreparable damage if believers and local churches don’t wake up and get busy with what really matters. Leaders alone are not going to get this job done either…it will take the house to fix the house. If we do I have a feeling things are going to look a lot different from below than what we are used to. Things will probable start looking more blue (color associated with spirit) because God is going to inhabit it like He has always been known to do!