Last night before going to bed I sent Chris Chappotin a text just to tell him what I was feeling about the day and it stated, “Good, but somber day realizing in my spirit that a new season is upon us and old things are left behind.” I also stated that it was “kind of that feeling in the air when a storm passes.”
Well, with that said, I had an interesting dream last night and I’ve been ruminating on it all morning. The dream was about the feeling of a storm passing and the harvest ahead. What I remember of the dream is that I was standing in the driveway of the Chappotin’s home as the rain poured down heavily. I would look up occasionally and ask God why the rain was coming down so hard. I heard nothing the first couple of times and then a voice said it had to do with two things. The cleansing of the earth and watering of the harvest to come.
I believe the trigger for this dream came from two places (ultimately the Holy Spirit). First, yesterday at our Christ Journey gathering, David Osborn shared from Phillipians 1:27, which is still ringing in my spirit. The first part of the verse states, “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” Second, Chris sent me a text that said, “Ryan colored a picture of a tree this morning. When he showed it to me, he wanted me to draw rain. He said the tree wouldn’t grow if it didn’t rain.”
How do these go together? Let me explain. I’ve had this sense in my spirit that change, or transition was upon us as Christ Journey. It wasn’t going to be a physical change immediately, but rather a change would first lead out in the spiritual realm. I’ve had this sense that each of us has been struggling in our spirits and souls trying to figure out what the Lord is doing in us individually and corporately. Some of us have been at different places in this storm that has been poured onto our lives, and possibly some of us don’t even realize it, but I believe it’s still there for some. There is a cleansing and a refining of our hearts taking place.
The thing that stands out about the verse is that our lives must be a reflection of Christ. As we seek to become disciples of Jesus and live in his way, we will learn to conduct ourselves in a way that would make us worthy of the gospel of Christ. As we become worthy and more like Jesus we can then enter the season of the harvest. However, the harvest does not grow well without a good rain, or watering. It is that rain that causes the planted seed (gospel) to take root and grow. It is that rain that washes away the junk in the fields, and metaphorically, in our hearts. As the storm passes there is this freshness in the air. For me it’s a sense of renewal each time a storm passes.
Ryan is correct. His prophetic word that the tree wouldn’t grow if it didn’t rain reminds me of John 15 where we are the branches and Jesus is The Vine. Jesus wants to weave and graft himself into the branches, being us. Whether it’s a field of wheat, a tree with fruit, or a neighborhood of broken people, the Lord has called us to enter into His harvest. Our branches must be worthy of The Vine and we must bear the fruit that gives life to others.
So, what of this transition? Where do we go from here? I believe each of us can tell his or her story of where we’ve been, where we are, and what we see ahead. For me, it continues to be the fostering and growing of relationships within Christ Journey. As well as the communities that surround us. My desire is to be an instrument in the hand of God that fosters an apostolic environment to create unity among followers of Christ and offer hope to those in the margins who will soon follow Christ.
May we continue to be stripped of our own ideals and agendas. May we be clothed in righteousness. May we stand strong like an oak tree as the strong winds blow and the hard rains fall. May we enjoy the freshness of the passing storms. May we reap the harvest for the sake of God’s kingdom on this journey with Christ.