Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Defining Spiritual Moment of My Summer...

...Happened in Istanbul, Turkey on July 17th at about 4:00 am (?). It was one of the most vivid and real dreams I've had. It didn't feel like a dream in the sense that it felt more like reality- the spiritual intersecting the natural. Here it is as I recorded it in my journal...

"I heard a terrible noise outside. I can't remember the exact sound, but the feeling it evoked was fear. A frightening, "I'm about to die" kind of fear. I have a clear vision of this demonic being who had the form of a man, but looked like a man mixed with beast. He was performing an unspeakable sexual act with two women. He sent in his buddy (similar to him in form and evil, but lesser in power). I saw him fly in though our window, which was open (and was also "physically" open). These demons seemed to have their home in this section of Istanbul. He came over me and I rolled over, pretending to be asleep. After reporting to his boss that I was asleep, the boss wasn't satisfied. So he came to see me for himself. As he came in the room, I heard the terrible stench of alcohol. He leaned over me, as I slept (actually pretended to sleep) with my mouth open. As he lowered toward me his alcohol breath became overwhelming. He was trying to go mouth to mouth (not to kiss, but to breath into me). I awoke (in my dream) and saw his hellish figure over me. He raised his hand and came in to kill me. I could only get out the words, 'Help me. Help m...' I seem to remember trying to say the name 'Jesus' but I couldn't get it out. All I could say was "Help me." But before I could even get out the second 'me' something from behind tapped (clubbed?) him on the back. Whatever or whoever hit him I don't know. I didn't ever see them, but their action was calm and effortless. The hellish demon fell to the ground. I seem to remember the beast dissolve into a pile of sand, which disappeared. My fear vanished, as I knew that God had commanded the devil to be struck down. The line from Luther's great hymn is what stuck out to me, 'One little word shall fell him.' I awoke, and immediately shared the dream with Tim."

The meaning of this dream or vision has given me great hope in the power of Jesus, whose Name is above all names. It has given me more resolve in praying, "your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

I'm also heading into a season of ministry where I'm expectantly optimistic about the work of the kingdom at Iowa State University and abroad. I'm convinced that "the arm of flesh will fail [us], we dare not trust our own." (click here for the old rhyme).

Moreover, I'm supposed to preach on Daniel 10 at Cornerstone in a month. I'm convicted of my need to be more aware of the spiritual battle around me and to be steadfast in clinging to Jesus.

I'll end with a toast to the God who is able to vanquish the enemy with a word... Soli Deo Gloria.


J and J Masson said...

Mark, you are a really good descriptive writer. I was kind of scared reading about your dream!! When I was in Istanbul 5 years ago, I had one instance that also confirmed in me that evil is REAL and that we can't forget it. But like you said, the name of Jesus is more powerful than anything. That is why one of the first things we did when we got here was speak His name over each room of our apartment. And the few times Renae has woken up (seemingly from a bad dream) praying the name of Jesus in her room as put an end to it.

Jason L said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing your dream with us to remind us of the reality that "our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" and that we should put on the full armor of God and be strong in the Lord and His mighty power. (Eph. 6:10-18) Your dream is also an encouragement for the church that our God and His angelic forces will come to our defense and overpower Satan, his demons and wicked schemes. I am in awe of our Heavenly Father.

Metropuritan Mark said...

Thanks for the comments about this. I'm glad to know it has had some edifying effects. I was hesitant about posting it b/c it is a little "scary" and it was quite a soulish experience.

I've used this story with the last few opportunities I've had to share Jesus. It was powerful when I shared it with a Muslim man on the airplane and it helped us get past "my argument is better than yours" and to the heart of the issue, which is the person of Jesus (i.e. "look at the authority of Jesus to dissolve evil into a pile of sand with his mere touch."

He is more a person (alive!) to be known, not just an argument to be defended.

Thanks again for the comments.