About a month ago I had a dream. In the dream there was a woman in a large room. The walls of the room had strips of dark, rich fabric lining them. Immediately I knew that the woman in the room had given her self completely to making that room look the way it did. I knew that she had really spent time decorating and making everything in the room just right. There was no furniture in the room yet. The woman was looking around and there was something missing. The room was not quite finished.
Then some people came in carrying a gold colored couch. The woman got all excited and I knew this was what she was waiting for. The people put the couch right in the middle of the room. The whole room was prepared just for this one piece of furniture. The woman walked around the couch looking at it and I could tell by the look on her face that it just wasn’t right yet. Then John the Baptist came walking in. I knew the women was married to him. John the Baptist represents preparing the way. The woman was married to preparing the way. Right when John came in he pointed at the couch and said, “It’s supposed to be like this.” When he said that, the couch turned to liquid gold. The woman was so relieved. Finally, everything she had prepared was for a reason and the reason was sitting right in front of her.
Then some time went by in the dream. The woman was standing in front of the couch with a look of dissatisfaction on her face. There were other people around her that were also looking at the couch. The couch was no longer liquid gold. It was just an ordinary gold colored couch again. The people around the woman were looking at the couch and saying things like, “Well, at least its gold, right? That is the color we were going for.” Another person came up and sat on the couch. They got up and said, “Wow, you should try that out, it is really comfortable.” The woman nodded her head and said, “Yeah, at least its gold, and it does look comfortable.”
Right then John the Baptist came walking back in shaking his head. The look on his face was one of anger. He looked at the woman and said, “You just don’t get it do you!” Then he pointed at the couch and said, “It’s all in what you EXPECT!” When he said the word expect, it was so real that the letters of the word came out of his mouth and filled the room. Right then the couch turned back to liquid gold again. The woman was so relieved and at the same time she was disappointed in herself because she had started to settle for less than she had poured her life out for.
The last part of the dream is the most interesting to me. After the couch turned back to liquid gold, people started coming in the room one at a time and sitting on the couch. When they would sit down they would disappear into the couch. They were completely consumed by the liquid gold couch. It was no longer just comfortable.
The woman in the dream represented us, all believers from past to present. Generations before us have poured themselves out to prepare the way. Some have even given their lives. Some generations have seen the liquid tangible presence of God show up. Some have only dreamed, but all have prepared. There have been moves of God in the past where things start to happen on a large scale; healing, miracles, salvations and it effects the masses.
There have also been times where the church has just gotten comfortable. We started making sure we gave our new visitors a spoon full of sugar with every bite of the gospel. We wanted to make sure our message was not uncomfortable or offensive. By doing that we lose focus of our call to prepare the way for the real thing. We have to make sure as a body of believers that we are continually married to preparing and expecting. When we pray we have got to expect power. When new people come we have got to expect that they will be consumed by the liquid love of Jesus like they have been starving for. We have got to create a culture of expectation, because with expectation there is faith. I do not believe you can separate the two.
There is no faith without expectation. If we cannot expect what we believe, then how can we expect the world to believe with us? The world is waiting for a church that is expecting, and seeing what they expect in a real way. All we owe this world is an encounter with God. Lets expect the tangible presence together. Lets go for a habitation of God’s presence instead of a visit. I believe God is looking for the ones that will expect. I believe the word expect has left the mouth of God and is so real that it is filling our surroundings waiting for someone to grab hold of it.
This world is looking for God. High school and university campuses are looking for God. Your friends are looking for God. Let’s begin to prepare and expect like we never have before. When we expect, the message is no longer comfortable, it is consuming.