A picture began to form in my mind as I prayed. I saw a river that began to bubble and swirl freely as it slowly danced along its way. The vision was truly clear and detailed. People were standing near the banks bundled up against the cold and rain. As I came ear the river’s edge, I saw that there was a muddy area to cross if one wanted to get in the river. Grasses and weeds were trampled in the mud, tangled, twisted and dirty. Grasses poked up through the water and I could see that getting to the middle of the river would be difficult and take determination. Upon closer examination, I saw words written on the grasses coming out of the sticky mud. The words were clear, “religious, tradition, rules, control, twisted truth, evil agenda, deception, division”. A few pushed past and made their way to the river. The believers on the banks were trying to stop people from going into the river. “Those in the river are Heretics”, they cried. “Don’t’ believe them, ignore the warnings written on the grasses, the Bible is God’s Word. Your beliefs must be from the Word, but not certain parts that don’t pertain to today! You must not believe all of it is for now. Danger! Stay here where it’s safe!” “Why do you seek more?”
I saw many people singing and joyfully rowing a huge raft in the middle of the river where the water took on a golden glow. While the drizzly cold day affected those on the banks, the ones in and on the river were in summer clothes and looked joyfully comfortable. They were free. Their faces reflected the sunlight, their hair dry and tussled in the breeze. They waved to me and those standing near me, come! Come in, it’s glorious! I wanted to go too. I absolutely knew the Spirit of the Lord beckoned me to jump in. I traversed the muddy bank. It was like quicksand. It wanted to pull me down, suck me into the mud of that religious spirit. It wanted to hold me down, keep me enveloped in the mire. I took another step; I would not be delayed. As I fought my way past the mud and acknowledged the knife-like leaves of warning, I was emboldened by the Spirit of God. He wants to go! He wants me to go! I heard Him say, “Go without fear, refuse to acknowledge the mire. Go to the deep by faith, be free. Don’t let fear and traditions of men paralyze you”. I broke through! I shed my heavy coat and swam freely to the center of the river. I began to play in the golden sweet-scented water. The farther down I dove, the greater the comfort and assurance. I know this place. I know this voice. I have been here before. This is real. This is the presence of God; He is bathing us in love.
For weeks I have been confronted by a divisive religious spirit that attempts to attack from every angle. Friends, family, media. The battle has been hard, but I knew I would win because I believe the Word. I rebuke that spirit. It must flee. The battle is done, victory is in Jesus. The enemy has failed again. I speak life over you my friends. Your joy is a target. Guard your heart in all truth. I speak truth and God’s gracious peace over you. Keep going!