To start at the beginning of this series, click HERE.
I had a dream a while back that I felt was a good reminder for my own life, but then the Lord told me I needed to share it with all of you. So here it is –
I was sitting in a car with the window rolled up, when suddenly a man approached the window. I knew right away he was bad so I was thankful my window was rolled up. Even though the window was rolled up, he reached his hand up, like he was going to reach through it and unlock the door. He was unsuccessful, got frustrated and walked away. A few minutes later he walked up again, this time with a wire hanger. He shimmied the hanger between the window and the door to unlock it. Fortunately I was able to re-lock the door as soon as he unlocked it. Realizing that method also wasn’t going to work, he got frustrated and walked away again. As I remained in my car I saw him approaching my window a third time but this time I could tell he was angry and determined to break through the window. He walked right up to the car, and punched his hand right through the window, and then I woke up.
As soon as I woke up the Lord started speaking to me about the dream. The man outside the window represents our sin, our fleshly desires, at first those things in our lives slowly try to creep in, then when they’re unsuccessful they try a little harder, with a different method and eventually they just march right into our lives. It’s interesting in the dream how even though I knew this man was trying to get in, I didn’t drive off, I stayed and allowed it to happen.
How often in our life do we stay, and allow temptations to build, rather than walking away, or turning and running from our sin?
Using my dream interpretation book, I looked up what “window” means and found one of the definitions very interesting. Windows, in dreams, can mean “an unguarded opening for a thief to enter“.
How many windows do you have in your life?
As I thought about my dream, in context to this series, it became very evident how comparison and coveting are like the man trying to get into the car.
Comparison is often very subtle at first.
Comparison begins with me feeling like my friend always has cuter clothes than I do, and wishing I could look as cute as she does. Then I slowly become ungrateful for the things I have because all I can see is that God doesn’t care enough about me to give me as much money as she has, so I can shop where she does and buy nice clothes too. My heart slowly turns resentful to the Lord because He’s not providing for all my “needs”. Then I decide I’m going to take it into my own hands so I go on a shopping spree, put it on my credit card, and walk away feeling like, I don’t need God, I’ll take care of myself. But what I’ve just done is allowed my sin to walk right into my life and take over my heart.
I could come up with a thousand different scenarios for how we do this with so many things in our lives, from our clothes, to our cars, our houses, even our marriages!
Why do you think affairs happen? It all starts with a subtle comparison that someone is better than your spouse and you don’t trust that the Lord really knows what’s best for you.
All of these are windows in our lives – unguarded openings where we allow the enemy to tempt us. We don’t “drive off” because we don’t see the harm in a little comparison. What we don’t understand is that a little comparison quickly leads us to a lot of coveting and sometimes even idolatry.
But what’s the alternative?
The alternative is driving away. It’s confronting your sin as soon as you see it approaching the window. It’s not leaving your windows unguarded but defending them with truth, it’s trusting the Lord that He will always take care of you and provide for your needs.
Fill your thoughts with my words, until they penetrate deep into your spirit. Then, as you unwrap my words, they will impart true life and radiant health into the very core of your being. So above all, guard the affections of your heart, for they affect all that you are. Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being, for from there flows the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:21-23 (tPt)
By no means am I perfect at this, in fact, I’m far from it, but I’ve learned over the years and I’ve set boundaries and practices for myself that help me in those moments of weakness. Using the example above, I actually do have lots of friends that dress really cute and are always very beautifully accessorized, but when those comparing thoughts try to creep into my mind, I remind myself of a few of my own favorite tops, and I thank the Lord for them. Instead of focusing on not having enough to look as cute as my friend, I thank the Lord for providing me with what I do have.
I’ve also learned that we all enjoy using our money in different ways. Some people love to shop, we love to travel. Sometimes it’s not even that I don’t have enough to go buy cute things, it’s that we’re saving that money for a family vacation. So in that case instead of coveting what my friends have, I thank that Lord that He’s provided for us so we can travel with our family like we love to do.
Gratitude will always defeat the spirit of comparison.
As I close, I want to go back to another important detail of my dream – I was sitting in my car. In dreams often times (always in my dreams) cars represent our ministry, our calling. Every single one of these temptations, these subtle thoughts of comparison, are there to lure you away from who you are truly meant to be. Whether it’s your ministry or your lifelong calling, the enemy does not want to see you succeed so he will continue to send temptations, sin, lust, etc. to find out where your unguarded windows are. John 10:10 (ESV) tells us, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. . .” Satan wants to destroy you because he knows something you might not know – you are powerful when you’re walking in who you are meant to be!
The beautiful thing about that verse is the second half, Jesus says, “I came that [you] may have life and have it abundantly.” God wants to give us a life of abundance but we have to trust Him to know what we need to get there. The Lord’s idea of abundance will look different for me than it will for you, so let’s not waste our lives comparing one another’s abundance, instead let’s trust the Lord that He knows what we need and He’s going to provide us with every single thing we need to walk out the calling on our lives!
This should be the prayer of our hearts every day of our lives, so I’m placing it at the end of each of the posts in this series –
God, empty out of my heart everything that is false – every lie, and every crooked thing. And give me neither undue poverty nor undue wealth – but rather, feed my soul with the measure of prosperity that pleases you. May my satisfaction be found in you.” Proverbs 30:8-9a (tPt)