Dave has shared some dreams from his journal. This one was especially instructive about our individual and collective spiritual conflict. Christ Jesus is the victor and He lets us share the struggle so we can share the victory. Be encouraged!
Vision of War: A Dream
I am standing in one of the front lines of a formation marching down a hill towards our enemy. The enemy is moving in formation down the hill opposite us. There is no plant life on the battleground, only the two barren hills converging at a small valley in the middle. This is not a modern battle. We stop our march and I look to my left. The hill was higher to my left. Over there, above and in front of my unit of soldiers, we see our Commander riding his horse in front of the army. While all the colors in my vision are muted, I can clearly see His crown and sword. He stops and surveys the enemy. I know that we are getting ready for battle. I turn my focus back to the enemy.
The leader of my unit of soldiers turns and begins a battle cry. I see myself both in our commanding officer and in formation. Our armor shows signs of many battles. The armor at one time was bright and shown brilliantly in the light. Now, it is covered with dirt and blood, but nothing can cover the light that comes from it. Under my armor, on the inside of my left bicep is an image of an almond branch. I don’t know if it is on my sleeve or a tattoo. This must be the symbol of my unit. You can’t really see the branch until my arms are raised in victory. The branch is really the only color I see in the vision. I see the brown gnarly branch, pink buds and white blooms with green in the middle.
My unit appears to be heavy infantry. We are wearing heavier armor and carrying heavier weapons. All the soldiers in my unit are experienced. I know they have been fighting for a long time. Their armor is just as worn as mine. We have not all been fighting the same battles, but we have all been fighting the same war. They have a fierce intensity. They are focused and prepared. There is no doubt that we will win this fight. This is our time to inflict retribution on our enemy. All those with me are mighty men. They are all on the same level as King David’s mighty men.
The enemy on the other hand, is dark. They do not look physically intimidating or spectacular. They all look the same, dressed in black with ornate head-gear. There is no enemy cavalry, only foot soldiers on this side of the field.
We hear the sound to charge and the whole front line of the army rushes into battle. We are on the far right side of the enemy (the enemy’s left). We know that it is our job to collapse this side of the line so that the cavalry can come in behind us and turn the flank of the enemy formation. The enemy formations stop just above the small valley between us. I assume that they do not want to give up higher ground. All their strategy will mean nothing in the end. As I look again to my left, my unit is moving faster than the center of the line, we are going to be the first to engage the enemy. Our Commander is still on his horse at the precipice of the hill. He will be in the battle soon, but now is our time. A few steps away from the enemy lines, I see that their front line is organized, but nothing else is. I charge into their shield wall, bowling over a few enemy soldiers that stood in the way. My fighting is intense. I did not know I could fight this way. I look around and see that the rest of my unit is fiercely putting down the enemy. There is a brief pause after our initial serge. The enemy is in disarray. They are not organized. There is no clear leader for them on this side of the field. We catch our breath for a moment, but we know that there is more fighting to come.
This is where the vision ends. I note that nowhere in the entire vision were any words spoken.
This is a recurring vision that I have. All of the events and details in this vision did not come to me all at the same time. Every time that I give this vision intentional focus and study, I begin to see more details. For example, the first installment of this vision was simply soldiers in formation preparing to charge. I am not a soldier, so I began to think; “Why would I be fighting?” I recalled in Revelation where Christ is the commander of an army of the saints and angels. “Ok,” I said to myself.
I thought it odd to have a vision of war, because I did not really perceive myself at odds with anything outside myself. I later realized, while I might not recognize or define struggles in my life, faith and spirit as battles, I most definitely need victory. The sum total of all of my life distractions, sins and short-fallings left me feeling defeated and illegitimate on the inside. This vision of Victory and retribution immediately lifted my spirit in a way that I can not describe.
The details of the armor came to me after this revelation. It became apparent I have taken several severe blows along the way, but managed to stay on my feet. Furthermore, it’s not that I have stood on my own, but God has repeatedly picked me up out of the dirt and mud. He brushed me off and set me in a direction to fight some more. As I take ground in areas of my life and turn them over to Him I gain peace. It is odd to think that the more I fight, the more peace I gain, but this seems to be the case.
However, I know that the ground I take today is not necessarily safe tomorrow. God has begun to show me how to defend myself and the ground I took. One of the best defenses we can have is allies. In the vision, it is significant to me that I am in a unit of men who have struggled just as much as I have. It is comforting to know that I have not been fighting alone all this time. It is comforting to be around people who know how to defend what you have claimed for God. It is also significant to realize that the men in my unit were all knocked down and restored by God.
The next major revelation was that of the almond branch. I first read about the almond branch in Jeremiah. In the first chapter God gave Jeremiah a vision of an almond branch. This was to show Jeremiah that God would follow through with all the things He told Jeremiah. I did a little research and found some interesting facts about the almond tree. It turns out that the almond tree is the first to bloom in the spring. It blooms long before other trees are ready to come out of the dormancy of winter. The blooming is a sign that winter is almost over and spring is not too far off. Considering this, it makes perfect sense the unit I am with is at the front of the charge.
As far as the enemy is concerned, I think it is important that they seem insignificant. To me, this means that there is no one of them greater than the other. Also, it seems that it doesn’t matter which one is attacking, the attack will be the same. If all the enemy soldiers are trained the same and look the same, is it reasonable to think that they will all fight in a very similar manner? This might mean that whenever I find myself “under attack” I can defend against all manner of barrages in a similar manner. Also, this probably means that I should not give one particular attack more attention than others. There is no hierarchy of enemy attacks; they are all executed the same way. This is not to say that I am not susceptible to one more than the other, just that all the attacks are similar in their deployment.
As far as the tactics are concerned, I’m not too sure the significance. I know that in history, a General would either focus on dividing the enemy line in the center or flank one of the ends of the line. In either case, his soldiers could be deployed behind the enemy, where there are no defenses. Perhaps this means that victory is secured. We know this to be the case. But perhaps this means I need to fight to win instead of fighting not to lose.
The last thing I have considered is the intensity of my fighting. It seems to be fiercer than I could imagine. Perhaps I am not currently “fighting” to the level at which I can. Maybe I am like a professional baseball player who is playing tee-ball because I am the only one at the park who has not yet realized that I have the ability to do more.
I am sure that there is more to be revealed about this vision. I know that I have had some awesome personal realizations thinking through what I’ve seen. Perhaps someone else can add to my interpretation or otherwise benefit in a personal way. Perhaps someone else has seen similar things and can add to the imagery.