On the night of December 25th, just before going to bed I asked the Lord to give me a dream or word that would encourage my family. That night I had a strange but vivid dream about someone I knew years ago. She was young, beautiful, talented and very creative. She and her husband had very prominent roles in our church and they had 3 beautiful children. In my dream she was past child bearing age, and her youthfulness and creativity were fading. She was like a Christmas tree after all the beautiful lights and ornaments had been wrapped and put away, once beautiful, but it seemed her season was over. She had become the woman who used to sing beautiful songs and taught anointed lessons, but no one could remember her name.
I could feel the Lord’s sadness for the forgotten woman. She used to sit and wait in His presence and call upon Him daily. She loved hearing his voice and depended on Him to help her with her children, ministry and busy schedule. But now that she felt useless and barren, she no longer called on the Lord for help and direction and He was grieving the loss of His beloved friend.
As I meditated on the dream, the Lord began to show me that the woman represented three different things. The first and most obvious interpretation speaks of the people who poured their lives into their churches by serving in various capacities, giving their all to help grow the ministry. But like the Christmas tree at the end of the season, their usefulness in the church was winding down. To those who spent their lives ministering and serving I hear the Lord whispering, “It’s not over yet. Don’t give up! Don’t be discouraged, the Son is still shining on you.”
The second interpretation is a picture of many of the churches as we know them today. The early church was full of life, beauty, and fruitfulness. People were drawn to her because she spent time in the Lord’s presence seeking him daily for help and direction. Never a day went by that she didn’t need Him, and He blessed her with gifts and provision to be shared with the world. She was faithful to let her light shine brightly, leading many to the Cross, feeding the hungry and caring for the needy. Then her focus changed, and she spent her time trying to stay young and beautiful in the world’s eyes. She no longer called on the Lord or spent time in His presence. The gifts and blessings that were once hers in abundance, no longer defined her and her light grew dim. But I can hear the Lord whispering. “It’s not over yet. Don’t give up! Return to me and I will return to you.” (see Zechariah 1:3)
The third and final illustration concerns our nation. The young woman represents America in its golden years when it was filled with hope and beauty. The nations of the world looked up to her and were blessed because she was a blessing. Then something happened, and we lost our innocence and our beauty began to fade. We took God out of the schools and continued to corrupt every other mountain of influence in our society. We killed our babies, worshipped foreign gods and forgot that we were once “One nation under God”. I sense the Lord weeping over America because we no longer acknowledge Him or seek Him for guidance and direction. His name is cursed and blasphemed, and we don’t even blush. But His voice still rings out as He calls our nation to repent and return to Him. “You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.” (Revelation 2:4 & 5)
Go and Shine Brightly!
As I sat meditating on all that the Lord had shown me, I asked Him, “What am I supposed to do with this?”
He said, “Publish it.”
I argued, “But this isn’t an encouraging word for my family”. Then I sensed the Lord drawing me to look outside through the sliding glass door by my dining room table. The early morning sun was reflecting off the house behind mine and I could see eight jet trails, formed by the exhaust of passenger jets as they fanned across the sky towards their various destinations. I was reminded of a vision I had a few days earlier, where people were lined up and the Lord was placing them in something like a huge slingshot. One by one He launched them to their new destinations and I realized that the jet trails represented people being released into their new assignments.
As Christmas comes to a close in your house, after the wrappings have been discarded and the ornaments and lights are tucked away, remember this: It’s not over yet. You are meant to shine brightly in this season. The Lord is calling you to draw near to Him. It may be dark and cold outside, but the light in you can burn brightly if you will let go of your disappointment with the way things are and follow Him. You are anointed to do something extraordinary and noble, but you must give all that you have to serve and bless the Lord and the people He is sending you to. Go and shine brightly! The world has need of you now.
“Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you.” (Isaiah 60:1 & 2)
For over 30 years Judy has trained intercessors and led prayer efforts across the United States. Her continuing focus is to raise up and equip prayer teams to shift the culture of the nation and make a way for the end time harvest. She co-founded a ministry in the early 80’s and taught principles of spiritual warfare and pioneered prayer walking efforts. She and her late husband organized and led community-wide concerts of prayer, youth prayer breakfasts and early morning prayer watches which resulted in dramatic changes in their city and many people turning their hearts to the Lord.