In my dream, I was running the 400m nationals. I saw my father, my mother and my one brother (whose name means lion) in the audience. I was running in lane 8, unenthusiastically referred to as the ‘blind lane’ because you can’t see the other competitors. You are running in front making it difficult to pace yourself against the other athletes.
As we got into the back straight there was an extremely strong wind from the front. It was so strong making it almost impossible to run. As I was pushing forward my legs was burning of fatigue. I wondered how the other athletes were coping and looked behind me to see how all of them were struggling to run against this strong wind. Some even got out of their lanes in a desperate attempt to make progress against this wind.
I knew I had to keep on running although it seemed impossible. As I got to the turn, I felt completely exhausted. Upon entering the front straight, the wind now behind me, I saw that the last 100m was packed with hurdles. Now I had to jump over these hurdles if I was going to finish this race.
Those who have set themselves to uncompromisingly uphold the truth of scripture and follow their resurrected Lord will now start experiencing extreme winds of resistance.
We are entering a phase of resistance followed by a phase of potential stumbling blocks in this great race of faith. First, we will experience fierce opposition against our faith, then the world will create situations on our way to try to get us to compromise our faith.
The Father (symbolised by my father) the Holy Spirit (symbolised by my mother) and the Lion of the tribe of Judah (symbolised by my brother) is watching over us and cheering us on.
Jesus as the lion is present to impart boldness and courage so that we can face what is ahead. In these winds the enemy will whisper in our ears: “You cannot do this, the resistance is too strong for you, give up…” But “…If God is for us, who can be against us (Rom 8:31 NKJV)?
The forerunners are called to run in lane eight. Many have prophesied about the nameless faceless generation. Those who have previously flown under the radar and aren’t well known. They occupy lane 8 as it is given to the person with the slowest qualifying time.
Wisely they have prepared themselves and have saved their energy with the final race in mind. They are the ones who will run in front and blind: they will “…walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor 5:7 NKJV).”.
They will break open new roads few have travelled before. They will set the pace for the rest to follow and they will be an example for the others of how to run in this new season.
There is also a stern warning to those who are tempted to get out of their lanes by adjusting the truth in their attempt to cope with this opposition.
In a natural race, you are disqualified if you don’t keep in your lane. But in this spiritual race, it will make you more likely to compromise your faith, stumble and fall further into the race.
Don’t Waste Opportunity to Prepare
The strong wind of resistance on the back straight will be used by God to build our faith muscles so that we will not compromise and fall over the obstacles in the front straight.
In the first straight, our faith will be vigorously opposed. In the last stretch, we will be actively persecuted. The former will be words of opposition. The latter will be actions of persecution.
We will be put in situations where we will have to choose between “peace and safety” (that is with the world) or to follow our LORD and suffer persecution.
Although the last stretch of the race is going to be riddled with potential stumbling blocks the wind will now be behind us. The wind of opposition will turn into a wind of support to propel us forward. In this time, many who have opposed us will now join us.
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:2-4 NKJV).”
“…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Phil 1:6 NKJV).”
“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Phil 3:13-14 NKJV).”