This morning I woke up to a nightmare. I knew the situation was not real, my unconscious mind only dreamt it, but I still felt as though it was real. I woke up and the dream ended, but the guilt and shame for something that I did not actually do was REAL, and it remained. It only took a simple prayer something like, “Guilt and shame be gone in the name of Jesus,” for those feelings to leave, but this whole situation opened my eyes and made something I have heard for years become a heart revelation.
I had a dream I violently and heartlessly murdered someone. I can say that without shame because I know that was not me, the truest identity Sarah Watne who did that in my dream. And before you go thinking I am some psychopath, hear me out. When I woke up, amidst the confusion and guilt and every range of emotion one would have after dreaming something of that horrendous nature and it seeming so real, I heard the lyrics from a popular 21 Pilots song run through my head, “Pa, I'm not the one you know, you know. I have killed a man and all I know, is I am on the run and go.”
I believe that was Holy Spirit giving me insight as to why I had that dream. Which, might I add, happened just like those lyrics read. In the dream, I killed a man, ran, and saw myself in front of my parents about to confess what I did before I woke up. It played out exactly how the song played out, which at one time I enjoyed singing without thinking twice about it. Looking back now, I know I opened the door to the enemy to have his way with my thinking in that avenue by willingly singing out those lyrics. I cannot clarify enough – God did not give me this dream. Guilt, shame, condemnation, evil is NOT from God. I myself gave the enemy permission to attack when I submitted my will to that of evil, that of murder by singing those lyrics. God, in His mercy and desire for clarity, revealed why I had the dream, and it was because I was putting evil in my heart.
I could keep telling myself that these are just song lyrics and they are innocent, but why would I ever sing a song with a joyful beat about murder? If we look at it black and white, it just does not make sense. Matthew 5 and 1 John 3 both remind us that committing murder is a sin, but to hate a brother or sister in your heart is the same as murder. God takes this seriously, in deed and in thought. And here’s the challenging thing, I have not heard or sung or actively thought about this song in at least two weeks. Also, I want to clarify that when singing these lyrics, I have never actually thought about the reality of murder. These details reveal just how much influence the words we speak have. I sang them, and they stayed in my heart, until they eventually manifested and came to the surface again in this nightmare.
I was hesitant about sharing this due to fear of people thinking I am off my rocker. But really, it’s okay if you think I’m a little crazy. I know God is looking for a holy bride. I know He is looking for holiness in action, but that starts at the heart and the mind.
At church the morning before I had this dream, I cried out, “Test me, try me, prove me, refine me, God!” Hmmm. I believe that as we call out for revival fire, the fire of his testing also increases. I have made a personal decision in my life to cut out most secular music because it grieves the Spirit inside of me. However, I still listen to a few artists that don’t outright sing praise and worship songs. I am seeing that the more and more I cry out for revival and intimacy, the more and more the Lord is guarding my heart, the wellspring of life itself (Proverbs 4:23). Please hear my intentions in this… I am not telling you what to do, but sharing a shift in my own thinking that God needs a people devoted to holiness, unwilling to compromise, even if that means refraining from singing, and therefore agreeing with, certain lyrics. The Bible says life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). Either we speak, sing, shout, whisper… life or death - there is no in between. I do not say this to condemn, clearly I need to hear this myself! But this is truth. And today this truth became so real to me.
It actually matters what we put in our heads and what we put on our lips. This is something I have thought of as minor and “too elementary” for far too long. I challenge you to think twice about what you are meditating on – not to be fearful of something like this happening, no. But because you ARE the holy bride of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2, Ephesians 5:27), and it is time to start agreeing with that identity.
(If this resonates with you, let’s get practical. Shutting a door to the enemy is just as easy as opening one. Take some time alone and ask Holy Spirit to reveal any doors that you might have opened to give the enemy permission into your life - songs that sing about death, movies, books, anxiety, unforgiveness, sexual acts, fear, anger, pornography, horoscopes… etc.
Repent for agreeing with any platforms that do not agree with God’s message. (Note - repentance means to change the way you think, it goes beyond confession. Change the way you think about these platforms and your identity. You are a holy bride! This is a daily renewing of the mind. Let these truths sink in - Hebrews 10:10, 1 Corinthians 13:10, 2 Peter 1:4, 1 Peter 1:16.)
Forgive. Forgive yourself for opening a door, whether it was knowingly or unknowingly. Forgive anyone who may have opened the door for you. Ask for and RECEIVE forgiveness from Jesus, the One who paid it all for you to be forgiven (Titus 2:14).
Then, close the doors in the name of Jesus and cover them with His blood. Declare that they will never open again in the name of Jesus! Seriously, speak it out!
Believe the door is shut and that you have permission to walk in freedom from these things. Believe that the Lord’s ability to protect you now that you have done this is greater than the enemy’s ability to attack. There will be NO retaliation for this breakthrough in the name of Jesus.
If you have questions or thoughts or comments or just want to chat about all this, please reach out to me. I wouldn’t include this sentence if I didn’t mean it. I have seen how going through this process has spurred on such significant breakthrough in my life and I would love to talk to you about it, and hear your story.)