Keeping Sabbath

Context

At this point in my life, devoting myself to God is kind of new, so there are a lot of questions. I prayed for teaching in understanding how to keep the Sabbath holy, and I got a response in the form of a dream. This is the first dream I recorded. It was recorded a few days after it happened, but this gives a good indication of how incredibly powerful dreams from God are.

Since not everything comes from the Lord (and we are warned to test the spirits), this is a good way to test the source of our dreams. This dream, and others like it, are ingrained into the memory. I was soon to have some other dreams, which I’m convinced were not from the Lord, as they were not as easy to recall.

Every word and action in this dream was remembered, as well as almost photographic memory of the surroundings (which I can’t really convey in text). The strength of my ability to recollect every detail is not down to human endeavour or ability but can only be explained by the power of the holy spirit.

Furthermore, the Lord didn’t just give me an answer to my question but included a number of other bonus lessons in what was a very long dream.

The Dream

I find myself distressed. Not for myself but for someone else. It is late in the evening and I’m looking at a shop. The lights are off and nobody is there. In desperation I go to knock the door but I notice that I can open it and so I enter in. It is dark because the lights are out, but I can hear a noise in the back. I call out and a man emerges. I ask to buy something. He begins to shout at me for daring enter into his shop when it should have been clear to me that he wasn’t open.

MAN: It is a Sunday. I don’t open for anyone on a Sunday.

I apologise for disturbing him, but I tell the man that I am desperate. I only wanted a single item. If he can sell me it then it would be greatly appreciated. I need a sugary drink for a friend who is diabetic - their life potentially depends on it! It is vitally important!

He refuses and shouts again at me to leave immediately. I really don’t want to go as I really need the item. Without it, someone will suffer or endure extreme hardship and there is no other shop around that I can see. I literally start begging the man to serve me this single item.

The man refuses again and insists that I leave. He is very angry now. I can see the situation is hopeless and so I leave, saddened that I have not been able to obtain the item.

I now find myself in a room in a church. There is no service on and the place is empty. I’m in conversation with the minister of the church. I’ve only just met him. A man and woman enter into the room. It is the man from the shop!

MAN: You!

ME: Hi. Sorry about the other day. I really didn’t mean to disturb you.

MAN: I don’t know who you are and because of that I do not trust you.

ME: Perhaps if you get to know me then you will start to trust me.

MAN: Well as you can see, I’m a Christian and therefore I don’t open on Sundays. That is why I could not serve you.

ME: It doesn’t matter anymore. What is done is done.

WOMAN: Hello. This man is my fiancé. We own that shop and work hard in it. We don’t want people like you coming in on the Lord’s day of rest.

ME: Again, I apologise. I would not have entered had I not been so desperate.

WOMAN: My fiancé and I are going to get married and we’re going to have a family and he is going to take my name.

ME: Your name? Surely it should be the other way around!

WOMAN: No, he is okay with it and will be taking my name. You can do that nowadays!

MAN: Do you have a problem with that?

ME: Well, I don’t think it is right but it is no business of mine. What you do is up to you.

WOMAN: That’s right, so keep out of our business.

ME: I will mention it no more.

I now find myself in a room in the same church with a vending machine and a table. I go to get something from the vending machine. Suddenly the machine starts to dispense all the items one by one. The tray is nearly overflowing. To prevent the items from spilling from the tray and on to the floor, I start to move the items from the tray to the table. The vending machine eventually vends its last item and it is now empty.

People can now just lift any item they want from the table. I go and get an empty container. People can pick items they want from the table and can pay by putting money in the container. I take the item I wanted and put some money in the container.

The woman I met earlier on walks into the room and sees the items on the table. I explain that the vending machine is broken. I leave the table and go to a corner where there is a piece of cardboard and pen. I start to write “Honesty Shop” with the pen on to the piece of cardboard with the intention of putting it on the table. While I’m writing, the woman lifts an item off the table and walks out. I know she hasn’t put any money in the container, but I choose to keep quiet and not say anything.

A few moments later, the woman returns. She puts money in the container but does not take an item. She must be paying for the item she had previously taken.

It is now later in the day and I am in the same room with the vending machine. There are a few items missing on the table and some more money in the container.

A man comes into the room, unshaven and dirty looking with torn clothes. The man and woman from earlier also come into the room but through a door on the opposite side. I am in the center of the room. The dirty looking man eyes the container with the money. He runs past me to the container with the money and grabs it. He turns around to run back past me again to escape…

WOMAN: Thief! Stop him!

The dirty looking man runs past me and out the door. I make no attempt to stop him.

MAN: Why did you not stop him? He has taken the money! Can’t you do anything right?

ME: Yes, he has taken the money and I could have stopped him, but I let him run past me.

WOMAN: What is wrong with you?

ME: That man came in here and took money that was not his. He could see how little money there was and that there are three of us and only one of him… yet he still risked taking the money. That man must have been desperate to do this. He may have fallen on hard times and is taking the money to survive. Perhaps what he is feeding is not himself or his family but a drug habit or alcohol addiction. Whatever the truth of the matter, it is not for me to stand in his way. God will judge him accordingly.

ME: When that man took that money, I did not act because I saw how desperate he was and I thought back to last Sunday and how desperate I was when I entered your shop to get an item for a friend who was in great need. I did not want to add to this man’s hardship by standing in his way. I did not hinder him, but at the same time I would not help him in taking the money either. Do not concern yourselves over such little amounts.

Notes

In my dream, I remember understanding that the Sabbath is not a Sunday but begins at sunset on a Friday until sunset the following day. If the man held sound doctrine, then he could have served me. Despite being berated and spoken to in harsh terms, it was not the time nor place for a theological discussion on what day is the Sabbath. I could have raised this also at the church, but I got the impression that both he and his future wife already disliked me, so it would not have been a good time to argue and debate about such a point. There is a time and a place for every conversation and that was not the time.

Being refused service in the shop on Sunday caused someone to suffer. In Matthew 12, Jesus heals a man on the Sabbath and states that it is lawful to do good on that day. We should use our hearts as well as our heads when keeping God’s commandments. He desires mercy!

I am not condoning stealing, but at the same time I would not stop the thief from stealing. I let him. We shouldn’t stand in the way of desperate people. I do wonder that if the man wasn’t desperate, but took the money out of pure greed, would I have still let him run past me?

The bit where I spoke out against the man taking the woman’s name seems completely random! Perhaps it is okay for both people to keep their own names, but a man should not be taking a woman’s name. I’m not sure why God gave me this, but it would not be for no reason. I’m sure I will find out in future!

Finally, the woman took an item off the table and I let her go without challenging her. She returned later to pay. Perhaps she didn’t have the correct change and went to get the right amount of money. This is a lesson in not judging others or jumping to conclusions or making assumptions. Proverbs backs this up:

Proverbs 25:8
Don’t be too quick to tell a judge about something you saw. You will be embarrassed if someone else proves you wrong.

Even though she spoke harshly to me without reason, I held my silence. It turns out this was a wise decision, as the woman was honest after all! We can be too quick to jump the gun and make wild accusations and assumptions about people. This may be especially true when they treat us harshly or dislike us without reason or cause. In general, we shouldn’t do this, but even more so when it is our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. We should still be watchful but hold our counsel until we know all the facts.

Finally, the way I spoke in this dream is nothing like I do in real life. Not just the words, but also my tone and assertiveness. Especially in the end, I felt like I was speaking with authority. Although it was me in the dream, it didn’t feel like me in character. Despite the way I was treated by the man and woman, I don’t recall resenting them or feeling any ill-will towards them at all. Rather the opposite, I cared deeply for them. It was almost like a lesson in how to be perfect and mirroring the personality of our Christ, our risen king!