My vision of The Discipleship Center came to me while fully awake. I was watching a YouTube video about aquaponics farming and I wondered if a small business could be built around this for chronically unemployed people, or for those who needed discipleship to get on track following Jesus or for those who wanted to break addiction from drugs and alcohol.
I milled this "vision" over and over in my mind for more than a year before I spoke the thoughts out loud to anyone. At a pastors conference, my former ministry partner, asked what we might do to enhance our ministry at the homeless shelter I was working at. Before I knew it, this seed that had been dormant for over a year sprang out of my mouth, talking about buildings, and greenhouses, and farmers markets, and bible institutes...
The pastor who was on the receiving end of this monologue looked at me like a two headed donkey on roller skates. The thoughts were too big for him to imagine and he decided that "we" couldn't do it.
My Second Guessing
I wondered if I had made a mistake. Surely this was too big of an undertaking for me to handle. I've never done anything like this before. I have zero qualifications, zero experience, zero talent. None of this idea for The Discipleship Center makes any sense.
Finally, I had just about given up. I figured that this was too big for me and I had better things to do with my life.
Then I had a dream...
I have grown up as an evangelical, fundamentalist, cessationist all my life. While I believe in the gifts of the spirit, there are many things that I was taught aren't for today, yet I saw glimpses of them. Someone miraculously healed, someone else preaching with supernatural power, ect.
Then it happened to me. I had a dream that was so vivid that I woke up three times that night only to have subsequent similar dreams.
I dreamed that I was at a large gathering, like a party and we were waiting for the guest of honor to arrive. As the guest of honor came in, many of the people stepped back, and some ran away and hid, and as the guest came around the corner, an attendant told me that the Lord was appearing in this form so I could talk with him. In front of me was a very tall man, who was muscular and bald and had two kind eyes and a third eye that was always watching me. He had on some plain brown pants and a dusty pink shirt. As he looked at me, He piercingly asked: "aren't you the one who should be planting?"
The dream frightened me so much because He spoke directly into my heart. I instantly bolted awake.
I calmed down and went back to sleep and the dream continued. We were sitting together in a room and I told the Lord about everything I had envisioned for The Discipleship Center, about all the things I had studied, about how much I wanted to help people, and about all the things that were concerning me. He just sat there and listened. I asked if I should dare to do this thing or not. I didn't get much of an answer, He just nodded His head. I don't know if this was a nod that He was listening, or that He was thinking, or that He approved. Just the nod was enough to jolt me out of sleep again.
The next dream was very foggy except it was just like the first dream and I was told that no one would understand this dream but that I was the one that "should be planting the seeds".
Now I didn't know what to do because if I go tell my family, they'll think I'm crazy. If I tell my Pastor, he'll think I'm crazy. If I tell my wife she'll think I'm crazy. The whole idea IS CRAZY, but I can't put my vision or the dream out of my head.
Could it be that I'm so fixated with The Discipleship Center that I conjured up the dream in my own head, or could it be that God knows that I am a timid man and I would never have the courage to move forward without Him pushing me?
Like A Hidden Treasure
So I've hidden this dream away in my heart and have told no one about this dream. Perhaps someday I will find someone to share this with, but for now, this is a secret treasure that I feel has been sent to me by God himself.
He's appearing Like This For You
That third eye was always watching
I don't think He was talking about plants for me to be planting...
Was it just a dream? Not a day goes by that I think about this dream and it continually motivates me to keep going.