“…No Turning Back, No Turning Back.”

“Jesus replied, ‘No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.’ ”                                                      Luke 9:62

More often than not, I don’t remember my dreams. I wake up with a vague sense that I have dreamed something, but I usually can’t recall it, and that’s OK. Later in the morning, as I am giving my mind to God for the day, I will ask Him to help me forget what ought to be forgotten, and remember what I need to remember, including dreams. Sometimes as I pray that prayer, a dream will come back to me, and I immediately know what it was saying to me.

A couple of months ago I had a dream that I remembered  the moment I woke up, and to this day it has had an effect on  the way I view my faith and my calling.

We had experienced some storms over the summer that had knocked out the power and had toppled some trees. Limbs in the road were starting to be a familiar sight. So, the dream that I had that one night was so vivid that it seemed even more real than the average dream.

In my dream, my friend Bre and I had walked to the end of the pier near our house. The waves of Lake Michigan were splashing against the base of the lighthouse, and we could see dark clouds approaching from the North. As the wind picked up and started whipping our hair and clothes around, I started to wonder how much longer we should stay on the pier. At that moment Bre and I said simultaneously, “We’d better get back.”

When we looked behind us, the waves were washing over the pier in depths between 4 and 12 inches at any given moment. The pier looked slippery and treacherous, and there were no railings to hold onto.

As the waves got bigger and the wind stronger, we realized it was highly unlikely that we could walk back to the shore.

And then I saw the shore.

Dozens of large trees had fallen, their tangled limbs forming an impenetrable hedge all along the shoreline.

I was thinking we’d need to call a friend with a boat, or even the Coast Guard, but Bre and I realized that neither of us had a cell phone, and that the only chance of survival was to hang onto the lighthouse. At that point getting home before the storm was over had about 0% chance of success.

The gravity of our situation was just beginning to sink in, and I woke up before it turned into a full-blown panic attack. As I lay in the dark, realizing this dream wasn’t dissolving into the night like most of my dreams, I pondered its meaning.

Bre and I were at the end of the pier. What else is at the end of a pier?

A lighthouse.

What does a lighthouse do?

It shines a light in the darkness. It prevents shipwrecks by warning of impending danger, and it guides ships from the storms of life into a safe harbor. 

Bre and I have some things in common, but the most important thing we share is our faith in Christ. As Christ-followers, it’s our duty to shine His light into the darkness, to warn people of the disaster that awaits if they keep going their own way and do not heed His Word, and to guide others to the safe harbor of His love. (I know, Cliche City here. Sorry.)

But I saw something else in my dream about being “between a rock and a hard place.” As difficult as it was to stay out there in the storm, just hanging onto (being?) the lighthouse, it would be much harder, even fatal, trying to go back where we came from. Clearly there was no going back.

I was sharing this dream with my friend Kelly, and she said, “But I know people who have gone back. They have renounced Jesus and no longer follow Him.” (How tragic!)

I replied, “Well, then this dream was saying that for me, there’s no going back.”

A few days later I received a text message from another friend, one I had seen on a trip back to my old home town. The text said how good it was to spend time with me again, and it closed with the statement, “You are a lighthouse.”

I had never been called that before, but I thought with a wry smile, Yeah, I know

Has God called you to do something important for His kingdom? (If you profess to believe in Him, your answer had better be “Yes!”) Is it getting harder and harder? Are there storms? Have you thought that life was easier before you made a commitment to Christ? Are you tempted to go back?

Don’t even think about it.

Prayer: Lord, You set Your face toward the Cross, and You didn’t turn back, because the Cross was necessary to save us from our sins. In view of Your mercy, and knowing that You will never abandon us, help us to follow You wholeheartedly, “no turning back, no turning back.” In Your name, Amen.

17 thoughts on ““…No Turning Back, No Turning Back.”

  1. I was pressing into this same verse last week. It resonates with me at times how sometimes I think, like the Israelites, “this journey is hard, the old life sucked but at least I had….” (fill in the blank). It’s natural to want comfort in the familiar, but what an important message… forward is where our destiny and calling resides. Great post!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. What got to me about the dream was – I really didn’t have much of a choice. I guess if we could actually SEE what going back would entail, as I did in the dream, we wouldn’t even consider it any more. I’ll try to remember that when the real-life situations come up.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. That was quite the dream. The fact that your friend indicated that you were a lighthouse would seem to give confirmation to the meaning you got from the dream but …. I’m just going to throw my two cents in here and you can tell me what you think. Do you think it possible that God is showing you that difficult times are coming and that He is the lighthouse and to hold onto Him at all costs? I could be totally out in left field here but an awful lot of Christian friends that I know and respect have indicated this inner comprehension about what is coming and I also have this inner witness. Coupled with this awareness is the over riding exhortation, NOT TO FEAR, that God indeed is in control and not to lose sight of the big picture. The other day as I was thinking about some of the terrible things that are taking place in our world, and how people mistreat and exploit other people, it struck me that God still controls our atmosphere around this planet, He is the one who decides what happens and when and to what extent. Considering He created the whole universe, His overview about what happens on planet earth prevails, His will, will be done. Anyway, like I said, I could be totally out in left field, let me know what you think. You indicated that this dream affected the way you view your faith and calling. It could very well be as you have thought it to be. – Bruce

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Bruce, that’s exactly what I got out of the dream. I have known for a long time that following Jesus sooner or later involves pain and persecution, and I have never liked that idea! I have feared in the past that when that time comes I’ll bail, but I think the Lord is telling me that it’s not going to happen. I may not have the strength to endure that kind of thing now, but I don’t NEED it now. I just need to trust that when the time comes He’ll be there for me, carrying me through it. Meanwhile, I acknowledge to Him every day that I am weak, helpless, and utterly dependent on Him – but He is utterly dependable.

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      1. I understand. I think all of us look down the road and paint pictures in our minds of what might happen and how we will react, at one time or another. And, I also agree with you about the realization of our utter dependency on Him and that it is He that will carry us through. I take comfort in the fact that He knows us better than we know ourselves and that He knows our heart of hearts, in spite of fear or anything that would hinder us from holding onto Him. I’ve already made that decision in my heart, now the rest is up to Him and you’re absolutely right, He is utterly dependable. When you stop to think about it, it was a beautiful dream specifically for you and ultimately, many of us. Thank you so much for sharing. Grace and blessings to you and yours.

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  3. Powerful Testimony Ann! I once was processing returning to something I left and a pastor reminded me of the Israelites wanting to go back to Egypt. The message was, maybe you are in a wilderness, but remember Egypt. You didn’t like that either. God has you. Keep being that lighthouse. Once you put yourself out there. God has you and their truly is no turning back.

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  4. Ann, I am blessed by your witness of the Lord’s work in your life. Recently, I have prayed for Him to guide me to others who are “living sacrifices” used of God for Him alone. You seem to display the characteristics of one of these in His kingdom ~ perhaps why someone described you as a “lighthouse.” Nothing behind can hold us when He calls and equips us with His Word and HIs Spirit. I pray the Lord’s blessings for HIs continued witness through you.

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  5. Thank you so much, Frances. I love to tell about how the Lord has blessed my life – and today He blessed me through you. I pray things are going well with you and your husband. I was so moved by your story and your attitude through everything that was going on. You were truly keeping a divine perspective. If only we could all do that all the time …

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  6. This really spoke to me. I have not contemplated going back on Jesus, but God is calling us to leave behind our years of ministry to a new place and a yet to be determined ministry. As much as we want to stay in our past work for the Lord, we can’t go back. We must cling to our faith in Christ and trust him, even in the midst of storms.

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  7. True! If we stick to what is comfortable, we’ll never make any progress. Of all the “belts” I have compared the Word of God to, my favorite is the mountain climber’s belt. It enables us to climb higher and higher, because we are attached to the One who is at the top. It may be lonelier there (the highly populated places are in the valleys) but the view is better! 😉

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  8. This is so great. In fact in a way it adds a layer to a dream that I have had. The dream post I shared on my blog was in response to sensing God this week telling me to “dream out loud” which was strange because up until now I’ve sensed him telling me to keep my dreams private. In my dream I am on an island but I can see a peninsula off in the distance that is connected to the mainland. The island is relationship with Jesus. It is real but it is hard and painful because it involves a cross that I must carry. Many “Christians” have forgotten about this cross. There are many islands and on each one is a light. When I asked the name of the islands in my dreams I was told the Florida keys and Sri Lanka. The Florida keys were first called “the martyrs” because from a distance they looked like suffering men. It is our suffering/cross that is a witness. Indians tell a story about Sri Lanka that it was once attached to the mainland by something called Adam’s bridge. They say that the garden of Eden was on the Island of Sri Lanka and after Adam fell out of relationship with God he walked to the mainland and then the water separated the place of walking with God from the main land. Of course this is a myth but it’s a picture that communicates something.The mainland is religion. I was not to go back to religion even religion with a Christian veneer. But I was shown that on the mainland there were people who were seeking the light. I met these people in a waiting room. One was sitting to my right. He said “your light your sanctification is for the person to your right” which of course was him. He reached out took my hand and coloured my wrist pink. I later had dreams that showed me that this pink was the pink that comes into my stats when someone reads my blog. Today I had an incredible conversation with a true seeker. I have to keep my blog posts very much not preachy or confrontational cause many of these folks were seriously hurt by religion or Christians who aggressively seek converts. God has told me to walk slowly with people in the same way I walk slowly with my autistic sons. I’m excited to know about others like yourself who God is calling to the same thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow. You sound like the kind of person I’d like to meet and talk with for hours … 😉
      Meeting people where they are is a delicate balance, and we MUST have the Holy Spirit leading. Some, as you’ve said, have been wounded by the Church and need a gentle hand. Others need to be whacked over the head – although I NEVER presume I am talking to one of those. Sometimes I may say something, having no idea how relevant it is to that person’s life, and later find out that the LORD whacked them with conviction. (I’m much more comfortable when HE does it. 😉 )

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      1. 🙂 yes I let God do whatever whacking is necessary. Since He disciplines those He loves and knows best what they need. I think of Romans 5 where it says we can rejoice when we run into problems and trials and then goes on to say because God pours out the Holy Spirit in our hearts. Everyone wants the Holy Spirit leading them but it seems they want the hocus locus way more then the way problems and trials make room for Him. It’s been unbelievably painful and difficult till I thought I could not go on but that’s what it took for me to even know what the Spirits voice sounds like so that I can move and adjust on a dime as He leads.

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