A few years ago I had a dream in which I was in an old western town like the Dodge City set of the "Gunsmoke" TV series. I was standing in front of what might have been the Longbranch saloon facing the muddy street. As I stood there I heard the noise of a horse drawn wagon approaching from the left, up the street. When I turned to look, I saw a decrepit looking old man driving a horse drawn buckboard with someone walking along close behind as if they were being dragged along with the wagon.

When the wagon got closer I could see that the old man was dragging a young woman along behind by her left arm. She was wearing a dress that had once been long and beautiful, but now was torn and ragged. Her bared legs were covered with mud and she had no shoes. Her hair was long and disheveled and it hung down and covered her face as she staggered along, bent over behind the wagon.

There was a green box sitting on the tail gate of the wagon that looked like an old camel back chest. As the wagon got closer I could see that the woman was bound by her left hand to the chest! Just as the driver was going by in front of me and I pondered what to do, Jesus stepped out from behind me and ordered the old man to stop. He did, and with a cocky expression on his face he looked back at Jesus as if to say, "All right wise guy, now what?"

Jesus said, "Unloose her and let her go."

Then the old man said a most curious thing, "I ain't got any chains on her. She is there because she wants to be!" I looked at the woman and he was right! The only thing that bound her there was her grasp on the strange old green chest.

Then Jesus said, "Come up here my love. Come away with me." Then the dream ended.


I believe that the woman is the Church, so in that sense the dream is for all of us who are of the bride of Christ. The wagon is the machinery of denominations that has ground on for the past 1700 years. The box is empty traditions, doctrines that hold their members captive as well as the lure of the world on our sin nature. The old man is the devil. The mud is unconfessed sin that clings to us [see John 13:10]. The woman has no shoes because in her fallen state she has lost the shoes of the gospel of peace [see Eph. 6:15 and Luke 15:22]. She wears an old dress that reveals her nakedness because she has not discarded her own covering of self righteousness. She has not put on her wedding garment of Christ's righteousness, or if she had it once she disregarded it [see Isaiah 47:1-4]. Jesus bids her to turn 90 degrees from the way she has been going and turn and step up to his elevated level and "dwell in heavenly places" in Him. She is not asked to return to where she first joined the wagon, nor is she encouraged to try to change the chest, wagon, or the wagon driver's mind [see Revelation 18:4 and Haggai 2:9]. The horse pulling the wagon represents the self will of man and his controlling institutions [see Isaiah 31:1-5].

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