Third Vision of Jesus (Psalm 23 – A Prophetic Poetry of My Life)
On July 16, 2007, I saw Jesus for the third time in a dream. This time I only saw His back because He was just walking a little bit ahead of me, but He was also at the same time with me and beside me. The explanation is that He is everywhere — ahead of me, beside me, behind me, in me, and watching over me at the right hand of the Father (Psa 139; Acts 2:33).
This dream was different from my other spiritual dreams in that God used Psalm 23 to confirm His specific call for my life. And this psalm outlines God’s destiny for my entire life both prophetically and chronologically. At the outset of the dream, I was in a deep dark valley and I immediately know that this is the "valley of the shadow of death" (Psa 23:4). And Jesus was walking with me right beside me on my left, and I could see His back. There were fear and darkness all around me, Jesus’ robe was the only thing that’s white and visible. It was white like the moon, and not the bright shining light that I saw in my first vision of Him. Terror tried to grip me, but I kept looking at Jesus, and we were walking in a steady pace forward. I was still somewhat afraid because of the surrounding great darkness, but I fixed my eyes on Jesus. Then I knew that I had been here before. It was before I came to know Christ that I often have seen myself falling in a dark bottomless pit, with no one to rescue me. After I came to the knowledge of the love of God, I saw His hands coming to rescue me, and I stopped falling, and all around me became light. However, this time, He has led me back, and He has intentionally withheld His glory from lightening up the whole place for a purpose. That’s when I began to perceive that this purpose was that I was called to minister to those in the "valley of the shadow of death," which means those that suffer the most agonizing pain on the earth. And in order to train me for my call, He has allowed many hardships in my life, especially in the earlier years of my life, ie my teen years and early young adulthood.
Before the age of twelve, God was my shepherd and I lacked nothing materially, and I enjoyed my elementary school life in Taiwan, although at that time I didn’t know Him. That is verses one and two. The very first verse also is the "topic sentence" of my life, namely that He is my great Shepherd, and I knew very well what this meant, and this was the narrow and difficult path that I’ve chosen to walk while on this earth. Then after I graduated from elementary school in Taiwan and came to Vancouver, that’s verse three, for this was the path that God had chosen for me in order to train me to fulfill my call. Then enters verse four, the "valley of the shadow of death," which lasted through my entire teenage years up to early adulthood. The hardships include family issues, every area of relationships, schooling, work, ministry, and physical sicknesses. Now I am at the point of verse five, where most of those issues have been overcome, except for bodily infirmities. And verse six is still in the future, where God knows the desire I have in my heart. Although the entire psalm should be generally applied to all people so that there is not a time factor in interpretation and application, but it was in this specific dream that God used this psalm to reveal the pattern of my life (which of course only applies to me, and not all). For the general interpretation, every person, including myself, can claim all the promises and presence, encouragement and comfort at any moment.
I had another dream right after this one, where I dreamed about my high school days, and also after I have graduated from university. I can’t really recall the details of this latter dream, but I knew God was showing forth why He has allowed me to walk through the "valley of the shadow of death" during those times. This dream is a confirmation to what I have been sensing all these years about the call of God in my life. Not long after I was saved, there has always been this prompting in my heart to minister to those who are suffering the most in heart. Those with hopeless family problems, broken relationships, heartbreaking events, and those that are in extreme mental anguish and physical infirmities. I also dreamed about ministering to Africans, and I specifically remember praying for a deaf man who received his hearing. I knew this dream was symbolic primarily in that "Africans" are symbolic of the poorest in life on the earth in a general sense. God has confirmed again and again that He has called me to go to those darkest regions of one’s heart, their valley of the shadow of death, there to shed the light of Christ, and share the love of God, to let them know that Jesus is with them, and that nothing is ever impossible with Him. There to bring courage and comfort, for courage is only the greatest when facing the greatest darkness that one has ever known in his or her life (Psa 23:4-5). And then to raise them up further to become the most awesome and fearless ministers of love that the world has ever seen (Psa 23:6).
I believe this commission also applies to those who’re suffering physically, that’s why God has allowed so much bodily pain and sickness on my life now, so that I will truly understand that He is the God who heals (Acts 10:38). It is no coincidence that God spoke to me very much and very deep through a couple of dramas about people facing incurable diseases. There have also been several confirmations to this call to the most devastated ones recently. This week I happened to meet one of my high school friends unexpectedly at Surrey SFU–we’ve lost contact for about seven years. And I also saw another high school friend when I was taking a walk in the park this week. I believe these encounters were reminders of what I went through during those days and the glorious salvation I’ve come to receive. And now God is taking me back to those scenarios, just like in the dream where God is taking me back to the valley of the shadow of death, only this time not to suffer anymore, but to learn to channel the grace of God to those going through it. And I also happened to watch the J-drama "A Song to the Sun" now. In it, the lead female character cannot be exposed to sunlight because the UV will destroy her skin. What I didn’t know was that about the same time that I began to watch the drama, I also started to meditate on Psalm 121 (my birthday psalm). And I just noticed that in Psalm 121 verse six, it says that "the sun shall not strike you by day." Not to mention what God spoke to me when I watched "One Liter of Tears" sometime ago. Significantly, in Psalm 23, the "valley of the shadow of death" is also a place where people cannot see the sun. And I finally understood why Jesus showed Himself to be like the gentle moonlight this time instead of a dazzling sunlight. In the drama, the girl loves the moon a lot because she cannot befriend the sun due to her condition, so a moonlight in the dark, Jesus in the dark valley. But later, and just before she dies, she wrote a song, A Song to the Sun, and this is speaking to me of the song that I will write with my life, A Song to the Son. I took a deep look at the moon tonight, it was so beautiful though, the moonlight. Somewhat like Little White’s light, oh that’s so touching.
Speaking of Little White, it crushed last last night while I was having my evening stroll. It crushed with the lights on, so during my evening devotion, when I turned out all lights while in prayers, the only light left in the room is Little White’s little white light, haha, now she is truly a "Little White." What amazes me is that, that’s so like the moonlight hanging in the evening sky, and it was still there until I fell asleep, the battery only ran out sometime during my sleeping hours. Interestingly, that very same night, I had another dream, this was a different date than the previous dream where I saw Jesus. In this vision of the night, I saw I was training both sheep and sheepdogs. Some of them were very elderly, some were younger, while some are very little. Sheep represent the people of God and sheepdogs speak of those guiding them (John 10). I especially went to those elderly ones because I knew they had finished their race in this worldly arena for God, and were soon going back home to Heaven. I comforted them and commended them, and looked towards the younger ones. The message of this dream came very clearly: there is a need for a new generation of people who know their God intimately. The previous generation cannot live for the next generation, no matter what great exploits that have done for God, the new wave of people need to have a personal deep experience with the Lord themselves in order to catch the baton that the older generation has left. Then I saw a Nintendo video game that I used to play when I was kid in the dream, the name of the game is called "Future Warriors." When I awoke from my sleep, I knew this was yet another confirmation of the call of God in my life, to raise up a group of future warriors of love for the Lord in these last days. We’ve heard of great miracles and revivals all around the world with the one-hundred-year Pentecostal movement and all the wonderful truths that God has restored which were mostly lost for a large part of church history. However, as wonderful as they may be, these truths and marvelous miracles are not ours to experience if all we ever have is something that we only hear about from our forefathers. No matter how great these men and women of God were, one day they will be gone, and many has gone glory already. (By the way, just a side note, somehow, these days I’ve been wondering when my cat Cookie will go back home to Heaven, and yes, all animals and pets will be in Heaven, maybe more on this in future postings. Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if my Dad is not around anymore.) It is our opportunity and chance now to lay hold of God, the mantle of Elijah has been left, where are the Elishas to pick it up to continue to call? There are many great men and women of God that I admire much, but I know deep in my heart that one day they’ll go back before I do, for they were called to the previous generation. If one day I was to tell the younger generation of the wonderful works of God, the miracles, the revivals, the multitudes of changed lives, I can never just borrow stories from the previous generation, I need to be a living witness to the unchanging love and greatness of God in mighty love, and also signs and wonders. By the grace of God, I answer the call to train up future warriors that will truly know the deep things of God, who will not be satisfied with just empty head knowledge and traditions, which I call "churchianity."
Anyhow, God has placed in my heart a deep hunger for the miraculous. I know the timing is probably still in the far future, possibly my last ministry phases towards the end of my life. But who knows, maybe earlier. I have always wondered if there were also an apostolic call in my life because of a sense of this I feel in my heart. I’m still not sure if this is just a heavy burden for the miraculous, or actually an apostolic mandate. If it’s the latter, it would more likely come at the concluding phases of my ministry. But even without the apostolic call, the qualifying power gifts are there for the fivefold pastoral call and perhaps also the teaching office for some. It is worthwhile to consider that the purpose of the miraculous is not just to demonstrate the greatness of God, for creation itself has already testified to this fact (Rom 1:20). But the prime reason for the miraculous is to demonstrate the love and compassion that God has towards the afflicted. Whether miracles come through gradually by standing upon the healing promises of God’s Word, or by the instantaneous healing by the operation of the gifts, God is always interested in restoring the hearts of men.
This being said, Jesus has reminded me time and again, that the greatest need of this world is not a physical healing or material provision, but the greatest cry of this broken world is for love. He said that the greatest sign that He performed was His own sacrifice (Luke 11:29-32). I know God has called me, and I would need to be faithful, humble, and obedient to the end to fulfill this call to the most hopeless in the world. For the greatest darkness would require the greatest courage and love in order to bring them to the experience of the love of Christ. He has shown me the key to true spiritual power and authority. If God is the Almighty, All-Powerful, and that nothing is ever impossible with Him, and we’re vessels of His power, then the only hindrance to walk in the fullness of God’s call is our hearts, because we all have a free will. Of course there is always a time factor in the manifestation of certain giftings and measure of anointing, but if the heart is still stubborn, one will never walk in the destiny of God for that person. Therefore, the greatest weapon that the entire physical and spiritual universes have ever known is a tender and humble heart, a heart that is willing to change a thousand times for the sake of love. It is true that people do not change easily. However, the fact remains that a person can change, if he is willing to come to God to receive the grace for change. So the question is not whether a person can change or not, but whether a person is willing to change. And the only thing that will make a heart willing is never by compulsion or strict external rules, but by a touch of His love. The willingness must be a true willingness that is truly willing for the sake of love. And all true lasting changes will only come about when a heart is deeply touched and fully motivated by the love of God (1 John 4:19). This is not just an once-for-all event, but a daily experience, a moment-by-moment reception of divine grace. Hence, it is my prayer that I would have the softest heart and not find excuses to resist change for selfish and foolish reasons.
I ask that the grace of God would be upon my life continually. He knows my heart, I just want to love Him and love those created in His very own image, and bring the love of God to hearts that have never seen a light break, and have never known the taste of love.
A holy confirmation of the meaning of my third vision of Jesus came swiftly and clearly right after I had the dream. The next day during my morning devotion, I read the book of 2 Corinthians, namely 2 Cor 1:3-7:
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation."
God have mercy and grace upon me, that I may be faithful to the end.
"And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love" (1 Cor 13:13)
(P.S. I said Lord, next time I want a hug from You… or next, next time or the time after…)
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