Recently I was musing on the prayer of Jabez, which I then followed up with another post. As I promised in that post, here is the word/vision given to me earlier this year.
The snake and the Church
16th February 2006
I saw a giant snake, long and thick, coiled around a reclined human figure. The figure was pasty white and bloated, obviously unhealthy. The figure seemed oblivious to his position (the figure seemed masculine, but the sex was not important), and was stuffing his face with cake.
It’s as if I was seeing this with the Lord. I perceived the snake as satan / the world, and the reclining figure as representative of the Church. I saw the grip that the world had on the Church, and the oblivious nature of Church to the entwining coils. Indeed, for me the relined posture and the cake represented an active complicity in the whole picture.
I guess I expected the Lord to be angry. But instead I became aware of his great compassion and unbounded love for the whole Church. Even a Church that was willingly complicit in its own enslavement. It often seems that way, either I get a sense of profound judgment, or of unlooked for and undeserved compassion and love. This time it was most definitely the latter, and I had the sense that I was given some understanding of how the Lord views our (western) Church.
As I was looking at this, I became aware that the Lord was totally in charge of this situation, and that He was biding His time. “When I’m ready……..”. I saw an axe in place to lop off the snakes’ head. The impression I had was that it would be an immediate and cathartic action – an overnight judgement. For the man, the human figure representing the Church, it would be to his ultimate salvation and healing. I saw that if this was not done, the Church would undergo a slow death through engorgement. The Lord made me aware of this, and that His judgement on the snake was to be to the Church’s salvation.
However, it would be far from easy, not comfortable in any way. For the man, it would be deeply painful, just like a drug addict forced to kick his habit. For a Church entwined by the world, and deeply complicit in that entwinement, this would be a most painful salvation; indeed to the Church it would seem nothing like being saved, at least to begin with.
The Lords’ ways are not our ways, nor His thoughts our thoughts (Is 55 v8).
It’s where loving our enemies comes from.
Deep, Pete, deep!
Would that we have that compassion more and more!
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Usually the Church is represented as a female – the Bride of Christ. I think this image may instead be human society. Unhealthy, eating cake in a recliner, as if everything were just fine. That’s what the devil wants the world to think, but in fact, the days are growing thin and the dawn of eternity is very near.
You may be interested also in this essay on serpetn symbolism:
You may be right, in which case I can be accused of mixing my images 😉
I’ll check out the essay, thanks…
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