Looking at this picture gives me a fresh understanding of just how important it is to make sure that we don't allow even one bad fruit in our lives. We must be diligent to extinguish the seeds that the enemy wants to use to cause us to bear bad fruit and thus become disqualified for the greater good of God's kingdom. Lemons are known for being bitter. There are many things that can cause bitterness in a person's life, and it is a very powerful, deep rooted thing that doesn't want to give up easily. It takes a determined effort to make sure we are free from every negative effect. The enemy will use his weapons of creating offense in order to keep a person dealing with repeated issues of a bitter root growing back.
In a recent dream, God gave me a glimpse into a spiritual reality that He is also communicating on the same subject of bitterness. I thought I would share it with you.
There were four parts to this dream. In the first part, I was observing this woman that had an abusive boyfriend. It was this same woman's wedding day, but she was supposed to marry someone else. In the second part of the dream, the scene changed and I was observing young girls who were supposed to be a part of the wedding party, but they were so fearful that they were hiding in a dark closet. There was a rat in there with them coming in and out under the door, but they were more comfortable being in the closet with the rat than coming out and being a part of the wedding party. The wedding officiant (dressed in a priestly robe like a Father), kept trying to get them to trust him and come out of the closet. In the third part of the dream, the bride kept getting distracted by a variety of things and then looked at her watch to discover she was really late in getting ready. Her watch said 5:15 p.m.and the wedding started at 6:00. Her hair was a mess, she didn't have herself together at all, but she just shrugged her shoulders and said, "Oh well, they always wait for the bride anyway. I will just take my time getting ready." Then she looked out a glass door and saw three lemon trees. One of the smaller trees had been cut down and old, moldy fruit lay on the ground next to it. As she looked up to the other two trees, she saw Betty White, the actress, shaking lemons out of the trees." End of dream.
Well, that is a pretty crazy dream, don't you think? But it tells quite a story.
The bride (that's all of us), is hanging on to abusive boyfriend(s) when she is supposed to be betrothed to someone else. An abusive boyfriend can indicate familiar spirits such as fear, insecurity, rejection, anger, bitterness or something else. These things dominate our thought life and compel us to act out of a wrong belief system. These things act as forms of bondage yet what do we do? We defend our decisions to stay in agreement with the wrong things, and we make excuses for the things that tend to make us bitter rather than breaking free and being done with those things!
The young girls in the closet are also indicative of the bride. They are immature, fearful, and intimidated about coming out of the closet with their Christian beliefs. They are more content to live in darkness with the things that make them unclean rather than come out into the light and be a part of the wedding ceremony. This is a call for deliverance, cleansing and inner healing that will restore confidence in our royal position as not just children of the Most High God, but coming into maturity to be the bride of Christ.
The bride is distracted with many things and her attitude is very casual and disinterested at readying herself for her groom. Her attitude is "I'll get there when I get there," but she does not realize how late the hour is for her to ready herself! The clock is ticking in the final hour before her groom will appear at the wedding ceremony. Ephesians 5:15 says, "Be careful then how you walk, not as unwise, but as wise (vs 16) making the most of your time because the days are evil."
The final part of the dream is a bit funny. Can you imagine Betty White standing in the top of the lemon tree, shaking out the lemons? She was smiling while she was doing it. I think the Lord is saying through this that we, as in Christians, (represented by the trees) have a lot of bitterness that needs to still be shaken out of us. To me, Betty White is a comedian, so I felt like the Lord was saying though this is a serious message in it's intent, laughter and joy are a good remedy to dealing with bitterness from our past. After all, scripture tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength. Jesus wants to give us each an exchange - we give him the things that cause us to feel bitter, and He will give us joy. Prov.17:22 tells us that laughter is good medicine for the soul! Don't hold on to those lemons and keep squeezing them - get rid of them and put the axe to the tree! When we do, it allows the blood of Jesus to cleanse us from that unrighteousness and make us "white" as snow. Aren't you blessed to know that even when God wants to give us a serious message, we can rest assured He is also giving us a little humor to make the pill go down easier? He is a good and gracious God!
The name Betty also means "God is my oath." We can take comfort in knowing that God's oath towards us is His word and His covenant. He is committed to helping us in the transformation process. He doesn't give up on us. His work of righteousness in us is to help us rid ourselves of spot, wrinkle and blemish so that Jesus finds us spotless and our wedding gown pure and white. The lover of our soul never gives up on us, and He is with us throughout eternity!
Thank you for helping us each see things within ourselves that You want to change. Holy Spirit, come change my mindset and help me to see the things within myself that have been blind spots - things that cause bitterness, unrest and steal my peace and joy. I give you permission to change my heart and my perspective so that I do not continue to make excuses for offenses, irritants and wrong attitudes, for those things will only serve as abusive boyfriends that beat me up in life. I repent and renounce all familiar spirits of offense, anger, fear, unforgivness, jealousy, envy, competition and indifference. I renounce and repent for allowing unbelief and a cold heart to govern my heart and my attitudes. Renew my love for You, Lord Jesus. Renew my peace and joy. Thank you so much for loving me and being kind in the ways You correct my thinking. You are so gracious. I love you! I break every agreement with fear, jealousy, envy, malice, gossip, evil speaking, a desire for vengeance, offense, bitterness, anger and every familiar spirit from the enemy. Satan, go now, in Jesus name. In the name and authority of Jesus Christ I pray, amen.