I woke up from a dream at 5:55 the other Sunday morning - 5 is the number of grace so it seems that if grace is mentioned three times, then the dream I woke up from is very important.
In the dream I walked into the Prayer Room at the Yalta Prayer Base in Ukraine (a place we've ministered in a number of times) and I could see that there was no band at the front; instead, Jesus stood there in front of the chairs but not on the stage. The band was lined up behind him - all of them people I know. Jesus began to move - as he moved his arm, they all moved the same arm - as he turned his head to the right, so did they; as he bent forward they all did the same. As he moved each part of his body they all copied the same move - from my seat all I could see was Jesus but because they were all moving with him, I couldn't see any of them - just Jesus - and there was a big smile on his face.
Then I noticed that as Jesus made each move and as each of them followed the move precisely, he began to get bigger with each move. The people in the room began weeping - the sight was so awesome. Then people began to fall to the floor and as they did I could see things dropping off their bodies - I think it was sicknesses and oppression.
Then I remembered Matthew 21:12-17
Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’ The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant. “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, ‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?” And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.
As we all align ourselves with Jesus and create his house as a "House of Prayer" - then the sick and the lame will come and be healed (Jesus healed all those who came to him). There will be people (those bound by religion and legalism) who won't like it - they will become indignant. But Jesus will be pleased - there will be a big smile on his face!
Bethany is where Mary lived - the one who sat at his feet - the one who broke the jar of perfume and anointed him with it. She had developed a lifestyle of extravagant devotion to Jesus. He liked to go to Bethany because he likes to be around people who have chosen to live that kind of devoted lifestyle.
Later I also thought about a similar situation in Luke 19:37-40
When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
This suggests to me that there is a ‘song’ buried in each of the locations we live in (in the ‘stones’ on which we have built our cities) and one of the tasks of the church is to discover what that song is and give it expression. The verse in Matthew 21 that says that he has ‘called forth praise’ could more properly be translated “you have perfected praise”. Both these passages speak of a release in the Spirit of something that will fulfill the purposes of God in our day.