Don't Part with Something Priceless

Do you struggle with feeling like you need to prove yourself to others or maybe even apologize for your blessings?  I know I have.  In fact, it’s something that all of us struggle with because we are born with desires for approval and acceptance that can only be fulfilled through proper relationship with God. It might surprise you to know that in attempting to prove ourselves to others by the various ways we do in this world, we are actually parting with something priceless.

God delights in sharing things with us through dreams.  I’m thankful He does, because sometimes in the busyness of my life, that’s what it takes to get through to me.

The Dream

The setting for this dream was inside of my bedroom suite within a beautiful mansion. I was cleaning things out of my room, specifically, inside of my bathroom.  I realized that I was preparing my room for someone else to come stay in it and was removing my personal items.

Suddenly, I found myself outside talking to a group of football players who were coming to stay in the house.  Talking to the star player of the team, I discovered that he was a minority who had grown up in a rough area.  He was the person who I was allowing to occupy my bedchamber.  I shared, “I haven’t always had a nice home like this.  I grew up poor.  I used to live in the projects.”

I could tell that I was very concerned about him making negative assumptions about me based on the lavishness of the house and my position in the home.  I was either the wife or daughter of the owner of the house.

During the next scene of my dream, I was witnessing the agent of the star football player enter a very nice tea shop.  However, this was no ordinary coffee shop/tea house.  The interior featured fine cherry wood-paneled walls and the bar area was crafted from a heavy, ornate wood.  This was definitely a classy establishment with custom cabinetry behind the bar offering little drawers containing all types and flavors of teas.

The arrogant and cocky agent was inquiring about an extremely rare and costly tea. He asked, “Is it really as special as people make it out to be? I heard it actually tastes like the malted milk ball tea.”

The next scene showed the agent with a to-go cup back with the group of football players bragging about how he scammed the shop owner into giving him a $300 cup of tea for the price of a $3 cup of tea.

The Interpretation

God is the owner of the mansion in the dream.  I hold the position of daughter of God and bride of Christ.  It wasn’t right of me to forfeit my room that came with my position, nor does God desire that I apologize for who I have become through my adoption into His household.  I once was that orphaned, impoverished girl, but no longer am I to cling to my old identity in any way to prove myself to others.

The agent in the dream represents the demonic voices seeking to speak into that part of us which is vulnerable and trying to prove ourselves outside of our position as sons and daughters of God.  When we succumb to that voice and step into proving ourselves, we will forfeit our true positions and operate out of an orphan position.  Satan used those very same tactics when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness immediately following God publicly affirming Him as His son at His baptism.

The tea shop owner also represents the world’s system of buying and selling.  This system ascribes value and worth according to what the buyer is willing to pay the seller.  In this system, everything must be earned and bought.  This is a works-based system where man exists by the sweat of his brow.  Satan referenced this system at Jesus’ temptation, offering Jesus the world’s glory and splendor in exchange for the price of Jesus worshiping him.  Let’s take a moment to thank Jesus for resisting that temptation! All Glory and honor and praise belong to God alone! Jesus is worthy of all praise and honor because He overcame so that we can also be overcomers!

God’s way is different.  Through the blood of Jesus we have access to grace which is unmerited favor.  We don’t have to earn.  We don’t have to sell.  We can rest in simply being rooted in the Truth of who God says we are.

What’s interesting is that as I researched this dream, I realized that there really is a malted milkball tea that gets its flavor from artificial flavoring. I was also fascinated to learn that there truly are some teas that are extremely expensive.  Following is an excerpt from an online article concerning the value of one particular type of tea:

“It is hard to imagine that tea leaves can be worth a million dollars. But, a kilo of Da-Hong Pao Tea leaves is valued at $1.2 million. It is mainly because this type of tea dates back to the Ming Dynasty. Moreover, it has been declared a national treasure by the Chinese government. It is usually given as a gift to important individuals such as honorable people, and celebrities. However, the process of making Da-Hong Pao Tea remains a secret tightly guarded by the Chinese (”

Satan is very good with tempting us to operate outside of the authority God has granted us by drawing us into the trap of proving ourselves.  It is important that we have a firm grasp on who God says we are and attach our value and worth to our identity in Christ rather than what this world system says brings us significance.  A high price was paid to bring us into adoption as sons and daughters of the living God.

In the past, I often used the expression, “I’m not everyone’s cup of tea,” meaning I can’t be all things to all people.  Even in the midst of making this statement, so many times I ended up trying to say and do things to make people like me.

I wonder how many times that, I, like the tea shop owner have parted with valuable parts of myself in the process of acting out of the position of proving myself.  We have a God-given identity, but so many times we literally sell ourselves short just like the tea shop owner did. As I look at the dream in the natural, I think no one with any kind of business sense would take a $297 loss just to prove themselves to someone who was trying to goad them into proving something.  Inwardly, we do it far more than any of us realize.

Perhaps like me, you grew up in poverty of spirit, soul, or body and now that you have become a son or daughter of God, you find yourself feeling like you still need to find identity in that place in order to relate to people.  Perhaps you may even feel guilty for your improved circumstances when you see others around you still stuck in poverty of any type.

God doesn’t want us to forfeit the positions and authority He has given us out of misplaced guilt.  It is possible to have a poverty of spirit that is, in fact, healthy.  This place recognizes that in and of ourselves we are all really just filthy beggers.  However, through Christ Jesus who brings us into relationship with God, we have everything we could ever need.  In this place, we can feast at His table as one who has inherited the Kingdom of Heaven!

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” ~ Matthew 5:3 (NIV)

God created us with needs and desires that are meant to be fulfilled through healthy relationship with Him.  Our sin and our shame cause us to hide and attempt to prove ourselves through our own efforts, but there is good news. We can find rest for our weary souls by understanding His grace and mercy that has been made available to us by the price Jesus paid for us upon His death on the cross and resurrection from the dead.

Like the woman in my dream, there is a position you hold which you must understand.  If you have asked Jesus into your heart as your Lord and savior, then you are part of the Bride of Christ and have become a son or daughter of the most high God.  Do not forfeit your position and act out of your old identity.  God has need of you in His Kingdom work and, most importantly, longs to give you the fullness of relationship with Him.

In the eyes of God, we are the priceless tea.  We must not fall prey to the tactics of the enemy which would seek to cause us to sell ourselves short for the price of the malted milk-ball tea created by an artificial flavoring being added to a common tea.  We are not common and not created to add artificial ingredients to ourselves.  God has put everything in us to make us unique and significant.

Our Prayer

Let’s pray together right now.  Father God, I’m so tired of fighting to try to prove my value and worth based on the opinions of others.  I want to rest in my identity in Christ.  Right now I give you the following areas I know I struggle in (Take a moment to think about what drives you, what you fear and where you feel your are striving).  I recognize that my best efforts at righteousness and significance are filthy rags in the presence of your righteousness and that outside of your grace and mercy there is nothing I can do to earn my way to your approval and acceptance.  I recognize that it does me no good if I profit the whole world and yet lose my soul.  I thank you that You have chosen me and that all I have to do is surrender to You.  Father, help me to recognize and overcome the temptation to fall prey to trying to prove myself through all the various ways this world system tells me I must.

In Jesus’ name, Amen

Scriptures for Meditation

Mark 1:11-13 (NIV)

11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

12 At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, 13 and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted[a] by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.

Luke 4:1-14 (NIV)

Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted[a] by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.

The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’[b]

The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’[c]

The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here.10 For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you
to guard you carefully;
11 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’[d]

12 Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’[e]

13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.

Jesus Rejected at Nazareth

14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.

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