“But when the time arrived that was set by God the Father, God sent his Son, born among us of a woman, born under the conditions of the law so that he might redeem those of us who have been kidnapped by the law. Thus we have been set free to experience our rightful heritage. You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own children because God sent the Spirit of his Son into our lives crying out, “Papa! Father!” Doesn’t that privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you are not a slave, but a child? And if you are a child, you’re also an heir, with complete access to the inheritance.”
—Galatians 4:4–7 MSG (emphasis added)
A few years after I was born again, God gave me a prophetic dream showing me the battle I would face with legalism. Please bear with me as I share this dream with you in detail and provide you with the interpretation as I have it today. Mind you, I did not understand most of the meaning of the dream until after He had already performed a great work of restoration from legalism within me and from the resulting fruits in my life of scrupulosity and religious OCD.
In the dream, I was a high school student, and I was running late for my class. As I walked in the hallway of the school toward my classroom, an announcement was made through the school’s speakerphones, and the lady said, “Kathleen Kaczmarek has been kidnapped!” I knew by the tone of her voice that the kidnapper was still roaming around and that he was a threat. But why had she said my name? I quickly became uneasy. Was it a prophecy of what would happen to me? Could there be someone else with the same first and last name? Hadn’t it already happened? She said, “Has been kidnapped,” but I was still there. When I reached the classroom, everyone was panicked. The teacher dismissed the class, and all the girls ran for refuge back home. The teacher left, everyone left, and I was left alone in the classroom. Suddenly I saw to my left maybe two or three strong men, muscle-bound men; and I started to look to them to protect me from the kidnapper. However, and to my surprise, even they ran for fear!
By now I was standing at the front of the classroom. On my right was a door that led to the hallway. At that moment, the kidnapper appeared in the doorway, laughed, and hid again. He wanted me to know that he wasn’t far and that he knew where I was. I thought to myself “If even the muscular men can’t save me, who can?” This is when the very voice of our heavenly Father spoke to me. I say our heavenly Father because when He spoke, His voice sounded like thunder. A fair description could also be like many waters. But I know it was powerful and loud and it resonated everywhere. I recognized it from the way it is described in John 12:28-29 where the Father speaks as a response to Jesus’ cry to glorify the Father’s name. The sound of His voice is likened to thunder. When the Father spoke to me, His voice seemed to be everywhere at the same time; it was outside of me, inside of me, went through me, and was everywhere! And this is what He said: “You are not alone, Jessica.” He didn’t even know my name! But at the same time I knew that God obviously had to know my name. I didn’t know what to make of it. I guess I had mixed feelings. Part of me was so blessed that God Himself would speak to me at this moment of great need in such a way, but at the same time I felt kind of offended that He didn’t call me by my real name, Kathleen. It made me feel as though He barely knew me and that I didn’t matter to Him very much for Him to make such a gross mistake with my name. That’s the way the dream ended.
Through the dream, the Lord was showing me that the law (legalism) would come and kidnap me, but that I could call to my heavenly Father and He would be strong enough to deliver and to protect me. The apostle Paul made it clear to us through Galatians 4:4–7 that we are not slaves, but children. Legalism reduces us to slavery through fear. However, God the Father has set us free from bondage to fear by adopting us as His own children through Christ.
What’s more, the Lord wanted to teach me another powerful lesson. . . Before I had the dream, I had been spending some time searching the web for the meaning of the name Kathleen. I also knew that my mom had debated between Kathleen and Jessica. Most sites say that the meaning of Kathleen is “pure.” Even a lady from church gave me a card with the name Kathleen on it and with a description of its meaning as “pure.” Through my search on the internet, I also came across one site (and I cannot find the site anymore) where they insisted that even though most people say the meaning of Kathleen is “pure,” it is a mistake. Instead it means some kind of dark sorcerer or something like that. I can’t remember the exact words they used to describe it. Though I knew it was only a name and only one site, still it troubled me a little given my past and the way the devil liked to play with my mind. Regardless, Kathleen represented who I was, in and of myself. However, all of this didn’t matter anymore after I had that dream because God had called me Jessica! So I hurried to the computer, eager to know the meaning of the name Jessica. I knew it had to describe how God saw me and that it represented who I was in Christ, for God had spoken it. When I found it, I was pleased to see that Jessica means “God beholds,” “wealthy,” and “foresighted.”
Now, you may wonder where I am going with this. This blog is about our true identity, our new life, the one that is hidden with Christ in God. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17 AMPC that if any person is ingrafted in Christ, he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away and the fresh and new has come! This means who we were before is buried with Christ. I believe that God is the ultimate visionary, and He has buried our past through the blood of Christ so that the new could come. We are a new creation. Consider Abram, Sarai, Jacob, and Simon for example. Each of them were renamed by God Himself once they had an encounter with Him. Abram was renamed Abraham; Sarai, Sarah; Jacob, Israel; and Simon, Peter. In their days, names were very important because they represented who they were.
Now, let me share something with you that I consider of utmost importance. What we believe about ourselves, how we see ourselves, and how we believe that God sees us is critical. It will ultimately shape who we are and, really, the course of our lives. In Romans 6:11, the apostle Paul told us to consider ourselves dead to sin but alive to God. I heard Beth Moore say during an interview with Joyce Meyer what I consider to be one of the most powerful statements I have ever heard. It went something like this: “You will end up where you believe you belong. Always.” This is why we need to renew our belief system with the truth of the Word of God. If we believe in our heart that we belong in the pit, no matter how hard we try, we will always ultimately end up in defeat. If we believe that we are a sinner, no matter how many good intentions we have, we will ultimately go back to the sin we are desperate to get free from. So it is important to believe with our heart that we belong to and with Jesus because of our faith in His work at Calvary, if we ever want to live the corresponding victorious life. It is important to believe what the Word says concerning us.
The Bible says about us who believe in Christ that we are children of God. We are slaves of righteousness, not slaves of sin. We are the righteousness of God through Christ. We need to know this truth for ourselves: that we have been made righteous through Christ, that we are accepted in the beloved, and that we are forgiven. The Bible even says that we are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus! Talk about a done deal! Unless we see ourselves right with God through the blood of Christ, we will never be victorious and we will always end up in defeat in the end, always.
Now be encouraged dear one, for there is hope! There is a way out.
 See Jeremiah 17:5 MSG.
 See also Romans 8:15.
 See Colossians 3:3.
 See Genesis 17:5.
 See Genesis 17:15.
 See Genesis 35:10.
 See Matthew 16:17–18.
 See Romans 6:18 NKJV.
 See 2 Corinthians 5:21.
 See 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 1:6 KJV; Matthew 26:28.
 See Ephesians 2:6.