dreams, future, vision, warning, prophetic, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Dreams: Receiving Instruction, Warning, and Prophecy from The Lord

The Lord can speak to us in our dreams. Whether it’s an instruction, warning, or vision of things to come, we need to pay attention to what He’s showing us.



For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction. That he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man. He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword.

Job 33:14-18

The Lord can speak to us in our dreams. Whether it's an instruction, warning, or vision of things to come, we need to pay attention to what He's showing us. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #dreams #future #prophetic #vision

Genres…

For as long as I can remember, I have had very vivid dreams. Like a list of movie genres, they’ve spanned the spectrum from horror to drama, sci-fi to action and adventure. Many nights, I wished the Lord would just let me see a lighthearted rom-com! For the most part, the subject matter of my dreams has been much deeper and dramatic than that. During some seasons, dark and scary nightmares plagued my sleep. Like the time when I was four years old and saw the front room of my house catch fire. 

Other times, suspenseful action has been the order of the day, or should I say, night? For an entire year, I had countless dreams of being caught in terrible thunderstorms with people who were in danger of being struck by lightning. It was my responsibility to shepherd them out of the storms and into safe shelter! By far, the strangest dreams I’ve experienced would fall into the sci-fi category. I’ve been transported into centuries past and future and have seen people and places that I have no touchstone for in real life.

But my favorite dreams have always been when I’ve been swept away into some fun and exhilarating adventure–like when I get to fly! I’ll be dancing or swinging, and all of a sudden, I lift off the ground and realize that I can leap up and soar through the air. A few times, I’ve flown so high that I’ve gotten an aerial view of entire towns. Despite their different genres, my dreams have had a consistent theme: I’ve seen events that have actually come to pass. More on that later…

A Curse or A Gift?…

Before I knew Christ, I simply regarded my overactive dreamlife as a curse. My dreams left me chronically exhausted. Each night, my brain spent countless hours caught in REM sleep–that mysterious stage of sleep when we dream. Rarely did I get to stage four sleep–the place where we’re supposed to enjoy deep, restorative rest. Instead, a familiar routine of mental gymnastics played out all. night. long!–my brain trying to keep pace with a roulette wheel of random images rotating on the movie reel of my mind’s eye.

As I’ve been walking with the Lord, however, I’ve come to understand that what I see at night is not actually a curse. In fact, our dreams can be a prophetic gift from the Lord. I don’t claim to know exactly why He chooses to speak to us this way. But I do know that He is a good God, and His intent is not to disturb or scare us, but to help us. Although most nights, many of our dreams are nonsense “pizza dreams,” there are other times when our spirit recognizes that a dream carries more weight. And that’s when we need to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help us understand what He is showing us. 

Although most nights, many of our dreams are nonsense, there are other times when our spirit recognizes that a dream carries more weight. We need to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help us understand what He is showing us. Click To Tweet

Instructions, Warnings, and Prophecy…

Sometimes He gives us an instruction. Other times, it’s a warning. And then there are those times that He shows us a picture of things to come. A brief survey of dreams throughout scripture shows the many ways that the Lord speaks to His people. He gives Joseph instructions to marry Mary (Matthew 1:20-21) and warns him about Herod’s murderous intentions (Matthew 2:13). He shows Jacob the ladder reaching into heaven (Genesis 28:11-22).

Gideon overhears a dream about a barley loaf that represents his enemy’s being delivered into his hands (Judges 7:13-14). Joseph has prophetic dreams about sheaves of grain and celestial bodies bowing down before him (Genesis 37). And Pharaoh’s dreams of cows and corn help save an entire nation from famine (Genesis 41). And the list goes on… In all of these instances, the dreamers recognize that the Lord is speaking to them, and they heed His instructions, warnings, and prophetic visions.

He’s Still Speaking…

Now, so far, I don’t think the dreams that the Lord has given me have enabled me to save an entire nation from famine! But I do believe that our Lord–who is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8)–is still speaking significant things to us through our dreams. While I’ve slept, He has shown me some incredible sights. Remember the childhood dream I mentioned about the front room of our house going up in flames? Nearly two decades later, that room of the house burned to the ground!

One night I dreamed that my close friend was three months pregnant. The next night, she and her husband came over for dinner. When I jokingly told her I couldn’t offer her a glass of wine because I’d had a dream the night before that she was pregnant, her mouth fell open. She stammered, “We had planned to wait until after dinner to tell you the news, but I’m three months pregnant!” Then there have been really difficult dreams. Like the one I had the night of my father in law’s 65th birthday. In it, he died suddenly. I awoke and told my husband what I had dreamt. One week later, my husband’s dad died suddenly. 

Wake Up and Listen…

Over time, I have had to wake up to the fact that the Lord is speaking to me in my sleep. And I’ve begun to listen and pay closer attention to what He is showing me. Beloved, if you’re a dreamer, don’t disregard your dreams. Don’t be afraid of them either. The Holy Spirit gives us discernment about which ones hold real significance and which ones we can let go of. He shows us the ones to share with others and the ones to hide in our hearts for the future. But in all of this, God indeed is still speaking. And we need to be listening.

Do you remember your dreams? Has the Lord ever spoken to you in them? Have you received an instruction, a warning, or a prophetic vision? 

The Lord can speak to us in our dreams. Whether it's an instruction, warning, or vision of things to come, we need to pay attention to what He's showing us. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #dreams #future #prophetic #vision

All scripture references are from the King James Version of The Bible.

Billy Huynh

future, hope, plans, surrender, trust, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Uncertain: Allowing God to Guide Through the Unknowns

We all have the desire to know our future is secure. We fear the uncertain. When we surrender our plans to God, we have an assurance that He works for us and puts things together for our good. 



Life is full of uncertainties. I fight against this fact, tooth and nail. I am a planner. Knowing what to expect in situations is important to me. I love predictability. I don’t care for the uncertain and unknown. This may make me boring in some ways. But if you take me on a road trip, you can be sure I will find all of the awesome attractions along the way.

While I may have a desire to know the future and to have confidence in my stability, I am slowly learning this is not how life works. When we over plan and anticipate every aspect of our lives, we steal away God’s opportunity to show up for us. When we are laser-focused on making the uncertain certain, we fail to ask God for help. We fail to fully put our trust in Him.

We often fear the uncertain future. When we surrender to God we have an assurance that He puts all things together for our good. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #encouragement #plans #surrender #focus

God’s Certainty

For I know the plans I have for, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11, ESV

We see and hear this verse so much that we may have become desensitized to its truth. God knows the plan for us. He is certain. Nothing is unknown to Him. More than that, the plan God has for us is for our good. It gives us hope and a future.

When we take the time to read this verse and let it resonate in our hearts, we come to realize that the unknown doesn’t have to be scary. This is where faith requires us to take action. We have to offer our future and our uncertainty into His hands. We will never have complete knowledge of what tomorrow brings, but we can be sure it is good and full of hope.

Uncertain Direction

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

Psalm 32:8, NIV

One aspect of uncertainty is not knowing the right decisions to make. There are infinite amounts of outcomes to any one decision. We want to know that the choices we make are the right ones.

In attempting to make the right choices, a lot of times, we forget to seek counsel from our greatest teacher. The Lord promises He will instruct us and teach us the way to go. He does this because He loves us. We are required to trust in Him and learn to listen to His voice.

When we try to figure things out on our own and ignore God’s teaching and instruction we will make the wrong choices. We know that God will use all things. Nothing we do can change His ultimate plan for us, but if we don’t trust His counsel, our free will can cause it to take longer to get to what God has for us.

God’s Plan

God’s plan is always greater than our own. There are things that are in play that we can not imagine or prepare for. While planning and preparing are good, when we try to over plan and take control of our own lives we miss out on God’s blessings along the way.

‘My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,’ says the Lord. ‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.’

Isaiah 55:8-9, NLT

God’s way is always greater than our own. We can plan and prepare all we want but our best will never measure up to God’s ways. We must surrender our plans and our desires for certainty to Him. For when we do this we have confidence that our future will be bright, hopeful, and beyond anything, we could ever imagine.

God's way is always greater than our own. We can plan and prepare all we want, but our best will never measure up to God's ways. We must surrender our plans and our desires for certainty in the Lord. Click To Tweet

We often fear the uncertain future. When we surrender to God we have an assurance that He puts all things together for our good. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #encouragement #plans #surrender #focus #scripture
Annie Spratt

future, assurance, path, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Path: Trusting God with the Opening and Closing Doors

Sometimes the pain of a door closing seems insurmountable, but God’s got our backs. And our fronts. Just walk the path through the door. 



I’m sure you have heard the saying “one door closes and another one opens.” God has a path for your future. Trust that…

Wide Open

When I was in high school I played basketball. I loved it! Of course, games were great and winning was amazing, but I even loved practice. Running suicides, stairs, sprints, shooting, defending, all of it. I loved it, maybe more than anything else about my high school career. That is not to say I was very good, but if enthusiasm and desire can make up for lack of talent then I was incredible.

The last game of my senior year was in a tournament. We won our first round game. In the semifinals for the first time, we were super excited. At halftime, we were down, but just by a few. In the fourth quarter, we pulled ahead and played back and forth with the opponents. In the last few seconds, we fell to 4 points back. Two seconds left we were down by 2. And time ran out. We lost.

Sometimes the pain of a door closing seems insurmountable, but God's got your back. And your front. Just walk the path through the door. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional

Closed Door

I don’t remember how I got off the court and into the locker room. I remember crying inconsolably on the bench. Huge racking sobs that came from deep inside my soul. Not because we had lost – that had happened plenty, but because I knew I would never play basketball like that again.

The door closed…

When doors close it is often painful. You know that change is coming, the familiar comfort is no longer there and uncertainty is scary.

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

James 1:2-4, NLT

Front and Back

As high school ended for me and college began, I was excited and scared to death. Leaving home and going to a school where I knew one person out of 22,000 and hadn’t even seen them in two years was daunting. My first class at UNC was in Phillips Hall. The room sat five hundred students. My graduating class in high school was ten. Overwhelming is an understatement.

The door opened…

Luckily God put friends and experiences in my path that made my 4 1/2 years at college amazing. (I changed my major a few times and ended up needing an extra semester.) I admit, my college career was not always perfect or Godly. In fact, I stumbled more than I would like to admit in that time, but God had my front and my back.

The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.

Psalm 121:7-8, NLT

Walk Through the Door

I knew when I went to school I was going to be an actress and end up on Broadway. The lights of fame and fortune were going to be mine. Then I didn’t get a part in the first play I tried out for. While for some people that would just be a stumbling block, I felt an inner voice tell me it was time for a new dream.

The door closed…

Then I took a class on the United Nations. We participated in a World Health Council exercise about the human rights of women. It was incredible! I was so appalled by what I learned and inspired by the perseverance of women around the world. The word “education” came up again and again as a way to combat the atrocities that happen to women around the world. I felt that word weigh on me.

My mom was a teacher and I had sworn I would never be a teacher too. Haha! God has a funny sense of humor. I knew as soon as I registered with the school of education that I had made the right decision. The lightness in my heart and conviction in my spirit was proof.

The door opened…

Fulfilling Path

In the end, I studied for a career I know God has called me to and He led me to a life path that is fulfilling and fruitful.

Doors close…

Doors open…

The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace.

Psalm 29:11, NLT

Be grounded in God's word so when a door closes in life we can have His assurance that a new one will open. We are weak and limited in vision, but He is our guide. Click To Tweet

Dear God,

Thank you for being the Light to my path. Help me to have my eyes open for Your work in my life. Keep me grounded in your word so that when a door closes in my life I can have Your assurance that a new one will open. I know that I am weak and limited in vision. Thank you for being my guide.

Love,

me

Sometimes the pain of a door closing seems insurmountable, but God's got your back. And your front. Just walk the path through the door. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional

time, present, past, future, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, ministry

Time: Making The Most of It by Living in The Present

When we dwell on the past or fixate on the future, we can’t make the most of the time we have. Let’s learn to fully live in the present.



When I was a little girl, for all practical purposes, I lived outside of time as we know it. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my family lived on a small, sustainable farm without electricity, indoor plumbing, or other modern conveniences.Local school kids and youth camp groups used to come out to our homestead for field trips to literally see how the pilgrims used to live. Except my family wasn’t just reenacting history, we were living it!

In lieu of electric lights, we showed the kids how we rendered beeswax and paraffin for hand dipped candles to light our home. Rather than driving to the local grocery store, we explained how all our food came from our farm–eggs from the chicken coop, meat from the animals we hunted or butchered, vegetables from our gardens, and fruit and berries from the orchard. And instead of looking at a watch or clock to check the time, we noted the angle of the shadows cast by the sun as it made its trajectory across the sky. We understood that time existed, but we were not slaves to it. We were simply living and doing the work that was necessary to survive.

Behind or ahead?

When I compared our lifestyle to that of our neighbors in their modern homes,it felt as if we were living a century behind. But as I observe today’s trends of doing it yourself (DIY), going green, and living sustainably, it appears as if my folks were about a generation ahead of their time when they moved off the power grid in the early 1970’s. Today, people are returning to methods that a decade or so ago would have seemed old fashioned. Folks are choosing environmentally friendly health and beauty products instead of chemically produced ones. They’re growing vegetables in their own backyard gardens and eating whole organic food rather than processed products. And they’re using essential oils and other natural remedies rather than relying so heavily on pharmaceuticals. It’s as if history is repeating itself.

That which is has already been, and what is to be has already been; and God requires an account of what is past.

Ecclesiastes 3:15, NKJV

A reckoning with time…

It’s as if we in the western world are in the midst of a reckoning with time. In the name of convenience and productivity, we’ve created a whole host of environmental, social, and health problems that we’re trying to dig our way out of. And time seems more elusive than ever. No matter how many time-saving strategies and gadgets we develop, no one seems to have enough time to accomplish all that they want to in a day.

People are stuck in the past, worried about the future, and don’t know how to live fully in the present. It’s like we are all little figurines in one of those old fashioned cuckoo clocks. Everyone’s rushing in and out of little trap doors and screaming cuckoo all the time. Before the hands of the clock fly off and hurt someone, let’s pause and consider how the Lord invites us to regard this time that He gives us.

When we dwell on the past or fixate on the future, we can't make the most of the time we have. Let's learn to fully live in the present. #intentionaltime #Godstime #faith

Dwelling on the past…

We’re encouraged not to dwell on the past, but so many people seem to be stuck there. Whether it’s regret about a decision that we made or resentment for someone who hurt us, we can re-live old wounds over and over again. Others might dwell on seemingly positive things from the ‘golden years’ of their youth. That can’t be harmful, right? Actually, yes, it can be if we’re looking back nostalgically on years gone by and pining for things that are no more.

Dwelling on the past trains our minds and our souls to sort and filter for similar kinds of experiences in the present. Then we wonder why the same destructive patterns that have wreaked havoc in our families for generations keep repeating themselves. Or we lament the fact that our current life never quite seems to measure up to the memories we’ve created and recreated in our mind’s eye. But beloved, when we are reborn, we are made new in Christ. And if we will let Him, the Lord wants to do a new thing in our lives.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

2 Corinthians 5:17, KJV

And in Isaiah, we learn that we should literally forget the past:

Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

Isaiah 43: 18-19, KJV

Let's not spend so much time trying to unravel the knots of our past that we miss the new thing the Lord is doing in our lives. Click To Tweet

Fixating on the future…

Just as scripture instructs us not to live in the past, it also warns against fixating on the future. Often our uncertainty about what is to come breeds anxiety and worry. But we learn that worry does not help us get through today.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6:34, NIV

Rather than worrying what the next day will bring, we are to make the most of each day. Just like the manna, or the daily bread, that the Israelites would receive every morning in the desert, we are given 24 hours of time daily. We can’t stretch those hours out any longer, and we can’t save any of them either. What we can do is trust that what is coming will be good, because God promises us that it will be:

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11, NIV

Indeed, He is leading us somewhere even better than we can arrange for ourselves or really even imagine:

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

1 Corinthians 2:9, KJV

Living in the present…

With no regret from the past or fear of the future, we are free to fully live in the present. And that’s where the Lord invites us to reside. With Him.

To live in His presence in every moment. To learn to walk daily with Him, trusting that He is ordering our steps. To know that He will shoulder our burdens if we’ll cast our cares on Him. To trust that He will feed us like the sparrows and clothe us like the lilies of the field. To experience the joy that He has set before us. To taste and see that He is good in the land of the living. To enjoy and make the most of our time with our loved ones. To win souls for the kingdom. To live out the desires that He has placed in our hearts. To believe that He is Immanuel “God with us.” Right now.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.

Ecclesiastes 3:11, NKJV

How are you making the most of this day? Have you left the past behind? Are you rooting your hope for the future in Jesus?


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When we dwell on the past or fixate on the future, we can't make the most of the time we have. Let's learn to fully live in the present. #intentionaltime #Godstime #faith

Schalk Neethling

Inheritance: The Source of Our Future and Present Hope

Our hope, and our inheritance is not found in earthly things. Our inheritance is the promise of the Creator Himself.



In the early hours of December 10, my mom took her last ragged breath in this world and took a cleansing, pure breath in the next one. Her mind and body were instantly restored as she was welcomed home by a loving embrace from her heavenly Father. I’m sure my dad was standing or kneeling somewhere nearby and a joyful reunion likely followed.

My parents were middle class folks. Any meager savings they may have accumulated was spent on medical bills during the years my dad faced his battle with cancer. An inheritance isn’t something that ever entered my or my brother’s minds.

My father-in-law is 91. He worked in and retired from a factory. He and my mother-in-law had 6 children, so he also worked many odd jobs, in addition to any extra shifts he was asked to work at the factory. They were frugal; she sewed, grew a garden each year, and canned vegetables. As a result, their six children never had an unmet need. However, other than a small, rundown farm, an inheritance of large sums of money is unthinkable.

Since her death, my husband and I have attempted to close my mom’s estate, such as it was. We have chuckled at some of the absurdities of government, (don’t get me started)…such as having to take a $13.67 check from the bank to the nursing home so that Medicaid would not think we were stealing from the estate. Really. Oh! And having to call the Veteran’s Administration twice to inform them of her death only to have them deposit her funds, and then send us a letter to send it back. You can’t make this stuff up…

Inheritance: The Source of Our Future Hope

Inheritance. What comes to mind when you think of the word? The child of a wealthy person? People sitting around an attorney’s desk with an air of expectancy? Siblings fighting over heirlooms or the jewelry? The Jerry Springer show? Interesting where our thoughts initially go when that word comes up.

Recently, I was remembering a favorite passage of scripture I turn to in difficult times. You wouldn’t think Lamentations could give anyone cause for hope (!), however, these verses always renew mine.

This I recall to mind, Therefore I have hope.
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!”

Lamentations 3:21-24, NKJV

Our hope, and our inheritance is not found in earthly things. Our inheritance is the promise of the Creator Himself.

The Lord is my portion…

Today we have a tendency to think of a portion in regard to food, (as in smaller portions, since dieting is such a huge marketing focus.) Not surprisingly, there are other nuances of the word in the Old Testament that have become lost in today’s vernacular. In our simplification of the language for texting we often lose the richness of word meanings.

For decades the Psalms have given me much solace through seasons of trial, pain or loss. However, the full weight of the meaning of Psalms, such as Psalm 16:5, have only recently been dawning on my spirit.

Oh Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
You maintain my lot.
The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places.
Yes, I have a good inheritance.

Psalm 16:5, NKJV

Let your heart rest on that for a moment, as Asaph finally did in Psalm 73 after feeling jealous of his enemies.

GOD, everything HE IS, is our inheritance when we belong to Him. What does it matter if we have houses and lands? We have HIM, the God of Creation.

Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is nothing upon earth that I  desire besides You.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Psalm 73:25-26, ESV

Our hope, and our inheritance is not found in earthly things. Our inheritance is the promise of the Creator Himself.

Inheritance: The Source of Our Present Hope

You might be thinking, “Well, yeah, in the sweet by and by He’s my inheritance, but what about now?”

David answers you…

I cried out to you, O Lord: I said, “You are my refuge, My portion in the land of the living.”

Psalm 142:5, NKJV

God is our inheritance here, too.  He is our strength, our refuge, our deliverer, our fortress.

So, again, from where will your portion come?


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Our hope, and our inheritance is not found in earthly things. Our inheritance is the promise of the Creator Himself.

Quinsey Sablan