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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

obedience, Ezekiel, speak, truth, bold, Oh Lord Help Us

Obedience: How Do We Speak In A Culture That Isn’t Listening?

Today we are living in a time of spiritual drought. God told Ezekiel, His prophet, to stand up and speak out. He calls us to the same obedience.



Today I had coffee with a sweet friend. She and her husband recently visited the Creation museum, which is located in northern Kentucky. They both admired the attention to detail and beauty of the garden, but what completely awed her was how one man’s disobedience (Adam), and another man’s obedience (Noah), changed the course of mankind. Throughout the story of man, God raised up judges, prophets, and kings – some who were obedient to His voice, and many who were not. The results of each reverberated like tremors of an earthquake.

Today we are living in a time of spiritual drought. God told Ezekiel, His prophet, to stand up and speak out. He calls us to the same obedience. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional

Drought

Does it ever feel to you as though we are living in a time of drought? Not literally, although Californians might beg to differ, but spiritually. Do you experience the tremors of a peoples’ disobedience?

With the latest surge of news concerning Bill Hybels and Willow Creek last week, and the recent indictments of the Pennsylvania Catholic church concealing more than 1,000 cases of clergy abuse of children, it’s one dry heat wave rolling after another. My heart breaks.

In my lifetime, our nation has gone from praying and displaying the Ten Commandments in schools and government buildings, most people at least believing in God, to the nearly opposite end of the spectrum – suing Christian businesses for not conforming to post-Christian cultural norms (i.e. paying for abortions, etc.). Adhering to Christian principles is mocked, equaled to “privilege,” and shamed on many college campuses, and Christians are sometimes referred to as bigots. As the people of God grow more comfortable in our bondage to the culture, it becomes increasingly difficult to stand up or speak the words of God to a rebellious people…which may cause us to become rebellious, too.

And Satan loves it so…

How can a holy God look upon this people and spare us? How does He continue to have compassion on us? How do we move forward when those we trusted or followed or admired have fallen in such disgrace? Why doesn’t Jesus return before we utterly and completely forever tarnish His name?!

God’s Response to Dryness

And He said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak to you.” Then the Spirit entered me when He spoke to me, and set me on my feet; And I heard Him who spoke to me. And He said to me: “Son of man, I am sending you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against Me; to this very day. For they are impudent and stubborn children. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God,’ As for them, whether they hear or whether they refuse – for they are a rebellious house – yet they will know that a prophet has been among them.

Ezekiel 2:1-5, NKJV

Wow; it sounds like God is speaking to us in the present day, doesn’t it? Rebellious, impudent, stubborn children.

Israel was living in exile in Babylon at this time. One would think they would be desperate for God to deliver them, desperate enough to listen to His priest and prophet, desperate enough to be obedient to His Word. But no. Like us, they had grown comfortable in their bondage…in their dryness…in their sin. They liked blending in with the culture which held them captive.

Our Response- Obedience

Consequently, Ezekiel knew his message, or rather God’s message would not be popular.

“And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you dwell among scorpions; do not be afraid of their words or dismayed by their looks, though they are a rebellious house. You shall speak My words to them, whether they hear or whether they refuse, for they are rebellious. But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. Do not be rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you.”

Ezekiel 2:6-8, NKJV

But remember, like Ezekiel, we are living among scorpions. (I hate those suckers! They sting like crazy, but they are not deadly!) We are not to be afraid of their words or dismayed by their looks – and sister, you know the LOOKS you can receive when you talk about Jesus in the public square!! However, God told Ezekiel he had to speak whether Israel listened or not.

Our fearlessness comes from the certainty that it isn't up to us. Everything depends completely on God. Click To Tweet

God Speaking Through Us

But here is the great part: God doesn’t want you to speak unless HIS HAND IS UPON YOU! We aren’t instructed to babble incessantly to anyone who crosses our paths. (You know someone like that, don’t you?)

The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones…And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” So I answered, “O Lord God, You know.” Again He said to me, “Prophecy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! Surely I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live”…So I prophesied as I was commanded.

Ezekiel 37:1-7, NKJV

Oh, dear sister! We, too, are living in a valley of dry bones. There are absolutely no words in any human language that will convince the dead souls around us that they are dead. However, when the hand of God is upon us He gives us His words to utter and they are filled with the holy breath of Life. It is never up to us to conjure up the perfect words to say! Hallelujah, amen, right?!

Our fearlessness comes from the certainty that it isn’t up to us. Everything depends completely on God. We are to do as Ezekiel was commanded – obey His voice.

So you might wonder what obedience looks like in a place of dryness. It isn’t really difficult. In the words of Brennan Manning:

Christ wants Christians to live in the present, to love now, to touch this person in these concrete circumstances.

Whose dry bones is Jesus asking you to love, speak to, touch today?

Today we are living in a time of spiritual drought. God told Ezekiel, His prophet, to stand up and speak out. He calls us to the same obedience. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional

Sources:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-met-willow-creek-elders-step-down-20180807-story.html
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2018/08/14/pennsylvania-grand-jury-report-on-sex-abuse-in-catholic-church-will-list-hundreds-of-accused-predator-priests/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.501b0862cfe1
http://www.beliefnet.com/news/home-page-news-and-views/are-us-colleges-hostile-to-christian-students.aspx
http://www.beliefnet.com/news/home-page-news-and-views/are-us-colleges-hostile-to-christian-students.aspx