Monday, March 12, 2018





GOD IS SPEAKING

Recently, I had a dream in which I was directing a play. There were several actors standing on the stage awaiting direction for the last rehearsal. Behind them was a nondescript painted set. The actors had memorized their assigned lines, but for whatever reason, a few actors were mocking the child actor who only had a small number of lines. 

Opening night, the packed theater watched as the curtain lifted, revealing the actors standing in their places before a picturesque backdrop. They performed their parts; the play ended; and each performer took a bow. However, only the boy who said a few lines received a standing ovation. I then awoke from the dream. After seeking God for revelation, He showed me the following:

The stage represents a platform for God's Word. The position of director represents pastors and teachers who teach, lead, and guide. The actors, who were prepared with their lines,  represent Christians who study and know the Word, so that they are ready to speak truth into the lives of others. The last rehearsal represents the last days. The non-descript, painted backdrop represents the untold Gospel story. The picturesque backdrop represents the telling of the living Gospel, which brings vibrant truth, freedom, renewal, and rebirth to lives. The audience represents the lost, hurting, broken, and spiritually hungry, who come to receive. Those actors, who did not belittle the child actor, represent Christians who see others as equal in the eyes of God. Those who were critical of the boy represent the hypocrisy of Christians who glory in their abilities and quickly judge others. However, when all the actors (Christians) put aside differences and became united in one purpose, they were able to convey the story (the message of the Gospel).

Why do you suppose the young boy was the only one who received a standing ovation? God is not concerned with the size of a person's talent, abilities, or experience, because He is the Giver of those things. Therefore, we are not to boast in our accomplishments, but we are to boast in the Lord and what He has done. (Proverbs 27:2;1 Corinthians 31:1) 

God is more concerned with our willingness, obedience, the intentions and motives of our heart, and the effort that we put forth in representing Him. While others may see little or no value to our contributions to His Kingdom, He is applauding our faithfulness and obedience to Him.

Since becoming a Christian, God has, at various times, used symbolic dreams to communicate, to encourage, instruct, and correct. By now you might be asking, "How do I know if a dream is from God?" 

Dreams given by God are very detailed, often puzzling, and sometimes disturbing. Upon awakening, God's Holy Spirit urges our spirit to seek Him for interpretation. This is not an anomaly. Many of us have had spiritual dreams that we passed off as simply weird. Yet we couldn't dismiss the dream from our thoughts.

A normal/carnal dream is disjointed, has no order and only bits and pieces of the dream are remembered. A spiritual dream progresses in an orderly fashion from one relatable scene to another and is remembered for its extreme detail.

Throughout Scripture, we can find numerous examples of God speaking to people through symbolic dreams. Here are two examples:

Jacob (later named Israel) had a symbolic dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. Above it stood the Lord Who said:
       "I AM the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants (the Jewish nation) the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples of the earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you (the Jewish nation) back to this land (Israel). I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you" (Genesis 28:12-15). The fulfillment of that dream began May 14, 1948, and continues today as the Jewish people, from every corner of the world, are returning to Israel.

During King Nebuchadnezzar's reign, he had troubling dreams and couldn't sleep, so he summoned the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers to tell him what he had dreamed. When they told him it was impossible to tell the king his dream, he had them all executed. However, the Prophet Daniel prayed, and during the night, God revealed the mystery of Nebuchadnezzar's dream in a vision. He then told the king his dream and its meaning (Daniel 2:24-49).

Next, there are dreams that give explicit instructions, such as when an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20). And then again, when Joseph was warned in a dream to escape to Egypt and stay until further instruction (Matthew 2:13).

Pilate's wife, prompted by a dream, sent an urgent message to Pilate stating that Jesus was innocent and must be freed (Matthew 27:19).

Not all dreams are of God. Some result from thoughts, concerns, and fears, while others come from the enemy to torment and deceive. But Jesus said, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me (John 10:27). God speaks in many ways. That is why He tells us to listen and be sensitive to His voice, which is the Holy Spirit counseling and instructing us.

God is preparing His Church for things to come. However, in that preparation, He cautions us not to look to astrologers, sorcerers, palm readers, spiritualist, or other worldly sources. Only the Holy Spirit is able to unlock and reveal the deepest secrets to us.

God's Word tells us that in the last days, "I will pour out My Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy: your young men will see visions; your old men will dream dreams. Even on My servants, both men and women, I will pour out My Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy (Acts 2:17-18 NIV)

God is pouring out His Spirit upon His people and speaking to us. "Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what He is saying to the churches" (Revelations 2:29 NLT). Are we listening?

PRAYER:
Father, awaken me to Your promptings and messages through Your Word and through prophetic dreams and visions. Give me understanding of those things that You would have me know, so that You may use me. Give me courage and confidence to use whatever talents You have given me and resources that You provide to draw others to You. For the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few (Matthew 9:37-38 NIV). In Jesus name, amen.

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