Joel 2:28-32 (NIV) “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, even among the survivors whom the Lord calls.
Last night I had a dream. I do not feel it appropriate to share it but will say that when I woke up that I felt pressed to pray for the person and circumstances of it. I don’t know if it was a vision to come, pressure to intercede or where this came into my sleep. I do know that God does communicate with his people in dreams and visons. Human intuition is strong. The human mind created in the image of God is not limited to basic needs as animals. We have an intellect that I believe is far from fully developed due to the sinful mental state of our overriding flesh. The mind is depraved and must be transformed and renewed by Jesus to make a difference in our logic. Christianity is practical. Faith is only logical when the Holy Spirit takes over the heart and mind. If we believe in Jesus Christ, call Him Savior and accept Him as Lord, we are given the Mind of Jesus Christ. This is important to properly discern our dreams and visions received in our sleep and decide what to do with them when morning comes.
I Corinthians 2:15-16 (NIV) The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
We have the mind of Christ. The Holy Spirit allows us to make proper judgments about all things. Now we do not have to rely on how we feel or our circumstances, but have the ability to know God’s Word and apply it to our life without exception making all things subject to change. This is important. You very well may be dreaming dreams from the Lord but brush them off. Or you may be “feeling” like God is telling you something, when in reality you ate too much pizza before bed. Discernment is another fruit of the Spirit essential for Children of God to know and understand the things that the Lord whispers to them in the night.
One cannot truly know Jesus without knowing His Word. Jesus is the Word of God wrapped in flesh to become a living example of God’s Love for us. Salvation is meant to do more than wash our away our sins. It prepares us to receive God’s Word with purpose and promise. The heart that is broken will receive seeds of righteousness and faith that will prosper into healing, deliverance and full restoration if we take the time to know the Lord and His Word.
Romans 12:1-2 (NIV) Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you will be able to test and approve God’s Will which is good, pleasing and perfect. Working with young people, I find this more important than ever. Well, truthfully, there are many long time Christians who have not experienced transformation of their mind in need of a mental breakthrough. Without knowledge people perish per Hosea. How can we ever know what true and proper worship without knowing the Word of God, His Will and most importantly His Way? And what in the world does this have to do with dreams and visions? Come on. Let’s get to the good part. Hang on. We are going somewhere.
John 4:23-24 (NIV) Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
Jesus said, “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” The Spirit is the Holy Spirit. The Word is the Truth. We cannot truly worship God without these two elements in our life. God is a spirit. He is not how I feel or what I think is good. He is God. He is Sovereign. He is Constant never lying or changing His Mind. It is not possible to discern if our dreams or visions are of God, from God or about God until we have the Spirit and Truth in full operation in our life. Full operation meaning that our life is fully surrendered to Spirit and Truth as a daily pattern of worship that includes worshiping the Lord with our life.
Genesis 28:11-15 (NIV) When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. He had a 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. There above it stood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants 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 on 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 back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
Jacob was fleeing Esau. He had stolen his blessing and so Jacob made a hasty departure to save his own life. He had run as far as he could go and was too tired to go any farther. No longer enjoying the comfort of home, Jacob took a stone and made it a pillow drifting off to sleep. It was there that the Lord came and spoke to Jacob. In the dream, there was a stairway resting on the earth with the top reaching to Heaven. He could see angels ascending and descending on it. I believe that as the closer that we walk with God and follow Jesus, the more evident this scene and more vivid its reality will become in our life. In that moment, alone sleeping in the wilderness, the Lord brought Jacob comfort despite the circumstances that brought him to this place. God met Jacob in a dream.
I have heard people explain dreams they have had or visions that they have seen that make absolutely no sense at all. Things that are just plain crazy that do not necessarily line up with God’s Word and quite farfetched. I have seen the same people wander off course chasing the errant reality. How can we know God and love God yet dream invalid dreams? Do we really know Him? Do we really love Him? I fully believe that our heart and mind’s condition impacts one’s ability to properly discern dreams and visions. We must study to show ourselves approved. It also keeps us on track. Those who communicate with the Lord on a regular basis know the sound of His Voice and can tell when it is someone else.
What did the Lord show Jacob? In spite of you, I love you and am working on your behalf even in this place. He confirmed the blessing on his life which was also spoken by his father. See God’s Word for our life does not change but we must be moved to change and be transformed to have every promise indicated in it.
Joseph was a dreamer. (Genesis 37) Each dream that he had as a young man valid and true. Joseph was a typical teenager and bragged about his dreams to his brothers who already hated him as being the favored child. Our dreams are not always going to be accepted or appreciated by others because they are not always for other people even if they are about them. God whispered them to you for a reason. He came to you in your sleep in private. Sometimes the Word God speaks to us is not for the public but for you to pray, intercede, and use at another time. There is no doubt in my mind that the Lord poured out His Spirit on all mankind. I believe in prophesy, dreams and visions just as indicated in Joel 2. I also believe that men and women of God must take the time to develop their heart and mind to discern dream and visions properly.
Deuteronomy 13:1-4 (NIV) If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.
As a believer, how is it possible for our dreams to lead us away from the Lord? If our heart and mind are not in agreement about the Lord, dreams can be deceptive. It is all about who is in control our flesh or our spirit. When Paul was on the road to Damascus and he envisioned Jesus speaking to him, I believe that he knew it was the Lord because although he was persecuting Christians that his heart was truly after God. He had been deceived and the Lord removed the deception exposing the Truth.
Acts 2:37-41 (NIV) When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
On the Day of Pentecost, God released His Spirit once again to all mankind just as prophesied in Joel 2. I believe that God is ready to pour out His Spirit again just like He did then preparing for the return of Jesus Christ. It’s crunch time. What will do with the dreams and visions? Will prophesies be full of truth and wisdom from God’s Throne to His People’s Ears without misinterpretation? Do you believe that cleanliness is next to godliness? Can you find it in God’s Word? No, you cannot because although I do believe in being a good steward of that which the Lord blesses us with it does not say this anywhere in the Word of God. Yet, most people think it does because it is a common misconception. The common modern teaching that grace excuses sin, so it is fine to live however we choose because God loves us and knows we are imperfect is also not true. God hates sin and will have nothing to do with it. In order to become a generation ready to receive from the great revival outpouring that is coming, it is important to become knowledgeable and proficient in the Word of God ready to discern properly in season and out season. We must become one with the Holy Spirit and fully yoked to Christ. Otherwise the lack of knowledge and Spirit can lead to our downfall, distraction, defeat and even death.
Habakkuk 2:1-3 (NIV) I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint. Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.
As a believer filled with the Holy Spirit, you will have the ability to prophesy. You will dream dreams. You will see visions. God’s Word is true. However, it is up to you and I if this will be an effective tool in our life or meaningless fodder. When the Spirit of God poured out on the Day of Pentecost fulfilling Joel 2, more than three thousand people were saved. I believe that soon this will begin to arise in the modern day church. As revival breaks out among the Body of Christ, it is important that we are ready to rightly discern dreams and visions.
Habakkuk is going to help us with this. I will stand on my watch and station myself on the ramparts. I will look to see what he (the Lord) will say to me. We must make it a point to seek God every day. To make every effort to respond to God’s Promises and follow His Son Jesus Christ even when it means watching and waiting all alone. We must be able to find God individually and not only corporately. He calls us Beloved because He desires an intimate personal relationship with each one of us. When God speaks to us, whether in prayer or in a dream, write it down. Keep a journal by your bed. Do not give in to laziness and not write it down. Read it. Find it in the Word of God. Continue to pray over that dream or vision confirming it in Spirit and Truth. Many times this is all that you can do with it, make it enough. Do not cast your pearl among swine meaning that God decided to give this to you personally for safekeeping and revelation. People can easily add to it, take from it or try to change your mind. Every revelation is for an appointed time. To force it will abort it. To sit on it will stifle it. When we decide to wait on it, it will come. With this in mind, be a dreamer. Be open to the Lord’s Voice and gentle whispering. Be smart. God has equipped you with everything you need to rightfully discern such things and to handle them appropriately.
John 14:26 (NIV) But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.