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THAT WAS A WEIRD DREAM!

Have you ever had a weird dream? Have you ever had a dream that seemed so real, that you didn’t realise you were actually dreaming? Have you ever had a dream that in your awake hours actually happened? Even a casual reading of the Bible reveals that many people had weird dreams where God was able to speak to even to the most godless person! This should give every believer, burdened with the eternal destiny of those who have not yet experienced the goodness and love of God, the inspiration to pray that God might just speak to those they are praying for by their dreams. 

But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night and said to him,
“Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken,
for she is a man’s wife.”
Genesis 20:4

​But it wasn’t just the godless that God spoke to in dreams. We have examples such as Jacob who heard from God in a dream (Gen. 28:11-17). His son, Joseph had several strategic dreams (and an ability to “interpret” dreams, Ge. 40:8-12; 41:12) (Gen. 37:5-11). The young king Solomon had a dramatic encounter with God in a dream (1Kings 3:5-15). Joseph, the guardian of the Christ child, was guided by God on several occasions through dreams.

But as he considered these things,
behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying,
“Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife,
for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 1:20

And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod,
they departed to their own country by another way.
¶ Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord
appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child
and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you,
for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.”
Matthew 2:12-13

¶ But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a
dream to Joseph in Egypt…But when he heard that Archelaus was
reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there,
and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee.
Matthew 2:19, 22

The apostle Paul heard from God in various ways, including dreams.

And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia
was standing there, urging him and saying,
“Come over to Macedonia and help us.”
Acts 16:9

And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision,
Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent
Acts 18:9

God seems to delight in speaking to people in a dream in a way that would change their lives. This is why I think we should consider the divine use of ‘weird dreams’! I’ve already mentioned Abimelech (Gen. 20:4), but I have overlooked mentioning Pharaoh (Gen 41), Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 2), and Governor Pilate’s wife (Matt. 27:19). In each of these instances those who had these divine dreams had no doubt that God had communicated to them. In some of these examples, God orchestrated for angels to enter into people’s dreams and converse with them. Perhaps in another Pastor’s Desk one I will explain why angels (or demons for that matters) cannot “read our minds” (only God can do this which is why we can silently pray with our spirit/mind 1Cor. 14:15) but for now, I want to point out that the bible does reveal that spirit beings have an ability to sow ideas into our minds – but only God’s angels can speak to a person in their dreams. Therefore, I propose that we join together and ask God to speak in dreams to those pre-Christians we are praying for in a way that will lead them to encounter the goodness and love of God.

Questions for discussion:

  1. Why do you think God has so frequently spoken to people in dreams rather than by other methods?
  2. Why is someone more likely to accept what they dream as being a genuine message from God?
  3. Can we pray for God to speak to people in dreams?

Your Pastor,

Andrew

Let me know what you think below in the comment section and feel free to share this someone who might benefit from this Pastor’s Desk.

1 Comment

  1. LYDIA

    1) Having been created in His image and as His image bearer, where His beloved Son our Saviour repaired and restored this image after the Fall, tells me that we are spiritual beings, which can be read in the beginning of the book of Genesis. Therefore having the ‘Rauch’ the breath of God in us from the beginning, leaves all mankind without excuse. Martin Luther who wrote in his Hymn A Mighty Fortress is Our God… a free translation… that the body might be killed as in war eg yet the Spirit is ours thru Christ. This NO man can steal. EVER. Therefore by our God speaking to people via dreams to me is His assurance and direct purpose and calling in letting people know that He knows all, will command His angels if He chooses, He WILL make kings bow down, He will call all those from the four corners of this earth to acknowledge Him and Him alone. As I read on the WWW that throughout the Muslim world men and women without having contact with Christians or the knowledge of the Gospel, have come to faith, having experienced dreams and visions of Jesus Christ. Its an assurance of knowing that Jesus cares for us deeply and does comfort us, because He is all-knowing. This world is not just flesh and blood as there is a spirit-world too. Therefore by God using dreams as a means of communication outside of the human expectancy as well as His Word, tells me that just as the Old Testament Joseph was given dreams and the New Testament Joseph was also given dreams that these dreams are prophetic.
    2) An interesting question. If those Muslims, to use them as an example believe in the dreams they were given and come to faith, and others also, given dreams … not having fallen and hit their head on a rock first … it is a direct revelation of God. The Bible is full of it and God surely hasn’t changed because God cannot change. So a person is much more likely to accept a direct revelation or vision from God because the Spirit bears witness to my spirit. Romans 8:16.
    3) Why ever not? All people go to bed, all people dwell on the day therefore all of mankind can indeed wonder and know that all those stars up in the sky eg are not just hanging around but set in place. And who could possibly do that but God Who created it all. This question then opens up a new dimension that indeed I can ask the Lord to please work His salvation in the heart of another via a dream. Something I should have paid attention to a long time ago.
    Thanks Andrew

    Reply

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THE PRODIGAL FATHER

 Does anyone know what the word prodigal means? Perhaps most people assume that it means: “wanderer”, or “rebel”, or perhaps even “backslider” or that it only applies to sons. This seems to be based on the story that Jesus told in Luke 15 to which most Bible Publishers assign the division title – The Parable of the Prodigal Son. But the word prodigal does not occur in this parable. Interestingly, there are three lead characters in this shocking and famous parable: the father and his two sons. One of these was genuinely ‘prodigal’, and, as Tim Keller points out, it was neither son! To appreciate what Keller means we might need to take another look at what the word prodigal actually means. It comes from the verb prodigious which means remarkably great in extent, size, or degree (New Oxford American Dictionary). It is a word often used to describe an author who regularly writes books – John Grisham is a prodigious author. A prodigal person is therefore, prolific, extravagant, excessive, and, lavish. Keller points out that even though most people ascribe this to the wayward son in the parable, it is more appropriately a designation for the lead character in the story, the father!

SUPER SUCCESSFUL CHRISTIANS

Spare a thought for those people who are often overlooked by churches—and if they are Christians—they frequently struggle to even find a suitable church where they can deepen their relationship with Christ. Often we think of those who struggle with life as those who are “down and out” and blighted by impoverishment, or destitution, or ill-health, or family breakdown, or poor mental health. But surprisingly, even those who are seen as super-successful because of their wealth, social stature, public acclaim or amazing achievements, are actually struggling with loneliness, emptiness, and poor mental health — even if they are a Christian. These super-successful Christians are CEOs of large companies, or world-class or national sporting champions, or internationally renowned performing artists, or A-lister actors, or media personalities, or highly sought after professionals such as surgeons or barristers. They often pay a high price for their success, including, long work hours, constant stress, public criticism, extended time away from their families, fierce competition, and strained marriages. These pressures are exacerbated by their constant travel associated with their work which also makes them vulnerable to exhaustion and extraordinary temptations. This is why these super-successful Christians need to join the kind of church that can provide them with the kind of support, counsel, and accountability that every Christian needs. Here’s how a church can become this kind of church.

MAKING CHURCH A WELCOMING HOME

For many people, making a decision to attend a church is a significant and potentially daunting decision. As they come through the front door they are entering an unfamiliar environment. It is also an environment that may be associated with preconceived ideas of what the expectations and rules of the church community may be. These people probably will not know anybody and they might have concerns that relate to their previous or current lifestyle. For those of us who are regular church attendees, it is possible that we may not fully appreciate the challenges a new attendee may be facing. When we can relate to these concerns, I believe we are better equipped to provide a warm and patient “welcome” to what we hope will become their new church home.

LOVE IN ACTION

Physical illnesses and stressful events are endemic in our society. They can be likened to the thorns that cause both pain and damage. It doesn’t take much for them to impact a person’s life in ways that they did not expect. I believe that we can become more resilient as followers of Jesus by applying an appropriate solution to a known problem. I believe that an appropriate and important part of the solution is for us to show love the way that Jesus demonstrated love during His ministry on earth.

THE TOOLS OF REMEMBERING

I like to think I have a pretty good memory.  I like to think I’m organised.  Generally, I am – I don’t double book appointments, I keep track of what I’m doing and when, I mostly turn up on time. But, on reflection, I’m not so sure this means I have a good memory.

TRUTH vs SOMETHING BIG AND HAIRY

“You were lying in your bed, you were feeling kind of sleepy.
But you couldn’t close your eyes because the room was getting creepy.
Were those eyeballs in the closet? Was that Godzilla in the hall?
There was something big and hairy casting shadows on the wall.
Now your heart is beating like a drum, your skin is getting clammy.
There’s a hundred tiny monsters jumping right into your jammies”!

These are lyrics from a song on the very first Veggie Tales video every made. The title of the song?  “God is bigger than the Boogie Man”. Junior Asparagus was lying in bed frightened, and Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber appeared to tell him that he doesn’t have to be scared of the imaginary monsters because, “God is the bigger.” My childhood night-time fears weren’t so much about big and hairy monsters, aka boogie men, or Godzilla in the hall. My fears were house fires – our home burning down, and “burglars” or “robbers”. But I certainly identify with lying in bed, my heart beating like a drum, my skin getting clammy, my imagination in overdrive.

CLOSING THE DEAL

In 1871, the American evangelist, Dwight (“DL”) Moody was preaching to huge crowds each night in Chicago. At the end of each message he would give an appeal for people to either respond immediately to the gospel message he had just presented, or at least go home and consider it. But on Sunday October 8th, 1871, a huge fire broke out in Chicago. It burned through the city for days and became known as The Great Chicago Fire. Around 10,000 people were homeless as a result, and hundreds of people lost their lives. Moody was heart-broken when he realised that many of the people who had died were the people who had attended that Sunday night meeting where he had urged them to consider accepting Christ. His deep grief over this tragedy led him to make a vow that he would never again merely urge people to simply consider accepting Christ. From now on, he vowed, he would plead with all those he preached to – to immediately turn away from their sins and turn to the Saviour. DL Moody committed his life and ministry as an evangelist to be someone who would always strive to close the deal because he was now aware—more than ever—that people’s eternal destinies were in jeopardy! 

BUILDING A MOODY CHURCH

The three things that make the Christian life exciting and enthralling are the same three things that enable a believer to develop a closer relationship with God. The combination of these supernatural gifts gives the child of God an awareness that there is more, much more, to this world than we can see, touch, taste or feel. When the Christian’s faith is grounded and buttressed in God’s Word, godly prayer, and God’s house he or she flourishes. But there are forces at play that are determined to stop the believer from reaching their spiritual destiny. While we might think these enemy forces only use the fiery darts of doubt to hinder the believer’s journey to glory, there is something that they successfully use far more often: our mood. This is why, for any church to be successful, it must discover how to build moody church.

PRAYING PRAYERS

The amazing thing about prayer, is that nearly everyone does it – but hardly anyone thinks they do it well. If you visit any Christian bookstore you will notice that the largest display of books is about prayer. And it’s not just Christian bookstores where you’ll find books on prayer. Regular bookstores also sell a wide range of books on prayer (even if they do classify them as books on ‘meditation’!). One of the most frequently searched questions on Google is, “How to pray” (which then points enquirers to over 2.3 billion web pages answering their question). But in all of human history – and two thousand years before anyone but one had ever heard of Google – there was just One person who was supremely qualified to answer this question. And fortunately for those of us who really want to know the answer to this question (without having to peruse more than 2.3 billion web pages!) He gave us the answer.

WHY SOME BELIEVE

Why is it that two people can look at exactly the same evidence and can come to completely different conclusions about it? Even more puzzling is how two equally qualified scientific experts can look at the same data and utterly disagree about what it means. This happens many times in court cases where the prosecution will call their “expert witness” to give his or her professional opinion to verify that the defendant is guilty only to have the defence to present their “expert witness” who gives his or her professional opinion as to why the prosecution’s expert witness was wrong and to prove that defendant is innocent! This at least illustrates why it is not always the quality of the evidence that leads a person to accept or reject a claim. This especially apply to the claims that Jesus Christ made. Of the four accounts in the New Testament written about His life, three of them were written by eye-witnesses and the other one (Luke’s) was written by someone who interviewed many eye-witnesses. It is with interest that we turn to the last one to be John’s Gospel, where he describes dramatic proofs that Jesus was who He claimed to be. Yet despite these otherwise inexplicable proofs that at times thousands of people witnessed, many still wouldn’t believe. But it seems among those who did believe they all had one thing in common.