Monday, September 26, 2005

Intimacy with God (5)

On the day of Pentecost Peter quoted from the prophet Joel:

In the last days, God says,
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 2:17ff, quoting from Joel 2:28-32).

Peter quoted these words as evidence that God had commenced a new work among His people, and there would be direct communication channels between God and His people.

I had never considered very seriously the possibility that God would speak to me in dreams. Although I was often aware that I had been dreaming, I rarely remembered even the slightest details of my dreams, except for one recurring dream I had had several times. After reading Jack Deere's excellent book Surprised by the Voice of God my mind was opened to the possibility that God might communicate in this way. I began to think about Elihu's words in Job 33:14-15

For God does speak—now one way, now another—
though man may not perceive it.

In a dream, in a vision of the night,
when deep sleep falls on men
as they slumber in their beds ...

Soon after I had a dream that was extremely vivid, and the next morning I could recall it like I never had previously. In my dream I was having a conversation with the Lord and He gave me explicit instructions about something I should do. When I woke up my recollection was so clear that I knew this was God speaking to me "in a dream, in a vision of the night". I acted immediately on what He had told me and followed His instructions to the letter. Although it wasn't clear to me at the time why I was being instructed to do this particular thing it became quite clear to me afterwards and makes perfect sense to me today.

I began to think about my recurring dream, and if this too was the voice of God. I prayed about it and was given insight into it's meaning. Once I understood what it meant, the dream stopped.

I am now more receptive to the possibility that God might choose to communicate with me in dreams. If I recall a dream I take it seriously and pray about it's meaning. I still rarely recall my dreams, but at least now I believe I am receptive to hearing God's voice when He chooses to reveal Himself to me "in a dream, in a vision of the night".

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