I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a dream and just knew I had to get up and pray for someone. But it wasn’t always that way. It was developed over time and by become aware of a few indicators. Just about every dream can give rise to some form of prayer. But some dreams are God’s way of letting the dreamer know it’s time to pray for someone or stand in the gap for a specific purpose.
In this post I will share a few of the tips and indicators I’ve learned over the years. First you’ll notice the dream is somehow different from when it’s just the normal kind of dream.Usually you can tell when the dream is meant to help you process whats going on in your own life. You’ll know because of whats gone on over the past several days and the dream though symbolic will relate to those events. If none of the events fit with the theme of the dream then you can ask yourself “Is God trying to tell me something?”
One clue will be when a messenger or voice from within the dream will give you some kind of message or direction. Both Freud and Jung as well as the Bible say that a message within a dream should be given attention. But a God inspired dream will accompany His presence or a sense of peace and resolve or it will forecast the future.
A God-given dream most likely will be less frequent than the dreams that help us process our feelings. Both are a gifts from God. But a God-given dream will burn in your heart and you can’t get away from it until you accomplish it. For example. A number of years ago I worked at a Christian School. Every summer during summer vacation I would ask God “should I stay or should I go”. The summer of the very last year I worked at the school God sent me His answer in the form of dream. It had 3 distinct timelines. It ended with me saying “How did I get here”. That was a message wi a dream. I knew from that dream I would have 3 career changes. I didn’t know exactly what they were but I knew it would be the last year at the academy. As it turned out I did have 2 additional career changes. After I left the Christian school, I went to work in a duel diagnosed inpatient drug and alcohol treatment center. A Duel diagnosis refers to someone with addiction and a mental health diagnosis. This place seemed to breed insanity in its employees. So I quit and went to work in a local health system. How that happened I’ll never know because I like people not administrative stuff. But I’ve been there since and I’m happy.
Sometimes God will give you a dream about another person. It could be to pray, to encourage or to warn them. As a mom I had several dreams of my son getting into trouble. Sometimes I would sit on them and pray. Sometimes I would say “Ya better mind your P’s and Q’s”. Both options could be right. It can be right to ponder things like Mary and Joseph did. It can be right to warn. In one instance I sat on a dream for 6 months or so. Then out of the blue the dream began to disturb me so much so I had to call my son. After that call, he looked around at the party he was at and decided to leave. 5 minutes later the place was raided. My son’s friend who’s house the party was at later said “why didn’t God warn your mom for me” half joking and half serious!
Sometimes dreams can contain instructions what we call a word of wisdom. I once had a vision of how to fix my sewing machine. A vision is just a dream when you’re awake. It too will have a sense of His presence. So I got up, went over to the sewing machine and fixed it! Did God have to do that? No not at all. But He did it to demonstrate an aspect of himself to me that I thought was pretty cool.
I’d like to hear about your dreams too so we can stimulate each other in our faith journey. I can’t wait to hear what you’ve dreamed about!
I got up to read this morning, opened my Bible, the page opened right to Isaiah 9. So as a follow-up from yesterday’s post, “I once Sat In darkness” I want to expand on the idea of God’s faithfulness to those of us that have struggled with anxiety and depression. In yesterday’s post I shared a vision of light entering into the life of a believer struggling and sitting in darkness. If you haven’t read it yet, take a minute now to read the vision God gave me concerning a time of personal darkness I went through and what He had to say to me when I asked Him to help me make sense of that time.
Isaiah 9:1 Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. the people sitting in darkness have seen great light!!!! On those living in the shadow if death a light has dawned!!!
All of the sudden those words took on a whole new meaning. Typically that passage refers to Jesus entering into the world. But today as I re-read this passage I now see it from a non-theological perspective. I see it as speaking to the very people He came to save! Though I couldn’t see it from that perspective before, I can now! My hope for you if you are reading this is that you will be able to take this passage and hold on to it for dear life. It just may be the only thing you can hold onto right now. It may be the hope shot you need if you’re wondering where if God now for me?? It may be the very thing you need to keep from giving up on God.
You may be sitting in the valley of the shadow of death but a great light is coming! I can’t say it will come today or tomorrow. But it will come. How do I know? Because He promised it in His Word. And because I’m a living testimony of it!
Once upon a time a few years back, I sat alone in the darkness. This wasn’t a spiritual darkness we typically speak of as Christians. Usually we think of that type of darkness for those that do not know my God. The joy and emotion I once felt was gone. I sat alone in my darkness frozen and numb. Most of my friends and family knew I wasn’t myself but no one knew the extent I had internalized things.
Then just as the darkness slowly covered over me, at an appointed time, the light began to slowly dawn again until the full light of day. I asked God to give me revelation about this period of time so I could make sense of it and maybe bring some hope to others that may be experiencing the same thing. Here’s what He gave me. He gave me an internal vision that I hope I never forget.
It was of a girl in the right hand lower corner of a very dark room curled up. She was afraid to move and afraid to stay put. Then came a small faint beam of light in the upper left hand corner. But the girl didn’t see it because she was curled up with her head buried in her knees. Then the light grew slightly brighter. It made the girl raise her head for the first time since the vision began. The small beam of light turned into hands stretching toward her. These hands weren’t upraised in anger but they were reaching out as if to scoop up the little girl. As the vision continued, I could tell the hands were moving closer and indeed did scoop her up and pulled her to the light as if to comfort heal and restore her. She kept looking up at this light that turned into hands and now she sees the hands are attached to a body. It’s her savior’s body! She recognizes Him! It’s Jesus and He came for her! He pulled her close and she felt safe again. She felt sane again. She wasn’t afraid anymore. She relaxed in His arms and cried a cry of relief and joy at the same time. That was the end of the vision but I felt the warmth of it linger for quite a while afterwards.
We all have our theologies that include being happy healthy and whole. It also includes times of darkness like the one Joseph experienced that went on for a very long time. But for me, as I’m sure for most, I preferred the happy healthy and whole part of my beliefs. I didn’t see the darkness coming so it really threw me for as much of a loop as the depression itself. Depression among believers does happen but rarely makes sense when compared to our system of beliefs. But we are in this world and we experience stresses, major life changes, traumas and unspeakable acts that take a toll on us.
So why do I write about this so much? Because too many of God’s faithful have or are struggling in darkness desperately trying to make sense of it all. Too many of us have felt the sting of failure and shame because of it. Too many have fainted in the course of waiting. All of it is unnecessary. Jesus loves us in the mountains and the valleys of life.
I don’t want to say “it all has purpose”. It may, but it may just be the result of living in a fallen world. But at an appointed time (which will most certainly be different for each one of us) He will come and save you! He will, He really will.
My prayer is that it will be sooner rather than later. Hosanna!
Recently I ran into someone that I hadn’t seen in a very long time. She once said something that has stuck with me.
A thought goes into the mind,
Goes down to the heart
Turns into an action
Then I went to church a few days later and our pastor was doing a series called FIGHT. He spoke on spiritual warfare. He said “winning battles in the heavenlies, makes it possible to realize victories on the earth”.
Ephesians 6:12 For battle is not against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen worlds, against mighty powers of this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
He also said don’t let satan own your mind or your heart. So I started thinking back to my chance meeting earlier in the week. As I took it all in I realized if satan can get to your mind without your awareness then he has a really good chance of owning your heart. If he can get to your heart then he can convince you to act on …. fill in the blanks and next thing you know you’re a slave.
I think God is trying to tell me something….
A while back God gave me a scripture. It was from Isaiah 37:31″Once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah will take root below and bear fruit above.
For some reason this scripture caught my attention. Then I walked into a Starbucks Coffee shop and saw a similar saying on their wallpaper that said “Deep Roots Bare Fruit”. Now God had my attention. He gave me that scripture to hold onto to during some really hard times. The only problem was things went from bad to worse and I forgot about the promise. The anxiety got worse and then depression set in. I was numb. I lost my hope. My vision grew dim and everything got dark I couldn’t believe that things were not always going to be like they were at the moment.
But none of this surprised God one little bit. My lack of faith took me by surprise but not God. How do I know this? Because God wasn’t suprised when Peter’s faith failed him. I know were supposed to have faith but sometimes we don’t. Thats just the truth. If we dont confess then how can we be made whole? If there’s a weed growing in our heart won’t it spoil the vineyard?
But God kept going with His plan to extend my roots deeper. Let me tell you it was tough searching for water when it was dry and I felt barren. Have you ever been there? If not don’t worry your turn is coming. It comes in every child of God life that asks for more of Him. He was performing His Word in my life. I didn’t like it very much but there wasn’t much I could do to hasten the process. And there wasn’t much I could do to stop it either. Both options would have been fine by me. I just wanted it to stop. But it didn’t. And today I can say I’m glad He finished the work He started in me. I’m by no means saying I’m a finished product but I am a testimony.
Now when I talk to someone and they say they’re struggling with anxiety and depression I can say “I understand” “I get it”. If you never battled depression you wouldn’t understand the head games that comes along with it. The sense of failure and the sense of not knowing why it’s happening are like overwhelming layers darkness that seal you in. Into what i don’t know cz it was too dark to describe.
Sometimes you can only learn something through experience. But after the affliction you are better able to lead out others struggling too. In way you become Jesus with skin on to the hurting. And that makes the suffering all worth while. Do I want to go through that agin. No way. But am I glad that some fruit has from it all ABSOLUTELY!
Have you ever noticed that when you’re in a time of waiting how your mind races. My mind often tries to predict the outcome of whatever it is I’m waiting for. I have a hard time letting things rest. The only way to explain it is to say it’s like an unfinished task. I have to complete it to rest. Is anybody else like that? Please tell me because I don’t want to be crazy all by myself.
If it depended on my efforts alone I would finish ….. (fill in the blanks). But, in life it doesn’t work that way. We are created by God to need each other. Sometimes that sounds wonderful. Other times not so much.Especially if you’re the one waiting on someone else to complete their part . It works that way on the job, in churches, in our homes, in virtually every relationship including the one we have with our Heavenly Father. Even when I don’t like it, I find there’s something I can learn in the waiting.
Recently I was in a time of waiting to find out if I getting a small promotion. It seemed like no brainer so I couldn’t quite understand why the wait. I was restless and dare I say fearful. I was concerned because of the past experiences that bad outcomes. In the past I have taken on extra duties with an implied expectation of a promotion. Your scenario may not be the same as mine but we’ve all have been there.
Then I started listening to my heart. There was so much going on in there. In matters of the heart, you have to listen carefully and keep going deeper to get to the core issue.Can I just say that sometimes it’s hard to get that quiet to really hear yourself. My mind just kept flitting about from one thing to another. Eventually I did get quiet enough to hear and found was that my restlessness had an origin attached to it. Now I wasn’t restless because of the waiting, now I was wrestling with God. Hmmmm… now I was getting it! God was after something in me. He was exposing another wrong belief I adopted along the way. The more closely I listened to the internal debate I was having, the more I realized I had an implied expectation, an expected outcome you will. I was expecting to be passed over AGAIN.
I began to re-frame the way I was thinking as I was waiting by telling myself that just because it worked out that way in the past doesn’t mean it will work out the same way now. My husband added some valuable insights also.
So I began by asking God to forgive me for the judgement I made. I found peace in that. I also found peace in another way. Because of my husband’s insight I was able to zero in on what I love to do. There’s a big difference in operating in your gifting with peace in that call rather than trying to climb some ladder of success. And with that I was free of the struggle!
The more I chip away at the lies, the freer I become
I now know I’m right where God wants me doing what He called me to do. Nothing more nothing less. Oh ya did I mention I got I got the promotion but I get to keep doing the same thing! How good is God.
My daughter, my pride and joy is moving.She’s spreading her wings. It’s her time to soar.I know she’ll amaze the world the way she amazes me and her dad. She’s smart, funny, sensitive, and most of all fully ALIVE.
Every mom knows this day will come. After all it should. It’s all a part of life. It’s not like it’s the first time she’s moved out and back and out again. But this time it;s probably for good and I am so sad . My heart is breaking in a million pieces. I already miss her.
There are days and seasons that are so refreshing. There are times of pure delight and everything we touch turns to gold. We enjoy favor with man and peace all around. I love these times! Nothing can shake me. I feel loved and cared for by God himself, the maker of the universe. I have heard people say that it’s easy to lose sight of God when everything is going right. That may be true for some but certainly not all.
Everybody responds differently in the face of similar situations. The program “What Would You Do?” is a perfect example. I love to that show. They set a stage and watch to see how unsuspecting people will respond to situations. What makes one person ignore a problem; will make another person stand their ground. In real life, one person can become discouraged; while another will demonstrate great faith for extended periods of time. We’re all different and our heavenly Father knows that.
When I read “why, my soul, are you downcast, why so disturbed within?” It acts as like a little attitude check for me. I’m reminds that I have choice. I can go about mourning or I can trust Him. I can whine or praise. I’m guilty of both whining, complaining, as well as trusting in God and worshipping Him. Sometimes it’s hard to admit that we struggle, waiver and vacillate. But none of this surprises God.
I learned a long time ago that what you focus on increases.
Psalm 121:1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains where does my help come from?My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
Where’s your focus today?
Isaiah 43:2 says “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you”. When I think about this scripture I think of The Pool of Tears in Alice in Wonderland. Alice had so many sudden changes all in one day. She was small then she was tall. She was in a new place where everything was unfamiliar and when she spoke the words weren’t coming out right. It was so frustrating she cried. She cried so much that she made a pool of tears that she found herself swimming in. Life can be like that at times too.
When you think about it, all of us take our turn passing through deep waters. They come in the form of trials, losses, divorce, death, chronic illness, loneliness and the list goes on. The world we live in today it complicated and for some it’s very difficult. Sometimes it goes on for a long, long time and we start to change because of it. We lose heart or experience mounting anxiety or just lose interest in things we used to enjoy. In one breath we say we’re ok and we’re trusting God. But maybe like me, who in my secret thoughts had doubts life would ever get better or that I would feel good again. Heck, I would’ve settled for a feeling normal again! I’m just telling the truth.
I once read a Facebook post that said anxiety comes from being strong for far too long. That made so much sense to me. But that wasn’t enough to eradicate the dread and anxiety I was living with. I’d like to say that when my eyes fell on Isaiah 43 it did something inside me immediately. But it didn’t. I’d like to say I started to breathe deeply again. But I couldn’t. It was during this long dark night that my husband was God’s arms of love and care extended toward me. My husband was like God with skin on. He stayed with me through it all. When I went through the waters, Terry was with me to help me hang on. He’s my hero!
As I reflect on this passage I can see all the many ways God shows up in the storms of life. Sometimes it’s a scripture, sometimes it’s His manifest presence, sometimes it’s a friend or in my case my best friend. I’m learning to be open to all the ways God is with us not just the familiar