Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Where Are The Dreams And Visions?

We live in a special and blessed age, a time that the prophets could only desire to see, a time when God has poured out his Spirit upon his people. No longer has God limited himself to priests and prophets as he has called all of his children as ministers. The prophet Joel recorded God as saying of this age:

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. (Joel 2:28)

But where are the dreams and visions of this age? Have you had any lately? Where is the inspiration of the Spirit of God that is suppose to encourage and fortify us? We can look at the recorded history of Peter and Paul in the book of Acts and we see the place of visions as God taught and directed these men. But such wonderful things are not limited to history and a couple of unique leaders. No, the Word says that God has poured out his Spirit on all people.

I am convinced that the problem rests with our receptors. God is speaking to us but there is so much noise we have allowed in our lives that we can't really hear him. We have a lack of vision and dreams because our minds are clogged with daily worries and fears. Remember the parable Jesus told of the various soils? He was referring to the the various conditions of our heart and how it makes it hard for us to received and to be changed. The one that has always gotten me is where the weeds choked out the plant before it could grow. This is the truth of the matter for many of us.

Jesus saved us from everything in this world, including all worries and fears that act to choke out God's blessings. Do you remember what he said about this place and our relationship with it?

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Maybe you should read this through a few times to allow it to sink in. Jesus has given us his peace and promised to never take it away from us. We only lose this peace when we allow the things of this world to overwhelm us which is a silly thing considering that Jesus said he has overcome this world. Do you believe him? He said we will have trouble here but we are to take heart, be encouraged, because he has overcome it all. Peace is ours in every situation because of Jesus and in this state of peace the Spirit of God moves. But do we believe?

In this age we have practically no evidence of God over our lives because we are too busy with the noise of this world. We fill our days with meaningless activities and words. We are distracted in such a major way that the voice of God comes across as background noise and is almost impossible to hear over everything else. If we really want to hear from God, to gain those dreams and visions again, we have to get rid of the noise.

You don`t have to get rid of the noise. Maybe you are happy where you are and don`t really have a desire to be taught and directed by God. You can continue in your mediocracy if you wish but it will not please our Father as he told us he requires our full love and attention. He wants all of our heart, not a piece of it. However, if you desire such a relationship with God in which you are a recipient of his teaching and guidance through dreams and visions, it will cost us this world. We can't have both, Jesus said so. We have to decide who we love and who we will serve and then serve with all of our heart. It really comes down to what or who you love more. At the beginning of this new year it is a good time to ask yourself what or who will receive your time and attention?

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Philip said...

Hey Paul, This is a great and helpful admonition. Thank you for the reminder to keep my eyes on Jesus. It's the only way not to get choked out like you said.

But I do think we harp on mediocrity and luke-warmness a lot, and people don't change until they begin to realize the sort of grace and love that's been lavished on them. I picked up a hint of frustrated boot-strap pulling in this post. Sinners don't turn around on their own, me included.

Pastor Paul said...

My apologies if there was any sense of frustration in this. I must double check my wording. There was no frustration intended as I am not at a point of frustration. No, I realize that people either get it or they don't, however the message must still be conveyed. I believe the reason we harp on it is because the Church is drowning in it. It's hard to see such an incredible, powerful gospel, that contains the means to bring healing and salvation to the suffering, being treated with such apathy by those who claim to administer their lives by it.

Philip said...

Amen to that. Sadly, I think it's that people don't see the gospel as "an incredible, powerful gospel, that contains the means to bring healing and salvation to the suffering." So keep preaching it brother! And writing it!