Summary: Being a dreamer can be good...but it can also be bad depending on what kind of dreams you have and what the basis is for those dreams. Where do dreams come from? Are they products of our own fertile imagination? Are they an escape from reality?
ALONG COMES GOD
Have ever been told you’re a dreamer?
Being a dreamer can be good...but it can also be bad depending on what kind of dreams you have and what the basis is for those dreams. Where do dreams come from? Are they products of our own fertile imagination? Are they an escape from reality?
Did you ever wonder about the significance of a dream...or a vision you may have had. I heard someone say that a vision is just a dream you have in the daytime...or at a time when you're not asleep. Have you ever had a dream or a vision that you know was not just a normal thing...but one that was an encounter with a living God? Read Gen. 28:10 19
Crossing a barren wilderness, Jacob came by night to a lonely place where he lay down and slept, using a stone for a pillow. In his dreams he saw a ladder reaching from earth to heaven...and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
He heard God calling him by name and making him the same promise that he had made to Abraham and Isaac...that he would possess the whole land that his descendants would be without number and that through them all the families of the earth would be blessed.
When Jacob woke from his sleep he could still feel the presence and hear the voice and he thought to himself, "Surely the Lord is in this place and I wasn't aware of it." Then he was afraid and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God...and this is the gate of heaven."
I find this a deeply stirring story. Jacob had a dream that really touched him...and actually it was more than just a normal dream like all of us have had from time to time. There was something very special about this dream of Jacob. But before we get too carried away with this, remember that we're talking about the Old Testament...and back in those days God was different than He is today, right?
We would never expect God to speak to us in dreams and visions in the 1990's, would we? And yet, Joel prophesied that in the last days people would dream dreams and see visions. And he wasn't talking about dreaming you'd hit the lottery or seeing Elvis at a 7 11.
Peter, on the Day of Pentecost spoke of such events and said that this prophecy of Joel was now being fulfilled. And this is something that may have crossed our minds before. Probably many, if not all of you, have often longed for such a vision as the one that given to Jacob. And the reason we likely desire a dream or vision from God is that we want a vital, tangible, unmistakable experience of God to confirm all that we believe about Him...or to confirm what we may think led to do.
Let's be honest for a moment. It's difficult just to have faith and go on trusting a God we can't see...especially in our day of skepticism about Christianity as a whole. I mean, how can we be sure of His direction...how can we be sure of His specific will in certain areas of our lives?
If only God, in a dream or a vision, would come to us, once and for all, and dispel our uncertainty and doubt. Wouldn't that be great? Other people tell us how it happened to them, and we've always thought it was supposed to happen in the religious life...but most people can't honestly say it's ever happened to them.
Most Christians today can't point to a single place, a single time, or a single experience in their past where we can say with complete assurance, "There I saw and heard God." And yet we still long for Jacob's ladder to bridge that gap between heaven and earth.
I think we still, somehow and to some degree, live in a hope that one day God will take the initiative and bring us to the time and place where we can say, even with fear..."This is none other than the house of God and this is the gate of heaven." The story of Jacob speaks directly to our need. There are three truths I see in this passage that I feel we need to see and understand when it comes to having a vision an experience with God in the world today.
1. The vision of God comes to us in an unlikely place. For Jacob it was a rocky wilderness...bleak, forbidding. lonely, a place of craggy mountains and deep ravines...a dangerous place inhabited only by wild beasts...the last place in the world where a man would feel close to God. I say that because we seem to have our own ideas about the environment where God is to be found. Like in a beautiful old church, for example...or a majestic mountain valley...or a lovely flower garden...etc.