Dreams ~ God speaks; Jacob
~ adjust your tuner to pick up messages from him
When some people sleep, they have mighty powerful dreams. Not me. But I am certainly moved when someone tells me of a God-given dream. I remember of hearing about one particular dream since I was a very little girl.
Jacob, the third named patriarch, "had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 There above it stood the Lord, and he said: "I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. 15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you." From Genesis 28
Can you imagine waking up in the morning after that expansive dream and clear message from God?
If we are ever going to hear all that God wants to say to us, we must adjust to his ways of speaking. And one of his favorite ways of speaking is through dreams.1 It was Job who said,
"For God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it.
He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night,
when deep sleep falls on people as they lie in their beds."2
It is certainly true that one of the ways God speaks is through dreams. (Happens numerous times in the Old Testament).
As Job indicated (above), God uses dreams to warn, but also to encourage3, guide4, command, let us know something is wrong, and give us a picture of the future. Also, speaking of dreams, Job said, "They will fade like a dream and not be found. They will vanish like a vision in the night."5 So, if I believe I have heard from God in a dream, I better write it down, or run the risk of forgetting it.
Here's the important thing: God wants to communicate with you.
Never discount that God still speaks to his children.
Here's how you are able to hear from him:
-in a still, small voice
-through other believers - including messages from the pulpit
-visions - when awake / dreams - when asleep
-circumstances - opened or closed doors; serendipitous meetings
-a "knowing" in our innermost being
However, there is one sure mechanism to hearing from God. Open the pages of the Bible, read for yourself. More of God's speaking to me has come in conjunction with study and teaching of the Bible than with anything else. The Bible expresses the mind of God since God himself speaks to us through its pages.6
Jesus captured it so well, from the perspective and picture of the attentive Eastern sheep-herder. I am the Good Shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me-My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.7
There is nothing like having your own relationship with your Lord and Savior, Creator of the Universe, and nothing that makes it more individual to you than hearing from God yourself.
I pray that you will desire to hear from God for yourself. Before you read Scripture, ask God to speak to you from its pages--its beautiful pages--look for the ways God is trying to get your attention. Give him some 'quiet' to speak something into your soul. Tune your inner ear to the gentle promptings and encouragements from the One who loves you so. Do you have a God frequency? I hope you do now!
1 - Surprised by the Voice of God, Jack Deere, Zondervan
2 -Job 33.14-18, NLT
3 - Acts 18.9-10
4 - Acts 16.9
5 - Job 20.8, NLT
6 - Me and Dallas Willard, Hearing God, InterVarsity Press
Willard's book is the best treatise I have read on hearing from God.
7 - John 10.14, 27, NIV