And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your young men shall see visions,
Your old men shall dream dreams. Joel 2:28

 

Does this prophesy apply to the children of God, today? Should they be expecting visions and dreams?  Your answer will likely depend on your understanding of “the last days”.  No one can dispute that this prophecy describes the miracles following Pentecost, over 2000 years ago (see Acts 2).  But have the last days ended?  Some would say, “Yes, the Holy Spirit’s gifts and miracles, along with visions and dreams, have passed away with the Apostles.”

I must respectfully disagree.  In fact, I am becoming increasingly convinced that the Body of Christ should not only expect them, but to seek them.  Why?  Because the times have grown desperate for the church in America, and we need more of the Lord’s direction if we are to be the church He intended. 

Personally, I must be in the gray area between young and old because I am having both dreams and visions – one of each in just the last week!  I offer them as testimony to the pouring out of His Spirit on all flesh” (with a few words of encouragement and instruction at the end of each).

A Dream

Early last Saturday (I was still in bed), the Lord convinced me that I needed to stay home from the Burwell Bike Ride.  As I laid back down, I asked Him to give me a dream…and He did!!  In the dream, I was with a mission team that had gone into a slum area.  Part of the team was replacing a cross on the top of a church (like it had been abandoned, but it was now time to reopen).  At first, it seemed silly to me; like a dangerous and wasteful effort.  The building didn’t look like a church at all.  But then I noticed that there was a steeple base at the top of the roof.  The church must have been converted for another use.  After the young man put the cross up, he began to slide down the roof.  I thought it was falling, but he caught himself before he came off the edge.  Perhaps he knew what he was doing.

While this was going on, I was digging in the ground near some steps beside the building.  I found a cross that had angel wings behind the cross beam. The entire piece was bright gold – very beautiful and valuable. I knew instantly that it was a hidden treasure.  A young lady from the community came up, saw it, and marveled at how beautiful it was.  There was a small group of people with her that were wondering what we were doing.  I just explained that we were putting the cross back on the church, and that I had found this treasure.  Then I woke up. 

I have found dreams to be a bit tricking.  First, if I don’t write them down, I forget them quickly.  Second, it requires some investigation to determine their source.  Sometimes they are just weird conglomerations of recent experiences; other times I am sure they are attacks from the enemy.  When a dream does not fit either of those categories; and I assume it is a message from God, and I diligently seek the understanding.  That always starts with asking God, and generally ends with His response.  However, there are times when I will ask someone I trust to seek God with me for the revelation.  Why doesn’t God just give me that without the dream?  Because He wants me to seek Him for the answer (see Proverbs 25:2).

I sure that there is more to understand about this dream (and I’ve asked someone to help), but one message is very clear:  We (whoever we are) will be reopening areas to the gospel where it has been lost – putting a stake in the ground; a stake that is the cross of Christ and the power of the gospel message.

A Vision

During my morning quiet time, while anguishing over my lack of demonstrated love for others, the Lord gave me a vision – a very simple one.  I was looking at a very large tractor.  It was idling, in front of a field that was about to be plowed.  I noticed the fuel flowing through what must have been the fuel filter; and then the vision ended.  When I asked the Lord what this meant, He said:

  1. You (Rob) are the tractor; My instrument for plowing.
  2. The fuel is the power of the Holy Spirit.
  3. Tractors are used for plowing – in preparation for planting seed (teaching from the word) and watering (washing in the word).
  4. No one would decide not to plow just because there might be rocks and roots in the field.  In fact, plowing helps to expose them.
  5. Plowing is work; the work of love; and love is a decisive act.

It has only been in the last few years that I have noticed God speaking to me in visions.  It may be that I just didn’t recognize them in the past.  They have always come when I am earnestly seeking God for an answer to a pressing question or issue.  One moment I’m focused on Him with nothing but the backs of my eyelids in view, and the next moment a “video” appears. 

Another example:  Once, while I was seeking God for affirmation of a direction He had given me, I had a vision of a hand drawing a picture on a piece of paper; a picture of a crossroad with two alternative directions: One labeled obedience, and the other disobedience. 

The first time I noticed this phenomenon, I thought my mind was just wandering.  But something prompted me to ask God what it meant; and He told me in a way that was easy to understand.  I was sure it was His “voice” revealing the answer to my question/issue. I’ve been on the lookout for others ever since.

Conclusion

Visions and dreams did not die with the Apostles – because the need for them is very much need if we are to understand the deeper things of God.  Yes, they can be misinterpreted; and, yes, people can help us do that.  However, fearing and/or ignoring two of God’s most powerful communication channels is not the answer.  The answer is learning to hear from God, even through trial and error.  There are folks out there that can help you learn how to hear from Him.  Just ask God to show you who they are; and, hey, He just might do it in a dream or vision.  How cool would that be?

Your humble dreamer and visionary,

Rob