Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dreams, Visions, Challenge, and Change

Experts tell us that everyone dreams. Sometimes we don't remember our dreams and other times they are so vivid we can't help but recall what took place. Many times clients will ask me the significance of a particular dream. They are especially confused because of all the so-called "crazy images" that occur in their dreams. While I am no dream expert, I did take a workshop focused on dreams and learned that dreams are our unconscious seeking to process things we are wrestling with in real life. The "crazy images" are actually the key to determining the meaning of the dream. Dreams have their own unique language which is the language of symbolism. Therefore, once it is determined what the symbol represents, one can decipher the meaning of the dream. I recently had a powerful dream in which the Lord revealed to me how amidst many challenges I was to bring healing and wholeness to the people in my present congregation. This dream along with some other Scriptures God shared with me in His word, helped bring a fresh perspective to my soul and current ministry. It was such a paradigm shift, that I was overwhelmed with the blessings that God was imparting. Dreams and visions are Biblical and God can and does use them to minister to us and others.  If each of us examines our lives we may discover a similar pattern that God is using to draw us closer to Him. Remember Joseph's story in Genesis? It started out with God giving Joseph a dream of his future. (Genesis 37) Later on Joseph became a dream interpreter for the Pharaoh's cupbearer and baker when they were in prison with Joseph (Genesis 40). Joseph also interpreted Pharaoh's dreams. (Genesis 41) The interesting thing is that Joseph's understanding of his own dreams and that of others did not come without its challenges. However, later on the changes came that fulfilled God's plan not only for the people but for Joseph. Likewise, a significant portion of the book of Daniel is devoted to dreams and dream interpretation. Once again, the dreams and visions did not go without their challenges for Daniel but brought about fulfillment of God's will. Of course we cannot forget the New Testament and the how the Lord used dreams and visions in the story of Christ. The Lord spoke to Joseph through a dream as he wrestled with Mary's pregnancy and the family's subsequent escape to Egypt. (Matthew 1, 2) And we can't forget about Luke's birth narrative and the angelic vision experienced by Mary and the shepherds in the fields. (Luke 1, 2) Moreover  Peter, James, and John had a similar experience on the Mount of Transfiguration. (Matthew 17:1-8) These are just a few New Testament examples but all of the stories follow the same pattern of presenting those who experienced the dream/vision with a challenge that led to a significant change in fulfillment of God's ultimate plan. As we enter this Advent season let us not forget about the vision we have been given. God has broken into history to challenge us with the unbelievable story of redemption and the incredible change that would result in the fulfillment of reuniting us with the Father through the gift of His Son. 
Blessings in this Christmas season!
Pastor Sheree

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