I had an interesting conversation with someone today about the place that dreams have in making decisions in our lives and the Lord’s work. They can be used by God to give direction as it happened with Paul in Acts 16:6-10. “A vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us”” (16:9).
Before this vision occurred, it was the Holy Spirit that prevented Paul and Silas from going to Asia, not a vision (6). Then it was “the Spirit of Jesus [who] did not allow them” (7). Verse 10 affirms that “God had called us to preach the gospel” to those in Macedonia. How much should we lean on visions and dreams for spiritual direction in the Lord’s work or in our personal lives? We learn from their experience that the great influence in making a decision came from listening to the Holy Spirit.
God gives some very important instruction to the Prophet Jeremiah. “Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 23:28). The comparison gives us insight into the importance of both. God is not saying that dreams are wrong or that we should not tell them. On the other hand, He places much more emphasis on the person “who has my word” let that person “speak my word faithfully.” As if to give further clarity to what He is saying, God gives the analogy between dreams as straw and speaking His Word as wheat. Straw has served its purpose and is no longer useful, but wheat has in it the potential to reproduce and multiply.
Be careful that you do not put more emphasis on the physical aspects of life above the authority and power of God’s Word. The very nature of Scripture accomplishes what dreams cannot.
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