“‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.”
This verse comes from Joel 2:28 and again from Acts 2:17. It is a promise from God that He will pour out His spirit, which will give visions, dreams and cause some to prophecy. Since starting Prepared Christian I have been blessed to receive emails from several of you who have shared dreams you have had or prophecies that have been given at your church or from ministries you interact with on the Internet. I want to take some time to discuss this with you.
I think this is important because I know that some of you have been led to preparedness by a dream you have had or a loved one has had, or by prophecies given by someone you trust. Sometimes we feel prompted by God to take an action to be more prepared.
The word dream is mentioned in scripture 65 times; all but seven of those are in the Old Testament. Dreams are clearly one way that God chooses to speak to us; I think this is for various reasons. Dreams bypass the logical part of our brain that can quash the still small voice. Dreams can also be used to introduce things that we are not yet familiar with. They can be used to push us to take action on something we may or may not fully understand.
Scripture lists dreams given to people that were a concrete example of what would occur, examples of this appear in Mathew 1:20, when an angel appears to Joseph in a dream and tells him that the child Mary caries was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Again in Mathew 2:12 the three wise men receive a dream that warns them not to go back to Herod. An angel comes to Joseph again in Mathew 2:13 to tell him to take Mary and Jesus and escape to Egypt. Joseph was visited in a dream again in Mathew 2:19, telling him of Herod’s death.
More often, dreams from the Lord are far more abstract and need interpretation to understand. For instance; the dream God gave to Pharaoh that is explained to Joseph in Genesis 41:15 of the seven fat cows, then seven scrawny and lean cows that Joseph interpreted for him to mean seven years of abundance followed by seven years of famine. Another example is found in Judges 7:13. Gideon overhears a man telling of a dream that a round loaf of barley bread tumbled into the Midianite camp with such force it collapsed a tent. The man listening to this dream interpreted it to mean that the loaf of bread was the sword of Gideon son of Joash. Gideon used this knowledge to invade and conquer the Midianite camp. Again, in Daniel 2:30, King Nebuchadnezzar has Daniel interpret the dream of a giant statue, King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4:11 has Daniel interpret the dream of the giant tree.
Sometimes the meaning of a dream may be abstract, even if the dream itself is not. An example of this could be the dreams given to Joseph in the book of Genesis. In these dreams, Joseph interpreted his brothers and parents bowing down to him. While Joseph became second in command, only lower than Pharaoh, God, at one point, had Joseph thrown into a cistern, sold into slavery and put in prison before interpreting Pharaohs dream and being given much power. He used this power to save his family.
The point I am trying to make is that sometimes the dreams we have are from God. Some of those dreams will actually happen exactly like they did in the dream, as it was many times with Joseph. Some dreams might show us symbolic events, with the end result being similar to the dream, as it was with Joseph and his dreams of his family bowing down to him. The dream could just be used to spark you into taking action, like Gideon did when hearing of the interpreted dream.
I have received e-mails from people who say they have had dreams of the economy crashing and violence everywhere. I have received emails foretelling of the electric grid going out and society falling apart. I have also gotten an email where the person dreamed that a large volcano (I assume it was the caldera in Yellowstone) erupted, destroying much of America and covering much of the US is ash. I have also read prophecies from my church and other ministries that speak to some very difficult times ahead. If all of these are true and come to pass, not only America but much of the world will suffer greatly. In fact, if the caldera in Yellowstone erupted, it very well could be an ELE (Extinction Level Event). I suppose it is possible that all of these things could happen, but even one happening is a very low possibility, let alone all three.
Prophecy is something I find interesting and have studied. I have read Biblical prophecies and some by modern day prophets. The modern prophecies that I have read are often a little vague. Maybe the prophet is only allowed, as John the Revelator was, to show certain things, keeping some things hidden. Maybe the entire sequence of events was not revealed to the prophet, or maybe the prophet is afraid of being too specific, fearing the events will not unfolding as they said.
I have visited forums where current events were forced into prophecy. I have also seen very godly men led to believe a false prophet. I learned a lesson when I started studying prophecy; if a prophet is wrong even once, they are not a prophet sent by God. God is never wrong.
If I met a prophet who was always right, who lived a godly life and loved the Lord, I would listen and heed his words. Until then, I will listen and put their words to the tests of scripture and time to see if they’re right.
Most of the time, I have a very difficult time knowing if a prompting is from the Lord. There are other times when I have no doubt. I’m going to share something personal with all of you and I hesitate to do so, partly because I am very private, and partly because I think it could invite some conflict. I think it is a good example of how sometimes God prompts us and uses things we understand at the time, only to have events unfold differently than originally thought.
Years ago I had read all of the Left Behind books and really studied the book of Revelation and other prophecies in the Bible. This is also around the same time I started prepping. I remember feeling like God was asking me to stay behind after the Rapture to help new believers learn about salvation, and to help them survive the coming judgments to the earth.
Years later I began to feel the Lord stirring again. This time it was to help believers to learn that preparedness is Biblical and how to get better prepared now. I wasn’t sure how to do this and sat on it for another couple years. I finally started writing some pretty awful articles and emailing them to friends. Then, God used Jack Spirko from the Survival Podcast to spark me into starting the Prepared Christian blog.
My point here is that even though all of the promptings were from God, in the beginning I did not have enough knowledge to teach others about preparedness. Knowing I would need that knowledge, I began my research and better preparing my family. Through writing those awful letters to my friends, I hopefully have gotten to be a better writer. I still didn’t know how to “get the word out” until I heard Jack Spirko that day. That began my research into blogging and using the Internet. I now believe God used my understanding of things in the beginning to get me to take the action needed to do what I am doing now. It was my understanding of things that changed, not Gods plan.
Though God does use dreams, prophecy and promptings, they may not always mean what we think they mean. Don’t cling so tightly to your understanding that God can’t unfold His plan. Yes He is more powerful than you, but He loves you enough to yield to your free will.
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