The podcast at the end of the article this week is called, "Big Mouth!"
This week I want to do something different in Coffee Stains. Usually I share with you from my vast wells of wisdom (I hear you giggling and mocking. Just be quiet back there).
But this week I've got a question I wish some of you would try to answer.
I've thought about dreams and visions that come from God and tried to define them. I believe God gives actual visions where we see something from Him with our physical eyes. That's kind of rare. Occasionally He causes us to dream something significant. But most often when we talk about dreams and visions we talk about dreams in our heart of what we would like to accomplish for the Lord. Sometimes we eat pizza at midnight and have dreams at 3 a.m. Those don't count even if they resemble a chapter of Revelations.
I believe that dreams and visions that come from God are glimpses of the future He desires for us. I had my own dreams for my life but when I felt God's call, He replaced my dream with His dreams. If we've lost our ability to dream we're living a gray, colorless life. But we've got to submit our vision of the future to Him so that He can give us what He desires.
When God called me to preach I didn't have a lot of money to offer Him, but I gave Him my dreams. And my dreams were worth millions to me. God replaced those with His vision for my life and I've never regretted it.
At times I wonder if God doesn't drop into my heart a glimpse of the future He has for me. For God the past, present and future are the same. He dwells in the eternal 'now” so to let us see which direction He wants us to go in the future poses no problem for Him.
When we delight ourselves in Him the desires, the dreams, the hopes in our heart come from His heart. 'Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Ps. 37:4) Why? Because when your joy comes from Him, His heart and yours are so 'mixed” that His desires are your delight. His will takes first place in you and the thing you want is the thing He wants for you.
So, in a sense we glimpse the 'future” by seeing the dreams and visions He places in our heart. Here's my question:
What happened when you dreamed and it didn't come to pass? If you really had a dream from God it has to happen, doesn't it? Are these dreams from God already written down, destined to happen, no matter what? Or can our unbelief, or our laziness, or our sin change the future that God has for us? Can small faith cripple us and keep us from a total fulfilling of the vision that great faith would have seen?
I'd love to hear what you think about that. I'll put the answers on my website (first names only) so that you can see how everyone responded. That way we can learn together.