The educated conservative pastor was speaking that day. His message was on the life of Joseph, the son of Jacob (Israel). Joseph, he had explained, had had dreams. In fact, he had quite a few of them, and these were not of his own making, but were from the Lord. The pastor’s conclusion to his message was something to the effect, “Of course, God does not speak to us in dreams today as he did back in the times of Joseph. God is simply not like that today, he does not work that way (… he has changed).”
I coudn’t help but grieve in my seat. Here I was, fully “dreamed out” because God had given me so many dreams pertaining to exact situations in my life (fortelling precise events, ones which detailed motives behind my actions, ones which warned me of impending danger on many many occasions and which “rescued” me, ones which were cleary an opening for ministry opportunities and which have led to a great deal of personal fulfilment in my life, ones which have dealt with my sin and were designed to lead me in a pure path, etc.). Yet the man refused to believe and declared that God had changed his ways. The warning to him, and people like him, goes out strongly:
“Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS AS WHEN THEY PROVOKED ME, AS IN THE DAY OF TRIAL IN THE WILDERNESS, WHERE YOUR FATHERS TRIED Me BY TESTING Me, AND SAW MY WORKS FOR FORTY YEARS. THEREFORE I WAS ANGRY WITH THIS GENERATION, AND SAID, “THEY ALWAYS GO ASTRAY IN THEIR HEART, AND THEY DID NOT KNOW MY WAYS’; AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH, “THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.’ Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called Today, so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” (Hebrews 3:7-13)
If you have had a dream, examine it carefully. Dreams come in various forms and by various means. For examples, your conscience is quite capable of producing very interesting dreams that may even really “speak” to you — yet these dreams are not of God in the sense of being “direct revelation” but are a result of “emotional issues” which you are working through in your life, and which you are working through in a subconscious way. On the other hand, there are dreams which come from God, in direct, supernatural, “intervening” ways, dreams like Joseph had in the Old Testament. These DO come from God — directly from him, in order to encourage us to remain faithful to him — not so that we can boast that we had a dream.
Have you had a dream which comes from God? Are you now discouraged and down in the dumps like Joseph must have felt a thousand times? Be encouraged! God gave those dreams to Joseph for a reason. He has given them to you also for the same reason — so that you might not lose faith during the hard times (which God has known about well in advance and has permitted them in order to refine you and test you so that you might be found faithful and worthy of “carrying forth” the vision which he gave you). Relax, God is in charge. Yes, he gives dreams today and he knows the future from the end. He will fulfill what he has purposed for your life.
If you have had a dream which you are “absolutely certain” is from God, tuck it away and ponder it like the ancients did. God gave it to you for a purpose. Don’t let that purpose slip away — but pray that God would fulfill his purposes for that dream.