When God created mankind, he said, “I think I’ll put two feet on him, so he can walk around. I’ll give him two arms, and five fingers on each hand, which includes one thumb so that he can hold things properly.” When it came to the mind, the Lord did something special. He said, “There I will give man his capability to reason, and think. But I will also do something extra special in that one location that I have not done anywhere else. I will install a special ‘backdrop’ where I can supernaturally project images, so that I may communicate with man through dreams and visions.” And so it was that this special spot was created. And it is a very special spot indeed. This is the spot that I refer to as the ‘backdrop’ of your mind.
Now the backdrop is literally like a ‘sheet’ that hangs in your mind, upon which God projects images when he wants to. Perhaps, as a computer user, you have heard of the term ‘clipboard’. Well the backdrop is like that. It is like a ‘clipboard’ where God can put stuff. However, this stuff does not stay there forever. It is only ‘projected’ there for as long as it takes for you to ‘get it’. Unfortunately, many of us have been taught that this backdrop does not exist, or we have not been taught that it does exist. Either way, we simply “don’t believe” that it’s there. The consequence of this is that we don’t expect to see anything there. When something does show up, we dismiss it entirely as being a ‘fluke’ or a ‘mistake’ or ‘something that went wrong’. Thus we miss what God is trying to say to us.
About 8 years ago, I remember kneeling down to pray, and asking God, “What should I do.” Before I could do anything more, with my eyes closed, I clearly saw a wall full of guitar picks! I surmised that God was telling me that I should play the guitar and worship him, which I did. On another occasion, while I was lying around in bed, being somewhat ‘lazy’ in getting up, while I was awake and yet with my eyes closed, all of a sudden, I saw an axe come crashing down on a tree stump — bang! I was shocked and quickly opened my eyes and got up! I had gotten the message loud and clear: it was time to get up, no more lying around! In this way — because I am expecting him to speak — I find that God leads me day-by-day, moment-by-moment. The examples are endless, but the point is that God does lead us, and will show us the way, if we will but let him.
Does any of this take the place of knowing and studying the Scriptures? No, certainly not! We are to be well taught in the Scriptures, and understand and apply them. The Scriptures, then, provide us with the framework, and guidelines, within which we are to operate. They provide us with the ‘boundary zones’ as it were — letting us know what is right and what is wrong, and helping us to understand God’s character. That is what the Bible is all about: it is God’s love letter to his people. But in the midst of this, let us not fall into the trap of thinking that just because God has written a love letter, that he now ceases to speak personally to his people. Far from it! God is in the business today of leading and guiding his people like never before, through personal revelation that is consistent with, and never against, what he has revealed to us in the Scriptures.
There is the true story of a time when God was sending in missionaries to reach out to this certain group of people. Before the missionaries arrived, God gave some of them a dream. The dream was to the effect that someone was coming to share a very important message, and that they had better listen to these people. That ‘paved the way’ for the message to be heard, and the people became Christians. In a dream, on the backdrop of these people’s minds, God spoke. These people were open to receiving it, and were blessed as a result. They didn’t dismiss it, as we so often do.
God often sends a dream or a vision in order to save people from harm or unneeded suffering. We read of such and instance in the book of Job, “In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction, That he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man. He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword.” (Job 33:15-18)
How much are we listening? And are we expecting him to speak? Could it be that the reason that we are not blessed is that we are not listening to what he is already saying to us?