This story should either make you laugh, or cry. As usual, it’s true.
Years ago, my wife and I were attending a fellowship here in the city. During that time, I received an interesting dream one day. The dream portrayed a certain event happening in an allegorical manner (when God gives a dream, he often uses allegory to get his point across). So I knew that this certain “event” would indeed take place sometime down the road, having to do with this church. The only thing I didn’t know was when it was going to occur.
Now add about three years time. That’s how many years it took before the event finally took place. You know, God knows everything, so, when God shows me that an event is going to occur, and much later down the road it occurs just as he said it would, well, it boost my faith, that’s for sure! It sure let’s me know that God loves me, and desires to be intimate with me. And he will be intimate with whoever desires to be intimate with him — that’s what the Bible teaches — as long as you follow the rules. He is a God of REVELATION, and when he REVEALS something, and it happens, it is to his GLORY. One of the problems with the church is that the church has denied God’s revelation, and sought to live by their own natural means, using mostly the intellect – not the spirit. But the Bible says we are to worship God in Spirit and in truth. Both are required!
It is now roughly three years later, and along with the several Sunday school classes this particular church is offering is one on prophecy and prophets. Hum. Sounds interesting, don’t you think? The only problem is that this church doesn’t believe that God is into supernatural revelation today — that was relegated for some long ago, ancient, past, and we are now left to study it, but by no means partake of it. Now, you have to understand that God has a terrific sense of humor (if you don’t, you will soon!). I know basically what this church teaches, but decide to enroll in the class anyway, just to “prod” the teacher, as it were, and see if I can make any sort of “dent” in her “armor”. I decide to sit close to the front of the class, and raise a specific question at a specific time in the class. And here is my question to her:
“Do you think that God gives dreams and revelation today?”
She responds, “Oh, no. That’s how cults are formed!”
Ah. The truth hurts. This is a church that boast 1000 strong adherents, is loved in the community, but denies the power of the Lord. Paul writes, “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power” (1 Corinthians 2:4).
Paul is actually saying something quite amazing here. He is saying that preaching that is with “wise and persuasive words” but which lacks a demonstration of the Spirit’s power is NOT the best preaching! However, Paul is also NOT saying that you do not want good sound preaching, that has solid biblical theology backing it. That is another radical extreme that we have seen far too much of in the church. I am not impressed with so much of what I have seen, when people claim to do miracles, or to be able to provide you with “your miracle”, but completely water down the authority of the word of God. This is a shame and a disgrace.
What I long for is TRUE BIBLICAL PREACHING that contains the power of the Holy Spirit, as well. We need BOTH. We need the TRUTH AND WE NEED THE SPIRIT.
“God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in SPIRIT and TRUTH.” (John 4:24, NASB)
God being God, it should not surprise you that it was during that VERY COURSE that God fulfilled the dream which he had given me three years before! In the dream, a woman who was the wife of one of the senior pastors handed me “my line” — which at the time I did not know what it meant (she is not the one who taught the course, by the way). But when, in real life, in that VERY class, the same woman I had seen in the dream entered the room and looked straight at me and asked me if I wanted to be in a play and I said “yes”, she then took out some sheets of paper and handed them right to me, and said, “Here are your lines!” — just as I had seen in the dream three years earlier!
So God really is quite the amazing God! He’s a God of revelation, to be sure. Why on earth did he need to even show that to me, three years ahead of time? I guess it’s just one of those things that God (our loving and gracious heavenly Father) loves to do, reveal things to his children, who are listening, and who are open to hearing his voice. It is God’s pleasure to speak with you personally. And you would know that that makes PERFECT SENSE, too, if you are a parent. Because all parents LOVE to speak with their children, in order to encourage them and to speak personal, intimate, blessings into their lives! Because THAT is the nature of God, to fuel us daily through intimate relationship. Remember, in the Garden of Eden, God WALKED with Adam and Eve!
The Bible says that God LONGS TO BE GRACIOUS TO YOU (Isaiah 30:18). This is the God we serve, Christian brother and sister! You can EXPECT him to be gracious to you, so open your heart, and — as the Scriptures say — let the king of Glory come in! (Psalm 24)