Here of late, we've been asked a lot of questions about dreams being a leading of the Lord. Truly we all dream, and find that some of them can be inspiring or enlightening. I remember a re-occurring dream I had many years ago. I would enter into an elevator alone, the doors would close, and it would move to the top floor and stop. At that point the elevator would pivot around and around, stop and then return to the floor where I began, then I would exit. I had that exact dream for over a year. Then one night as I dreamed of that elevator, it was different. I entered the elevator, along with another person, but I recognized what it was going to do. I exited and I watched as it traveled to the top floor, pivoted, and returned to the main floor, where I was standing. I wondered for years what that dream meant. Was God leading me or teaching me something?
It wasn't until years later, I discovered the meaning. I realized I was going through a difficult time in my life, as if I was living the same thing over and over. There didn't seem to be any way out. Thus the same ride on the elevator going no where, unchanging! Then after a period of time, I made some different decisions, that altered my life. That's when I recognized I didn't have to take that elevator. Conclusion: obviously this dream was derived from circumstances in my life. Dreams can be a result of several things. 1) Situations we're experiencing in our life. 2) Thoughts of worry or fear. 3) Watching a bad movie. or 4) Something we ate that didn't agree.
God can and does use dreams from time to time, but we shouldn't look to them as our foremost authority. Although we can learn from them, I don't believe that dreams are the primary leading from the Lord. For direction and leadership we can depend on the Bible. What ever we are facing within life, the Word has the answer. Ps. 119:105 says, "Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." With each step we take, the Word of God enlightens us in choosing right from wrong. Even for instruction of future events the scriptures will illuminate and give instruction. Anyone wanting to please God, live righteously and holy, will find direction in God's Word.
The Holy Spirit can help lead us into doing what is right. Ez. 36:27 " I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statues, and you will keep My judgements and do them." Gal. 5:16 says, "...walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." And of course Romans 8:14, "As many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God." In these scriptures, we can see the the Holy Spirit can guide us, if we allow Him.
I know some of you would point out that many people were led by dreams in the Old Testament. Let me just say that these people didn't have the Holy Spirit nor the written Word of God for direction. Today we have both. I would encourage you to examine your dreams to see if they are the product of too many onions on your tacos, a scary show, too much concern or just things you're going through. Put more confidence in the Holy Spirit and God's Word for direction - they're a sure thing!
Years ago, we were on a youth outing to another city. Because of the number of people that went, we had to take multiple cars. Some of the people that drove were not familiar with the city freeways, so they were following us to the venue. The driver of the second car thought it would be fun to drive along side of our car instead of remaining directly behind. Much to their surprise the lane they were in, happened to be an exit only lane onto another freeway. So without warning, suddenly they were going east and we were going north. Needless to say, had they been following us, they would not have gotten off course. Going the wrong direction can be alarming and disheartening. To be guided by one that knows the way is, definitely, the safest way to go.
In John chapter 16 Jesus tells us of the 'Helper' that will come after He leaves. In verse 13, He says, "...when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth..." This word 'guide' is likened to a tour guide that is trained to go into unknown territory. How many of you know that this life we live, is an unknown territory? Dealing with surprises and difficult circumstances is similar to traveling in unexplored places. Having a guide that can lead us safely through, helping us to avoid pitfalls, disaster, and danger, will keep us on course and in the Truth. I'm all for that!
Truthfully, people are seeking direction every day. Some refer to horoscopes, palm readers, tea leaves, fortune cookies, ouija boards and various other methods. These are NOT the way to finding the truth or true direction from God. Others depend on dreams, visions, prophetic instruction, angels, goosebumps, and good or bad feelings. Again, these are NOT sound in the leading of God.
Realize that the devil can imitate all the outward signs for guidance. In light of this, we understand that we can not depend on dreams, angel visitations, visions, prophetic words, goosebumps or feelings to direct us. If any of these are prevalent, they will ALWAYS be accompanied by the inward witness of the Holy Spirit if they are from the Lord. They should be disregarded if they are not. The people in the old testament were led by these things because the Holy Spirit had not yet come. Today we can depend on His guidance. And since there are no scriptures to support outward leadings, we know veering from the Word is dangerous and can lead to deception.
Romans 8:14 says, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God." This IS the true leading from God. If you want to have a guaranteed escort through the course of your life, first become a 'son of God'. Then the Holy Spirit will give you direction every day. Verse 16 tells us how He does this, "The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit.."! 'Bearing witness', also considered as 'inner witness', is a knowing within your spirit to His leading. We could also say, it's when something just seems right, although your mind doesn't quite understand.
His unction is directed by God and will always be in line with God's will. Some key points to know about the Holy Spirit's leading is: 1) He's a gentleman, He will not aggressively push us into doing anything, He leads. 2) He will never have us do anything that's contrary to God's Word. and 3) His leading will not always agree with our mind or flesh. (Rom. 8:7 "...the carnal mind is enmity against God...." & Gal. 5:17 "...the flesh lusts against the Spirit...")
Along with His leading, God has also endowed us with knowledge and wisdom. In some instances we won't have a leading of the Holy Spirit because we have a knowing about something. For instance, if I know the temperature outside is 110 degrees, I don't need the Holy Spirits leading to know i shouldn't go running. Or if I know it's dangerous to be in a particular place, I don't need Him to tell me not to go. I have the measure of knowledge needed to govern specific decisions. And if I'm going in a direction that my knowledge tells me is good, unless the Holy Spirit gives me a 'check' or 'stop' then I can proceed.
Learning to follow the leading of the Spirit, will help us in every facet of life. Gaining more insight to being led can be obtained by praying. It increases sensitivity to hearing His voice. Be sure that when you begin to experience His leading, obey instantly. This develops your spirit, and keeps the devil from discouraging you. Stay out of feelings, reasonings and self will. Practice by being a listener. Be sure to know who's in the lead. Following the Holy Spirit will ensure peace, safety, and security.
Pastors Michael & Ginny Gulotta
Pro. 11:25 "The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself."