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!
On one specific occasion, I was at an important meeting, when I realized I left a much needed item at my home. Since I was close to my house, I decided I had enough time to get there and back before the meeting began. As I drove, I felt the urging of the Holy Spirit telling me to take an alternate route other than the one I was on. Instead of 'acting' upon His instructions, I thought my way was better and quicker. Nonetheless, He kept urging me, and I continued resisting. It was when I reached a certain street, only minutes from my house, that I realized WHY the Spirit was imploring me to go a different way. Right in front of me firetrucks were blocking the road, and I was completely halted. Now what? If only I had acted upon His prompting, I would not have been in this predicament.
We spoke last week of being led by the Holy Spirit. Part of being led, is being obedient. Let's face it, if I would have yielded to His instruction, I could have eliminated stress, delay, and frustration. Learning to follow the Spirit's leading involves taking actions of faith! The Bible says, "...the just live by faith." (Heb. 10:38) Faith is being bold enough to step out and DO what He's telling us to do! In my situation, I thought I had the better way. Isn't that the real problem, we think we know it all, like we've got all the answers, right? But, John 16:13 says, "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come." Many times, He is trying to help us stay out of danger and direct us for purposes unknown. What good is hearing the voice of the Spirit and not obeying? If we ignore Him too long, we desensitize our knowing His voice.
Complying to the leading of the Holy Spirit always involves faith. It's trusting Him with all our heart and not leaning to our own understanding. A person in faith, does something to demonstrate his faith. Abraham, the father of faith, is a great example. He trusted God when he was told to sacrifice his son. Doing all that God told him to do, even to the point of raising his knife to slay him. He knew that no matter the outcome, God was going to do something miraculous. And because he obeyed, his faith was validated! (Gen. 22)
It's not enough to know the principles of faith or entirely quote the Word. These things, although important, are not the result of faith. They teach us what and how to exercise faith, but it's in the doing! "..Faith without works is dead", James 2:14-26. Truthfully, we must live a lifestyle of faith! People that say, 'I tried faith, it doesn't work', haven't made it a life style. They believed they were in faith by listening to someone preach about it, mimic someones actions that acted in faith, and quote the scripture ever so often. But they forgot one thing, to be a doer.
Hearing the Word brings faith which then governs our response. Acting upon the Word, according to your measure of faith, will produce the results for which you're believing God. (Matt. 9:29 "...according to your faith let it be to you". The Holy Spirit's leading, quoting scriptures, and hearing the preached Word are the course to actions of faith!
We challenge you when exercising your faith to completion, by doing something that substantiates it. If you're believing for finances, when you quote "My God supplies all my need, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." listen and obey the Holy Spirit to act upon your faith. He may tell you to give a certain amount in the offering. Perhaps you're believing for a healing, quoting, "By His stripes I am healed". The act of faith at the Holy Spirit's direction could be getting up out of bed. What ever the measure of your faith, there is an action that is suitable for it. The Spirit of God will lead you, just obey.
Pastors Michael & Ginny Gulotta
Pro. 11:25 "The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself."