Archive for November, 2011

“THEY SHALL DREAM DREAMS”(Pt. 4)

“And when Gideon had come, there was a man telling a dream to his companion…’I have had a dream: To my surprise, a loaf of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian; it came to a tent and struck it so that it fell and overturned, and the tent collapsed.’ Then his companion answered and said, ‘This is nothing else but the sword of Gideon, the son of Joash, a man of Israel! Into his hand God has delivered Midian and the whole camp”(Judges 7:13-14).

DREAMS CAN GIVE US COURAGE TO FIGHT

The story of the exploits of Gideon would not be complete without the dream that the LORD God gave his enemy. The Midianites had for seven long years looted, pillaged and destroyed the crops and cattle of God’s people. The Angel of the LORD visited and called Gideon to lead his people to victory. In spite of this heavenly visitation, Gideon was still a little slow to believe that he in fact could be and do what he was being called to do. He had not yet learned this truth, “God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the Called”.

God knows our human frailties. Gideon is instructed by the Angel to sneak down to the enemies’ camp at night. In obedience, Gideon, under the cover of night gets there in time to hear the dream that the LORD gives to his enemy.  Further still,he hears the dream interpreted by his enemy! The significance of the “Barley loaf” was that it was the poorest of the poor food. It did not represent wealth, prominence or power, but that which is small and insignificant. The interpretation of this dream was, “This is Gideon”!  Thus Gideon knew beyond his self-doubt and fear that he was the guy to overthrow the power of their enemies.

Could it be that God is trying to get you to pay attention to your dreams? Are you being called by God to greatness in spite of your perception or that which others have held about you? God is wanting you to believe His promise that He will be with you to fight this battle and prevail.  God’s word for you is, “When the enemy comes in like a flood the LORD Himself shall raise up a standard against him”.  May your name be placed there as a point of honor for your courage and obedience. “The sword of the LORD and of Gideon”!

DREAMS CAN BRING COMFORT & HOPE

The prophet Zechariah had a series of dreams (Night Visions). Hidden in his name, Zechariah, is the secret of the message God had for His people who had returned home from their long Babylonian captivity. Zechariah’s name means “Whom the LORD remembers”.   Scattered? Yes…But not forgotten. Disciplined by God? Yes…But the nations were only the rod in God’s hand to return His wayward son,Israel, back into His loving arms. “I will strengthen the house of Judah, And I will save the house of Joseph. I will bring them back, Because I have mercy on them. They shall be as though I had not cast them aside; For I am the LORD their God, And I will heal them”(Zechariah 10:6 NKJV).

DREAMS HELP US REALIZE GOD FULFILLS PROMISES

When Phillip found Nathaniel announcing that the long awaited Messiah had arrived in Yeshua of Nazareth, Nathaniel was skeptical. His coming out of Nazareth did not fit into his neat religious,traditional “box”of Messiah’s appearing.   But when Jesus (Yeshua) speaks to his heart (by word of knowledge) to having seen him under the Fig tree, he dispels Nathaniel’s reservations and invites him into a new relationship with God.  He whole-heartedly embraces Yeshua, his Messiah, “King of Israel”.

Jesus further affirms Nathaniel’s belief by alluding to Himself as the fulfillment of Jacob’s dream of a ladder let down from heaven and Nathaniel’s longing.(Read Genesis 28:10-17 & John 1:47-51). Nathaniel would experience “Open heavens” as he watched the Kingdom of heaven manifest in the earth through Yeshua, Jesus the Messiah.

May your dreams prepare you for the great change that the LORD is bringing into the earth in this hour. May you,friend of God, operate under an “Open heaven” as you step into the New Year.

Copyright(c) 2011,Walter Fletcher Jr., All rights are reserved.  This article may be copied free of charge provided that it is not altered in any way from it’s original content.  Send all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com

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“THEY SHALL DREAM DREAMS”(Pt. 3)

“And Pharaoh said to Joseph,’I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that you can understand a dream, to interpret it'”(Genesis 41:15 NKJV).

There are many kinds of dreams that, if we are alert to their details, can be helpful in speaking to each person. We saw that Joseph was given an apparent re-occurring dream to prepare him for his future destiny to be a leader who would ultimately help bring his family to Egypt in time of a famine. Although his dream did not show him all that this would involve, the many tests and trials along the way and so forth, he held on to the dreams as being true to his future.

We saw also that Peter was being asked to grow in his appreciation and understanding of the largeness of GOD’S heart toward the Gentile Nations. Through the power of the gospel being preached to them, they were included in the family of God, as had been the Jewish Nation. Jesus Christ was sent in the fulness of time to be presented not only as the “King of the Jews”, but the Savior of the world (John 3:16-17).

DREAMS CAN GIVE US WARNINGS

It is interesting that dreams that disturbed Pharaoh were the occasion that brought Joseph and the king of Egypt together. Recall that Pharaoh was disturbed by his dreams of seven fat cows and the scene changing to see seven skinny, malnourished cows eating up the fat cows! Because the dream reoccured and his magicians had no insight into the dream’s meaning, one who had met Joseph while he was doing a stint in prison remembered Joseph. It seems that Joseph was not only a dreamer but had a proven track record of interpreting dreams as well!

When Joseph was cleaned up and brought before Pharaoh, he listened to the Pharoah’s dreams and was not only given divine insight into the dream’s meaning, but God gave him wise counsel as to what the king should do. This bought him an early release from his prison sentence and a place as right hand advisor to the king! Pharaoh was wise to promote Joseph as his Chief of Staff…Joseph was wise to take the appointment. His dream indeed was unfolding before his eyes.

WARNINGS CAN DELIVER FROM DANGER

“An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying ‘Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy him'”(Matthew 2:13 NKJV).

The whole story around the birth of Jesus is full of supernatural events. One of the perhaps less appreciated characters in the drama was Joseph. When we read the story we notice that from the time Joseph took Mary as his betrothed wife until the settling down in the little town of Nazareth, he was guided and warned by God through dreams. It seemed the Lord knew that Joseph both believed in the significance of dreams as well as trusted God to protect the life of his young virgin bride and the child she would bring into the world. Three times he was visited in his dreams, and three times Joseph obeyed this supernatural leading.

In an hour where many uncertainties are upon the world, I believe we will hear of many stories of divine interventions. God knows how to rescue His people from impending danger. Many of these occurrences will come through warning dreams. Pay attention to your dreams. They could be the point of safety and deliverance from evil and harm for you and your loved ones. Don’t be afraid of talking to God about your dreams. He is more than willing to confirm the way for you to move ahead against the power of the enemy.

Copyright(c)2011, Walter Fletcher Jr., All rights are reserved.  This article may be copied free of charge provided that it is not altered in any way from its original content.  Send all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com

THEY SHALL DREAM DREAMS(Pt. 2)

“Peter… saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet …let down to the earth. In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. And a voice came to him, ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’ But Peter said,’Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.’ And a voice spoke to him a second time. ‘What God has cleansed you must not call common.’…While Peter thought about the vision, the Spirit said to him, ‘Behold, three men are seeking you. Arise therefore, go down and go with them, nothing doubting; for I have sent them'”(Acts 10:9b, 11a,12-14,19-20 NKJV).

There are a variety of reasons that we receive dreams. We saw last week that dreams can prepare us for our destiny or purpose. Joseph was just a Teenager when he began to have dreams about becoming a leader over his family. But the dream was much bigger in it’s implications. Little did he realize that God was preparing him to be the key to the salvation, not only of his family, but all of Egypt. Which brings us to our next consideration of the purpose of dreams and visions.

DREAMS CAN HELP US TO GROW
Simon Peter would learn why Jesus placed “the keys of the kingdom” into his hands (See Matthew 16:18-19).

Sometimes we can “get stuck” in our walk with God. We can get into such a routine in the way we see our life and the lives of other relations around us. Dreams can help us get beyond where we have lived life. When Peter saw this sheet let down from heaven three times he knew he needed to understand it’s meaning.

Peter paid attention to his dream. In other words, he didn’t let the matter depart from his conscience or memory. He knew that after having this unusual spiritual encounter that it had a significance to his life, but he did not have it’s insight.
This is a very important point as we think about “What do I do with my dreams that come unexpectedly?’’ Especially if we sense they have a message to convey to us. We can learn from Simon Peter. He continued to ask God for understanding. On the surface the dream seemed to be some kind of test about him remaining kosher in his dietary practices. After all, Peter is a good religious observant Jewish man. “Not so,Lord! Nothing unclean has entered my mouth”. But he sensed that there was a deeper message he was missing.

Please notice that as he was paying attention to this dream, God spoke to give further instruction. I am persuaded that God loves a good game! Moses wrote, “The secret things belong to the LORD. But the things revealed belong to the children of men”(Deuteronomy 29:29). Again, the wise Solomon observed, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter. It is the glory of Kings to search it out”(Proverbs 25:2). Don’t be too quick to dismiss dreams that don’t make immediate sense to our understanding. For Peter, it was going to be a life-changer! His dream would change the whole course of God’s purpose in the earth.

Peter was a faithful disciple of his Lord and had learned what it means to be led by the Holy Spirit. If we are open to obey God’s leadership, He will give us the understanding we need to obey Him. Our trust and obedience honors and glorifies God in the earth. Peter was instructed to follow the men from Cornelius’ household. The next day, as he steps beyond his “spiritual comfort-zone”…God gives him revelation, insight and the courage to do what he had never done before: preach to a non-Jewish audience the kingdom of God. Before he was through giving witness to Jesus Christ, the Spirit bore witness to his message. “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God”(Acts 10:44-46 NKJV).
What a unique privilege and opportunity Simon Peter would have missed. If the dream given to him had not been attended to, he would not have had the privilege of seeing the Kingdom of God advance beyond Jerusalem. And equally as important, he would not have had the privilege of growing into God’s heart, Yeshua, Savior of the world.

Copyright(c) 2011, Walter Fletcher Jr., All rights reserved.  This article may be copied free of charge provided that it is not altered in any way from its original content.  Send any correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com

“THEY SHALL DREAM DREAMS”

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy; Your young men shall see visions; Your old men shall dream dreams”(Acts 2:17 NKJV).

The fact that these are some of the first words given to Simon Peter after a supernatural encounter with a supernatural God should be enough to get our attention. But equally striking should be the fact that this is his explanation for the supernatural occurrence he and about 120 others had just experienced, should get us to seeking this supernatural God. The point I am making to our modern day Church is that Peter was not afraid of proclaiming that the God of the supernatural was still in business. This is one of the most important missing elements in our personal life and public services…We have not, nor do we believe in a supernatural God in our midst.

As I write, my thoughts are not so much with all that occurred on the Day of the Feast of Pentecost. They are with the fact that Peter had a spiritual encounter that was interpreted to have spiritual meaning. He recognized by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that God was giving “gifts unto men and women, boys and girls” in the Body of Christ. Although it is recorded in Acts 2 that they spoke in other languages not native to them, he doesn’t mention what had just been witnessed among them. He mentions what was to come, “In the last days…I will pour out of My Spirit”…and they shall “prophesy…see visions” and “dream dreams”. It is the latter that I want to address as a theme, “Dream dreams”.

DREAMS CAN BE HELPFUL

The scriptures show on numerous occasions that dreams were given by God to specific people in order to help guide or instruct them in their spiritual journey. When they were prayerfully considered they were often given as “keys” to assist them and others along the way. As a matter a fact, dreams can be one of the most intimate and helpful ways in which we fellowship with God. I am often approached by believers who have had dreams, which they know have some significance, but are unable to grasp their meaning. First, I usually commend them for “paying attention” to their dreams. Then I give them some practical advice as to how to ask the Holy Spirit’s help in their significance. (1) Keep a notebook at your bedside. This is in order to write down as much of the dream as you can recall when you awake. Dreams often give details that, when we are able to capture them and review them, help us understand their message. (2) Ask yourself, “What am I to learn from my dream?” Dreams have some basic functions for us spiritually: They can prepare us for our future; they can help us grow in our walk with God; they can give us warning; they can help us heal and bring us comfort in time of loss; they can also give us the courage we need to face the future. These are some of the basic ways in which dreams can help us spiritually. I have listed these in no particular order of importance, but I will try to give some biblical examples for your encouragement as I look at this theme.

1. DREAMS CAN PREPARE US FOR OUR FUTURE

The record of the life of Joseph (Genesis chapters 37,39-47) can basically be summed up with the two phrases from the following scriptures:

“Now Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him all the more”(Genesis 37:5). Again, “He sent a man before them–Joseph–who was sold as a slave…Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the LORD tested him. The king sent and released him…He made him lord of his house and ruler of all his possessions, to bind his princes at his pleasure, and to teach his elders wisdom. Israel also came into Egypt, and Jacob dwelt in the land of Ham”(Psalm 105:17,19-23).

In these passages Joseph’s life of 13 years are contained. It all started with a dream he had, in which he shared with his father and brothers, regarding what God had revealed his future destiny. At first, his dream got him in trouble (the pit, Potiphar’s house, prison); but his dream would be fulfilled. He was eventually brought to the palace. And his family was brought from certain famine and starvation to “the land of Goshen”, in Egypt where they came and “bowed before” Joseph.

Dreams can prepare us for our future. Joseph went through many hardships, but he refused to throw them away. And he even helped a few others with their dreams along the way.

Copyright(c) 2011, Walter Fletcher Jr., All rights are reserved.  This article may be copied free of charge provided that it is not altered in any way from its original content.  Send any correspondence to:Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com