I want to share an important dream and what I learned from it that changed my life.
I was standing on a gymnasium floor like you would find in a high school. The bleachers were pulled out and people were filing in. I knew I was to speak to the crowd that night.
It wasn’t time yet for the meeting and so I went to a back room to wait. As I entered, there was a pedestal in the center of the floor. It was about waist high. A statue of a man’s head sat on the column as if on display in a museum.
I was looking at it and noticed the hair. It was sculpted into five dreadlocks. In the dream, I knew the five locks represented five consecutive books of the New Testament and I was to study those starting with the book of Galatians.
At that point, it was time for the meeting to begin. I entered the gymnasium again and stood at a podium to address the crowd. That’s all I remember. I woke up and as I often do, I wrote the dream down so I wouldn’t forget.
I’ve seen over the years that my dreams are filled with symbolism. It’s really language which I’ve had to learn. A very long time has been spent hanging out with the Holy Spirit, working through a vast number of different dreams and visions, seeking revelation and understanding.
Sometimes it comes easy and sometimes it doesn’t. But now when certain people or objects appear in my dreams, I’ve learned the language of what they signify and can apply their meaning every single time.
Usually I have an overall understanding within hours. In some of the more difficult times when learning the language, it could be days, sometimes weeks and at least once where it took a few years before I understood the dream and the symbolism it contained. But understanding does come and it always amazes me how God speaks this way.
There are also times when the Lord provides the meaning during the dream itself. In this case, it was the understanding that came to me concerning the five dreadlocks. I understood within the dream, they were five consecutive books of the New Testament starting with Galatians.
After waking up, I wasn’t sure what those following books were. I grabbed my Bible and looked them up; Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Thessalonians.
The next day, I dropped my son at his soccer game. He had to be there an hour before game time for warm ups. I parked the car and pulled out my Bible. That hour began a year long journey of living in those five books. Over and over and over I slowly, meditatively and prayerfully read through them.
So many times as I studied, revelation poured over me about who I was, about heaven, about my citizenship there, about our intended interactions with that Kingdom. I had read these scriptures many times in the course of a couple decades, but now I was seeing truths in them I never caught before. Several years later those same scriptures are still speaking to me.
I know I’ve mentioned this in another blog, but it’s appropriate to do so again here. Jesus related his kingdom to being like a man who found a buried treasure. He then reburied it and went away to sell everything he had. He bought the land in order to become the rightful owner of the prize he knew was buried there.
So often in my walk with God, he allowed me to discover hidden treasures of His Kingdom. And I was really thankful and excited to find them. And like in the parable, I buried them back in the ground. I went my way and… that’s it. I went my way.
I didn’t keep them before me like the man who kept the memory of the treasure before him. Everything he did was so he could get possession of it. It was always on his mind, until he actually owned it. I on the other hand, most often forgot about it.
On some occasions, I would remember or talk about a treasure I laid eyes on at one time. “Wow, I saw that. It was awesome!” But I never invested everything of who I was to own the treasure that was shown me. I thought seeing it was enough.
I remember so clearly one day as I arrived home from work. I was stepping out of my truck and before my feet hit the ground, I heard God clearly say to me, “If you can see it, you can have it.”
Seeing it is just the beginning of the matter, not the end. There’s the “having it” part of that statement as well. It comes after the seeing. I had to learn how to go back to what I saw and take possession of it.
In the dream of the dreadlocks, I saw something. A few years before this, I might have stopped short and considered the dream itself the treasure and did nothing more with it. But the real prize was what resulted in my life as I followed through on the word given. My taking possession of the land was in how I acted on it and began studying the books I was instructed to pick up.
Something began to change in me. It wasn’t because I was trying to be more disciplined. It wasn’t the result of any of my own efforts. It was simply the manifestation of his trans-formative power at work within me. And it was being released as I obeyed him.
With the treasures God was revealing to me, I kept them at the forefront of my thoughts. I didn’t let myself forget like I did before. They were constantly on my mind. Sometimes there was so much flow, I would journal what he was speaking so I could revisit and remember it later.
I would think of his words to me as I laid down at night to sleep. When I awoke in the night to use the restroom, they were the first thing on my mind and I continued to think about them until I fell back asleep. All through the day, there they were.
It blew me away one day when I actually started to recognize the manifestation of some of those things in my life. I was actually starting to engage with what God was saying as I was learning how to act on it.
I also had to learn how to become intentional. I thought I was always supposed to be waiting for God to move in me. It’s true, there is a time to wait before him. But I’ve also been discovering over the past few years how to intentionally go after the things of the Spirit.
Consider this verse in Ephesians 6: 10: Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power (New International Version).
How do you read this verse? I used to read it like this, “I’m waiting on the Lord to make me strong and to give me his might”. I would pray prayers such as, “Lord make me mighty. Give me your power.” Eventually those prayers would turn to desperate pleading, “God, why aren’t you making me mighty?” Does this sound familiar to you?
Here’s how I read it now, “YOU (meaning ME), be strong in the Lord and the power of his might.” In other words, the responsibility is on me, not on Him. I rely on him for his power, yes. But now I understand I have it already because of what Christ did.
Ephesians 1: 18-20: I ask that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know the hope of His calling, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the Saints, and the surpassing greatness of His power to us who believe…
His power is always available to me since I’m in Christ. I’m not waiting to receive it. Rather, I’m learning how to wield it.
If I ever find that his power isn’t flowing through me, I’m training myself to be asking the Holy Spirit to show me what to look for. It may be it’s flowing in a way I don’t recognize. Maybe I’ve assumed something about what it should look like and so i’m looking for the wrong thing. I also ask for Him to reveal any blockage that inhibits its flow in me, such as sin or lack of something I still need to see from him.
But ultimately, the question isn’t anymore about if I have it. I know I do.
Mark 1: 3: a voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him‘ (New International Version).
I’m called to prepare the way for the Lord. There’s that responsibility thing being put on me again. I do this by sitting quietly before the Lord and at other times, being engaged in active discussion with him. It’s in the prayerful reading of the scriptures, paying attention to my dreams and visions and looking for each encounter with Him in an attitude of faith and expectancy. My intentional posturing is preparing those pathways for his arrival.
Hebrews 11: 6: And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him (New International Version).
I deliberately look for and figure out ways to actually go after the Kingdom. And that attracts it into my life because he’s rewarding me as I earnestly seek him. I’m not hoping he rewards me, I emphatically believe he is. I’ve asked for the Holy Spirit. I’m not getting a scorpion.
My faith is actively monitoring the spiritual horizon like a rotating radar dish. Because I’m focused and dialed in, I’m purposefully more aware of the dreams and images that form within me. I’m purposefully more tuned into the seemingly random thoughts that pop into my mind. I’m actually always looking for them. With time and practice the radar gets more sensitive.
I’m definitely not perfect at it for sure. But I’m learning how to go after the Kingdom of God and recognize it’s outworking in my life in various ways. Learning God’s voice through my dreams was an incredibly important first step. Through the scriptures revealed to me in dreadlocks for instance, I now know who I am in Christ. I know who I am as a son and spirit being, called to interact with my Father and his kingdom.