I was owner of a restaurant which was under construction and as I looked around I could see it was all coming together. There were tables and chairs, as one would expect to see, but also other items that didn’t make sense.
A shelf ran along the wall where these other items were placed. A blanket we’ve had for years, filled with patterns of blue, red and white. A car seat, we also had for years, which we used for our children. But it was slightly different. It had somehow turned into a huge car seat. I mean really big, not small like normal.
I woke from the dream and sensed God was in it. I got up and went downstairs to pray about the night vision I had just encountered. For three years, it was my nightly experience to awaken anywhere from one to three in the morning, most often with dreams fresh off the presses and alive to me. I made it a consistent practice of asking the Holy Spirit, if it was him speaking, to teach me from these encounters. And when I felt it was from him, I hung out for the next couple hours listening to him speak to me from those words.
I sensed the restaurant represented an aspect of influence, where I would prepare food (not literal food) and people would come in and be fed through the lessons I was learning and by the fruit of my life. I actually had several more dreams following, along those lines, where the kitchen got filled with ovens and other practical equipment found in a commercial kitchen. It was all language that spoke to me about different things God was doing in me or preparing for me to do.
But the blanket and car seat. What were those? What did they represent? Usually, as I prayed, if there was a struggle understanding aspects of my dreams within that waking moment, I would find revelation coming to me within the next few days, often on or by day three. But this one was different. The days turned to weeks, then months and then a couple years. I eventually forgot about the blanket and the car seat.
I do remember though at the time thinking that maybe the size of the car seat was to hold many babies. It certainly was big enough. I don’t mean real babies, but babies in the sense of them representing ideas and ministries I might participate in. It was just a thought, but I really wasn’t sure.
In another dream, I was in the house where I lived as a young boy. If you’ve been following my posts, it was the same house where I almost suffocated to death. You can learn more about it in the article, “A Heavenly Rescue that Literally Saved my Life”.
Anyway, in this house was a dog and it excitedly lead me to an entrance at our driveway. I stepped outside to find a car, with the back, driver side door open. I climbed in. Looking to the front seat, I could see keys in the ignition, but there was no one to drive the car.
I hesitate to say too much about the language and symbolism I have come to understand, because each person is different and I believe God has a dream language for each one of us specifically. So what a symbol means to me may mean something else or not have any meaning to another person. I will share a little with you, just so you can see how I apply the language spoken through my dreams. Keep in mind, my translation of the symbolism seen is the result of countless hours practicing, hearing God’s voice and specifically discussing with the Lord, literally hundreds of dreams spread over several years.
I had learned by now that for me, dogs are symbols in my dreams signifying I am being lead to good things. This dog lead me to discovery of the car, which I interpreted as something good.
Cars and vehicles of all types, in general are language describing the size or dimension of a Holy Spirit work taking place in my life. This good thing was something that was empowered by the Holy Spirit. It was there at the car, I then learned I was a passenger and Jesus was the one who would be driving.
Since I was not the actual driver, this was going to be something God was doing in my life, which required nothing of me except to just go along with it. In other words, if I’m the one whose driving, it still describes a work God is doing in my life, but I need to drive it and be differently engaged with it. In this case, I was to just sit back and let him take me where he wanted.
Lastly, this specific location has come to hold significant meaning as well. Basically when I appear here, God is usually giving me something in life. It’s interesting because I have had several dreams where I’m at my grandmother’s house, which were followed up in literal waking life, with provision for my family, jobs, etc…
I know this may sound weird, but it’s really super cool and exciting. Because I’ve taken the time to hear from God and done so consistently over years, the language has expanded and increased. When certain people, such as different family members appear, or locations, or activities and events take place, I now have a context for framing their meaning. It’s amazing how God speaks.
It was several months later, my wife and oldest child were in the car on their way home from school. This was not a dream by the way, but actual events taking place in our waking world. Out of the blue, my son says to her, “You should call Mrs. Moore and ask her about hosting a boy from Spain who plays soccer.” Mrs. Moore was a representative of a foreign exchange student program called Amicus.
“I don’t think you can just put in an order for a student like that. It depends on the students they have.” she responded. Conversation over. The next day, guess who calls my wife? If you said Mrs. Moore, you’d be right.
“This is kind of a strange call. I don’t know if you’ve ever considered hosting an exchange student, but we have a boy from Spain who plays soccer and when I was looking at his application, you’re family’s name popped into my head and I’m just calling out of obedience.”
Do you think maybe the Holy Spirit had our attention?
She hadn’t talked to Mrs. Moore any time as of recent. Then this call happens following the interaction the previous day with our oldest son.
That night, we have a representative from Amicus, in our home. We are filling out an application to host Victor from Spain. Did you ever have moments in life where you look at what you’re doing and think to yourself, “When my day began today, I would never have imagined this!”
For the moment, we had only filled out paperwork. There were background investigations to take place and so nothing was yet final about this process. I went to our bedroom and took a seat on the couch next to the bed. It’s been one of my prayer spots for several years.
I committed to the Lord, all my anxious thoughts of what we were endeavoring to embark upon and asked for his clear direction. Then sitting in silence for several minutes, I was waiting on God to speak. All of a sudden, both the dreams I talked about above, came to mind. I hadn’t thought of either of them, one in months and the other in years. But now they were both clearly in my mind.
In an instant, it all made sense. Victor is a tall young man. I thought of the car seat and how huge it was. In it’s normal size, it had fit my children as babies. Now, per the night vision, it was big enough to fit him. He was our NEXT baby. And where does a car seat go? In a car! The one where I took my seat in the back and relinquished myself to Jesus, to drive me wherever he wanted to take me.
I knew God was speaking and confirming to me, this was a good thing he was bringing about in our lives and we were to pursue hosting Victor. I thanked the Lord for his incredible word and went downstairs to excitedly share with my wife what I had just confirmed in my time with God.
A few more weeks passed since agreeing to take Victor in. Background investigations were complete and we were approved to be a host family. My wife and Amicus had begun communication with the school where we wanted Victor to go. The problem was, there were no seats available for him there.
In order to secure his visa, we needed a guaranteed spot in the school. We were praying that something would change and a seat would open up. Perhaps due to our anxiousness, it felt like it wasn’t happening. Maybe we should start considering a different school? It would be fine if we had to do that, but logistically it would be better if all our kids were headed the same direction and we didn’t have to go to different campuses each morning, in different parts of the city.
Once again, the Word of the Lord came to me in a dream.
I was in a theater on the Army Post where I worked at the time. I wasn’t there to see a movie, but often during work hours, our Army community gathered together to be briefed in regards to Operational Security issues. In this dream, as I was seated and waiting for one of these briefs to begin, I noticed the seat directly in front of me was open. I immediately knew what I must do.
I took my jacket and draped it over the seat. As people tried to sit there, I announced that the seat was saved for Victor.
Waking up, once again I was downstairs, pacing from one end of the house to the other, proclaiming that word over Victor’s seat in the school. “By faith, I draped my jacket over Victor’s chair. It’s saved for him. In Jesus name, I command it to open up and be designated as his seat!” This went on for some time that morning. I’m sure you can guess what happened next.
Within the week, we got a call. A family had changed their minds about their child being a student in the school and the seat was now Victor’s. Shortly following, Victor became the newest member of our family. We had an incredible and blessed time with him!
I had to laugh one day as I walked by his bedroom. There was that exact blanket from my dream, a real blanket in our house, draped over his bed. It elicited worship from my heart to our beautiful and wonderful God!
Sitting here writing this and remembering God’s goodness and faithfulness, leaves me in awe and worship of Him! I love how he speaks. And when he does, I’m learning how to take his word and speak it out, to declare and follow it as best I can and see it become fruitful into the earth.
Victor has since returned to Spain and now several years later, we still have a relationship. We occasionally do video calls and especially at Christmas with he and his family, aunts and uncles. Me and my oldest boy have actually made it out to Spain, each of us on separate trips, to spend time with them there, as well as Victor was able to return to our home for a month long stay a few summers ago. To this day we still consider him our Spanish son.
This next segment is going to require a bit more vulnerability, as I relate to you some sin struggles I’ve had. We’re talking about faith in practice. A faith which is exercised not only for hearing from God when it comes to healing, as we talked about in part one of our faith in practice contemplation, Raising Goldfish From the Dead. It is also demonstrated in praying over situations where we need to see God move or give us direction, as we talked about above. But there’s still more to the practical working out of this faith in our everyday lives. It becomes extremely relevant to us moving into our personal victory over sin.
And as you’ll see, the common element to each application of this faith, is first, hearing God’s word to us. Second, declaring it. And third, acting upon it.
I was standing next to a chubby woman. Even though she was overweight, she was extremely beautiful and I was very attracted to her. As I stood there, she took my hand and was holding it. With her other hand she pulled a corkscrew from a purse and tried to drill it into my fingers.
Before she could injure me, I pulled my hand away and began to run. But there was nowhere for me to go. I was in a courtyard with cement walls at least 40 feet high on each side. As I ran, she conjured up fire, which began to rise up through the floor.
I was now wide awake and thinking about it. I went downstairs and began to pace as I asked questions of the Lord. I sensed he was in the dream and I wanted to know what he was saying.
About three days into thinking about it and continuing to ask God, all of a sudden, revelation flowed into my understanding and I knew he had revealed its meaning. The chubby lady represented my struggle with lust and pornography. She was getting fat on my sin.
I admit, I had a problem, for years. And I was so beaten up about it and defeated. I failed over and over to gain the victory. I really felt there was no hope of ever being free. I just couldn’t muster up the strength to say no, no matter how hard I tried.
I had been working in ministry, happily married, was a worship leader, traveling in a rock band all over the country, preaching the Gospel. When we broke up as a band, I went on the road as a solo artist, blah, blah, blah, blah and blah. I was doing all kinds of cool works for the Lord, but this thing was just hanging over me and kicking my butt for way too many years. I felt like such a hypocrite.
The Lord showed me, my sin was about to set me back in his purposes for me. It was a spiritual corkscrew being driven into my spiritual fingers in order to cripple me as a minister and musician. I knew something had to be done, but I just didn’t know how to beat this thing.
In another blog, I shared how I had come to a crisis of faith and God marvelously met me. As a result, I was starting to establish consistent time alone with God in the wee hours of the morning and he was revealing and teaching me so much. I began to ask him about this fat lady and how to defeat her.
I want to say here, one of the most important things you can do is pay attention to the seemingly random things that pop into your mind. One day, going about my business and not even thinking about these things at that moment, I clearly heard in my spirit, “Speak to your sin like Jesus spoke to the fig tree.” I immediately stopped what I was doing and went to the scripture. The story can be found in two places, Mark 11 and Matthew 21.
I summarize here. Jesus and his disciples were leaving Bethany early in the morning to head into Jerusalem. On the way out of town, Jesus was feeling hungry and upon coming to a fig tree, there were no figs to eat. Jesus spoke to the tree and in effect said, “You won’t bear fruit again.”, thus cursing it. The next morning when they got up to do it all over, the disciples noticed the fig tree was starting to wither.
Right then and there I put the revelation into practice. I spoke to my sin and decreed it would not bear fruit in my life anymore and like the fig tree, it should wither and die. In fact, I spoke it out probably a thousand times throughout that week and much more into the weeks to come. It seemed like I was speaking to the fig tree often.
It had been a couple months of turning to the word God gave, when I realized, I hadn’t sinned in that thing during all that time. It has now been about two decades since it was an issue in my life. The power of that darkness was gone and since, has had no control over my life.
Of all the things the Lord could have said to me, “Stop doing that. Behave yourself. Live like you should.” etc.… while those kinds of actions and behavior have value, that was not how Jesus called me to fight this thing. When I asked him how I defeat this woman, he said, “Curse the fig tree”.
I had tried those other behavior modifications for years and could not find victory. A couple months of just obeying God’s word in my life and the bondage was completely broken. Now I find myself living out those behavioral statements, not to get the victory, but because I have the victory. My heart has been changed.
It’s funny because I had a dream years later, again with that woman in it. I recognized and knew immediately it was her. She was malnourished and sitting in a dead and dried up field. God is so cool! I love how he uses dreams to speak to me. Day dreams too! Pay attention. Especially the random stuff.
Take time to discover the dream language God uses with you. It makes going to bed at night and daydreaming, an exciting adventure. What is God going to show you tonight? He may reveal how sin is about to affect you, or it may be about blessing or direction he’s bringing to your life. I’ve had dreams that turned into understanding of how to pray for others, such as when in the dream, I was able to drape a coat over Victor’s seat and save it for him. What a joy to then see it come to pass in actuality!
I was with a friend who confessed to having trouble in this lust area of his life too and I have talked with so many more with the same struggle. It’s the same condemnation, and the same sense of hopelessness, that they will never be able to defeat this thing in their lives. I told all of them about my path to victory. One said to me, “I’ll have to try that fig tree thing too.”
It’s important for me to say here, I don’t prescribe the fig tree account in the Bible, as the pill that will defeat sin in anyone’s life. What happens so many times in the church, is we see people, who have accomplished something in their lives that we want also to accomplish and so we try to figure out what they did and do the exact same thing. Then when it doesn’t work for us, we feel even more defeated and hopeless.
The thing that brought victory in my life, was not the details of the story of the fig tree, or even the words Jesus used when he cursed it. The victory was in the fact that I had a direct word of the Lord. He spoke to me specifically about how to defeat her in that moment. “Speak thus and thus to it.” I followed his Word. There was no magic in the story. It was the agreement and obedience with his decree, thus releasing his power to overcome and be changed.
In John 5:19 it says, “Then Jesus replied, I assure you: The Son is not able to do anything on His own, but only what He sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son also does these things in the same way: (Holman Christian Standard Bible)”
The revelation of speaking to the fig tree, was my spirit seeing what the Father was doing. Then because I had seen this of my Father, I could do what I saw Him doing. And therein is the lesson we all need to take hold of and learn. It’s not about trying to copy the specific actions another has done, but rather understand and applying spiritual laws and principles that were the actual value driving the “why” behind what they did.
The thing I encouraged my friend with that day, is to instead of going home and using the fig tree story like I did, to instead ask the Lord, “What specific word do you have for me. What is OUR specific strategy for victory here?” He may use the fig tree, but perhaps God would want to use a completely different story and a different set of words and decrees to bring about his purposes in you. He may not even use a scripture in your battle. It’s up to him. You just have to tune in and then obey. See what your heavenly Father is doing, then do what you see him do. That’s how son’s of God are called to function.
First, believe God has a strategy. Second, ask what that strategy is for you, in this moment and for the specific battle you’re up against. Third, follow it by doing whatever he tells you. And be prepared to keep seeking him until he speaks. It’s potentially going to take time and focused waiting before you hear and discern his voice.
If we can learn this, it’s something that’s repeatable. And therefore all sin, all struggles, all issues, whether for ourselves or for those we’re praying for, now and into the future, we can find true victory. A blueprint for our lives begins to emerge, calling for the building blocks of His word to us, in everything!
It’s the only way to build the house on a sure foundation. It applies to healing for us or others, or to seeing God’s will open up and be accomplished in our lives or in the earth. It applies to our victory over sin. Jesus has accomplished the victory over everything! He is the chief cornerstone, the foundation of the Holy temple of our lives. He calls us to follow him and thus build up our spiritual house. And this is how we must follow him, in every area of our lives.