Dreams and Visions

       It amazes me how quick our culture is to accept spiritual things other than scriptural truth. It’s okay to be “spiritual.” It’s okay to believe in “God,” to have “spiritual experiences,” and to believe in a “higher cause,” but it’s not okay to identify the Bible as God’s source of Truth.

       In the past few years, it seems like everywhere I turn, I’m hearing about these “visions” and “dreams” so-called “spiritual people” are having. One is concerned with exactly what heaven is like. Another about how God wants to bless her family with riches and worldly prosperity. And yet others about God revealing new truth, “appropriate for our time,” through dreams and visions of specially chosen individuals.

       I don’t want to linger in this post for long, but I have something to say about “new revelation” that comes through dreams and visions in our day. More appropriately, it’s not something I have to say, but rather, something that God has already said.

       When Jeremiah is prophesying to the people of Judah about how they have not been obedient to God, and how God is going to punish them if they do not repent, he speaks of these kinds of dreams and visions. In fact, God directly addresses the issue…

“I have heard what the prophets who prophesy a lie in My name have said: I had a dream! How long will this continue in the minds of the prophets prophesying lies, prophets of the deceit in their own minds? Through their dreams that they tell one another, they make plans to cause My people to forget My name as their fathers forgot My name through Baal worship. The prophet who has only a dream should recount the dream, but the one who has My word should speak My word truthfully, for what is straw compared to grain? Is not My word like fire… and like a sledgehammer that pulverizes rock? Therefore, take note! I am against the prophets who steal My words from each other… who use their tongues to deliver an oracle. I am against those who prophesy false dreams, telling them and leading My people astray with their falsehoods and their boasting. It was not I who sent or commanded them, and they are of no benefit at all to these people.”
-Jeremiah 23:25-32

       There’s some heavy stuff in there. There are entire religions – false religions – founded on the dreams of an individual. Bahai, Islam, and Mormonism to name a few. And then there are those individuals who don’t necessarily establish a religion, but who write books and teach thousands of people on the sole basis of a dream or a series of dreams they’ve had. What does God say about this? “If it is not coherent with My word, it is not from Me.

       This has enormous application for your own life. No matter where it comes from… no matter who is telling it… no matter how convinced they are of its authenticity… test it against scripture. Don’t be swayed by dreams and visions. Be grounded in the Word of God. In this passage, the Lord says that even if you’ve had a dream, it is better for you to speak the Word of God instead of your dream. For, “What is straw compared to grain?”

       What changes lives? What is able to save someone from eternity separated from God? What is of utmost importance to be communicated? What do “they” need to hear in order that “they” might believe? Your dream? No. The Word of the Living God. Speak His truth. And test everything you hear against it.

Grace and Peace,
Tony