Wednesday, July 27 2022
Contributor: Okwudili Prince-Isaac
Unforgiveness is the single most popular poison that the enemy uses against God’s people, and it is one of the deadliest poisons a person can take spiritually.
Text: Mark 11:26
“But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses”
1. Matthew 22:37-40
2. John 15:12
3. Matthew 18:23-35
4. Hebrews 12:15
5. 2 Corinthians 2:10-11
In the New Testament, Jesus gave us two commandments (Matthew 22:37-40). ‘’Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’’
Jesus gave us very important commandments to follow; one of them was to love one another, as He has loved us (John 15:12). Love is the exact opposite of unforgiveness, envy, jealousy, hate, pride and bitterness. You can’t truly love somebody and hold bitterness or unforgiveness against him or her at the same time.
OUR RESPONSIBILITY (To Forgive others)
God sent His Son Jesus to die for our sins, so that we may be reconciled to Him, without spot or blemish. He asks that we give others the same forgiveness that He paid for us. He tells a parable in Matthew 18:23-35 that says the same thing:
“Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took [him] by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So, when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not everyone his brother their trespasses.”
How Deep Is The Battle (Love)?
In John 15:12, Jesus commands us to love one another, as He has loved us. True love doesn’t hold bitterness or unforgiveness against that person. If we are bitter or hold unforgiveness against somebody, then we don’t love them as Christ loved us. If we don’t keep Jesus’ commandments, then it proves we don’t love Him.
John 14:24, “He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings”
• Prevents God from forgiving our sins
Matthew 6:15, “But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses”
• Opens us up to the tormentors (the devil)
“Therefore is the Kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his accounts of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him the thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, lord have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him and forgave him the debt.
But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow-servants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying Pay me that thou owest. And his fellow-servant fell down at his feet and besought him saying, Have patience with me, and I will thee all. And he would not; but went and cats him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow-servants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told their lord all that was done. Then the lord, after that he called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave the all the debt, because thou desirest me/l Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow-servant, even as I had pity on thee? And the lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if you from your hearts forgive not everyone his brother their trespasses.”
• Blocks God from answering our prayers
Mark 11:24, 25, “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought (something) against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
Matthew 7:7, 12, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you… Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them…”
John 15:5, 10 tells us that if we abide in Christ, we will produce much spiritual fruit, and the way that we abide in Christ is by keeping His commandments. Verse 12 tells us that His commandment is to love one another as He has loved us. Verse 7 tells us that if we abide in Him (by keeping His commandments), and His Word in us, we can ask for anything and it will be given onto us! The reason a lot of people’s prayers go unanswered, is because they aren’t keeping the commandments that Jesus gave us; therefore they aren’t abiding in Christ’s love, and if we aren’t abiding in Christ’s love, how can we expect Him to hear our prayers?
• Defiles a person
Hebrews 12:15, “….. lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled”
Notice at the end it says, “many be defiled.” This is a VERY common, if not one of the most common everyday things that defile people! Many bondages can be shed when a person forgives those who have wronged him or her.
• Gives Satan an advantage
2 Corinthians 2:10-11, “To whom ye forgive anything, I forgive also: for if I forgave anything. To whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgive I it in the person of Christ; lest Satan should get advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
• Keeps a person out of heaven
Matthew 7:12, 21, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets… Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”
1 John 3:14, “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.”
• Prevents us from being fruitful spiritually
John 15:5 tells us that if we abide in Christ, we will produce much spiritual fruit, and the way that we abide in Christ is by keeping His commandments (verse 10). Verse 12 tells us that His commandment is that we love one another as He has loved us. Therefore, if we don’t love one another, as He has loved us, then we do not abide in Him, and how are we suppose to produce much spiritual fruit if we don’t abide in Him? According to verse 6, the branch that doesn’t abide in the vine will be cast into the fire.
• Opens us up to curses
When people in the Old Testament disobeyed God’s commandments, it opened them up to curses (Deut. 27:26). When people nowadays disobey God, it can do the same thing; it can open them up to curses. Curses can cause mental and emotional problems (Deut. 28:28), physical problems (Deut. 28:35, 60, 61), financial problems (Deut. 28:17, 38, 43), divorce and unfaithful spouse (Deut. 28:30, 56), emotional stress (Deut. 28:34), childlessness (Lev 20:21), and that’s not all, plus those curses can be handed down to your future generations (Exodus 20:5).
• Provokes Sickness
It causes everything from mental depression, to health problems such as cancer and arthritis. I’m not saying that in every single case of cancer, it is due to unforgiveness, but I am saying that it can cause cancer. Cancer comes from the devil, scientist can’t explain it, doctors don’t understand where it comes from; it’s the symptoms of a curse.
God allowed the Israelites to face diseases and sickness when they disobeyed Him (Deut. 28:58-61), and when they would turn back to Him, He would heal their land and take sickness from their midst (Exodus 23:25, Deut. 7:15).
PROMINENT VICTIMS OF UNFORGIVENESS
1. Joab (2 Samuel 3: 29)
2. Absalom (2 Samuel 13: 28)
3. Ahitophel (2 Samuel 15 - 17)
4. Dinah’s Brothers (Simeon and Levi in Gen 34:25)
5. Haman (Esther 3 – 5)
The blessings of forgiveness
When we forgive, it opens us up to God’s forgiveness (Matthew 6:15), it puts us in a receiving position when we pray (Mark 11:24, 25), it helps us become spiritually fruitful (John 15:10, 12, 5), and we will know that we have passed from spiritual death to being reconciled with our heavenly Father when we love each other (1 John 3:14)! When we keep God’s commandments and love one another, we prove that we love Jesus (John 14:21), and we abide in Christ’s love (John 15:10)! What a magnificent blessing forgiveness really is!!!
Let us all remain conduits for the blessings and mercies of God.
Wednesday, July 20 2022
Contributor: Esther Alajiki
What is bitterness?: Bitterness is defined as anger and disappointment at being (perceived as) treated unfairly. It is an attitude of intense and prolonged anger and hostility which is synonymous with resentment and envy. Often, it also involves feelings of deep seated resentment and a desire for revenge. Inherent in resentment and bitterness is a perception of unfairness that results in sustained long-term feeling of anger.
Bitterness (or resentment) is a complex, multilayered emotion that has been described as a mixture of disappointment and disgust, anger and fear.( Wikipedia) Bitterness starts out small, and seeps into everything.
Fruits : Because bitterness has roots it bears fruits in forms of loss of health, loss of joy - bitterness has a way of taking over, loss of spiritual growth, desire for vengeance, hatred, unforgiveness, eternal danger – Whoever cultivates it gets hurt, the deeper harm is to the nurturer.
Hebrews 12:15: Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. NLT
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Ephesians 4:31(NIV)
Forgive everybody everything. Dwelling in Bitterness is an inside job.
CASE STUDY – Ahitophel and David. 1 Chronicles 27:33. 2 Samuel 16:23
And Ahithophel was the king's counsellor: 1 Chron. 27:33. Ahithophel, served in David’s Cabinet as David’s most trusted counsellor, his advice was virtually divine. He was a man so intelligent that his strategies never failed, if followed. He was a powerful friend and a powerful enemy too. Bathsheba was his grand-daughter, Ahithophel watched as David seduced his granddaughter and had her husband Uriah killed. Approximately nine years later, in 1024 B.C., Absalom led a rebellion to overthrow and kill King David, AND AHITHOPHEL JOINED THE CONSPIRACY!, a familiar friend became a deadly foe. Psalm 41:9; He gave advice to Absalom about defiling David’s concubines and about the best ways to kill David. It is likely he had harboured this unforgiveness for nearly 10 years. When his plans failed, Ahithophel committed suicide – disillusioned and destroyed. Ahithophel must have thought David got away with adultery and murder, but unknown to him the God of Justice had addressed the issue. 2 Samuel 12: 9 – 12. God is a just God, he recompenses.
The devil uses bitterness to fulfil John 10:10 as he did in the life of Ahitophel
A. Distorts Perspective –Did not think to go with David Steals
B. Diverts Purpose – Joined conspiracy - steal / Kills
C. Diminishes Productiveness – His counsel was despised - Kills
D. Destroys Peace –- he left. Destroy
E. Destroys destiny – commits suicide - Destroy
Did Ahithophel have a right to be offended? Absolutely!
Did David do a horrible thing? Absolutely!
Did Ahitophel have a right to be injured? Absolutely!
Did he have a right to be unforgiving and to carry that bitterness through his whole life? No.
When we forgive, Satan becomes the one who is bound…He no longer has control and unable to perform his work.
HOW DO YOU OVERCOME BITTERNESS?
Bitterness is a deep and continual feeling; therefore, it takes time to find a way to defeat it. There is no instant cure. We fool ourselves into thinking no one will know or notice, but anger and resentment have a way of seeping into everything. Honestly admit that you are hurting, revealing your feelings is the beginning of healing. Proverbs 11:3 - the integrity and moral courage of the upright will guide them, but the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them. (Amp). James 5:16 therefore, confess your sins to one another [your false steps, your offenses], and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored. Amp. Realize that extending forgiveness is more for your benefit than for the person being forgiven.
DETERMINE TO LIVE BY GOD’S WORD AND SPIRIT, IRRESPECTIVE OF FEELINGS AND HAPPENINGS. Romans 12:9 -21
Ephesians 4:26-27, determine to put things behind you - Philippians 3:12-14, determine to show sincere love to people, Ephesians 4:29-32, determine not to be vindictive Romans 12:17 Proverbs 24:29.
Determine to be content with God’s justice. Isaiah 55:8-9, Psalm 37:38, Psalm 73:17 - determine to repay with good (20). Determine to overcome evil with good (21)
Always confront the pain and the consequences of the offence with God’s presence and comfort, He will give you peace. (Isaiah 26:3; Hebrews 4:15-16 )
Thank God that He has empowered us with the ability to forgive and release bitterness! It all begins with A CHOICE, refuse to allow the past or present to keep you stuck. Ask God to take away every negative feelings towards others. Psalm 147:3 says that God heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. be honest enough to admit the bitterness, stop nursing the bitterness.
Let God Reveal It, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Jeremiah 17:9. A deceitful heart cannot diagnose a deceitful heart. You need to let the Holy Spirit do radical surgery.
Let Grace Respond to it. A response of bitterness is never right when someone has done something wrong to you. You need to ask God for grace to forgive and act instead of reacting.
Let Good Replace It. "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord." Hebrew 12:14. When you forgive. you set two people free and one of them is yourself.
NOTE: When we return grace and love, it may not change them, but it will change us. Offering grace and love will cost a lot, but withholding it will cost us even more. Do not allow yourself to be denatured.
Forgiveness is not a matter of time but a matter of choice. It is not a matter of emotions but a matter of the will. Bitterness is a sin and you need to deal with it like any other sin.
LET IT GO - I'm never going back. The past is in the past!
The Devil will not Thwart God’s plan for my life.
CONFESS AND REPENT.
Wednesday, July 13 2022
Contributor: Peter Folikwe
We have been studying God’s plans and purpose for man, how to identify with His purpose, and how to live a life of purpose by seeking to know his will. We were also taken through the hindrances to knowing His will, how to remain resolutely connected to His will and how the Holy Spirit lead us in different ways to connect to His will and purpose for our lives.
Today we shall be looking at the satan’s plan to thwart God’s plan for our lives through rebellion.
God’s world before Gen 3:
• We read about God and His creations from Gen 1-2. After the creation of man, God noted in Gen 1:31 that everything he had made were very good.
• Incidentally, the account of what happened in Gen 3 fundamentally changed everything about God’s original plan for mankind.
• From then sin entered the world.
Subtle approach of the Enemy - Gen 3:1-3
• The serpent being referred to is the devil himself. The Bible in Rev 12:9 attest to this.
• Satan is described here as the old serpent and a deceiver of the whole world; starting with mummy Eve. One of his subtle weapons is deception.
• Rev 20:2 says “And he (the angel of the Lord) laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,..”
• Above verses attest to the fact that the serpent that deceived Eve was the devil.
• Satan’s subtle question posed to Eve in Gen 3:1 creates a euphoria of doubt in the mind of Eve. He made it look like God is hiding information from them. This naturally made Eve inquisitive.
Eve responded to Satan’s barrage of questions in Gen 3:2-3. Invariably the first error Eve commented was to engage the devil in a conversation.
• Satan is very subtle in his approach. He seeks to contradict the word of God in every way. Finding his victim vulnerable, he goes for a kill. 1Pet 5:8 cautioned us to “be sober, be vigilant: your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour”
The Rebellion: Gen 3:4 - 6
By the time you get to Gen 3:4, Satan had emotionally connected with Eve, boldly confirming to Eve that if she eats the fruit she will not die. In V5, Satan informed Eve that eating the fruit will open their eyes and they will become like God, knowing good and evil.
• Satan was indirectly telling Eve that God wants to keep then inferior and ignorant, with a belief that God was threatened by them. A complete lie from Satan.
• Satan already knows the divine purpose of God for man and became envious of man after his fall. His primary assignment therefore is to thwart God’s purpose for mankind.
At this point Eve and Adam entered into the decision that alterate the forbidden fruit.
Eve’s description of the fruit:
• It was good for food - that is the loss of the flesh.
• It was pleasing to the eyes - the loss of the eyes, and
• Desirable for gaining wisdom - this is the pride of life.
The above are the 3 principal areas the enemy uses to thwart God’s plan for man. Our Lord Jesus Christ was tempted by the devil in these 3 categories.
1Jn 2:15-16 warns us “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”
• Eve did ate the forbidden fruits, and gave to her husband Adam who ate also.
• There was discussion at a bible study on this same subject where people blamed Eve for all the troubles of the world today.
• Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy in 1Tim 2:14 “And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.”
• Eve’s sin was though deception but Adam’s sin was through wilful disobedience.
• As much as we need to be apprehensive of falling prey to the wiles of the devil as Eve did according to Eph. 6:11, we also need to overcome wilful disobedience to the instructions/commandments of God.
The usual Bait of the devil: Power and Influence - Gen 3:7 NIV
• Their eyes of discernment truly popped open and they realized they were naked. Remember that Satan told Eve their eyes will be opened in V5., if they eat the forbidden fruit.
• The greatest lie the devil embellished with some truth was that they will be like God.
• The devil has used and is still using the bait of “man becoming like God” to cajole lot of undiscerning souls into secret cults in quest of power and influence.
• Again we read in Gen3:7 that they realized that they were naked. Meaning they became self-aware (focus on self and not on God). If you and I do a self-examination, we will realize that this is the bedrock of conflict in homes, churches (not RCCG Miracle Land), communities governments, nations and the world at large.
Apostle Paul warns in Gal 5:17-21 NIV
That the flesh works contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit works contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
• To have a continuous communal relationship/fellowship with God the spiritual nature of man must be in tune with that if God. Because God is Spirit.
• But the moment we become self-aware and focus more on our lustful desires of the flesh our spirit man is weakened, just as was the case with Adam and Eve.
Every child born into this world except Jesus, is born with sinful/fleshly desires. A regeneration of our spirit man took effect when we become born again.
Bible passages where we are admonished to stay connected to God:
Col 3:1-2 NIV, Rom 13:14 NIV
You and I can’t afford to be fleshly minded in this carnally minded world.
Besides what shall it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul? Mar 8:36, Luke 9:25, & Matt 16:26.
Consequence of Sin: Guilt and Shame - Gen 3:8 NIV
• Weight of guilt and shame often wear us out when we fall into sin, because God is Holy & Righteous.
• Whatever man does that may seem covered, it will be revealed by the light of God. Luke 12:2
• Sin always make us run away from God and sometimes justify our actions to gratify our ego. God have mercy.
God never stops calling: How do you respond?
Gen 3:9 - 15
• God is still in the business of calling out to people. Interestingly, He calls those even the world has condemned. For instance Jesus abided in the house of Zacchaeus a tax collector - Luke 19:5-7.
• No one comes to the son except the father draws him - John 6:44.
Adam’s answer in V10 saying he hid himself because he was naked and the follow up question from God attest to what we have reviewed earlier.
• Adam and Eve’s self-centeredness brought guilt and shame as a result of sin.
God further asked if they have eaten of the tree that He commanded them not to eat from and in Gen 3:12, Adam responded with a factual statement that the woman whom God gave him, presented him with the fruit and he ate. The truth remains that he wilfully disobeyed God’s instruction which was an act of rebellion.
Now in Gen 3:13 God turned to the woman and asked the same question.
• Like Adam, she smartly pushed the blame to the serpent. The devil made me do it – she said.
In Gen 3:14-15, unlike Adam and Eve, God did not give the serpent an opportunity to be asked any question.
God pronounced a curses on them in Gen 3:16-19 God reeled out curses on Eve and Adam.
• Besides God’s pronouncement of labour pain for Eve, God made it clear at this point that her desires will be for the husband, clearly instituting the leadership role of the man in the home. Not necessarily for the wife to be a slave to the man.
• By the time we get to V18, Adam had his full dose of curses, to toil before the ground produces food for him and in V19, God pronounce death sentence on man. “For dust you are and dust you will return”.
• I believe a difficult decision God had to take despite His love for man.
• Only Jesus the son of the living God was not born in sin, but took up the sins of the world and also tasted death.
The Loving Nature Of God
In Gen 3:21 God in His loving nature had to present them with a better and more durable covering for their body.
• He gave His only begotten Son – Jesus (the 2nd Adam) to reconcile the world back to Him. Col 1:20-21.
From Gen 3:22 - 24, God reckoned that they are now self-aware and may also reach out to the tree of life to live forever in their sin.
• He therefore banished man form the garden and drove them out of the garden and placed a flashing flaming sword to guard the tree of life.
The death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus, the 2nd Adam gave us the privilege of a new life of righteousness as was originally planned and purposed by God for us.
We thank God for providing Jesus to reconcile us back to His original purpose for us. However, we need to remain vigilant to avoid being used by the enemy to rebel against God.
Wednesday, July 06 2022
Contributor: Wale Abiona
In many of the ways that God speaks to His people today He uses dreams and visions as the one of the acceptable media. God has communicated, and He is still communicating to His prophets and apostles in a variety of ways including dreams and visions. But dreams and visions are unique in that they can be used to communicate not only to prophets and apostles(leaders) but to all believers and non-believers. For example, Acts 9:10-12 tells us that God gave Ananias direction in a vision regarding Saul, who later became the Apostle Paul. Ananias was a Christian but not an apostle. This important truth is also supported by the fact that God communicated to Joseph, the husband of Mary, by dream (Matt. 1:20) In Acts 10:1-4 we discover that God gave a vision to a non-Christian, Cornelius.
Cornelius was not a follower of Jesus Christ. He is described as one who feared God. He was a man looking for God. So, God gave him a vision in order to help him know that He (God) was sending Peter to share the truth about Jesus Christ.
In Acts 2:17 we read the following:
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.
This passage is a quote of Joel 2:28. The quote strongly indicates that the Holy Spirit would be directly involved in dreams and visions in the last days. The passage implies that men and women will see visions and dreams because the Holy Spirit would be poured out on them.
Dreams A series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person's mind during sleep, OR A cherished aspiration, ambition, or ideal
Visions An experience of seeing someone or something in a dream or trance, or as a supernatural apparition OR The ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom.
Visions are basically the same as dreams, except that dreams happen whilst a person is in a state of sleep and visions will happen whilst the person is fully awake.
DREAMS AND VISIONS ARE FROM GOD:
As created beings, we are created in the image of God. God had a dream of what He wanted the heavens and the earth to look like. He then proceeded to create them according to that dream. Dreams allow us to see things as they really are, not as they appear to be.
Dreams from God are usually very spiritual experiences that are not easily forgotten, they become bound up in the heart of the person receiving the dream They almost become a part of the heart and mind of the person receiving the dream.
Dreams are so important that God mentioned them in His Word, telling us who dreamed, their dreams, and it purpose.
Passage: Genesis 20:3
The dream and it purpose: “Indeed, you are a dead man, the woman you have taken is another man’s wife. God was letting Abimelech know that Sara was not available when Abraham lied to him about her being his sister. God sought to protect Abimelech.
Passage: Genesis 28:10-13
The dream and it purpose: “I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac.” God was seeking to encourage Jacob about the future.
Passage: Genesis 31:24
The dream and it purpose: “Be careful that you speak to Jacob neither good nor bad.” God was warning Laban that he was to treat Jacob with respect.
Passage: Genesis 37:5
The dream and it purpose: Joseph’s dreams and the outcome is a sign that God was with him, and He is the source of the dreams.
Passage: Genesis 41:1-13
The dream and it purpose: God spoke to Pharaoh in dreams to tell of the 7 years of plenty and the 7 years of famine that were to come.
Passage: 1 Kings 3:5
The dream and it purpose: God was asking Solomon what it was that he wanted. God was testing Solomon’s heart.
Passage: Matthew 1:20
The dream and it purpose: “Take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel.” God was protecting Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
As we see from the above Scriptures, it is not unusual for God to communicate with His people (and even those who are not His people) in and through dreams. Dreams are the chosen way in which God uses to bring to people His plans, will and His purposes.
Clearly God does not need to speak to us in dreams, and can use many forms of media to do so. The most obvious form, being His Word.
However, God has chosen to reveal His will and His character to us through speaking to people in dreams.
THE PURPOSE OF DREAMS AND VISIONS:
1. To Keep us humble and from being destroyed by his own pride and sin Job 33:14-18 These verses clearly tell us that God speaks to keep a man from being destroyed by his own pride and sin. Jeremiah 17:9 - Sometimes God will use dreams to show us the content of our own hearts
2. Revealing of his prophets - Numbers 12:6 – “if there is a prophet among you, I, The Lord make Myself known to him in a vision.”
3. To restrain us from evil - Genesis 20:3-8 (prevent us from making mistakes)
4. To reveal God’s will & Answer - Genesis 28:11-22, Ezekiel 1:1
5. To encourage - Judges 7:13-15
6. To reveal the future - Genesis 37:5-10
7. To instruct - Matthew 1:20, Daniel 2:24-45 (in the things of God)
8. To warn - Matthew 2:12, Daniel 4 (us about hidden danger/Save life)
9. To Glorify God (Daniel 2:47).
DREAMS TO UNBELIEVERS:
God can and does speak to unbelievers in dreams.
Genesis 20:3-7 Warning Abimelech that Sara was not a woman that he was free to sleep with.
Genesis 41:1-7 Warning Pharaoh that 7 years of plenty were coming followed by 7 years of famine.
Daniel 2:1 Warning Nebuchadnezzar that he was to fall and lose his kingdom.
Matthew 27:19 Warning Pilate’s wife that Jesus was not to be falsely accused.
IDENTIFYING THE SOURCE OF DREAMS:
If we dream every night, then how can we tell which dreams are from God, and which dreams are from our own mind due to daily activities?
If we are conversant with the Holy Spirit and keeping the Word of God in our hearts and mind, then discerning the origins of our dreams will not be a hard thing to do. This will be based on your walk and relationship with God
If you are not sure whether your dream is the substance of your own mind or from God, upon waking, ask the Lord for his help.
If the symbols and principle in the Dream or Vision reveals more about the character and nature of God, then it is safe to receive the dream as from the Lord and seek the interpretation.
INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS:
Listening to the Holy Spirit is the most important aspect of finding the honest interpretation of any dream that we have.
Seeking the interpretation of dreams is only natural and right. This is not divination and not to be confused with such. We are not to seek dreams and interpretations as our ways of getting through life. We are to seek God and His Word.
Dream Interpretation is not listed as a spiritual gift, but clearly a dream given by the Holy Spirit will be interpreted by the Holy Spirit (Genesis 40:8, Daniel 1:17).
The dreams that Pharaoh received in Genesis Chapter 40, were given by God, and God gave Joseph the interpretation. The dream that King Nebuchadnezzar had in the Book of Daniel was given by God, and we see that God gave Daniel the interpretation.
We are to rely on the Holy Spirit and the Word of God to confirm and interpret dreams and visions given to us by God.
God will not give us dreams to amuse you or to stop you from relying upon Him and His Word.
LITERALLY OR NOT?
Can all dreams be taken literally?
Again, we need to ask God for His interpretation. God may be using this dream to speak of another hidden matter.
SUMMARY God is supernatural, and all that He has to give is supernatural. He wants to display His supernatural knowledge, ability and power through His Church, so that the world will see that Jesus Christ is alive. That is why dreams and visions cut through the agendas of a man’s heart and touch the spirit of a man. Dreams and Visions is for everyone, whether believers or non-believers.
They serve as God instruction, guidance, warning and revelation of God’s plan for us. Each one of us needs a Dream from God. Our Dreams will keep us going through the storms of life
The Dreams that Joseph had, kept him while he was thrown into the pit because he believed the Dreams were from God; the Dreams kept him from sinning and from sleeping with Potiphar’s wife. The Dream of others, namely the baker and butler, were the media that God used to restore Joseph to the place of honour that God had intended for him (Genesis 41:9-15, 38, 41-44). The Dreams that Joseph had were fulfilled.
God will give Dreams to teach, warn and instruct, not to create suspicion or juicy gossip.
CONCLUSION Our destinies are tied up in our Dreams. As we look at the Biblical figures who Dreamed, they were all destined for something. Their Dreams revealed their destinies and, as they kept true to God and their Dreams, their Dreams and destinies were realised or fulfilled in their own lives.
Interpretations – if we ask, seek, knock, the door will be opened (Matthew 7:7). We are to search (Proverbs 25:2).
The New Testament opens with a burst of Dreams and Visions in Matthew and closes with John the revelator’s incredible and dramatic Vision of Jesus.