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Thoughts on Dreams
The strength of an army relies on unity - in strategy and effort. The Roman armies were known for a particular strategy - divide and conquer. Dividing the opposing army into small groups that lacked unity and then systematically conquering these smaller groups. Modern military strategy still works in the same way.
It has been interesting to witness the strategies of modern armies in conflict these last few years. We have seen the conflicts named "Operation Desert Storm" against Iraq and "War Against Terror" in Afghanistan in particular. As we have watched the coverage almost as it unfolded half way around the world, among the first objectives of the attack was to disrupt and/or destroy the communication network of the enemy. CNN reported:
"Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the attacks sought to take out more of the Taliban's command and control assets, to cut off their communications and hamper their ability to mount coordinated military operations." (CNN archives; October 8, 2001 Posted: 3:36 PM EDT (1936 GMT))
Why is the destruction of communications such a high priority in a military conflict?
By destroying the communications systems of your opponent you destroy their unity, cohesion, and their connection to potential support. Rather than face a large army, unified by the ability to communicate with a central command post, you now face smaller pockets of resistance with different objects - often their own immediate needs. And so using precision bombs and laser guided missiles the network of communication towers and radio and television broadcasting stations of the enemy were destroyed. The result left pockets of enemy forces, throughout the country, all prepared to fight but without a unifying leadership. This reduced the battle to smaller conflicts to be fought only when it became convenient or necessary.
We too have an enemy against which we struggle:
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Eph 6:12 NASB)
As the church, the body of Christ, this enemy has this same objective and strategy. By disrupting, destroying, or discrediting the communication systems within the body we become many little pockets of believers without the ability receive directives from our central command - the Lord Jesus Christ. Our enemy has been able to reduce our concerted effort to little, tolerable, pockets of resistance. All around the world today we have little pockets of resistance and little in the way of a unified effort.
We need to reestablish our communication systems!
One of our longstanding means of communication with God has been by dreams and visions. Through the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, God has spoken to his people through dreams and visions. Not only have these played an important role in the past, but God has promised to continue to do so the last days.
And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. (Joel 2:28 NIV)
This prophecy was used by Peter (Acts 2:17) to explain to those around what had happened to the 120 disciples gathered in the upper room in Jerusalem. His words were:
this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel (Acts 2:16 NASB)
It was this out pouring of the Holy Spirit that the prophet, Joel, was referring to - it happened and has been happening since the day of Pentecost. What can we to expect to see happen when the Holy Spirit is poured out on all humankind?
* Your offspring will prophesy,
* Your young people will see visions,
* Your older people will dream dreams.
There seems to be something for everyone. These things are the immediate result of the Holy Spirit coming into the lives of God's people, his army, the citizens of his Kingdom.
How does this become our communication method with central command? We read in John 16:15
But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. (NASB)
There are other verses that inform us of the things that the Holy Spirit does as a result of being poured out. He will guide you and disclose to you the things that are to come. These sound like battle strategies do they not?
How will he disclose and guide us? The Bible does play a major role, but the Bible was not able to tell Peter to go and share the gospel message with the gentiles in Caesarea. Nor could the Bible have directed Paul to go to Macedonia on the next leg of his travels. Nor could it have told Joseph that it is OK for him to take Mary as his wife. We need up-to-date instruction and directives. No battle can be won by following the commands and directives that were issued a month or a year ago. They need to be fresh and they need to be current to be effective, or better yet that they come in advance of the enemy's plans.
Our enemy has been very effective in destroying and discrediting dreams and visions as a method of communicating with our commander-in-chief. Too many of us have been left to divine, presume, or guess God's will and direction for our lives and our churches. Who can know the mind of God except the Spirit of God?
the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. (1 Cor 2:11 NASB)
Do we want to be an effective force in this world? Do we want to be a unified strength affecting the people of this world? We need to be in touch with the mind and thoughts of God. We need to hear his directives, his marching orders. We need to learn to use the communication systems of our Kingdom. We need to teach the soldiers under our command how to receive communications and instructions. And we need to obey the directives we receive. Only then will we become a unified people under the leadership of our commander-in-chief - Jesus Christ.
Also read God Speaks Through Dreams