By Steve Swanson
A. Prophetic Encouragement
B. Devotional Teaching
C. Weekly Scripture Meditation
A. PROPHETIC ENCOURAGEMENT
This is an exciting time you live in right now! 2007 is a Year of Vision and Dreams. The Lord is pouring out His Spirit on the earth in unprecedented measure. Signs and wonders abound! The day of the Lord is here, and as Jesus taught, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.In 2007 we are going to see an increase of prophetic dreams brought on by the Holy Spirit, not only dreams, but also visions. These dreams will be “guidance” dreams to give God’s people direction and discernment. There will be visions of the Kingdom poured out on a generation like never before. These dreams and visions will be very strategic in the coming months and will resonate through the body.
There will be dreams of inventions that will change the world. There will be dreams of prophetic intervention to avert potential dangers and catastrophic events. We will see unsaved public figures receive significant dreams that will impact the world. After all, the Lord said He would pour out His Spirit on all flesh, and in that day all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved! Some of these dreams will invoke reverent fear of the Lord in world leaders and we will see them sovereignly come to Jesus. Things are changing quickly and the Lord is going to speak loudly through dreams and visions this year.
A few years ago, the Lord gave me a dream that turned my world upside down. In this dream, He showed me four houses and doors that I would go through. In the dream, as my wife and I were going camping, we turned the radio on and heard a report about a grizzly bear going around mauling people. The reported stated that one would know when the bear was nearby because he would be preceded by a dog. As we got out of the car, we could hear the bear in the woods growling so we went inside this cabin where we were going to stay. There were people from our church in this cabin and we felt relatively safe until I looked at the construction of the cabin. This cabin was made of balsa wood which is what they make toy airplanes out of. I knew that this cabin wouldn’t hold up against an attack, so we decided to leave.
As we were leaving, I could see the dog out the window. We quickly left out the back door and as we left, the backyard turned into a bus stop; at this bus stop were three men in black trench coats telling me it was O.K. to go back – I didn’t need to worry about the bear. They were saying this as they were getting on the bus. As I turned, I was face to face with the dog. I prepared myself to fight and as I did, my right arm turned into a spiked ball and chain and my left arm turned into a crossbow. However, as I looked at the dog, he seemed so pathetic and weak that I felt compassion and could not fight such a helpless animal. We turned away and journeyed down the road a bit and saw a house made of glass. The glass was like one-way glass. This, I thought, would be great because the dog and bear would not be able to see us so we went in and hid under a countertop. Sure enough, the dog passed by, but I began to think the glass would not hold up under an attack, so we left. We continued our journey down the road a bit and found a large house with a castle door on it. The door was thick and had massive iron hinges on it. This, I thought, looks safe – there is no way the bear can get through this door. As I opened the door, I peered inside to find a smoky, dingy, Italian restaurant. This restaurant was complete with the ugly, puffy, 1962-styled burgundy table booths with the red and white checkerboard table cloths. This place didn’t look at all on the inside like it did on the outside. We would be safe, but miserable. So I told my wife, “I know a place.”
We journeyed down the road a bit and came to a marina with a beautiful promenade that circled it. We went about two blocks from the marina and saw a tower. The door to the tower was a revolving door with two guards protecting the entrance. This looks great – there is no way the bear can get through security, and even if he did, he wouldn’t know how to get out of the revolving door. So we went in and came to an elevator and pressed the fourth floor button and ascended to the fourth floor. “This is great,” I thought, “there is no way the bear will know how to work the elevator, we are safe at last.” The Lord spoke the name of the place to me, it was Arcadia. Arcadia means “peaceful, pastoral setting, comparable to heaven.”
The past six years we have walked out this dream in the natural. We have been on a pilgrimage that has taken us across the country and back. God even had us living in a house that had one-way glass windows and glass mirrors on all the walls. He has such a sense of humor. I could go on, but the reason I’m telling you all this is because I want you to be encouraged. Many of you have dreams that you know are from God and are waiting to see them come true. The main thing I want to encourage you in is, take the first step and initiate your dreams. Many times the Lord will give us a dream and then wait to see if we are going to trust Him and pursue it. If my wife and I didn’t move the first time we would have never found “Arcadia” and never reached the fourth floor. As we took the first step, He was faithful to lead us in the rest. How did we know when to go? The grace had lifted in each place and we could feel in the Spirit it was time to move on.
I can feel right now as I write this that someone is in a situation where the grace has lifted and you’re hanging on when it’s time to let go and move on. God is faithful and He gives us dreams for a reason. Look for increase of dreams in the coming year and keep a notepad and pen by your bedside, because He’s pouring out His Spirit like never before.
B. DEVOTIONAL TEACHING
In your devotional time, ask the Lord to impart His word and direction through dreams and visions. Dreams are all throughout the Bible. Many dreams and visions were prophetic and changed the outcome of history. Ask the Lord for discernment concerning a dream. Have someone you respect and trust help to interpret the dream for you. It’s always good to have another accountable opinion concerning dreams and visions. Hab. 2:2 states: “And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”
Take hope, if your dream is from the Lord, it will come to pass. As I said before, there is to be some initiation on our part. If you have received a dream that you know is from the Lord recently, I encourage you to seek out the meaning and really pray into it.
Here are some verses that show some of the dreams and visions that happened in the Bible. Notice how some were directive, some were prophetic, and some were visionary. Have fun and pleasant dreams!
- Genesis 28:12 – Of Jacob, concerning the ladder.
- Genesis 37:5-10 – Of Joseph, concerning the sheaves. This prophetic dream showed Joseph what was to come, the Lord will also use dreams to help us endure the trials and tests before us.
- 1 Kings 3:3-15 – Of Solomon, concerning his choice of wisdom.
- Daniel 7 – Of Daniel, concerning the four beasts.
- Genesis 41:1-36 – This dream was a warning from God to Pharaoh, it also was a setup for Joseph to come into favor. No one could interpret the dream but Joseph.
- Interpreted by Joseph Genesis 40:12,13,18,19; 41:25-32
- Daniel 2:16-23,28-30; 4 Daniel’s dreams
C. SCRIPTURE MEDITATION
- Week One: Joel 2 (the whole chapter)
- Week Two: Revelations 4 & 5
- Week Three: Ezekiel 1
- Week Four: Daniel 7