I remember the first time I had a prophetic dream very vividly.
The Lord had been speaking to me through visions for years. When I was in college, Spiritual Gifts were talked about often in people’s daily lives. It was normal, it wasn’t scary, and it wasn’t questioned by people who believed God only used the Holy Spirit in that way during Biblical times.
The year after college when I went on the World Race, again, I was surrounded by people who walked daily life in the Spiritual Gifts the Lord had given them as if it was second nature. Because it was — the Lord’s Holy Spirit was in them and they allowed the Lord to use them as a vessel in whatever way He saw fit.
Prophecy, laying of hands, witnessing healing, speaking in tongues, casting out demons. This was all perfectly normal.
“4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
8 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.”
– 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
As I drew nearer to God, He strengthened my gift of prophecy and the visions were more frequent. I was learning my Father’s voice, and He was readily speaking to me in this way.
They didn’t always predict the future, but sometimes, they did.
However, the more I read the Bible and the more I saw God giving His children visions AND dreams, I started asking for dreams too. I’m not sure why. I don’t know if it was because I wanted to expand my understanding of God’s power through the Holy Spirit, if I wanted more of God, or if I just thought dreams were “easier.” Possibly all three. But, no dreams came.
Then one day I woke up out of a dream and fully believed it had happened. I literally went the entire workday being like “Wow I’m so glad that person decided to stay on our team, that’s so awesome.” I really thought it had happened. Sometime in the afternoon I thought back and started to wonder if it had just been a dream. I almost text my boss to ask, “Did this person tell you they decided to stay?” But I got busy and distracted and never text him, so I concluded it was just a dream.
The next day, the dream happened. And it was so cool. I got to say to that person, “I know you don’t follow Jesus, but God speaks to me about you, and it’s because He cares about you and what happens to you.”
Since then I’ve had two more prophetic dreams.
One that led me back to my job where I thought the door was closed, and the other, well, I think the Lord was just trying to get my attention.
We should not worship God because of the gifts He gives. That makes our love and worship of Him circumstantial. But that doesn’t mean we cannot ask for them.
Time after time after time the Bible reminds us that when you are near to God, things happen. Regardless of if you feel you are worthy or capable, He gives you good gifts and wraps you up in His grace because Jesus makes you worthy.
Weird things happening becomes normal, because He is the God of the universe and He has given us His Holy Spirit, so His power lives and breaths in us. And the nearer I am to God, the clearer His voice is for me to hear, in whatever ways He wants to speak. If He can move mountains, He can whisper in visions and dreams too.
“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributed them.” – 1 Corinthians 12
“So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.” – 1 Corinthians 14
Do I love that the Lord speaks to me in visions and dreams? Yes. They are beautiful, powerful, and have edified/lifted up/encouraged not just me, but those who the visions were for. Is prophecy all rainbows and butterflies? No. He sometimes gives harder or not so uplifting news through visions, and those I try to keep to myself because I really do think the enemy can take hold of negative prophecies and hurt the church/who they’re said to. Have I accidentally let something slip when it’s been like that? Yes. And those moments have been hard.
But, all in all… Do I worship Him because He gave me these gifts? No. But I know for a fact that when I’m receiving these images it’s because I’m close enough to Him to be listening for His whisper. And I am always so grateful that we serve a God who is not a gold statue or expects perfection, but rather He is the King of all kings that speaks back to His children, and gives grace, mercy, and love.
For more of my thoughts on Prophecy, click HERE.
P.S. I used to jump from reading 1 Corinthians 12 to 1 Corinthians 14 because I was so excited to learn more about Spiritual Gifts. I’d completely skip over chapter 13. Don’t be like me. 1 Corinthians 13 is necessary to merge the two around it.
P.P.S. Did you know when it says it is disgraceful for women to speak in church (1 Corinthians 14), the context of that is the following?
Women who believed in Jesus were so excited about their newfound freedom in Christ that they began shouting out in churches. They went from a culture who silenced them to a Savior who freed them and gave them a voice and seat at His table. So they wielded that freedom with joy by disrupting church services. Paul writes this in his letter to the Corinthian church to encourage the wives to wait to ask their questions at home to their husbands, so it was not as disruptive during the services.
More info on that – HERE