Dangerous Dreams – Why We Should Live Awake

There are drugs we take that heal us and other drugs that destroy us.

Not every drug is for our benefit. Go ask, Alice. She’ll testify.

Knowing this, we understand the need for discernment and caution when drugs are offered, even from those who have our best interest at heart.

The same can be said for dreams.

We live in a dreamy culture.

On any given night (or TED talk, or awards show), we can listen to someone encourage us, urge us, compel us to hold onto our dreams come what may. Pursue your dreams at all cost, they’ll preach into their headsets. If your children have dreams, nurture them and do all you can to make them come true.

Even Christian teachers will tell you we live in the days of dreams. They will quote Joel 3:28-29 when it was prophesied of these times when the Spirit is poured out that our sons and daughters shall see visions, our old men dream dreams, and even our young men see visions. The Spirit is poured out on men and women alike.

And yes, we live in the time of Holy Spirit filling and so we understand the language of dreams – like Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph – we know God speaks to those who have ears to ear – even when they sleep.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of his dream, one that was grounded in God’s Word, and sprung from a firm foundation of racial reconciliation and freedom consistent with the work and ministry of Jesus Christ. This dream had substance and was organic to a life spent pursuing God.

Not every dream has its origin in the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

When Moses stood before Pharaoh with the staff God could transform into a serpent, Pharaoh’s wise men performed the same act with their secret arts. Moses’ serpent devoured theirs, but for a moment, the deception worked.

So it is, in our times, with dreams and dreamers. There are still secret arts at work in our midst and they fill men’s and women’s heads with deceptive dreams, selfish dreams, obsessive dreams, and dreams bent on destruction.

The words of God spoken to Jeremiah, speak a powerful message to us today, one I cannot say any better:

Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord.

I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ How long shall there be lies in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart, who think to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, even as their fathers forgot my name for Baal?

Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? declares the Lord.

Is not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?

Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who steal my words from one another. Behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who use their tongues and declare, ‘declares the Lord.’ Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the Lord, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them. So they do not profit this people at all, declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 23:23-32

Dreams grounded on God’s Word, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and yielded to Jesus Christ are worth the sweat, blood, and toil it takes to realize them in our times.

Other dreams, though, should die. Other dreams, those of suspect origin, should yield to this present reality which is the Kingdom Come.

And we, the followers of Jesus, should have the knowledge of God’s Word, the indwelling of the Spirit, and the courage of our Lord to speak truth to deceptive dreamers and to dreamers deceived.

Paul charged the church with these words in Ephesians 5:6-17:

Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

‘Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

When you hear talk of dreams, don’t be drawn in by beautiful stories, mesmerizing words, or persuasive eloquent motivators without testing the content of their dreams against the greater reality of God’s eternal Word.

There is a reality more powerful than the most compelling dream. Paul told the Corinthians, “But, as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him’” (1 Corinthians 2:9)

Abandon all dreams of suspect origin.

Instead, pursue the heart of Him from whom all life originated and your reality will become a greater adventure than you could ever dream.

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    The Conversation

  1. Bruce says:

    Good stuff Lori!

  2. Rob McCullough says:

    Thank you Lori for a timely caution that blessed me. It is very important to keep our eyes on Christ at this time for the enemy is offering many deceptive detours off of God’s Path for His people. Be Blessed and continue in His Light!

  3. Rob McCullough says:

    Thank you Lori for a timely caution that blessed me. It is very important to keep our eyes on Christ at this time for the enemy is offering many deceptive detours off of God’s Path for His people. Be Blessed and continue in His Light!

  4. Mary Ellen Santaniello says:

    Good word, Lori. I have found that the more saturated the mind and heart of a believer with the Word of God, the more evident are these false dreams or prophecies. Jesus said, “My sheep know My voice and the voice of a stranger they shall not follow.”
    Thanks for your insight.

  5. Doris says:

    Thank you for the good reminder. So appreciate your articles.