God Still Gives Dreams
I had a powerful and instructive dream in the wee hours of the morning a few days ago, regarding how to teach the Word of God. I am not sure I’ve ever had a dream quite like that…
I was “on mission” with several others, imaged by a small boat (which I take to be symbolic of my church), battered by storm winds and threatening, potentially capsizing waves, and out from which we were casting smaller boats for search & rescue.
My “job” in the main boat was to help care for the boat and the return of our searchers; and also to reflect on God’s Word and teach it. But in the dream I didn’t know my job, and I felt useless (very apt). And my teaching “reflections” were primarily self-focused and speculative, rather than exegetical or interpretive.
I recall that we were ALL able to walk on water, just like Jesus – though I didn’t know yet that I could also do so. In the setting of the dream, I was fearful of the ocean creatures, sharks and the like, and this dominated my consciousness as we were being assaulted by the storm.
Our main team was out, and the sending boat was filling to the point of capsizing, so I swam across the deck towards the front, where our skeleton crew was working hard to keep us aright. There, I asked the main post (not a captain, she was like “acting captain”?) what I could do? How to help? Instead of telling me, she showed me how to maneuver the ship – which was designed uniquely to get rid of water in just this kind of danger. She showed me how to “tip” the boat, and it required skill and strength, but the main maneuver required the boat itself to do the work.
Soon we were arighted, and our scattered searchers returned – having found some Lost, and also bringing back supplies.
As the lot of us formed our smaller circles at tables in the dining area, I found a corner area to sit back and observe; here, individuals would approach me one by one to ask me about a teaching I’d done on the Book of Ruth. Some had been encouraged, others were critical. I don’t recall specifically what was said – but I do remember catching word through the overhearing of various conversations that the circle of leaders across the way had some thoughts they wanted to express.
I made my way over and sat with them – instead of a table, they were each sitting at desks, “eating” the Word they were studying. One by one, they began to question me, encourage me, challenge me, even rebuke me. I recall only two bits of instruction:
- “Your personal, ‘journal-like’ approach to teaching is not profitable to the whole Body! You may well be learning much, but you need to broaden your pithy one-liners and marginal reflections to find what the Text is really saying, for the benefit of ALL!”
- “You are speaking as though every word you’re saying is ‘thus sayeth the Lord’; you must let the Word be the Word – draw a distinction, or people will flock to YOU rather than GOD!” …
I have felt this uselessness where I am currently positioned. It has been a season of “filling” and receiving, to be sure, but I am eager to “go out,” myself. To meaningfully do my “job” in the Body. I have felt this was in teaching and singing – neither of which seem to be needs in the church into which God has currently placed me.
Upon waking, aside from the above explicitely stated revelations which were also very key, I knew that several of the things the Spirit of God was impressing on my heart included:
- “DO NOT BE AFRAID! I have given you authority over the creatures of the sea, AND over the waves!”
- “I have made you for this time and this place – you are here to be taught, to learn submission, to trust the spiritual authorities I have placed over you, and to be prepared.”
- “You have everything you need – you can already walk on water! – but I will determine the time and place when you step out.”
- “You DO have a place; you DO have a purpose in the Body, even in THIS Body! Be watchful, be teachable, be patient, continue to serve, and I will make it clear what you are to do; I will open the way at the proper time, and you will know it when you see it.”
Thank you, Lord!