From the desk of Steve Shultz:
If you are looking for a prophetic in-depth article and some teaching about your “dream encounters”…this word by John Thomas is for you!
John Thomas is the president of Streams Ministries, founded by John Paul Jackson, who was a great prophetic father and highly gifted dream interpreter.
John Thomas is carrying that on at Streams Ministries and you will be highly encouraged as you learn some key insight in this word such as:
Maybe the concept of God speaking through dreams is new for you. Whether you’re just starting this journey or have been on it for a while, keep going—it is worth the effort. Our God is a God who speaks, and while each of us has a unique story with Him, we are all in relationship with the same God, who doesn’t change. In His world of dreams, a grand adventure awaits us.
As you have more God-given dreams…let the Lord teach you how to apply them in life and pursue them wholeheartedly! (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.
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The Elijah List & Breaking Christian News
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“God Speaks through Dreams! Learn How to Respond!”
I grew up in a non-Christian home where I learned that supernatural things originated from evil sources. The problem was I had a lot of weird things happen to me. I had nightmares, heard voices, saw things that “weren’t there” and grew up fascinated by paranormal activity.
But when I was in my 20s, God invaded my life and everything changed. The darkness and fear that plagued my God-given gift faded away as I pursued freedom and a closer walk with Him. I started hearing Him in my dreams, having visions, just “knowing stuff” and feeling what other people felt. It was immediate but not instantaneous.
“In addition, the God we serve is a God who speaks. He calls Himself the Word, so we can naturally assume He likes to talk! God is relational.“
A short time after I met Jesus, John Paul Jackson came to the Vineyard church I attended in Phoenix. He taught about faith and expecting God to move miraculously, but what really caught my attention was the ministry time. He pointed at a young man in the congregation, asked him to stand up and began telling him about his past, present and future. He did this more than 20 times that night with different people.
I was captivated! Wow! My heart cried out, “God, if that is available, I want it!” At the end of the evening, John Paul announced he was going to teach a course called, “The Art of Hearing God” and I knew I had to go. At that course I learned God not only gives us dreams, but He also wants us to learn how to interpret them. They have meaning beyond the experience itself. I was hooked.
The Thing About Dreams
John Paul’s course started me on a journey of study and today, almost 20 years later, I know I have only scratched the surface of what God offers in the dream world. I started studying dreams and visions, practicing interpreting them and getting feedback from others. “Does this interpretation make sense to you? Does it seem to fit?” I began writing down my dreams. I pursued understanding and now my life is marked by dreams—I interpret them, I have them, they guide me and I teach others about them.
By far, the most important thing I have learned about dreams is this: When it comes down to it, studying dreams is not about dreams. They are not the answer by themselves. They are about relationship with God. A dream from God will tell us about Him and help us see Him more clearly. We study dreams so we can know the heart of our Father better.
Your Story is Incredibly Unique
Your story with God probably doesn’t look like mine. And it doesn’t have to. All of us are on a journey into deeper relationship with Him, and that journey looks different in each and every case. Some of us have spiritual experiences all our lives, while others can’t put their finger on a single time when something “spiritual” or supernatural happened to them. Some of us have incredible encounters later in life that seem to throw open the door to heavenly realities. All of a sudden—after living fairly normal lives—we’re propelled into an adventure that is weird and exciting and mind-boggling all at the same time.
Maybe the concept of God speaking through dreams is new for you. Whether you’re just starting this journey or have been on it for a while, keep going—it is worth the effort. Our God is a God who speaks, and while each of us has a unique story with Him, we are all in relationship with the same God, who doesn’t change. In His world of dreams, a grand adventure awaits us. (Photo via Public Domain Pictures)
How did you meet Jesus? Your story, no doubt, is different than mine. Each of us has a unique journey to God the Father, who then takes us on an incredible adventure of learning more about who He is.
No matter who you are or what your past looks like, deeper intimacy with Jesus includes some common themes. Your journey and mine look the same in a few key ways.
Jesus Is the Gate
For instance, the only gate that leads to God is Jesus Himself. When it comes to dreams, visions, prophetic ministry, miracles or any other supernatural phenomenon, the only safe place is Jesus. We start with relationship with Jesus; we keep our focus on Him, and all our spiritual activity leads us into deeper relationship with Him.
In addition, the God we serve is a God who speaks. He calls Himself the Word, so we can naturally assume He likes to talk! God is relational. He is not looking for robots or slaves but for friends (John 15:15).
Surrender and Change
When God gets involved in our lives, He does not leave us the same. The supernatural activity we encounter through His Spirit is intended to make us more like Jesus. When we hear His voice, the only appropriate response is to surrender to His will and change our lives so we line up with what He has revealed. Again, we do this not as slaves who are forced or compelled, but it is the response of friends who care for His heart and realize that He is the expert in life. His ideas about how to live will be much better than ours, so we follow Him.
Those are some of the common ways God draws us closer to Him. You may be surprised, but He also uses dreams.
Building Intimacy with God Through Dreams
“God not only gives us dreams, but He also wants us to learn how to interpret them. They have meaning beyond the experience itself.“
“For God may speak one way, or in another, Yet man does not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, while slumbering in their beds, then He opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction.” (Job 33:14-16NKJV)
How does God speak through dreams? Is it possible to hear His voice and grow closer to Him through a dream?
In Genesis 15 God established His covenant with Abraham and prophesied Israel’s time in Egypt. To communicate these things to Abraham, He used a dream. Verse 12 says Abraham was in “a deep sleep” when God spoke to him. Abraham, the father of our faith, is the first person Scripture calls a friend of God, and in a pivotal moment, God used a dream to speak with him.
Genesis is the book of beginnings and carries the first picture God gave us of relationship with Him. In the midst of the beautiful narrative He tells in Genesis, dreams play a major role:
Abimelech dreamed about Abraham (Genesis 20).
God appeared to Isaac at night in Beersheba. (This might have been a dream; see Genesis 26:23–25.)
Jacob had a dream at Bethel where he saw God and received the same promise as his fathers (Genesis 28:11-22).
Jacob obtained strategy for wealth through a dream when God told him how to increase the spotted and speckled flocks (Genesis 31:10-13).
In a dream Laban was warned not to harm Jacob (Genesis 31:24). (Photo via Pixabay)
Joseph had two dreams, interpreted at least two dreams in prison, and interpreted Pharaoh’s two dreams (Genesis 37:5-10, 40:5-19, 41:1-36).
I find it interesting that the promise God gave to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—the promise that is foundational to our faith, the promise God referenced so often throughout Scripture—was given to them in dreams (or at least at night, in Isaac’s case). Dreams are not the only way God speaks, but even a quick glance at Genesis reveals they are an important way He speaks.
Responding to Dreams from God
Since God chooses to speak to us through dreams, how should we respond? If we do three key things, we will start to recognize His voice in the night:
1. Adopt a Biblical perspective on dreams,
2. Value dreams, and
3. Expect God to speak to us through dreams.
As we do these things, we will find what Abraham, Isaac and Jacob found. Our intimacy with God will increase; we will come to know Him more and more, and it will become apparent to us that dreams are one of the relationship tools He uses to draw us closer to Him.
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John and Dawna Thomas were radically saved out of the drug culture in 1996. Personally mentored by John Paul Jackson, they’ve been on staff with or have worked alongside Streams Ministries since 2004. John pastored The Bridge Metrowest (planted by John Paul) for five years before he and Dawna stepped out into full-time itinerant ministry. After John Paul passed away, John began to work more closely with the Streams leadership team and in 2016 was asked to become the president of Streams Ministries. John co-authored The Art of Praying the Scriptures: A Fresh Look at Lectio Divina with John Paul Jackson and has also written courses on prophetic ministry, dream interpretation, and the Kingdom of God. As president of Streams Ministries, he ministers internationally to help restore the awe of God to a world that has lost its wonder. He and Dawna live outside of Dallas, Texas.