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Sunday, March 9, 2014

No pizza before bed!

Ever had one of those nights when you just tossed and turned, sleep eluding you at every turn?  You drift quickly into a little bit of a snooze and then without warning, you are wide awake again - free to choose another position, try another pillow, or just gaze into the black space of night at nothing.  Yep, I think we may have all endured those nights, but maybe we it has been a while since you had a dream which disturbed you deeply - the type where you awaken in a state of alert, almost panic, perhaps feeling like you were falling, jumping to alertness in an instant.  Those type of dreams leave you a little shaken - not so much because you awoke suddenly, but because the impression of the dream (real or imagined) sticks with you for a while.  Now, most of us will just lay there in bed a little while, allowing our heart rate to return to normal, the sweat on our brow to dissipate, and the slumber return. Very few of us will respond to the dream by hiring the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and fortunetellers to interpret the dream for us.  If we are doing this, then just a word of advice - you might want to find out what God says about these types of "mediums" - for their "advice" is not from him!  Instead, we try to mull over the "memorable" parts of the dream and make a little sense of it if possible.  In turn, we might just realize we shouldn't eat pizza before bed, or watch those scary movies that leave you on the edge of your seat.  

In the second year of his reign, King Nebuchadnezzar started having dreams that disturbed him deeply. He couldn’t sleep. He called in all the Babylonian magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and fortunetellers to interpret his dreams for him. When they came and lined up before the king, he said to them, “I had a dream that I can’t get out of my mind. I can’t sleep until I know what it means.”  (Daniel 2:1-3 MSG)

The mind is made for imagination, so when it lays hold of something it finds disturbing, it runs with it!  Before long, the imagined thoughts can seem like a reality (a prediction of sorts) - sometimes this is the case, but most dreams are just imagination of our mind manufactured by what we have taken in, held onto, and then our minds mesh it together into some "story" of sorts.  We need to learn to discern between "imagined" and "reality" in our minds - for not every dream has a meaning we need to "interpret", nor does every imagination have a secret root we need to uncover.  When a dream disturbs us enough to alert us out of a sound sleep, the first place we should be turning is to God himself.  When we do, we are asking him to sort out the imagined from the real.  He may very well show us the entire thing was imagined based on the intake we have been allowing into our minds.  He may point out an opportunity for our "re-focus".  He may also show us we need to be doing something, involved in something, going a certain place, or engaging with a certain person in order to accomplish something for his purpose. Dreams can have "hidden meaning", but I don't think all dreams are to be the subject of interpretation!  Some just need to be discounted as "pizza induced"!

If something gets us to the place where we are disturbed deeply, it is best brought into the presence of Jesus.  No magician, medium, or fortuneteller has the answer to what is disturbing us.  It amazes me how often man will turn to another man for answers to his questions rather than go to the one who formed the question in our minds in the first place!  The source of interpretation of dreams when we go to man with them is simply man or the closest thing to man - the devil himself.  In Old Testament times, there was this term "necromancy" - the consulting of mediums.  In the Old Testament Law, God clearly instructs Moses to tell the people of Israel to avoid consulting with the mediums (Leviticus 19:31).  It was the darkest form of fortunetelling of the time - the "communing with the dead".  Clearly God had in mind the protection of his people, as divining of spirits, or conjuring up spirits really opens a man to Satan's activity.  In fact, God wanted man to be totally aware that Satan's activity is not to be trusted, because his purpose is not to bring truth, but to lend additional confusion and take one's eyes off of God himself.

James 1:5-8 states:  If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.  In other words, if you don't have an answer to what is bothering you, don't go to the devil, but go to God himself - he will give to those who ask. God's purpose is to give us more light - Satan's purpose in divination or speaking through spirits is to give us just a little taste of darkness.  Satan doesn't want us to know truth, but wants to validate our fantasies, cloud our perception, etc.  Look at the passage again and you will see in the reading of the second chapter of Daniel that the King had to ask the mediums to both tell him the dream and the interpretation.  They didn't know the dream!  They wanted him to tell them the dream and then they would craft the "best interpretation" for him.  Doesn't that sound a little hokey to you?  It does to me!  Most of the mediums you will ever observe use this technique to get just enough information out of you to know where you "hot buttons" are.  For example, if they sense you are a single person, kind of lonely, they will give you great hope that your dream centers on finding Mr. or Mrs. "Right" - the love of your life is just around the corner.  They will affirm what you already hope for so desperately.  Necromancy is nothing more than the manipulation of truth with the subtlety of lies.  Let's not open ourselves up for that one!

So, the next time you find yourself troubled by a dream, don't take it to man for interpretation - take it to the feet of Jesus.  You will probably be amazed by just how clearly he wants to speak into your life - even if it is to advise you not to eat pizza before bed!  Just sayin!