Resistance to Scripture
Meeting people from different cultures and religious practices is one of Rick’s and my pleasures in life. We’ve had plenty of opportunities to introduce ourselves and for the most part, greetings are standard regardless of country of origin. It’s the usual: “What’s your name?” “Where are you from?” “How long have you been married?” “Do you have children?” “Where do you work?”
After the standard pleasantries of what Rick does for a living, they turn to me. If they’re an unbeliever of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it goes something like this:
Unbelieving Stranger: What do you do for a living?”
Me: “I’m a writer,” I tell them.”
Unbelieving Stranger: “What do you write about?”
Me: “I primarily write how God uses dreams and visions from a Biblical Perspective.”
Stranger follows up with another question. On average, the following are the most common responses I get:
“I have crazy dreams.”
“Does that work?”
“What does my dream mean?”
Overall, we have a brief, but pleasant exchange.
Here’s how the conversation generally goes when discussing the same with believers:
Christian Stranger: “What do you do for a living?”
Me: “I’m a writer,” I tell them.”
Christian Stranger: What do you write about?”
Me: I primarily write how God uses dreams and visions from a Biblical perspective.”The most common responses from Christians include the following:
Their body language tightens up like a stretched rubber band.
They shift in their seat and give me their best poker face.
Again, generally speaking, our conversation doesn’t end on an unpleasant exchange, but rather no exchange on this particular topic. There is an undeniable resistance to scripture on this matter.
Two different groups and overall, two different responses. It’s not wrong if somebody is disinterested in this subject matter, but sadly, in my experience, many Christians choose to remain uninformed as to what the Bible teaches on dreams and visions.
When I attended a women’s Bible study for the first time, the women kindly went around the room and introduced themselves. When it was my turn, I answered the basic introductory questions. I wasn’t surprised when the room went silent.
When there is no response, I’ve come to accept it is primarily because they’ve never, or rarely, heard a teaching on God-inspired dreams, God-inspired visions. It could also be that they hold onto preconceived ideas how God “should” speak, primarily because that’s what they’ve been taught, or didn’t, in the church. And, there is wisdom in silence.
For the most part, my husband isn’t one to pay attention to his dreams, but he does have a Biblical understanding on this topic should someone ask. When he is presented with unfamiliar scripture, he has the wisdom to seek the Truth from God’s word.
The Bible should be the go to that will validate or disprove the teachings of others. All of us run the risk of being easily swayed by all kinds of nonsense and false teachings. The Word of God is the final say on any matter. No exceptions! I Peter 3:15
“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception [pseudo-intellectual babble], according to the tradition [and musings] of mere men, following the elementary principles of this world, rather than following [the truth—the teachings of] Christ.” Colossians 2:8 AMP
When God began to sear into my spirit the importance to share my dreams and visions, it would have been easier to ignore these teachings in scripture. I was uncomfortable and struggled most of the time. Primarily because I know that it is a topic that can be controversial in the church.
If you’re a Bible-believing, Bible-reading Christian, I recommend educating yourself on the different ways God communicates, including through dreams and visions. Don’t take my word for it. There are plenty of examples in the Bible to teach you this Truth. Here’s one. As you read, have an earnest desire to learn.
The prophet Joel prophesied that in the last days there would be an increase of dreams and visions. The words were repeated in Acts 2:17-21. When scripture is repeated, I perk right up and I don’t bypass them.
“I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth … And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved …” Joel 2:28-32
Why does God speak through dreams and visions? Why will there be an increase in signs and wonders in the last days? The verses in Joel and Acts answer these questions: So that “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Joel 2:32 and Acts 2:21)
What Christian wouldn’t want to be part of “all” and see people saved? I want to be part of “all people.”
This may be overly dramatic, but if the Christian community turns a deaf ear to the different ways God communicated in the Bible, they’re basically saying this part of scripture has no value. “Let’s take those verses out of the Bible, shall we.” God warns that nothing is to be added or omitted from the Bible. I think that includes what the church chooses to ignore when teaching scripture. Revelation 22:19
Where are you on the spectrum when it comes to God speaking to people through dreams and visions? Are they for the church today? Do you believe all of God’s word is a masterpiece?
Here are some ways you can expand your knowledge on issues that would be easier to dismiss:
Approach the Word of God with a keen interest to gain wisdom, knowledge, and understanding on topics you are less familiar with. Proverbs 1:2
Take time in prayer and ask God to reveal if there are topics in the Bible you are intentionally, or unintentionally, avoiding. Make these teachings your priority to study. You don't have to be an expert on a subject, but you should familiarize yourself to speak the Word with love and confidence. Those uncomfortable topics tend to help us grow in our faith and share what the gospel is about - Jesus Christ Crucified. I Corinthians 2:1-5
Make a list of the verses you tend to gloss over. Evaluate the reasons why.
Is it a controversial subject in your community, with friends and family, or in your country?
Concerned you will come across as an intolerant, unloving Christian?
Listen: “Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life.” Isaiah 55:3
Be Spirit-filled: If you don’t know what the power of the Holy Spirit is, research it for yourself. You can go to biblegateway.com and do a keyword search “Holy Spirit." Read those passages and the commentaries for a in-depth study.
Be the Christian who wants others to experience the glorious life in Christ that you have discovered. But a life that doesn’t limit God or put constraints around God’s word.
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