Rambling about dreams

I have weird dreams. It’s nothing new, it’s not that they are difficult or absurd, they aren’t nightmares, I don’t wake up in cold sweats (I live in Texas, it’s hard to wake up cool, let alone cold.), and I seldom ever feel shaky because of them. Well… I recently read through Daniel and saw how the kings were constantly having nightmares. Some of my favorite lines come from these nightmares. One in particular is the beginning of Daniel 4, verse 4-5, “I, Nebuchadnezzar (from here on out, he will be known as Nebby) was at ease in my house and prospering in my palace. I saw a dream that made me afraid.”
We often live in a false sense of security so it shouldn’t surprise us that in our frailty we could have a dream that frightens us. The dream ends up being a prophecy that old Nebby is going to go crazy and be humbled by God. Not the best prospects for a king who is “at ease” and “prospering.” However it is precisely our ease that gets us into these insecure states. When we are at ease with the world around us, then we are in trouble. David has the same trouble. You remember the line I am sure. From 2 Samuel, “When kings go off to war, David stayed home.” (John Elkins paraphrase, 2 Sam. 11:1) The story in 2 Samuel 11 begins the downfall of Israel. It’s a tragic failure of the king that displays the truth that ease and idle hands lead to turmoil and wicked actions. This is why we must discipline ourselves beyond simply looking over our kingdoms and relaxing.
One of my favorite quotes is from Andrew Murray. He states,
“You will ask me, ‘are you satisfied, have you got all you want?’ God Forbid! With the deepest feeling of my soul I can say that I am satisfied with Jesus now, but there is also the consciousness of how much fuller the revelation can be through the exceeding abundance of His grace. Let us never hesitate to say, this is only the beginning.”
We should never truly be satisfied with where we are but should always be pressing further into the character of Jesus.
Anyhow, back to the dreams. As I type this, there is a letter that was written to me a long time ago from some anonymous source that recounts a dream of the youth building here at my church. The building is a tremendous blessing and affords me the opportunity to reach students in a comfortable setting. The dream ends with a statement of peace. This person wrote that they came away with a feeling of deep abiding peace (at least that’s what they said in the letter). Sometimes our dreams bring us peace, though that is not often. Someone once told me that it is a bad sign when God has to use a dream to get your attention. It means you’re not listening on a regular basis. Indeed, the dreams that are in the Bible often seem that way. So… if point number one was never let yourself at ease, then point number B is, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8.
So like I said, I dream pretty often, rarely does it ever mean anything. In the dream story of Nebby, God tells him he will go crazy so that he will know that “the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom He will and sets over it the lowliest of men.” (v.17b) That quote sends chills down my spine! God is awesome! No wonder Nebby was afraid, wouldn’t you be? He trembles in fear of the proclamation of God. Nebby would eventually echo the phrase in 4:34-35. So… I think maybe our dreaming is supposed to lead us to echo God’s praises? Perhaps…