Turn in your Bibles to the book of Genesis. If you don’t really have to, you can just look at the screen. Genesis 28. Gonna read verses 10 to 22. Genesis 10 to 22 says this:
Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran. So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: “I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”
Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!”
Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel; but the name of that city had been Luz previously. Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God. And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”
So my message this morning is called, I dare you to dream. Let’s pray. Father, I thank you for your word. I ask and pray, Lord, that even over the course of the next few months, that every single one of us will hear from you, will hear your word, Lord God, that you’re going to give guidance and speak to every single person. I thank you and praise you for that, Lord in Jesus name. Amen. Jacob’s a very significant person in the Bible. God is known as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And so Jacob is very significant. He’s the forefather of he’s the forefather of the Israelite nation and he is the forefather of Christ himself. And so there’s many parts of his life that are actually articulated here in scripture. Now, the thing about scripture is God uses a great economy of words. So, what that means is whatever a God allows in the Bible means that it’s important. There’s plenty of chunks of Jacob’s life that are not actually in the scripture but then there are some parts that are actually put in there. Uh it’s talked about us before this to how we actually cheated his brother Esau out of the blessing that God had for their family. So, that’s a significant moment and here, we see him, he’s running away from his brother Esau and he’s in a transition season. He’s actually travelling to go and see to go and he will actually end up living with his uncle Laban and he would actually end up marrying Rachel and Leah, two of Laban’s daughters. And he spends 14 years there. That’s a significant moment in his life. Also after that he moves on and we see some other significant things happening in his life. But here’s scripture slows down for most of this chapter and focuses on a dream that he had. I’m sure this is not the only dream that Jacob had. I’m sure that like you and I, he had plenty of dreams. But clearly there was something important about this tree, this dream, that scripture was, it was imposed upon Moses who wrote this to actually put this in the scripture. Did you know that some of the dreams that you have might actually be from God?
We serve a God of dreams and visions. The Bible actually tells us in the book of Acts that when we’re Holy Spirit-filled people, that your young men would have visions and your old men will dream dreams. Turn to the person next and say, he’s talking about you now. and the reality is that we can see that sometimes dreams might actually be from God. and so I want to talk to you today about five facets of a dream, five components of a dream. Or another way of putting an anatomy of a dream. Cause occasionally God can actually use these things to actually speak to us. Not only dreams in the night but also daydreams. If you look at people in the scripture, there’s plenty of times where God spoke to them through dreams and through visions. And so I want to talk to you today about five facets. five key components of a dream. The first thing is this, dreams can come from God. Dreams can actually be from God. Genesis 28 to thirteen, it says, then he dreamed and behold a ladder was set up on the earth and its top reached to heaven and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. and behold, the Lord stood above it and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham, your father and the God of Isaac.
The land on which you are loyal will give to you and your descendants. So, we can see here that this is actually a dream sent from God. It’s not just a happenstance stream. You know, there’s times you can have a very, very vivid dream but it’s not necessarily from God. Has anyone here heard of pizza dreams? There’s been plenty of times I’ve woken up and had a very very vivid dream and realised that the night before we had dominoes or some kind of cheese which in some ways can stimulate those kinds of dreams. That’s not they’re not they are not from God. But make no mistake if you look through the scripture. It doesn’t happen just once. There are many many times when God spoke to people actually through dreams and visions. In the Old Testament, there’s a few famous ones. Joseph, Jacob’s son, had a couple of very key dreams in his life. He dreamt that his family was going to bow down to his leadership. We actually see Abraham had a number of daydreams. Well, God spoke to him and said, look at the stars of the sky, look at the sand and the seashore. So shall your descendants be. Ezekiel, if you read Ezekiel, he has a pretty crazy kind of dream. In fact, it’s so crazy that many of us still can’t interpret it today. about wheels within wheels and different animals faces and that sort of thing. We see Daniel had dreams in the Old Testament as well. It’s not just confined to the Old Testament. In the New Testament, Joseph, Jesus’s father actually had a number of dreams.
He had three dreams in a row where God actually spoke to him and gave him clear direction. The wise men who actually came to see Jesus. The Bible says that they were supposed to go back to Herod but they were divinely warmed in a dream not to actually go back and see him. We see it also pre Christ’s crucifixion. The Bible tells us that Pilate’s wife actually had a dream the night before that Jesus was crucified and was saying that don’t touch that man. Uh we also see it in post-resurrection, post Pentecost. So, even after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, we still see people actually having dreams from God and daydreams. Bible talks about in Acts chapter ten, Simon Peter. Well, he was literally praying upon a rooftop and at that time, God gave him a vision. He saw a sheep coming down from heaven. On it, he saw a whole bunch of unclean, clean animals. The Lord said to him, rise, Peter, kill, and eat. And he said, Lord, I, you know, I’ve never touched anything unclean. And the Lord said to him, don’t declare unclean what the Lord has declared clean. And from that moment, God used him to go and see a man by the name of Cornelius, who was a Gentile.
He witnessed to him and and and Cornelius gave his life to Christ. And that was the key moment where Gentiles were allowed into the early church and it actually all started with a vision. It all started with a dream. The apostle Paul in his ministries, there was a time he was trying to get into Asia minor and he couldn’t get in. It was like he felt the Holy Spirit was resisting him. And as he’s trying to get into Asia minor he’s at one night he’s asleep. and in that dream, he actually has a and he has a dream and in the dream, there was a man from Macedonia that said, come over to us. And so, he felt, okay, well, I’m supposed to go to Macedonia. So, he stopped going to Asia minor which is what his plan was and actually redirect and he went to Macedonia. There he established the Philippian church which is what pastor Bill was talking about this morning in his communion. He established the Philippian church and it became the largest giver to his ministry and it all happened as a result of a dream. Make no mistake, there are times in our life where God might give you a dream or a vision to speak to you and to help to help you. Acts 2 seventeen, I’ve said it before. In the last days, God says, I will pour out my spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions and your old men will dream dreams. So what that means is don’t feel guilty about dreaming. I don’t know about you but there are times when I’m praying and I find myself wondering.
Going off and dreaming and seeing pictures. That’s actually okay. There’s been times when I’ve done that. The way I spend time with God is I actually go on a prayer walk. And the amount of times I go on a prayer walk and I find my mind wondering. And I think no no I’ve gotta focus on something else but I just find it wandering and drifting. So many times actually sometimes a God. Holy Spirit speaking to me through some kind of daydream. Now, you might be sitting there saying, this can be a little bit risky and you’re right. Uh there are times when people can have dreams and it’s totally off kilter. Dreams we need to understand and not be infallible. What that means is that they could, we could sometimes be wrong. There’s only one thing, there’s only one thing that’s infallible and that’s actually the word of God. So, if you have a dream or some kind of thing and it doesn’t line up with God’s word or it goes against God’s word, then, you gotta discard that dream because God’s word is primary but let’s not limit God to only speaking to us through that way. We are Pentecostal people. We understand. We can hear his voice. We can know his spirit. We can know his ways and we need to allow ourselves and be open to the fact that occasionally, you don’t just find that God will speak to you through a dream. The second thing about dreams is that dreams can preview the future.
Genesis twenty-eight thirteen, it says, behold the Lord stood above it and said, I’m the Lord God of Abraham, your father, and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie, I will give to you and your descendants. Second thing is that dreams can preview your future. He is telling Jacob there what’s going to happen in his future. What’s going to happen into the future for the future generations that are coming after him. Dreams are often a signpost of your future but have you ever noticed that they tend to be light on detail? Uh I love the story about Joseph. Joseph had a dream and basically, the dream was that, you know, his brothers were going to bow down and serve him. But it was very light on detail. He didn’t realise the difficulty and the suffering he would have to go through before that actually comes to pass. Uh God can actually speak to us in those ways. But often it can be kind of a lot of detail. Remember one time I was actually back in the late 90s when sorry early 90s, actually. It was about ninety ninety-two. That sort of thing. Uh when I was seven. Uh and I was at university and I was at university in Melbourne and it was called Monash University and I used to park across you know, the weather free car parking was was like two kilometres walk to our classrooms and so, I would park over there and then I would walk and you know, you’re just walking and you just drift on and I would find myself. I was a Christian. You know, I’d spend time with the Lord, but I would just find myself daydreaming and I was having these funny daydreams.
One day I was a football coach and I used to stand in front but all the dream was, was me standing in front of the players and actually giving them a half time address. You know and revving them up and that sort of thing. I also had a dream, believe it or not. That I was actually going to be a fashion icon. Ah and so I had my own fashion label. Don’t don’t laugh. I have my own fashion label and that sort of thing. But all I ever saw myself doing was being like you know being you know in front of reporters talking to the media, shareholders and that sort of thing. I had a lot of dreams where I was doing something but I look back now and there was only one thing in which I wasn’t doing anything. I was just talking. I was speaking, little did I know that the common element was that speaking and that God would call me to be a preacher. I think at the time if he had a time I was going to be a preacher I would have run to the hills. But he would show me and seeding something in my life. It was something that was about my future. But was actually very light on detail. You know that’s why sometimes we need to hold our dreams lightly. We need to not try and make them happen and that sort of thing. We just need to hold them before the Lord and use them as a sense of encouragement. Remember another time is about two thousand and 6, two thousand and 7. On my prayer walks, I was getting the same daydream. I kept drifting off into this thought. And I kept drifting off into this thought about how I would, you know, I would, you know, I was living in a house by a river and didn’t move to a place like that for three years or four years and had a house by the river and that I would actually go from that house, fly somewhere, preach, and come home. I just kept having the same dream. I actually remember thinking to myself, that’s going to happen in two thousand and nine. I wrote in my journal in two thousand and nine, I’m actually going to start doing this. Now, it didn’t actually come to pass until two 0 12. The right thing happened but I got the wrong time and so, it was a predictor of my future but it was light on detail. In the same way, when God gives you, God is giving you a dream, it can be a predictor of your future but it can also be light on detail. I think that’s what actually happened with Paul when he got the dream to go to Macedonia. The Bible says that when Paul dreamed, he actually had a man from Macedonia actually called him to say come over to Macedonia. But when he went to Macedonia which was the Philippian church that he started. He went to Philippi and he didn’t find a man. He found a woman. Her name was Lydia. And she was the person that helped start the church with him. I reckon at the time Paul was probably a little bit sexist. And if God gave him a vision of a woman he wouldn’t have gone. But God knew what he needed. And he gave him a vision of a man.
When God gives you a they’re a predictor of your future but they can be lied to in detail. The third thing about dreams from God is that dreams are instigated by God. They’re instigated by God. Genesis twenty-eight sixteen, then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, surely the Lord is in this place and I did not know it. Jacob didn’t plan. Jacob didn’t even ask for this dream. He wasn’t even thinking it was available and yet here a dream came to him but it was completely at the instigation of God. This is the difference between secular society and Christianity. Secondly, a society would say, you know, dream and whatever you want to do and you just set your mind to it and whatever you want to achieve, you can have. That’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about dreams that are actually given to us by God and actually instigated by him. That’s the line. Some people go too far into error and negative and that sort of thing. Some people go too far on the other side and they kind of say, whatever you want to do, God will bless it. No, no, it’s not not what we’re about here. What we’re talking about here is balance. God can give you a dream. It could look bigger than what you thought. It could be beyond your understanding but understand it’s at his instigation. This was a dream that was actually given by God. The fourth thing about dreams is this. Dreams can come because you need them.
Genesis 28:20 to 21. Then Jacob made a vow saying if God will be me and keep me in this way that I’m going. And give me bread to eat and clothing to put on. So that I can come back to my father’s house in peace. Then the Lord shall be my God. It’s so interesting the timeline of when God gave him this dream. So I told you before he had he was actually right now in the midst of running away from his brother who wanted to kill him. He had stolen the family blessing off Esau, his brother and yet he’s about now to go and he’s going to end up working for his father and for his uncle which is going to be his father-in-law Laban. And he was going to get ripped off and he was not going to own anything and he was going to work for him initially for seven years but it doubled. He ended up working for him for 14 years and here God gives him the dream right in the middle of this moment. I believe God gave him the dream right then because he was going to need it for later on. Jacob didn’t understand. He was going out of the fireplace and going straight into the fire. He was running from one issue but running headlong straight into another one. 14 years serving someone else. 14 years in a lot, some of it doing what he doesn’t want to do. And yet God gives him a dream ahead of time and saying and basically seeding the thought in his heart that one day after you go and do this, you’re going to come back and do this. God gave him that dream because he needed it. As Christians, we can fulfil the destiny God has for us through dreams and visions. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 2918 that without a vision, the people cast off restraint. If you don’t have a vision for your life, if you have, don’t have a God-given dream. So often, you can go wicked. So often, we can go off into areas that are not where we should go. Sometimes we can go off into areas where it is not best for us. And dreams and visions actually help us to remain focused. Dreams can sustain you through tough times. The same thing happened with Joseph.
Joseph received two dreams and yet then he went and barked on approximately another 14 years of incredible suffering. And God gave him the dream before that actually happened. He was showing him ahead of time to sustain him during that time. Maybe right now you’re going through a difficult season. Maybe right now you’re going through a tough time. I want to encourage you that if God has given you a dream to not let it go. To allow it to help you to have confidence. To allow it to help you to keep moving forward. And to keep advancing in the things of God. Because God gives us dreams to help sustain us and to help us moving forward. For some of you God gave you a dream and the exact opposite seemed to happen. That’s probably why God gave you the dream. Knowing that something else would happen. And know that maybe that would discourage you but to help you to stay encouraged. Focus on what he’s actually called you to do. It’s even the same as when Jesus was going in the boat with his disciples and we said we’re going to go on the other side. He told them what was going to happen. And in the midst of it a massive storm whipped up. And the storm was so bad that it actually scared his disciples. Many of whom were fishermen. These are guys who would have been in great storms. Yet he ended up in a storm that was so bad that it was actually them. And they came to Jesus and they woke him up and they said, Lord, don’t you care that we perish? And he was angry at them. And he says, why do you fear, ye of little faith? I used to think that he was upset at them for waking him up. But he wasn’t upset at them for waking him up. He was upset at them for being afraid. Because he had already told them before they got in the boat, they’re going to make it on the other side. Sometimes God gives you a dream and then a storm whips up, remember what he has put in your heart. Remember what he has shown you. Don’t allow yourself to wake him up and talk to him but don’t be afraid, have faith because he will see you across the other side. God gives us streams because we need them to help us to get across the other side. And the fifth thing about dreams is this. Dreams come when you’re at rest.
Genesis 28:11 to 12. So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night. Because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones to that place and put it at his head and he laid down in that place to sleep. Then he dreamed. And behold a ladder was set up on the earth and its top reached to heaven. And there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. Dreams come when you’re at rest. The dream came in this situation because he was asleep. Dreams came to Joseph when he was asleep. Daydreams came to people. Daydreams and visions came to people who were often not doing much else at that time. The Bible tells us that Peter was praying. He was waiting on God and as he was praying, then, a vision appeared. If you look at the life of Abraham, so often when God would speak to Abraham in pictures and dreams, he wasn’t doing anything else at the time. He wasn’t in the middle of a task. He wasn’t in the middle of a job. Very often, he was actually, often he was sitting which meant he was sitting and waiting on the Lord and as a result of that, that’s the time when the dream came. So, often when dreams come to us, they actually come to us at rest. One of the things my parents used to have was a holiday property in the Victorian Highlands in a town called Beechworth. And Beechworth is most known for the Beechworth Bakery. I don’t know if you’ve heard of the Beechworth Bakery and so they had a place there and they had a cottage there and it was called Inglebray. And you know so we would often go to Melbourne and have holidays at my parents’ place and then Trish and I and the boys would often go out to Inglebreak and spend a few days there. Now to be honest it’s not a whole lot to do out there. It’s quite boring like it’s a good foodie place and that sort of thing and so if you want to have a nice meal Beechworth is the place to go but we wouldn’t do much. We would just hang around and you know, just relax but I was thinking about it recently and I realised every single time I went to Inglebury, I would have some kind of moment where God will actually speak to me and it wasn’t like it was a really significant place. It certainly wasn’t a spiritual place or anything like that but it was a place where I was at rest and it was whilst I was at rest that God came and spoke to me.
So often, we get so caught up in what’s urgent and what’s happening right now and we’re so focused on what we need to do that we find it impossible to actually hear from God. And that’s why it’s good to have those moments. We’re actually designed for actual rest. The Bible tells us when God created the Earth that God would work during the day. And then in the afternoon he would in the evening he would rest. And then on the seven day, he rested the whole day. Now, God doesn’t need to rest. He doesn’t lack energy. Uh the Bible says he neither slumbers nor sleeps. So, why is it that he did that? He did that as a pattern for us. Understanding that that’s how we are wired. That we actually need to have sufficient rest as well and it’s in those moments, you’ll be amazed when you’re out of the mundane, when you’re not focused on the things that are urgent, when you’re not focused on everything that you have to do, it’s in those moments where God can actually come and speak to you. The reason why I’m this message today is because probably over the course of the next 2 months, almost everybody in this place will at some point have some kind of holiday. At some point, you’ll back away from your work. Many of you will go away somewhere else and actually have a holiday and take a well-deserved break.
Can I tell you and encourage you that in that time, use it as a time to be open for God to drop a dream into your heart. Use it as a time to be open for God to speak to you. That when you’re on holiday, don’t have holidays away from God’s word. Don’t have holiday away from spending time with the Lord. Continue to do that. But in the midst of it let the grass grow under your feet. Just relax. Go somewhere where you don’t have to cook all the meals. Go somewhere where you can just do whatever oh I just said it publicly didn’t I? Praise God. Go somewhere where you can go to a restaurant each time or go somewhere where you don’t have to do where you don’t have to do anything that you don’t want to do. Use that time to let the grass grow under your feet. and I want to encourage you, it’s in moments like that. You’ll be amazed at the things God drops in your heart. As you take yourself out of this season and get ready for the next. Some of you might have had a very difficult season and you’re flagging right now. Can I encourage you? Be encouraged. Take that when you take that time to rest. You need it to refresh, use it to recharge, but God can use it to re envision you for things ahead in the future. God can use it to re-encourage you for things ahead in the future. It’s okay to actually feel weary. The Bible says, don’t grow weary in doing good. For in due season, you’ll reap your harvest. So, what that means is weariness, weariness is normal but just because you’re weary doesn’t mean God can’t reinvigorate you, refire you, get you ready for the other things that God has for your life and you might just find midst of that, God might use for us as Pentecostals. A dream or a vision. Amen. Amen. And so, I felt God say to me today to open up and declare a season, a season of hearing from God for every single person, for your lives. Amen. A season for every single person at some point to hear from God a dream. Now, just remember, if your dream goes against God’s word, it’s not a dream from God. It could well be the pizza you had the night before, right? Amen? But we were us to be open. So, what I want you to do is if someone just stand on your feet, I want to pray for you. Invite the worship team to come on up. Yeah. We might do the goodness of God, I think. Yeah. I always ask for the goodness of God. And I want to pray for you and I want to declare open season on hearing from God. And if you want to hear from God over the next 2 months, just lift your hands to heaven. I’m going to pray for you. Father, in Jesus name, I pray for every single person here. I thank you that every single one of us can hear from you and one of the ways you can speak to us. It’s through dreams and visions.
So, I declare Lord over the course of the next 2 months that as every single person, he takes some kind of break, some kind of holiday, as they recharge, as they refresh, as they reinvigorate, they will also reenvision, and they will also hear from you. I thank you for that, Lord, as I let the grass grow under their feet, as I let the sand get in between their toes, that every single person here will hear for you. Some are struggling to hear from you right now, Lord, because they’re just so busy. There’s so many things that add to their mind. But I thank you Lord as I spend time putting that aside. At some point over the next two months they’re going to hear from you. I thank you and I praise you for more. In Jesus name. Amen. We’re going to continue to worship. We give a little hand of praise. Worship is one of the ways that we create an environment. It’s actually here from God. Love the story about the prophet Elijah. Elijah needed to hear from God. and he said, give me a minstrel. Make sure he’s a guitar player. And as he was worshipping, he was able to start hearing. As he was worshipping, he could start hearing from God. You take your eyes off your problems and your issues. And you put your eyes on God. So, we’re going to sing this song from top to bottom, goodness to God. The goodness of God and as we do, I want to encourage you, lift your hearts, lift your hands, lift your voice, and prepare your heart as we usher in this new season of hearing from God the next 2 months. Amen. Let’s worship him in this place. He’s an awesome God. Mercy never fails, I’ve been held moment that I you have been faithful you have been so oh I will sing of the goodness I love your voice darkest night you are close on you as a father every breath in of God circumstances Lord and I pray within this congregation that you’re going to stir up incredible dreams, incredible visions of what’s to come Lord God, that for some who are downcast right now, in their lives, and they can’t see ahead of themselves, Lord. I pray you would lift their eyes up to look to you, Lord God, and recognize that you are in control, and you’re leading them and guiding them into better days. And we you for in Jesus name and everyone said, everyone said, everyone said, amen, amen. I hope you were really blessed by that word today from Pastor Ben. Dreams, dare you to dream.