Saturday, January 2, 2010

Dream Snatchers

Are there any dream-snatchers in your life? You know, the sort of people (or personal patterns) that have an uncanny way of dousing a dream with doubt - whether intentionally or unintentionally?

It's probably just a by-product of life's imperfections that we and/or others snatch away certainties. Sometimes it occurs in the early stages, when a concept or thought is embryonic and needing time & nurture to become more than a barely-visible collection of swiftly dividing cells. At other times it's when the dream is nearly reaching fulfillment, when flesh has begun to form on the now-visible skeletal frame.

For the same reason it's probably why some feel they know what's best for us and others. It may seem even more best (I know, flawed English) when we second-guess ourselves, dashing our own dreams with a dose of reality ... or so we say. Afterall, we are but flawed mortals.

But what if that vision or dream is a gift from the Word of God? Might we not need to exercise discernment in it's sharing, or in the giving up of it?

How do we avoid the pummeling of our noblest notions?

A disclaimer: I pen this reluctantly, knowing there are all manner of visions being shared - not to mention powerful signs & wonders claimed in the name of a God-ordained happening, some of which may or may not be authentic. Much is said and done in His name that, I fear, has little to do with Him. So, as I proceed, it's always, always, always with the bedrock of His Word as the plumb line - the final Word on any word.

On I go ...

There's a story in the book of First Kings that caused me to ponder along these lines. It has to do with the untidy work of the prophet, and what happens when said prophet lays aside their certainties for the certainties of another. Those prophets of old had one tough job!

We find the story in Chapter 13. The details aren't particularly important in this telling, even though they were utterly relevant then ... when a certain, no-name prophet was dispatched with a commission that entailed a message and marching orders.

No-name was to deliver a dire warning to King Jeroboam, and then get out of Dodge. Well, maybe not Dodge, but to get out of town anyway ... by a different route than he'd come, and without stopping to dine with anyone. He obeys explicitly.

All is good so far; but that changes when a certain other no-name prophet - No Name Prophet #2 who is, quite obviously, a charlatan - shows up to tell him he got it all wrong; that God had actually spoken to him, and the message given was counter to what No-Name Prophet #1 had discerned. (Can anyone say: Did God really say ??? from the Garden of Eden story?)

Collusion sets in, and here comes the dream-snatching. In this case, it leads down one mighty slippery slope. In the end, No-Name Prophet #1 forfeits his vision at the behest of No-Name Prophet #2. He gets a much needed rest and a fine meal in the deal, but death follows. (I hate it when that happens!)

Now that's a pretty drastic saga ... most likely one none of us will have to walk out similarly. But there's a principle buried in it's telling that I hope never to forget: If God HAS spoken (through His Word), let no man (be it a king, priest or prophet) - no matter how convincing or compelling - steal that Word away.

Conversely, If God HAS NOT spoken (through His Word), run like a cheetah!

This is a principle we discover over-and-over in Scripture. From Eve to Saul; from the Prophets of Baal to Jonah; from Ananias & Sapphira to the Pharisees - - when God's word is mis-used, marginalized, minced and maligned, the perps intend to snatch dreams away and interject their own instead. Self-will runs riot and noble notions take a back-seat to some lessor purpose.

Jesus replied, "You are in error because
you do not know the Scriptures
or the power of God.

Matthew 22:29

(Jesus) replied, "Blessed rather are those
who hear the word of God and obey it."

Luke 11:28

I've had dreams stolen right out from under my nose. I've stolen dreams, too, thinking I knew what another ought to think or do in a given situation.

For some inexplicable reason, No-Name Prophet #1 reminds me today to keep on - to focus straight ahead - and to never turn back to a lessor road for a morsel; and to never offer morsels to someone that may have been promised a banquet as their dream(s) are fleshed out.

Let your eyes look straight ahead,
fix your gaze directly before you.

Make level paths for your feet

and take only ways that are firm.
Do not swerve
to the right or the left;

keep your foot from evil.
Proverbs 4:25-27


Rita said...

Wow! What a powerful lesson. Thanks for the reminder.

Tammy said...

Guilty as charged. This little dream-snatcher who quickly reigns in too big of a dream, with excuses, "reasoning", rationale and all those earthly extinguishers. But with much fright, I'm planning the banquet (as you stated) of big dreams. May I be encouraged on by my virtual friends like you. Maybe even a little hand-holding along the way. Thanks Kathleen!

manthano said...

A lesson being taken to heart.

Thanks and keep it up.

Karen Lange said...

Good thoughts for the new year. You always make me think! (This is a good thing:) Thanks and Blessings,

Shirley said...

Good words. Good words.

Rose said...

Drastic end to the 1st prophet. I think we might consider taking God's Word more seriously if we knew death was waiting in the wing the first time we disobeyed. We, like Adam, when we sin, think, hmmmm, I didn't die, so God lied. Wrong. It's not always physical but spiritual death. Thanks for the reminder to stay on the path that God tells us to take and not deviate.

Debbie said...

Kathleen, such important wisdom you share. It's easy to get off track by dream snatchers. I too believe God's Word is our plumb line. Nothing added or subtracted. Keep on preaching sister!


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Stunning and one of your best, Sassy. (How many times have I said that before?)

And so I take my dream (if that's what we call it) and hold it close and remember that the mysterious God gave way to his child's sobbing heart, broke through the thin exterior that exists between the visible and invisible and simply said...

Unpack me, elaine.

In doing so, I discover more about his character and more about my ability to trust therein.

No one can talk me out of that one, sister. They can call me crazy, but they can't compete with what I know to be true in my own heart.

Fixing my gaze upward, and praying for more of his mysterious revelation in my life and yours in the days ahead.

Keep to it.


RCUBEs said...

Sassy G., this is a beautiful goal to have at the start of this new year! "To obey God's Word at all times!"...nothing else. People are sometimes quick to follow "hearsay" than knowing more about God and His truth. Blessings to you and may He continue to guide you, strengthen you and protect you.

Terri Tiffany said...

I'm big on following your dream if it is from God. We've been surrounded by dream snatchers this past year:( But tomorrow--we start our new one:)

~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...

Magnifique! Thank YOU LORD!

Thank you, Kathleen, for allowing God to use you for HIS teaching and blessing.

GrammyGoo said...

So glad I came by to visit your blog and got a word to reflect on. By God's great grace, I am usually able to discern those dream snatchers, sometimes however, the most difficult to discern, are the ones that come in His Name.
Blessings, GG

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Just a little something from Judy said...

Well my friend, this has caused me to do some deep thinking this early Monday morning. I have personally experienced my own dream snatchers and I have been guilty of dream snatching in others. Over the last few years, slowly I have been realizing that truly...without a doubt, the bottom line is God's Word and how He is working in my life. His ways are so beyond our understanding, and yet He patiently leads and guides us by the step at a time. How can I understand what He has for your life when I am uncertain as to how He is leading in my own life. My prayer as I face this new year is, please God, don't let me be a dream snatcher in anyone's life, and let my plumb line always be You and Your Word to me. How truly thankful I am for God's amazing grace.

You cause me to think and to reflect. I really that!

Happy day my friend!