“I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions.” – Joel 2:28
Does this mean I’m getting old? I had a couple of dreams recently I thought were worth preserving for posterity:
Last night I dreamed that I was preaching on forgiveness. I shared that Jesus told us to:
“Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. “And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” Luke 17:3-4 NLT
I shared that if Jesus asks us to forgive like this then surely he forgives like this… and more. Check out this Scripture:
Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. – Matthew 18:21-22 NLT
This has been my lifeline. I trust the forgiveness of God. And then, I extend this forgiveness of God to others.
Today as I was driving I began thinking of a dear friend of mine who is living in sin, running from God. I prayed, “On behalf of Jesus I forgive _____ of all their sins.”
“Blasphemous! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
Sound familiar? The Pharisees said this of Jesus when He performed that incredible miracle of forgiving the paralytic’s sins! (Oh yea, and then he healed him… yawn… j/k!)
Well, the answer to that question is: Yes! Only God can forgive sins AND ALSO anyone else that he gives the authority to forgive sins. Jesus said this to his disciples:
“Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” John 20:21-23 NLT
So this means if you are a disciple of Jesus who has received the Holy Spirit you have the power to forgive others sins.
You may be someone who needs to start following Jesus and receive the Holy Spirit before you too can possess this awesome power.
DREAM NUMBER TWO
“Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” – 2 Timothy 2:25-26 NIV & NLT
Scripture says that when we refuse to repent and oppose the truth we are taken captive by the enemy to do his will. This actually happened in my dream because I was guilty of a sin!
In my dream (and reality of course) I had super powers (as every believer does) and Satan was using me to destroy things, blast open doors, wreak havoc, cause general mayhem, chaos, and ruin.
Of course I was disturbed by what was happening. At one point Satan stopped and said, “Let me pause for a moment to laugh maniacally… Bwa hahaha!”
The invisible chains that the devil held me with broke off of me and I fought him off… quite easily actually. He was scared of me!
I saw the truth of James 4:7 in a whole new light:
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
This dream really spoke to me about the power of just being in right standing with God. Not a difficult thing by any means, we just get to (and absolutely must) repent of all our sins! No problemo!
Happy repenting everyone! Go and save the world my superhero friends!
Here is some context from James 4 & Psalm 51 that will help with the repenting:
“You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. What do you think the Scriptures mean when they say that the spirit God has placed within us is filled with envy? But he gives us even more grace to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say,
“God opposes the proud
but favors the humble.”
So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.” James 4:4-10 NLT
“Have mercy on me, O God,
because of your unfailing love.
Because of your great compassion,
blot out the stain of my sins.
Wash me clean from my guilt.
Purify me from my sin.
For I recognize my rebellion;
it haunts me day and night.
Against you, and you alone, have I sinned;
I have done what is evil in your sight.
You will be proved right in what you say,
and your judgment against me is just.
For I was born a sinner—
yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
But you desire honesty from the womb,
teaching me wisdom even there.
Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Oh, give me back my joy again;
you have broken me—
now let me rejoice.
Don’t keep looking at my sins.
Remove the stain of my guilt.
Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
Do not banish me from your presence,
and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you.
Then I will teach your ways to rebels,
and they will return to you.”