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He Told Me My Dream!
Have you heard the story of King Nebuchadnezzar's dream? One night, he had a nightmare. He knew the dream was significant, he could remember it in vivid detail. But he had no idea what it meant!
This king was like a lot of people today. He was skeptical of religion. He wanted to believe there were answers to life's deep questions; that there was something beyond this frustrating existence. Yet, he wasn't overly impressed with the religious professionals of his day. Sound familiar?
Well, Nebuchadnezzar came up with a brutally brilliant plan. He wasn't going to listen to any more religious froth from the so-called experts. He knew if he told them his dream, they would just make up some fine sounding nonsense. No, unless they earned his respect, he simply wasn't going to listen to them.
So, the king made up his mind someone would have to first tell him his dream, then interpret it. If you could tell him his dream, he would trust your interpretation. Otherwise, he figured your opinion was no better than his own was.
That was a smart plan - scriptural, too. Jesus said "Which is easier: to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins... Then he said to the paralytic, 'Get up, take your mat and go home.' And the man got up and went home." (Matt 9:5-7) Jesus actually healed the man! He earned the right to be heard by his deeds. Jesus walked the talk.
The Apostle Paul said, "My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power." (1Cor 2:4) Sadly, in most churches today it's usually the exact opposite.
Are you a little skeptical like king Nebuchadnezzar? Then do what he did, find out for yourself if there really is a God in Heaven. Find out for yourself if someone on Earth really can hear his voice. I am confident God will "show up" for you, just like he did for that pagan king!
I said Nebuchadnezzar's plan was brutal. He declared that if the clerics couldn't tell him his dream, he was going to have them all put to death. Of course, the astrologers and magicians failed miserably, so the king sent out his soldiers to kill all the men of the cloth.
Well, they came hunting for the prophet Daniel. But Daniel asked the king for some time to seek God. He prayed all night. Daniel was in real trouble. He needed a big answer to a big prayer! This wasn't about "taking comfort in religion". He didn't need a nice feeling - he needed God!
Thankfully, God is alive. He is mighty to save. He heard Daniel's prayer and had mercy on him. God did the impossible: He showed Daniel the king's dream and He gave its interpretation. The next day, Daniel marched right in and boldly declared to the king what God had shown him.
Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face before Daniel. He knew Daniel had heard from God. How else could he have known the dream? Both of these men - a pagan king and a man of God, had a real encounter with a real God.
It's easier to believe God would help Daniel than Nebuchadnezzar. But my God helped them both. Remember the adulteress at the well? She was "shacking up" with a guy when she met Jesus, in fact she had "shacked up" with several guys. Jesus still rescued her.
Now, the Lord wants us to walk cleanly before him. But, that doesn't mean you've got to clean up your life first. Come to him just as you are. He wants to reveal himself to you. He wants to convince you that he is worth listening to; worth following; even worth dedicating your life to.
Don't get religious - don't just trade the bottle for the book. Find God! I am convinced that if you meet the Glorious Saving God, your life will be transformed for the better. I know, because He has revolutionized my life.
Jesus says "Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete." (John 16:24) King David found God to be faithful in answering prayers. That's why he wrote "This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; He saved him out of all his troubles!" (Ps 34:6)
© Matthew Schilling December 1995
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