Rabbi Schneider - What Your Dreams Are Telling You
The Lord is speaking to us in the Scriptures today about dreams. Some of us have not realized that one of the most important ways that God has spoken to His people from the beginning of Scripture all the way through the New Testament is through His people's dreams at night. I wanna encourage you to go back and listen to this entire series. I'm calling this series Prophecy, Dreams, and Visions. I know in my life, many of the critical decisions I have made, I've been able to make with confidence because the Lord showed me what to do in advance through a dream at night. I'm not gonna go back and review everything I've covered, these episodes are available on YouTube.
I wanna move forward today and say that sometimes the Lord will give us a dream about our future so that when the future arrives, when the future becomes now, we'll know what to do. I think for example many years ago right before I got married, so this is going back thirty plus years ago, I had a dream. And in this dream I was in the attic of a home. And it was a very simple attic, it was dark up there, there was a window on this side, and a window on this side, and myself and some other people were standing against the back wall of this attic. Suddenly, from this window, streamed into the attic a spirit of life, it was kinda shaped like this, and it was all the colors of a rainbow.
And as soon as I saw this, again I was against the back wall along with some other people, as soon as I saw this beautiful spirit of life flowing like a river, come into this attic, I immediately moved away from the back wall, approached this beautiful spirit of life, followed the spirit out to where it had come into the room from, stuck my head out the window from which he had flowed into the room from, and when I looked out the window beloved, everywhere was color. It was an eternity of color. I opened my arms up in the dream. I said "Come and live inside me!" and then immediately I heard the word "eternity" in my soul, deep, deep down in me. Instantly then the dream shifted. I found myself looking out the other window, the window that was on the other side of the room. It was just chaos, all kinds of stuff just floating across the window. I won't go into the interpretation of that at this time. Then bam! The dream shifted again. In the third and final phase of the dream, I was walking down a street, just at peace.
And as I was walking down the street I came up to a car wreck. And as I approached the car that had been in the wreck, there was an African man and the back door on the passenger side had flung open, which was where he was sitting, and his body was half laying out of the car and half of him was still in the car, he was still whole, but the door was flung open, and half of him, his upper torso was on the street, and his waist down was actually still in the car. And when I came up to the African man, I looked at him, and he was badly burned. And without thinking, without ego, without trying to do anything, I very simply and authentically just stuck my hand out towards him, and then those colors that I asked to come and live inside me in the first phase of the dream, those colors came out of my fingertips, came onto the African man's body, then healed him of his burns. And then the dream was over.
Now that happened over 35 years ago. But when it happened I knew that it was a dream from God, and I knew that God had called me into a healing ministry to the African. At first because I had never been to Africa I thought it just pertained to African Americans. But then what happened was, less than ten years ago, I got a call from somebody in Haiti, asking me to come down and minister in Haiti. I preached the gospel in Haiti, and literally saw thousands of people running forward to receive Jesus as their Messiah. And the Haitians are made up mostly of Africans that had been taken there to be slaves. And so African population, the Haiti population, rather, has African roots. And from there I just saw God began to open the doors, opening up places for me to travel in Africa.
We've been to many many countries there, as many as you know, I can't even count them all. But the Lord showed me over 35 years ago in a dream that when these opportunities presented themselves in Africa, I should go through those doors because he had given me a healing ministry to the African. God will sometimes show you your future in advance in a dream so when your future arrives, you'll be ready and you'll go through that door. And some of you right now perhaps can relate to this. You'll think about something the Lord showed you about your destiny way before your destiny came and the reason He showed it to you was so that when your destiny did come you'd be able to go through that door with confidence.
Beloved, the point that I'm making in this series is that God speaks to His people in dreams. We need to be listening, we need to be paying attention, and we need to take the appropriate action. It's one of the most common ways scripturally we see God speaking to His people from the beginning of the Bible, from the Torah, all the way through the Brit Chadashah, the New Testament scriptures. Sometimes we can receive comfort from HaShem, which is just a Hebrew way to say God. We can receive comfort from God through our dreams in a way that far surpasses the comfort that any human being could ever give us. Especially when we're going through hard times in our life. Let me say that again. All of us go through difficult seasons in our life. Do you know that when you're going through a difficult season in your life when you commit yourself to prayer especially, I believe God will often times speak to you in a dream to comfort you in that season and give you confidence?
Let me show you scripturally an example of this. I'm going to the book of Bereshit, the book of Genesis. I'm reading chapter 28 verse 10-16. Now in this portion of scripture, Jacob was fleeing for his life. Remember what had happened, he had tricked his father into giving him the blessing. Remember Jacob dressed up in Esau's clothes and he stole the birthright. And when Esau found out what had happened, he was gonna kill Jacob, so Jacob had to flee. Now when Jacob had to flee I want you to imagine. It wasn't like today where you can move from Atlanta to Los Angeles and it's no big deal. You make friends right away, you go to different places where you can find people and develop relationships and it's easy to go from one city to another city, and basically to reacclimate. I mean it's relatively easy, it's still difficult always to do that. But compare being able to do that today and how often it's done versus what that would have been like in the ancient biblical world.
When your whole family was in one location, your whole life you'd been in that one location. All your relatives were in the same location. In fact it was the only place that you ever knew. And now you have to leave that place, that geographical area that you were born and raised. Everything was familiar to you there, all your relatives were there. You have to leave that place to go someplace that's completely unfamiliar where you have no contacts you have no relatives or friends. That's what was the case with Jacob. He's fleeing for his life cause Esau was gonna kill him. He's in the middle of nowhere, doesn't know where he's gonna end up, doesn't know where he's gonna land, has no comforters around him, he's in fear and he's totally lonely. And in that state he goes to sleep one night.
I'm gonna pick up now once again in Genesis 28, verse 10-16. "Then Jacob, then Yakov, departed from from Beersheba and went toward Haran. He came to a certain place and spent the night there, because the sun had set; and he took one of the stones of the place and put it under his head, and lay down in that place. He had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And behold, the LORD stood above it and said, 'I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants. Your descendants will also be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth 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 promised you.' Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, 'Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.'"
I want you to think about that. Jacob woke up and as a result of the dream what did he say? He said "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I knew it not". How did Jacob find out that God was with him and was with him in his circumstances in the now? He found out, beloved one, through the dream that God just gave him. When he laid his head on that rock and he saw a ladder ascending from Heaven to Earth, with angels ascending from Earth to Heaven, and from Heaven to Earth where his head lay, he realized that God was with Him, that God was right with Him right where he was, and it took away his fear. He discovered God's presence with him. He discovered that God's favor was on him through a dream he received in the night, and He's doing the same thing today in the now, for you and I and all His children. This is why Peter quoted Joel chapter 2 when the Spirit of God was poured out in Acts chapter 2 and he said "What you're seeing is that the Lord's Spirit has been poured out as was prophesied by Joel," and the result of that is God is gonna speak to you in your dreams at night. We can receive assurance and comfort and affirmation about our lives and about our relationship with God by paying attention to our dreams.
Now I shared with you earlier that not all dreams are from God, I really wanna encourage you go back and watch this entire series on YouTube. Let me give you an example of this happening in my own life. Regarding this particular subject of how the Lord can assure us and comfort us and affirm us by speaking to us in our dreams at night. I remember years ago I was in a season of deep pain. And then I had a dream one night and in the dream I literally heard an angel speak to me. And you say well how do you know it was an angel that spoke to you? All I can tell you is that when you encounter the Lord, or when you encounter an angel, there's no question as to what's going on. The Bible says that in the day of God's power man is made willing. You just know.
When Isaiah encountered the Lord in Isaiah chapter 6, he didn't wonder whether it was God he was encountering. It was so powerful he knew it. And so I can say was the case in this experience. I had a dream where in the midst of the dream I literally heard the voice of an angel and I knew it was an angel rather than the Holy Spirit. And the angel said to me, remember I was going through a time of deep pain. The angel said to me, "You're on the right path". It brought assurance to me. Even though I was going through a deep time of hurt and confusion, that night I knew that I was walking in God's love, that His favor was on me, and that I was on the right path.
Let me give you another spectacular example of the Lord speaking to me in a dream at night to bring assurance. And I'm sharing this with you not to boast about my own experiences, but to help you understand how real this is, and that it's not just for the people that lived in the time of the Bible. It's for you and I today. Some years back I had a dream. And in this dream I was with my best friend from high school. And he and I were walking to a big baseball tryout for this big baseball tournament, it was a very high-level baseball team that he was trying out for. And I realized that it must have been him that was trying out for the baseball team, because my friend was a tremendous athlete, and I just felt in the dream that I was just with him because he was the great athlete not me.
So we're walking to this baseball tryout and we get to the coach who's doing the tryouts. And all of a sudden the coach looks at me. And I'm thinking why is he looking at me, my friend's the athlete. I was kind of a one-dimensional athlete. I could wrestle, that was it. My friend was an all-around athlete, he was a great baseball player, basketball player, football player, he was really the legitimate, full-fledged athlete. But all of a sudden we get in front of this baseball coach who's giving people tryouts and the coach looks at me. And he said to me, "Everything that's happened in your life up to this point is under the bridge. But I'm gonna be watching you from this point forward to determine whether I'm gonna put you," speaking of me, "in the major leagues".
And then the dream was over. So it was kind of an astonishing dream. Because it starts out in the dream I'm walking with my best friend the athlete, and I'm assuming he's going to try out for this baseball practice because I'm just accompanying him, he's the athlete. Then we get to the coach and the coach looks at me, tells me that he's gonna be watching me to determine whether he's gonna put me in the major leagues, again the dream's over at this point. I keep a dream journal, which I'm gonna instruct you how to do that at the end of this series. And I write down the dreams that I have that I think are from God. And so I wrote down this dream, I prayed about it, I didn't know what it meant, but I recorded it.
About a year later, I was going through my dream journal on New Year's. I always go through my dream journal on the first of the year to see how God had spoken to me the previous year. And as I'm going through the dream journal, all of a sudden I see that dream, I'd forgotten about it. And remember the dream was the coach saying to me "I'm gonna be watching you from this point forward to determine whether I'm gonna put you in the majors". So when I read that immediately I felt defeated. Because I know all the selfish thoughts that I have. The times I could become frustrated. The times that I'm self-absorbed or self-centered. Thoughts of accusation that I have. So when I saw that the coach was gonna be watching me, and I knew that the coach was a symbol of the Lord, and we'll talk about that on next week's broadcast, how the Lord speaks in symbols.
I knew that the coach was a symbol of the Lord, and when I read that He was gonna be watching me to determine whether he was gonna put me in the majors, as I reviewed my dream journal, I didn't think I had a chance in the world. I felt totally defeated. I said there's no way I made it. There's no way he's promoting me to the majors. I didn't even have a prayer. But in desperation, I have to admit sometimes I'll do this, I'll say Lord. I don't recommend this, and God certainly doesn't have to speak this way, I'm just being authentic with you. Sometimes in desperation I'll say Lord, if you're saying this then let my finger land on an X. And if you're saying this, let my finger land on a Q. So it's certainly not a full-proof method, but occasionally God condescends to speak to us, to meet us in our own humanity. So I say Lord, if I made it to the majors, let my finger land on an X, and if I didn't make it to the majors, let my finger land on a Q.
Again I just randomly opened my Bible. So all of a sudden I'm ready to open my eyes and see that my finger landed on the Q, that I didn't make it. And all of the sudden I look where my finger landed. It didn't land on an X. It didn't land on a Q. Beloved, it landed on the word "major". I was blown away. The question was "Lord, if I made it to the majors, let my finger land on an X, if I didn't make it, let my finger land on a Q". I put my finger randomly in the Bible, it lands on the word major, I was blown away. I said oh my gosh, I didn't even realize the word major was in the Bible.
So I use the New American Standard Version, I went to biblegateway.com, typed in the word major. How many times is the word major in the Bible? It says three times. I look up the three times it's in there. Two of the three times, it wasn't the word major, it was the word majority. Only one time out of approximately 750,000 words in the entire Bible is the word major used. One time out of 750,000 times. How did that whole incident come about? It came about when the Lord spoke to me in a dream that He was gonna be watching me to determine whether He was gonna put me in the majors, then He confirmed it to me almost a year later that He did, and I was blown away. Because I don't feel like I deserve it or that I made it, or you know, God is so much more tender to you and I than we realize. He's so much softer than we understand.
David said of the Lord, "Your gentleness has made me great". Beloved, God set that all up from the dream. God encourages us and affirms us just like he did Jacob through our dreams at night. The question is, beloved, are you and I paying attention? Will we hear? Will we take notice? Will we write our dreams down so we don't forget about them? And will we review them so we can get the full benefit from them? I'm gonna be praying for you at the end of this series that Father God will open your ears and help you better hear Him in your dreams at night.