A couple of days ago Gayle posted a dream that opens up some new sight for us. We have to make sure we know the way and seek out who God wants to connect us to who know the ‘how’. We aspire that those connections will be personal relationships but over these past years have also discovered that connections are made in the Spirit, that it is possible to connect with people, even if one never meets them in person, but influences them and impart to them what they need.
Gayle is a prolific dreamer and we have been shaped in our thinking by a number of the dreams she has had, not least of which is our current location. For many years I did not seem to dream, and certainly did not seem to have any ‘God’ dreams. Something shifted mid 90s, and although I do not dream to the same extent as Gayle, there have been a number of dreams that have opened up new sight for me. A recurrent ‘location’ for my dreams is that I am in a specific location, or with people associated with that place. If that is the context for the dream it invariably is either 1) going to have new revelation for me, or 2) those in the dream will simply not get what I am sharing.
Around five years ago I had a dream that was in that location. The background was that we moved to Spain in 2009 and until the beginning of 2014 we did not have a car. There was also a period of many months in the UK when I did not have a car. It was in the year after Sue passed away. I kinda felt that it was the Lord prompting me in that direction, however it was probably more to do with a therapy of slowing down, feet on ground, connecting with the land.
In this dream I went to a gathering that was on the prophetic. I was asked by one of those carrying responsibility for the gathering what was I going to share. I began with
‘God has given me a new mode of transport.’
‘Brilliant’, came the reply, ‘we need these testimonies of how God has supplied new cars.’
I tried to explain repeatedly that I was not talking about a literal vehicle, that in fact we did not even have a car, and I was talking about a whole new way of journeying through life with God, and the ‘car-lessness’ was simply a symbol of that. No matter how many times I tried to explain it, he did not get it. He then went on to enthusiastically introduce me explaining the wonderful news of God’s provision of a new car for us and how great an encouragement that will be. I spoke, sought to explain that this was not about the provision of a car, but of a whole new way of journeying. At the end the same guy came back to again underline God’s provision of a car!! (Maybe the dream was to show me that I probably need a few lessons in communication!)
Assuming that the dream was not about my communication skills… There is a level of the prophetic that unlocks provision, and the testimonies of ‘God provided this’ are vital. God is the God who shows up with manna, and a whole lot more. There is though a level of the prophetic that does not negate the personal and practical provision, but does not always go down to that level, nor accept fulfilments at that level. We can have new transport, and have no car. We can start with a car, lose it, but have gained new transport.
I suggest two immediate aspects from the dream:
- the prophetic has to be pulled up a whole level from that of evident personal or even corporate provision, and the resulting testimonies of ‘success’
- the prophetic has to go deeper into the realities of incarnated living.
We can receive new (literal) transport but little changes in how we travel. Our comfort level might go up, but we are doing the same old same old. The transport has changed but nothing has changed. Or we can embrace a new way of walking – if without a car – slower and more reflective, letting the connection to the land speak to us. We can gain new sight from the landscape which will need fresh gifts of interpretation. The mid 90s marked something of a great shift for many, and I can certainly see a ‘before’ and an ‘after’ from that time, but the mid 90s are some 20 years ago. A lot of provision was given. A lot of answered prayers with ‘new cars’ showing up and testimonies being shared, but I suspect that the Lord wanted to take us deeper with / without a new car.
In the time, particularly in the UK, of not owning a car, my movement was slower. I had time to pray. I could not rush from one setting to the next. If I had an appointment to meet someone I really had to think how long would it take me to get there. I could not do one more thing, arrive in a hurry a few minutes late. I am not sure how good I was at reflecting but I think I began to see that we had to look at the landscape all around and ask for interpretation. For those who have dug deeply, since the mid 90s, into that aspect I suspect they have less testimonies of God’s provision of the brand new car, are not going to be flavour of the month to fill the next conference, have been dis- / re-located so that they are seeing more of the landscape rather than just the arbitrary pausing points.
The landscape has shifted. It is not primarily about the provision, but the release of resources for the job in hand, for the workers in the field. And again to pull on the theme I have pursued for a while, that of ‘royal priesthood’, those workers are not the full-time Christian workers, but the workers, and the field is the world. Prophetic words can have personal fulfilment, but I think there is even something deeper than personal fulfilment, it is fulfilment that brings about change beyond our personal sphere. Fulfilments where we have journeyed with the word about the ‘new car’, and in the journey have discovered new transportation and as a result provision for others that would not have been released otherwise.
It seems far easier to embrace the wonderful stories of God’s evident practical provision, and long may those stories abound, but we also need to embrace, and help others embrace the journey that might not give us that story to tell, but enable others to have a story to tell. Israel was promised a land, and they fought over the land and its boundaries… At one level they contested for fulfilment, and in the process missed the bigger picture. Paul blew into that promise saying God promised Abraham the world, thus making the land all-but superfluous. There seems to have been a lot of fights over boundaries… time to let go and to tenaciously hold on to fulfilments way beyond what we thought would be the fulfilment.