Why does God speak to us while we are sleeping? Is this a question you have ever asked? It is also a question some would never consider. They would not consider it because they do not believe it is a reality. Others do not believe God is exist, so why entertain it. In addition, there are many who do believe in God, but they deny He would do such things. Many people have concluded these types of experiences were just for the early believers. Lastly, there are many who live in this reality.
We will find testimony of these experiences in the Scripture. Not just once, but time and time again. The first account in the Bible is when God gave Abimelech a dream. In Genesis 20:3 we find God visiting Abimelech to warn Him about taking Abraham’s wife. Likewise, many people today can give testimony of God speaking in dreams. God interacts with people while they sleep. The first answer to this question is simple. Why does God use dreams or other experiences to communicate while we sleep? He does this because it is His right do it.
We are created for His good pleasure. It is His right to will His ways, His purposes, and the means through how He does it. We must tread lightly when we speak on matters concerning what we think God will or will not do. I say this because many people argue about how God interacts with mankind. Learning about God’s ways is essential to accepting who He is. It essential to the Kingdom of God and the building of His Church. If we want to know what He says about Himself, we must accept the document that testifies about Himself.
The Bible is the Word of God to those who know God. To many (not a perspective that I share) it is just a book of stories or opinions to ‘guide’ us. The reality is nobody believes the Bible until they encounter God. It is a witness about Him, it is not a letter that replaces Him. The Bible is only for the time we live on the earth. When we die, we will not need the Bible because we will stand face to face with its author. Those who accept God’s Truth will accept “all scripture is God breathed” according to 2 Timothy 3:16. If you do not believe the Bible in its entirety, I propose this. If you confess to believe Jesus raised Himself from the dead, then you must believe all scripture is God breathed. You cannot deny one without denying both. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is the same Spirit who penned the Scriptures with the Apostles hands. Accepting the Bible as the infallible work of God is a requirement to believe in Jesus’s claim of God.
There is a tragedy within the Church concerning the Bible. There are some who stand behind a pulpit and undermine its validity. Many would rather argue about being right about God than being rightly related to God. What does that mean? It means the arrogance of man tries to convey self-imposed wisdom that elevates itself above what God says. It means people say things about Him that are not true. Wait a minute, that sounds a lot like how the devil acts? When we are rightly related to God, we trust Him, even if we do not understand Him. We trust Him because we have come to know He will not mislead us. We do not rely on our own understanding. We rely on His Word. If we do not believe Him, it is simply saying we cannot trust Him. If we reject His Word, then we argue a position that our words are superior to His.
There are ministers that still mispresent God’s nature and how He speaks to people in the present. They challenge the testimony of the supernatural is a thing of the past. I am sorry, but the Gospel of the Bible, is the message that testifies of a living God. One that redeems man into relationship with a supreme being that holds the universe together by His word. A being that says nothing is impossible for Him. Find me one person in the earth who can declare this about themselves? This relationship with God restores intimacy with experience to His Spirit. Explain to me why any minister or believer would accept any notion otherwise? Why would anyone even want to eliminate those concepts in the first place? I will tell you why. It is because the pride of man would rather appear to be right about God instead being humble. It is the drink of poison sweetened by a lie. If you will, a drink from the devil himself.
God likes inviting us into time with Him through dreams and other experiences. The second answer to the question is this. God promised He would speak in this manner in Joel 2:28 and re-emphasizes it in Acts 2:17. We need to recognize the same Spirit of God speaking through Joel was also speaking in the Apostle Peter. Likewise, I am writing about experiences in which I am testifying that God is communicating with me. I am just one of the Body of Christ who accepts and encounters God in this way. Remember I mentioned that book; “What was it again? Oh, that’s right the Bible.” The Bible has been giving testimony about this for thousands of years, there is nothing new here. Encountering God establishes our ability to know Him, not just knowing about Him. This leads me into the title of this chapter.
It was early morning. I was still sleeping. I heard His voice, like someone talking in my ear, “Would you drink poison?” After this question I opened my eyes to wake up. I repeated the question to myself, “Would I drink poison?” My first thought was, “uh no.”
It has been said there is no such thing as a stupid question. Well, I let you be the judge of that statement, but a good question will provoke constructive thinking. There is no one better to ask you a question other than God. When God ask questions, we should conclude instantly it is for our good, not His. Hopefully when God asks us a question it does not start off like it did in Job 40:7-8. “Gird up your loins like a man; I will demand of you and you will answer Me. Will you also annul set aside and render void My judgement? Will you condemn your God, that you may appear righteous and justified?” We must remember Adam and Eve’s question in the beginning too. God was not asking where they were because He could not find them.
I began to ask the question over and over in my head. “Would I drink poison?”, stirring up my thoughts seeking a response from the Holy Spirit. This is what we call praying. (LOL) The next thought to ring through my head was the word ‘cupbearer.’ I do not have any connections with any cupbearers. So, I would have to go to the next best place. I went to the book of Nehemiah.
Nehemiah was a cupbearer for King Artaxerxes. There is not in-depth day to day detail on Nehemiah’s routine, so I did a little studying. The obvious role of the cupbearer was to ensure the safety of a king. He had to be capable of sifting out poison that could be covered by the sweetness of wine. He had to drink the wine Himself at the risk of knowing it could be his last drink. Historical records give account these jobs were highly esteemed. It was a noble task to be a cupbearer. You had to be extremely trustworthy. You could die for drinking poison, but you could die for being a traitor.
A king would have dinners and gatherings to discuss his affairs. During these the meetings the cupbearer had to be present. The king would discuss matters that would be confidential. He would do so in front of his cupbearer. Do you think a king would discuss his private matters in front of someone he could not trust? A cupbearer had to have a deep well of integrity and character. I assure you a cupbearer unable to keep the Kings plans hidden would be pouring his own drink of death. The cupbearer’s job was to make sure the king or his guest would not be poisoned. He had to ensure the kings secrets were sealed with his lips.
No one in their right mind would drink poison. No one in the right mind would want to be poisoned. So why would anyone in their right mind want to believe a lie? A lie is poison. It just comes in the form of words, not liquid. The Holy Spirit, or the Spirit of Truth, is the cupbearer in the Kingdom of God. It is His job to protect us from drinking poison that is sweetened by lies. His job is to separate the Truth from a lie. He is the living witness testifying on God’s affairs.
Jesus describes the Holy Spirit in John 16:7-15. In verse 13 we read, “But when He, the Spirit of Truth (the Truth-giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all truth (the whole, full Truth) For He will not speak His own message on His own authority; but He will tell whatever he hears from the Father, He will give the message that has been given to Him, and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come that will happen in the future.” The Holy Spirit has many names. He is the Helper, the Counselor, Advocate, the Intercessor, and the Witness. His message will always testify of Truth and destroy the works of deception.
In the fourth chapter of John, we find Jesus chatting with a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. We find an extraordinary work of the Spirit of Truth in this matter. When you take a closer look into the cultural dynamics, Jesus presses the envelope against social boundaries. He was not concerned about racial and segregated approvals. He strikes up a conversation with her and asked for a drink of water. The first words out her mouth where, “How is that you, being a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan, and a woman, for a drink? For the Jews have nothing to do with the Samaritans.”
We see clearly that racism and segregation at its finest work in the mist of this cultural atmosphere. Jesus, however, was not enslaved to the stronghold of lies that would degrade a woman or reject people because cultural division. How could He reject her? He was present when He formed her in the womb according to Jeremiah 1:5. I say this to make a point. The Spirit of Truth could not do what He was about to do if Jesus tried to be politically correct or submit to carnal thinking. The Lord talking to a Samaritan, and a woman, was unacceptable in that moment. The work of the Spirit could not help this woman unless Jesus was above ‘man made’ social boundaries. God has the solution to our social dilemmas. He has had them from day one when He created us. The only thing in the way is us and man’s arrogance. If we would humble our self and lean on His understanding, we would see the issues resolved through the power of His Spirit.
Jesus tells the woman this. If you knew who I am you would ask me for a drink, and I would give you living water. Her comment was, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; how then can you provide living water?” From her perspective all she could see was a man with no bucket talking nonsense about water that lives. Who had ever heard of a term like “living water?” From the Lord’s perspective He was gazing into her soul. He was preparing to reveal the secrets of her heart. He was looking at someone with spiritual dehydration because all her relationships were leaving her thirsty.
Jesus looks at her and says this, “Go and call your husband.” Her response to Jesus was, “I have no husband.” Jesus responds with the secrets of her heart revealed to Him by the Spirit of Truth and says, “This is true, you have had five husbands and the man you’re with now is not your husband.” After this she comes to acknowledge Jesus as a prophet. She then exclaims that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Christ, and when he comes, he will tell us everything we need to know and make it clear to us. Jesus tells her point blank, “I who know speak to you am He.”
The woman takes off into town and starts telling all about this encounter with the Christ. She was so overwhelmed by a life changing experience, she forgot to take the jar of water she came to the well to fill. However, she left with living water that a jar could not carry. The only place this living water can be stored is in the well of her heart.
The woman at the well is a type of shadowing that represents humanity. We are made in the image of God. Our physical design craves water and food to sustain health and life. On the other hand, our spirit is created to be fed too. When Jesus looked in the soul of this woman, He looked beyond her physical condition and saw what His Father was seeing. He saw the well of her heart was empty and Her Spirit was dry. As Jesus was speaking to this woman, His words were supernaturally breathing God’s Spirit into her heart and bringing her to life. He was resurrecting her from spiritual death. He was replacing the poison of lies she had been drinking with living water that never dries up.
The well of all hearts can only be filled with the living water that comes from God’s Words. “Man does not live on bread alone, but from every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Until our Spirit is filled with God’s Spirit our souls will constantly stay thirsty.