Dreams & Visions

  • Intimacy Through Prayer By John Paul Jackson How often do you sit down and take the time to remember the love of God? Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13). He then went out and did what He said. He showed His love—He gave a tangible, solid demonstration of His heart. He is the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8). He is the friend of sinners (Matthew 11:19), laying down His life for us before we were holy, when we had nothing to our names but sin. We were His enemies when He lay down on that cross, ready for the nails, but on that cross, He made us His friends. Love is willing to lay down its life, as Jesus revealed. Love looks like laughing delight and unspeakable joy, but it also can look like sacrifice. Jesus gave His disciples an invitation in John 15: 14-15 “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.” He extends the same invitation to you and me. This call to obedience isn’t just a call to give love to others—but to trust in God’s love for us. A huge part of our obedience to His Word means knowing His love and trusting it. The Heart of Prayer God desires intimacy with you. He desires communion and communication. He desires commitment, friendship, love, and affection. These aspects of your relationship with Him must increase, or your relationship will eventually decrease. You are never in neutral with God. You will not stay the same, and neither will your relationship with Him. If you’re not moving forward, you will move backward. I tell people that if they’re in the same place spiritually they were five years ago, they better think through some things. Change needs to happen, and it probably is not God who needs to change. Abraham J. Heschel, a Jewish theologian from the 20th century, said, “Prayer does not change God; prayer changes the pray-er.” If you want to know His love more, it is imperative to develop an effective prayer life. For the last few months, I’ve written about Lectio Divina, a life-changing way of praying Scripture. You meditate on a particular passage and wait for God to give you greater understanding about it. The purpose of this type of prayer is not just to establish relationship with God but to strengthen a relationship that already exists. I’ve noticed that the more
I pray in this manner, meditating on His Word, the more
of myself I am able to
offer to Him. At first
I was able to offer
only five minutes of myself to
Him. I might have spent
an hour in prayer, but
it all boiled down to about five minutes of
concentrated “good stuff.” But the more I have employed Lectio Divina, the more often it ends up being an hour or more of offering all of me to the Father. Imagine that! You end up giving God an hour of your full attention, not just five minutes boiled down. Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” The result of an ever-growing, ever-deepening relationship with God allows you to call on Him, and He will show you things you didn’t know before. That is a promise. When you set your heart on Him and humbly choose to seek Him out, He hears you. Daniel was told, “From the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard” (Daniel 10:12). Remind yourself who He is—and remind yourself who you are: His beloved.
  • Hearing God's Voice in a Busy World By John Paul Jackson Prayer is more than just speaking to God. It also means listening to God. It can mean quieting the soul, being still before Him, momentarily letting go of a busy schedule—and just listening. The greatest “noise” that hinders us from hearing Him comes from our minds. My life is so full that my time is usually spoken for, and my mind is constantly working. Demands are placed on me. I’m recovering from radiation therapy and facing potential surgery. There is a lot of “noise” in my life right now. In order to hear the still, quiet voice of the Lord in the midst of chaos and distraction, we need to develop the habit of meeting with Him on a regular basis. There, in His presence, we can practice two things that are capable of changing our lives forever.
  • Prayer to Change Your Life By John Paul Jackson The Bible is filled with examples of godly men and women whose lives were infused with prayer. As a result, entire nations were changed, and the earth saw God displayed in power. Prayer is the most mentioned doctrine and practice in Scripture. The command to pray is found 250 times in the Bible, and praying specific prayers is mentioned another 280 times. I know that prayer can be an intimidating word for some of us. In the middle of busy lives, the thought of prayer can make us feel overwhelmed. So in this month’s article, I want to share with you an easy way to pray—a practice that has radically shaped my walk with God, and I know it will impact yours as well. It’s called Lectio Divina, which is a fancy phrase that essentially means praying Scripture back to God.
  • The Elephant in the Room By John Paul Jackson The Lord wants to increase your hope. No matter what you’re going through right now, whether you view your life overall as a positive or negative experience, whether things are going well or things are going poorly, if you are in good health or poor health, if you are living in surplus or in need, if you are content or sick at heart—the Lord wants to increase your hope.
  • Ordinary Eggs By John Paul Jackson Why is it important to branch out and record your dreams in “unique” ways? It causes the right side, the creative side, of your brain to develop, and you literally come into a greater understanding of dream interpretation simply because you’re doing something new and creative.
  • Context, Context, Context By Streams Staff What is context? Context is looking at the details of the dream in light of the big picture.
  • Comparing Intrinsic and Extrinsic Dreams By Streams Staff In the Understanding Dreams and Visions course you are taught the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic dreams. Identifying this characteristic, which determines if the dream is about you (intrinsic) or somebody else (extrinsic), is just one step of recording and interpreting your dreams.
  • How Do You Feel? By Streams Staff One of the most important things to remember about your dream—and it's important to do this right after waking up—is how you felt during the dream and what lingering feeling you had after waking up from the dream. Sometimes "how you felt" about the dream can be subtle. It's on these occasions where it's most important to include this somewhere in your dream entry. For example (Feeling: When the dream started, I felt a little apprehensive, but as it progressed, I felt more and more comfortable). Remembering and writing down how you felt right after having a dream is an important habit to get into. Seemingly positive events can happen in a dream, but if you wake up with an uneasy feeling, the interpretation of that dream might change—from an encouraging dream to a warning dream. Sometimes this is the subtle difference between good and God.
  • A Vehicle to Your Destiny Pt. 1 By Streams Staff One of the most common, yet important, objects to appear in dreams are vehicles. God has much to say about your vehicle in dreams—it plays an important role in getting you where He wants you to go.
  • Getting Rid of Bees By John Paul Jackson Over time, I have discovered that God takes our fears very seriously. We often do not. Most of us have been afraid of the same things for so many years that we almost don’t notice how they’re affecting us anymore — or worse, we choose to ignore them.