The Puzzle of Dreams

By Donna Astern

Dreaming more lately? Do you wake up puzzled by a dream and wonder if it means anything? Or do you tend to discount it as nothing more than “last night’s pizza”?

The Bible says that dreaming will increase as a part of the “Spirit being poured out upon all mankind”… “your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams” (Acts 2:17) There are several reasons for dreams, but, oftentimes the source of many of these dreams is spiritual. If you had such a dream, are you curious about why you had it and what it means?

(Proverbs 25:2 NAS) “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.”

God, who loves puzzles and mysteries, provided you with an opportunity to search out the meaning and comprehend the message of the dream. Likewise, Jesus taught deep spiritual truth using parables, stories about everyday life which the audience could visualize in their minds. Even so, many of his listeners did not understand the true meaning.

If “a picture is worth 1,000 words”, then when you have a spiritual dream, you get an illustrated version of a concept or idea or truth that leaves an impression.

Not all dreams are from God, however even dreams from the human spirit can provide valuable insight into your own heart and mind.

Just as with parables, there are often everyday elements in a dream that speak to a particular topic… Continue reading

Did the Prophet Miss It?

Certainly all human beings make mistakes, including people standing in the five-fold offices mentioned in the New Testament: apostle, prophet, pastor, evangelist, and teacher (Eph. 4:11). It seems more common to suspect prophets of being false than the others, when in truth, false teachers have done more damage to the Church.

Making a mistake does not mean one is a false prophet or teacher or pastor. It means he is human. Continue reading

Seeing Elevens?

For quite some time, it seemed as though 11, 111, and 1111 were showing up everywhere. I would wake up at night, glance at the clock and it was 1:11. I would drive down the highway, glance over at the mile marker and it was 111. I would look at the top of the book I was reading and it was page 111. It got to where almost every time I looked at the clock there was 11, either 11:00 or 11:11 or 2:11 or 9:11, et cetera. I also saw elevens on building and license plates and cash register receipts. I recently received a prophetic word by email sent at 1:11 and another strategic one yesterday at 1:11.

I haven’t been looking for elevens. This is just a phenomenon I have noticed with seasons of increasingly regularity for a few years.

Maybe you have noticing how frequently you see elevens and have been curious too. Continue reading

Piddles and Chewed Shoes

It is so easy to be delighted with a new puppy.  He is so cute, soft, cuddly, and eager to please. His tail is wagging and he is so happy to play with his new family.

He is given dishes of fresh water and puppy food, toys, and his own place to lie down.

All is going very well for a while, but the puppy has not yet learned his boundaries, or the rules of the house.  Before long, there are piddles on the kitchen floor and carpet, and chewed up shoes strewn about the bedroom. He has developed a pattern of barking at anything and everything at all hours of day and night.

Now the mood in the house has changed. The puppy is not so appealing anymore, and may even, after a time, be considered a nuisance and not worth the trouble.

Prophetic Puppies
Continue reading

Practice Time!

In life, everything we are skilled at has come through trial and error and many times of practice.  We learned from our mistakes, perhaps, asked for help from another person, and tried again.  After a period of time, we learned how to feed ourselves, or read, or ride a bicycle, or give a talk, or play an instrument, or any number of skills.  Even when born with a gift for singing or athletics, that gift could be honed into a greater effectiveness than just raw talent alone.

We did something with the basic material we had been given.

However, a strange mindset often is present regarding the ministry of spiritual gifts. Somehow, even though, we expect the pastor to have studied and prepared how to deliver a sermon on Sunday morning, and we expect the choir and musicians to have spent time preparing the music, it is somehow not expected that any study or training is beneficial or even necessary for ministry of the gifts of the Spirit. Continue reading

Forged Values

When it comes to ice cream, you may have a personal preference of vanilla over chocolate, but, allergies aside, it really will not make a difference which you choose.

However for the important decisions of life– choosing a church home, a career, a partner–there are reasons why one choice is more personally appealing than another. The reason is personal values, those non-negotiables in life where the line is drawn by us. Values provide the reasons why we do what we do. Continue reading

Understanding Apostles and Prophets

If we do not understand the nature and function of a thing, we will not know how to get the proper use of it. Likewise, in the Church, we may understand the role and function of the pastor, evangelist, and teacher, but not the apostle or prophet. To avoid confusion and false expectations, a better understanding of these offices is needed.

No Coincidence

Within the space of a few hours, I received a word of knowledge about an individual and three requests for prayer from different people, all regarding separate and very similar situations. And I wasn’t in a church service!

Each request and the word had a very similar theme, which altogether was startling in the timing. It was as though the day had been labeled as “The Day for This Type of Situation”.

Since I don’t believe in coincidences, it definitely got my attention, and I wondered what else God was going to bring my way. Continue reading

Reclaiming the Realm of Dreams

Spirituality has been in vogue for several years now, and many are looking for spiritual answers and experiences outside of the Church. In the desire to hear God, get answers, have experiences, or know the future, people (even some Christians) have sought psychics and mediums.

However, we are exhorted to seek God instead.

“When they say to you, ‘Consult the mediums and the spiritists who whisper and mutter,’ should not a people consult their God?”… (Isaiah 8:19 NAS) Continue reading

Prophetic Acts

As the man swung the axe, the axehead slipped off the handle and fell into the river. He was immediately distressed for he had borrowed it.

The prophet Elisha asked where it fell. Then he cut a stick and tossed it in the river in same spot and the axehead floated! (2 Kings 6)

Does that story make you wonder why he did that? Why didn’t he just command the axehead to float the way Elijah commanded fire to fall from heaven? Continue reading

God Speaks

God didn’t stop speaking in the past; He still speaks today.  It’s normal for God to speak and should be normal for believers to hear Him!

Through the voice of the Holy Spirit, dreams, prophetic ministry, the Word of God and all the ways God continues to speak– we will receive the instruction and life that comes from hearing God speak if we will tune our ears to listen!

The Day After The Word

A prophetic word starts something in motion, but the path to fulfillment requires perseverance, patience and testing.

It is normal that things will look worse before it gets better. We are instructed to fight the good fight of faith in accordance with the words spoken over us.

God has a purpose in our destiny and the process of walking it out. Learn to dig deeper into Him and remain connected to the Body that God may be glorified in the fulfillment of all things.

Discerning Spiritual Experiences

God says he has hidden the secrets of the kingdom from the “wise” and revealed them to “little children.” God says we are to come to him like little children— because children are the most inquisitive, open and eager to believe.

Like children, we are to be filled with wonderment and delight in everything God does!

And though we are to receive with eagerness, there is still wisdom and measure to be applied to how we weigh and determine the origin of the revelation we receive.

Download Handout for ‘Discerning Spiritual Experiences’ as a PDF.

Prophetic Worship

God has given us instruction on how to come into His presence and give the offering of spontaneous praise where He dwells.

Music and worship are powerful ministries that bring prophetic release, victory in warfare, deep revelation, teaching, and salvation to the lost. God has ordained that we can participate now in the worship that will be eternal in heaven.

Martin Luther spoke of music and art saying “…art is a reflection of creativity and evidence that we were created by God.”