Acts 2:17 New Living Translation (NLT)
17 ‘In the last days,’ God says,
‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
Your young men will see visions,
and your old men will dream dreams.
Acts chapter 2 is clear. In the last days God pours out His Spirit on all flesh and there are dreams and visions. Dreams and visions are biblical. You can participate or miss out on the adventure entirely. Your loss. I awoke one morning many years ago to a short vision. Isaiah 50:4 says, “He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.” Others tell me God speaks to them clearly as they are waking up as well. I could describe what I saw but since a picture is worth a thousand words just look at the picture. That’s exactly what I saw. It was a full grown retriever sitting beside a half grown retriever puppy inside a home staring probably at their master. That’s how my Labrador retriever, Boone, looks at me. Boone means “blessing” and he truly is. He was born on Cinco De Mayo and even that proved to be a special blessing. I explain this in another Chapter. I love you, Boone Bear!
I pondered the vision according to proverbs 25:2, “it is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.” Revelation 5:10 says we are to be KINGS and priests to our God. What was God trying to say to me in this vision? How would I discover what God had concealed? It almost becomes comical at times when I look back at how many dead ends I go down trying to gain understanding. When I finally get my “aha moment” it seems so simple all the sudden. Sometimes with visions it comes quickly and sometimes it can take months. Dreams can take a lifetime it seems. We played a game as kids, “blind man’s bluff.” One person would be blindfolded trying to find something by listening to others say, “you’re getting warmer! You’re getting colder…You’re getting red hot!” On and on that went until you, the blind squirrel, found the nut. That’s where that saying came from. Honest!
I remember sensing the two retrievers were in different stages of prophetic ministry. Prophets are sometimes referred to as watchmen, or in this case watch dogs maybe? At that time, I was the immature dog that had the same spiritual DNA as the full grown retriever. Did I need to stay close to the mature prophetic voices around me and learn from them? The scripture that came to mind was Luke 6:40, “a student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.” I will add the definition of retriever is a person or thing that retrieves; a dog trained to retrieve. The word retrieve is defined as to get back; recover, to restore; revive, to rescue; save, to set right or repair (a loss, error, etc.) make good. Jesus, our teacher, is the mature retriever. When we are fully trained we will be like Him and one day will do greater works, as He promised in John 14:12.
Someone in my church once told me I reminded them of a bird dog in the way I seek out what God may be saying to me in dreams and visions etc. In fact, they started calling me bird dog as a joke after I told them this story. I was cool with it. Why would an old countrified firefighter have a problem with that name? I have been called much worse over the years! I found the implications encouraging. 1 Corinthians 14:3 says, “prophecy is for encouragement, edification and comfort.” So, here I was bird dogging for understanding of the vision.
Later that same day, I stopped by a christian book store to pick something up. As I rounded a corner book stand I saw a framed picture there on the wall of the vision I had seen that morning. Everything was the same. The only thing that was not in the vision was the scripture verse, Isaiah 58:11, “and the Lord shall guide you continually.” I obviously bought the picture and it is here on my office wall as a reminder of the Lord’s promise to guide me continually. The whole point of the vision was to emphasize the verse under the picture. It became my life verse. This whole experience happened over 20 years ago and I am now writing my stories of how the Lord has, indeed, guided me continually. Recently, my kids urged me to get a tattoo and let them watch me get it. I chose this verse, Isaiah 58:11. I now have it tattooed to my left rib cage over my heart. I found something out about that spot. A tattoo on your rib cage hurts like a…So, it’s now there as a constant reminder to me and my kids God will guide continually those who really want it. He has actually been faithful even when I was not. He is my loving Heavenly Father. I am not an orphan. I can go freely in to His throne-room of grace and find strength in my time of need. My prayer is my kids will know the Father heart of God is like this always, in spite of how I may have misrepresented Him at times. I hope they see my efforts, my failures, and like David when he failed, my repentance. Humans…
I have decided to add a short dream here that I believe fits. Again, even this dream was just before I awoke. I was in what used to be my father’s back yard (it now belongs to me) a storm was passing and the sun was rising in the front yard. Suddenly I heard the audible voice of my spiritual father, John Paul Jackson, speak from the clouds above me saying, “my spirit will guide you.” The father spoke on the mount of transfiguration from a cloud. It was God that called Samuel and not Eli. When you read the story Samuel kept going to Eli, his spiritual father, thinking it was Eli calling. Again, “A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.” Though it was John Paul Jackson’s voice speaking to me from heaven where he now resides, I firmly believe it was the Holy Spirit of Christ Jesus speaking to me, promising again to guide me. 2 Corinthians 13:1 says, “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established.” God spoke this same word to me twice. In a vision and then in a dream. So I received it as a SURE word of prophecy. It has proven accurate for over 20 years since. I decided to use it as the title of my book and make it the first chapter.