He asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.”- Acts 9: 5-6
Recently, after a difficult work day, I drove home affirming the grace and mercy that surrounded me throughout the day regardless of the outcome of my labor.
I then prayed, “Lord, in light of the grace and mercy I prayed and received today, I ask for a job that is fun and will provide for my family. I ask for what that job could be because I’m not sure what job it would be that’s fun for me, but you know. I ask you to give me a name, phone number and or an email address I can use to contact a person who has such a job for me.
“By virtue of the mercy and grace that’s with me, I ask you to speak to me of these things today. Do not be silent, O God of our praise (Psalm 106: 1)”
I prayed this in the car on the way home without frustration but with faith and determination. Alleluia.
That night I dreamed (Big surprise, right?). It seemed to be a long dream. It was in two phases. First, I was frustrated and anxiety-ridden. It was based in a church where there was a lot of activity. I would either preach or teach, and I wasn’t prepared or no one would pay attention.
At one point, I was at some public event in a sports arena. I was frustrated and discouraged for some reason as I paced on the floor of the arena.
The next phase of the dream in the same environment, but I didn’t feel frustrated, discouraged or anxious. I remember the ongoing affirmation of having grace and mercy with me.
At another point, from a higher perspective, I saw myself in the arena pacing in frustration. I’d never dreamed before of watching myself do exactly what I’d done moments before. As I watched myself, I wasn’t discouraged as the other Jeff was.
In this dream phase, grace and mercy were with me like companions or as items I’d pull out of a box or off my person to dispense or share. Unlike earlier, there were no church activities or related responsibilities. I felt free. Truly, grace and mercy were with me.
That morning, I read from Acts 9 where Jesus confronts Saul on the road. The phrase attributed to Jesus,
You will be told what you are to do, spoke to me in light of that vivid dream. He would tell me what to do.
The next night, I dreamed again. I was on a bluff above a beautiful body of water enhanced by the sunlight shimmering off of it. I stood with others dressed in light blue shirts and pants. My colleagues stood in several lines. I stood slightly apart from the ranks, and all of us were under a canopy. Kris Vallotton from Bethel Church in Redding, CA stood in front of us. He spoke to us, but I can’t recall what he said. He then looked at me and said, “Will you pray for us, Jeffrey?” Joyfully, I did. This felt like a commissioning.
I felt someone could take my place, so, I left my chair. Later, April said the circles denote eternity, and the chairs symbolized positions of authority. I surrendered mine in turning in my ordination. No one told me to leave my chair in the dream nor did anyone tell me to abandon my authority in real life.
I became one of the servers at the banquet. We all had blond hair, golden vests, white shirts and tan pants. As a server, I didn’t know what to do. I followed behind other servers and looked busy as a screen was placed between the tables we served and rest of the room. April believed I was working with angels serving those in authority. I was to serve, in effect, commissioned to serve a select group in authority and not the whole room.
A day or so later, I searched for anyone with the one name I could remember from the dream. I found one who shared a mutual friend with me on Facebook. I messaged that person, telling him his name was mentioned in my dream after I prayed for the Lord to assist me in finding a fun job, perhaps, through that same person. He actually wrote me back. We ended up talking on the phone for over an hour.
He was an entrepreneur and the CEO of his own company. He spoke to me of knowing myself and my passions and seeking God’s guidance in discovering what I was born to do. After an hour long conversation, my heart burned within from hearing someone tell me to follow my passions for writing and entertainment. In addition to what I believe God has called me to do in writing, and he pushed me to consider writing fiction, I’ve always wanted to find myself in entertainment, though I never thought I had what it took. I was scared of rejection and taking it personally.
My new friend then prayed for April and me to prosper, foe doors to open and for me to find my place. He closed our conversation by encouraging me to push aside my worries and pursue what I was meant to be and to do.
Were these dreams and this remarkable conversation with a stranger, now friend, all from God? Were these all part of an answer to my prayer on the way home that day? How could they not be? Dreams describing where I’ve been and where I am and where I’m going all of which to bring comfort and hope and faith. Then I was given a name when I asked for one, and he coached me to believe God had a destiny for me in my callings and passions. All of this pointed to a fun job, a fun destiny in God.
Finally, as a sign of confirmation to all I was shown and told, this past Sunday, I was prayed for spontaneously by a young man. As I squatted on the sanctuary floor, he knelled down beside me, placed his hand on my head and prayed, “Unlock his imagination, Lord.” Amidst my tears, I turned my head to him and said, “YES!” as good as Marv Albert ever as.
That was a word for me. Someone asking the Lord to unlock my imagination, in effect, so I could step into my fun job, a significant portion of my ultimate destiny in God and his kingdom.
Have a blessed Labor Day weekend, and trust the Lord has things to show and tell you of what you are to do, too.