I do a regular post on a Friday called: “Fearless Friday ~ Gaining Strength from Scripture in the Midst of Fear”. You can read those posts here. I love God’s timing and the way He works as I turned to the next verse for my Fearless Friday writing and discovered it was on DREAMS!
Have you ever woken up from a dream and said: “That was AWESOME!”?
That was Jacob’s reaction to the dream described in Genesis 28:12-15 in which he saw a ladder reaching from earth to heaven with God’s angels ascending and descending. The LORD stood above it – in heaven – and confirmed His everlasting covenant to Jacob that He had confirmed to Abraham and Isaac before him.
I must admit that out of all of the ways God confirmed His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: this is my favorite! I am blown away by the image in my mind that it creates and I know that my imagination can’t even come close to what it would have actually look like for:
- “it is written: What eye did not see and ear did not hear, and what never entered the human mind– God prepared this for those who love Him” 1 Corinthians 2:9 HCSB
WOW! This just blows my mind! I want a dream like that! So why was Jacob afraid?
- “And he was afraid,…. Not with a servile but filial fear; not with a fear of the wrath and displeasure of God, but with a fear of his grace and goodness; not with a fear of distrust of it, of which he had just had such a comfortable assurance; but with an awe of the greatness and glory of God, being conscious of his own unworthiness to receive such favours from him”
I admit I had to look up “filial” and I am glad I did!! It is an adjective appropriate for a son or daughter to use! This commentary highlights the relationship between Jacob and The LORD: one of Father and child.
Jacob had a reverent fear of the vision of heaven that God revealed to him in a dream. He had a reverent fear of God’s PROMISE:
- “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”” Genesis 28:15 ESV
He woke in AWE of The LORD and His promise to be with Jacob.
At this point Jacob had bought his brother Esau’s birthright by taking advantage of him in his weakness (Genesis 25:29-34); he had deceived his father Isaac into placing the blessing of the firstborn son on himself instead of Esau (Genesis 27:18-29); and he had been sent away from his home in Beersheba to go to Paddan-aram to find a wife (Genesis 28:1-5). It was not the best time of his life ~ he had angered his brother and was probably a little nervous of his reaction, then he was sent away from the protection of “mom and dad” into the wilderness to make a journey around 400-500 miles.
Laying down to sleep on this journey is when he has this dream. In the middle of the wilderness, in the middle of fear, God appears to him and reaffirms His promises to him and comforts him with the knowledge that He will be WITH HIM!
As I think about dreams and some of the dreams that God has placed on my heart, I can imagine another description for the fear that Jacob might have been feeling. A daunted fear. Look again at this promise from God and imagine how you might feel if you were Jacob:
“I am Yahweh, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your offspring the land that you are now sleeping on. Your offspring will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out toward the west, the east, the north, and the south. All the peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. Look, I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go. I will bring you back to this land, for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.'” Genesis 28:13-15 HCSB
That is quite a responsibility!
Sometimes the dreams that God places in our hearts seem so incredible that we are scared of them. We are nervous about how they will come about. The thought of that dream actually happening gives us a nervous fear. We have that “Yeah right!” reaction because we might actually be scared to believe it could happen.
Friends (and I’m saying this to myself) don’t let the size of your dream paralyze you. Lysa TerKeurst spoke to my heart in The Best Yes: Making Wise Decision in the Midst of Endless Demands when she said:
“Fear of failure is the real cause of our analysis paralysis.”
Be like Jacob…get up PRAISE GOD for the dream, declare your FAITHFULNESS to Him, give him an OFFERING…and move on!
BELIEVE in GOD ~ BELIEVE in your DREAMS and have a FEARLESS FRIDAY!Disclaimer: Welcome to my “31 Days to Dream” and thank you for joining me on this journey. I don’t hold the road map for October–God does! He is starting the journey by taking me down a path of memories, some of which I had long forgotten. He is showing me how He has made my childhood dreams come true in ways that I could never have imagined. He is giving me FAITH and HOPE for the road ahead. I am excited to see where He leads my dreaming over this month of #Write31Days 🙂 You can find my other 31 Days to Dream posts here!