Would I Recognize Jesus

This is a question I’ve been pondering for the last couple years.

When Jesus was born, many of the Jews (his chosen people) didn’t even realize who he was. While others, like King Herod, recognized his power immediently to the point where they wanted to kill him before he fulfills the prophecies that were spoken about him before his birth.

The Jewish people believed that a Messiah was coming to deliver them, they believed that this was going to happen and yet when Jesus was born many doubted that this was really God’s answer to their prayers.

In my own life, I have learned that God rarely operates inside the box like we expect him to, instead he seems to find great joy in moving in ways that we never expected him too.

I know from experience that he does answer prayers but it rarely looks anything like I expected it too…

And that is why I ask… If Jesus came to earth today, would I recognize him?

Guys, Jesus doesn’t seem to care about our man made rules, in fact he tends to break the rules! 

You see it repeatedly in the Gospels, Jesus did things that left the Pharisees frustrated. These were the people who knew the law and kept the law. Yet when the Saviour came to set them free from the law they couldn’t receive the gift he was offering because he was going against their belief system.

If Jesus came today would we allow him to change our minds and hearts or would we not even recognize him for who he is because he does things differently then we think they should be done?

Do we recognize when he answers our prayers?

I have prayed many prayers that I thought I knew how God would answer, it was so simple in my mind…

“God, I need more patience!” I prayed and I expected to supernaturally become a more patient person.

BUT

Instead God gave me many opportunities to practice patience, he taught me how to rely more fully on him when I couldn’t do it all on my own strength.

You see, God isn’t interested in making us instantly perfect on the outside, he wants to transform us from the inside out.

He wants to get to the root of that impatience and cut it all off for once and for all!

Our prayers are rarely lofty enough. God wants to give us more then we ask for.

Our goal is being a patient person, his goal is complete heart transformation!

Our goal is to sell a little more soup, his goal is for us to sell a whole new line of food!

Let me explain. 🙂

Through the summer we sell a lot of cold salads, in the winter we sell more soups, so we were trying to figure out what we could do to push our soups more.

We came up with a few ideas and we prayed about it and we both felt like God said…

How are you going to make more money off these soups if you only keep making the same amount of soup each week?

Good point! We need to make more soup before we can make more sales!😊

This is kind of a big deal, however, because if we make extra food but don’t sell it, it eats our profit big time.

So, we decided to take ‘a leap of faith’ and the next week we made double batches of 3 of our soups. Just so you know…  that is not a small amount.

God answered our prayers, but it looked nothing like we thought it would.

We didn’t sell the extra soups.

And yet we did.

The day before we even made these extra soups we found out that the stand we had pursued earlier was now available at the price we had said we would be willing to pay.

Long story short…

By the end of the week we were the owners of this other stand so we put all our extra soup in the freezer to sell as hot soups at the new stand the next week.

If you don’t think about it too much it looks like God let us sit, we didn’t actually sell those extra soups so he didn’t really answer our prayers right? Especially when you consider the fact that our goal was to make more money but we ended up spending money on the new stand instead.

However, if you look at it from a different perspective, you will see that God actually answered our prayers above and beyond what we even asked for!

Our goal was to sell a little bit more soup, God’s  goal was to give us a whole new line of food to sell. With this new stand we will be selling more soup plus many other new things which equals a profit increase greater then we had even dreamed of.

And that is why I’m asking myself, if Jesus came today, would I recognize him even if he doesn’t operate the way I expect?

When he answers my prayers in the most unexpected ways do I recognize it or do I feel frustrated that he doesn’t answer the way I wanted him to?

Do I actually believe that he wants more for me then I can even imagine or think to ask for?

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more then all we can ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:20

 

Dreams and Why They Matter.

I was 20 years old and living more for myself the I was for Jesus, but I had a dream that left me with a slightly eerie feeling. Because even tho, at that point, I had zero knowledge on charismatic Christianity, I KNEW that this dream meant something.

My brother had just turned sixteen, and was the proud new owner of a fairly expensive Tahoo. In my dream, I saw this vehicle slide off the road, the details are a bit blurry but the part I remember clearly was Mike standing in front of his truck eyeing the fairly significant amount of damage with a mixture of shock and disappointment.

This dream scared me, and I spent the next couple days pleading with God to not let him die in a car wreck. I did keep coming back to the fact tho that in the dream, Mike was very much alive after the wreck.

Guys… he wrecked his truck. And the details of that wreck and the details in my dream were close enough the same that it put the fear of the Lord in me. Not to mention the awe I felt at how incredible and magnificent God is!

I could tell you countless dreams that I have had over the last decade that have to some degree come to pass.

Like the time I dreamed that I had 5 kids under the age of 5 and I felt stressed out, frustrated and out of control. I laughed that dream off because my first two kiddos were already almost 3 years apart so it wasn’t even possible.

Well, God reminded me of this dream when we had 3 foster kids and 2 kids of our own… all under the age of 5!

When I was praying for a mentor, I had a dream of me emailing some unknown person and they would email back with all kinds of amazing wisdom. This dream didn’t come true for months but guys it happened! She is an amazing no-nonsense kind of woman who serves God with the kind of passion that I want, and she pours into many younger people. I talk to her in person but the main line of communication that I have with her is through email.

Dreams was one of those things that I wasn’t that interested in but once it became a reoccurring thing in my life, I decided to get educated on it. For me that means spending an insane amount of time googling it, then once I’m convinced it’s a thing I buy books, read blogs, watch video series and pretty much get all the information I can on this latest subject of interest.

Oh, and then I blog about it. 🙂

Well, my research has me convinced that most (all?) dreams mean something.

It’s biblical guys, if you don’t believe me just read all the scriptures that tell us about God talking to people through dreams.

God sent an angel to Joseph in a dream to warn him to flee to Egypt with Mary and baby Jesus.

God spoke to Joseph in a dream (the sheaves bowed down to him)

There is many, many more illustrations in the Bible of how God used  dreams to speak to people.

The dreams I shared above were dreams that happened quite literally, but most dreams are in more of a parable form. (again this is biblical, Jesus rarely taught people outright, most times he spoke to them in parables, which leaves us scratching our heads in confusion unless…

Unless we are interested.

Then we can pray into it and we will find that there actually is an easily understood interpretation.

That’s how it is with dreams. You’ve got to interpret them.

There’s 3 questions to ask yourself that are the keys to unlocking your dreams.

1. What is currently going on in your life?

2. What was the main action of the dream?

3. What emotion was I feeling?

Here’s an example of a dream I had recently.

Someone stole Checkers lunch and thermos, and I was angry! But there was nothing I could do about it because this person proclaimed that she had rights to these things, not to mention, everyone else was backing this person up!

‘Get over it Grace,’ they said and fired all kinds of accusations my way about how this was actually my fault.

I. Was. Livid. 

At the end of the dream, however, things somehow turned around and I was told to go this person’s house and get the lunch and thermos back, when I got there, they very unwillingly gave back my things, and to my surprise both were filled to the brim with food, even though it was empty when they took it.

Well, so that sounds like a crazy, weird dream, right? But once I asked God for the interpretation, and asked myself the 3 questions, it was actually and exciting dream!

It’s a long story but what’s happening in my life right now? Well, I do feel like something is being taken from me.  How do I feel about this? I feel angry! But this dream holds a promise that gives me peace in the moment, even tho I don’t know what the out come will be. Because in my dream it ended well, in my dream, I ended up getting more back then I had lost!

And that my friends is why I’m so excited about hearing what God is telling us through our dreams!