Rev. E. Anderson
DREAMING IN OLD AGE
This is a promise that was made prophetically by Peter on the day of Pentecost that would occur to spiritual men in their later years. The exact words are: ‘your young men shall see visions and your old men shall dream dreams’ – Acts 2: 17. This is what is to be expected as a blessed consequence of the outpouring and ministration of the Holy Spirit. It shows that God is interested in both generations, young and old, and can quicken and use both by various means and measures to bless and use with divine inspiration. When the Spirit of God is present and operative in a sovereign manner the older people can expect a beautiful input at a crucial stage of their experience.
Here there is witness that God chooses to inspire and enrich the life, faith and ministry of people who are seemingly writing out the final chapters of their lives within His cause. The indication is that God never finishes with His servants at such a timely period in their existence. David desired to be used in later life and so should we – Psalm 71: 18.
The older generation should make it their business to make sure they are filled, possessed and blessed by the Holy Spirit and to see this promise being fulfilled so that all may advantage. Time and opportunity belongs to them to so wait on God that they know a real inundation and ministry of the Spirit and His revelation that comes through the process of divine dreams. If the Lord spoke to the wife of Pilate through a dream, (Matthew 27: 19), how much more should those who have faithfully loved and served Him over many years and are blessed with the fullness of the Holy Spirit be the recipients of choice and purposeful dreams!
In considering the issue of dreams in old age, what kind of dreams should be taking place and what should be the results from their input? One thing is certain, if God is the initiator of the dreams then something of significance is being made known and to be fulfilled. It has also to be stated, God does speak through dreams as the Bible ably teaches and points out.
1. THE DREAMS CAN BE OF A PERSONAL NATURE TOUCHING UPON ONE’S OWN LIFE AND FUTURE
Everyone is of great worth to the Lord and certainly those who have grown up in Him and have done sterling work and service for Him will not be forgotten and laid aside in the latter years. It is apparent that He still has viable love and interest in the aged ones and desires to communicate in such a period. He can and does give dreams that have to do with the individual concerned, giving a sense of purpose and destiny at this phase of existence. As He made clear to Joshua and Caleb in their eighties, there was still something major to achieve so He can still do the same and make known such through dreams. A dream can be a very vivid and convincing way in which the Lord makes known the fact that there is still a divine programme to be engaged upon and fulfilled.
2. THE DREAMS CAN BE OF A CHARACTER THAT ARE TO DO WITH ONE’S OWN FAMILY
Old men and fathers should be duly concerned about the well-being and future of their families. Just as Jacob was spiritually concerned and committed about his household so he had special insight given by the Lord with respect to his sons and their destinies and was able to speak clearly into their prospects. The heads of households can have such a liaison with the Lord that they can through dreams receive intimate information concerning the same and speak relevantly and prophetically into each one. As the responsibility is accepted and connected with the Lord then necessary knowledge can be imparted that will aid in their relationship with God and produce tremendous blessedness for their immediate offspring and grandchildren.
3. THE DREAMS CAN FOCUS ATTENTION AND BE RELEVANT TO THE LOCAL FELLOWSHIP OF BELIEVERS
Living and working in the context of Christian fellowship in a spiritual, dynamic manner gives God the opportunity of speaking through dreams to the old to guide those who are in the community to which one belongs.. It is a powerful means by which God can unveil things that bring guidance, assurance and blessing in this area of life and ministry to believers alongside. It is possible to pass on vision, direction and faith to those within the body of believers as the correct information is passed on from the Lord. What valuable spiritual information and direction can be passed on to the young through the old by this divine procedure?
4. THE DREAMS CAN BE OF A WIDER CONTEXT THAT BRING REVELATION ON SITUATIONS IN THE WORLD AT LARGE
It is possible to receive inspired knowledge for people who are not Christian believers by this divine encounter that can be quite revelatory and convincing to those who do not know God.God can impart divine insight into the actual condition of our neighbours and friends and provide vital knowledge on the ways and means of reaching them in a supernatural way so that they become aware of and persuaded of the Christian Gospel and witness. Dreams are a way by which God up-dates and make His trusted servants and messengers aware of things that make them a powerful testimony to Himself and His purposes.
If God has promised this to be manifest as a consequence of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit amongst the ‘old men’, then there should be an honest and earnest seeking of Him for such to be greatly in evidence. This means of revelation should not be despised but be desired.When such occurs and invades the personal destiny of life, the family, assembly and outside world, what tremendous spiritual impact will be made to the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian witness.