Chasing Dreams, Visions, and Healings

While I was in college, I was part of a prayer group that was highly focused on witnessing miracles. Most of these miracles circled around supernatural healing, but that was not the only thing we were chasing. There were also times of extreme laughter that accompanied our prayer times. Some people classify this as holy laughter. I now, classify this as hogwash. What was actually happening was a group of young kids were getting together and acting like children. One person would begin to laugh then the room would burst out in laughter. We also were amazed at stories of people receiving visions or dreams from God. It was like a drug that we were hooked on. When one person told us about a dream or vision we all wanted to get one that much more.

I would go to these meetings for a time of prayer, but really, I was chasing acceptance. I was also chasing the supernatural. What I wasn’t chasing was God. Chasing the manifestations of God is far different from seeking God himself. The more I went the more convicted I became. I knew this was not Christianity. I knew that this was not holy, but I kept going. Then one day, I came across a quote from Charles Spurgeon that shook me up:

Now, the only feeling I ever want to have is just this,—I want to feel that I am a sinner and that Christ is my Saviour. You may keep your visions, and ecstasies and raptures, and dancings to yourselves; the only feeling that I desire to have is deep repentance and humble faith; and if, poor sinner, you have got that, you are saved.

Why, some of you believe that before you can be saved there must be a kind of electric-shock, some very wonderful thing that is to go all through you from head to foot. Now hear this, “The word is nigh thee, in thy mouth and in thy heart. If thou dost with thy heart believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and with thy mouth dost confess, thou shalt be saved.” What do ye want with all this nonsense of dreams and supernatural thoughts? All that is wanted is, that as a guilty sinner I should come and cast myself on Christ. That done, the soul is safe, and all the visions in the universe could not make it safer. -A Simple Sermon for Seeking Souls, a sermon preached Sunday morning, 12 July 1857, at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens.

I read this and immediately began to repent for my childish ways. I wanted to see people healed. I wanted God to give me dreams. And I wanted to have visions that would blow me, and everyone else, away. What I didn’t realize was that these wishes were not from God…they were from me. What God wants is for his people to have contrite hearts, humble spirits, and renewed minds. Chasing dreams, visions, and healings are not godly. The realization that I am a sinner saved by grace is enough to bring me to godliness.

As Spurgeon said:

All that is wanted is, that as a guilty sinner I should come and cast myself on Christ. That done, the soul is safe, and all the visions in the universe could not make it safer.

And to that I can only say…Amen!

Thanks for reading.

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About Travis Berry

I am a blatantly honest person who loves to think, read, discuss, and write about God and theology. I have a bachelor's degree in Youth Ministry from Crown College. I work at a church in Houston, TX as a Youth Director and love every minute of it! I am married to a wonderful woman named Becky and we are expecting our first child in June! I have a love for God's Word, and a fervor to live it out in the fullest, and I pray this blog reflects that. Thanks for checking out AnotherChristianBlog!.

Posted on August 13, 2012, in Christianity, Life, Theology and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. thechristianreformer

    That is so true. It reminds me of the charismatic movement. My mother in law was in a prayer group one time and they “prayed over her” in tongues. She knew they had good intentions but it really didn’t do much for her and she felt that perhaps she could speak in tongues if she wated too because it was just gibberish. I do believe that God does do supernatural things but we have to be extra discerning and I think as Christians that are into reformed theology we needn’t be too academic either. But that Charles Spurgeon quote does hit home. When it boils down to it, we are sinners and have nothing apart from Christ.

    • I have plenty of stories of people trying to get me to speak in tongues. I think, in general, the church has become anti-academic. In a large part of Christianity there needs to be more intellectualism, but it is easy to get caught up in the latest reformed book instead of the Word of God. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Travis

  2. I’ve never heard of prayer groups like that before, or “holy laughter” but that is some weird stuff, it sounds like everyone was trying to one-up everyone else with their godlyness, or visions of god, strange stuff. Well I am glad you got away from it, that kind of stuff is borderline cult activity. And that’s not what religion is or should be about. :)

    • It is definitely weird but I wouldn’t call it cultish. There really isn’t one human leader for the movement so I don’t think that title applies, but as you hinted, it is for sure not Christian. Thanks for reading SD.

      Travis

    • This is to everyone since I got into the conversation late. Prayer is AN amazing thing. I have seen people who were very sick with a horrible case of the flu get better faster than others who had the same flu, but not the prayers.

      I had an experience with a group one time. They weren’t necessarily “religious” or part of a church; however, one of their friends had a horrible flu and was very ill. They asked me to join them and just sit and image her with Love all around her and sending her pleasant feelings and thoughts. She did get well much faster than other people with the same flu. Maybe(?) sometimes the desire filled with Love and projected at someone IS a prayer.

      • I believe that God can heal, but I don’t believe that we should be pursuing healing or miracles. I think there is a big difference between seeking God and seeking the manifestations of God’s power. Hopefully, that makes sense.

        Thanks for commenting,

        Travis

  3. Travis, I DO believe that sometimes in our lives we all need what we would consider a miracle when the answer to a problem isn’t within our own grasp to perform or have it. It is my belief that IF we do seek God when we have found no answers or help with all that we know to do — isn’t working. We are asking sometimes for Divine Guidance on what we should be doing. I have experienced that when “I let go, and Let God…” , I sometimes found myself meeting someone, or quite by accident overhear a conversation that gives me a new path to try; and even at times, giving me the exact knowledge that I needed to resolve something that has bothered me that was previously beyond my grasp.

    When you are sick, you go to a Dr. When you are perplexed with no where to turn, and your friends don’t have the answer, you go to someone who does know. This can be a bookkeeper, doctor, counselor…depending on what is disturbing you.

    There is ALWAYS AN ANSWER…What has frustrated me at times…(shhhh lol)… I wanted the answer “yesterday.”

    If you really do believe that we should seek healing or miracles…why do you go to a doctor when you are sick? You are seeking a healing. When a doctor can’t “fix it”… many people turn to other avenues: Holistic prayer groups; Counselors because sometimes it is what we are feeling and experiencing is so Toxic that it literally makes us sick.

    Miracles sometimes are just a “new answer or NEW information” we didn’t have before that resolves an issue. That is how we all grow. At times when I didn’t know answers or which way to go or what to do? I have prayed about it at night right before I go to sleep. Then I forget about it. It might be a day or week or even a month, and the answer presents itself.

  4. We do agree after all! Yes!

  5. Just found this About Einstein for you:

    this but have expressed it clearly.”3

    No personal God
    So, the quick answer to the question is that Einstein did not believe in a personal God. However, it is interesting how he arrived at that conclusion. In developing the theory of relativity, Einstein realized that the equations led to the conclusion that the universe had a beginning. He didn’t like the idea of a beginning, because he thought one would have to conclude that the universe was created by God. So, he added a cosmological constant to the equation to attempt to get rid of the beginning. He said this was one of the worst mistakes of his life. Of course, the results of Edwin Hubble confirmed that the universe was expanding and had a beginning at some point in the past. So, Einstein became a deist – a believer in an impersonal creator God:

    “I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings.”4

    Believing or not believing is very personal. I DO believe.

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