American Idols

American Idols (3)

The following is part one of a new eBook which will be published on 8/15/14. American Idols, the Final Call?

 

And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams.  (Acts 2:17)

Dreams can be SO real. At least this one was. I remember running through a town in the middle of the night; a sleepy little town of about two thousand (which included dogs and cats). I recognized the town as one we had lived in some twelve years earlier.

I shouted, “Tear down your idols, tear down your idols!” I was like a mad man. Like a man rushing into a burning apartment building with only one thought; rescue the residents from the tormenting flames.

“Tear down your idols, tear down your idols!”

People were yelling at me as I ran, wondering why I was acting so bizarre, so intense. I shouted, “First Samuel three twelve”, and kept running.

“Tear down your idols, tear down your idols! First Samuel three twelve!”

And then I awoke.

Here’s the passage I was referring to:

In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end.(1 Samuel 3:12)

The complete paragraph, from the Message Bible, reads:

God said to Samuel, “Listen carefully. I’m getting ready to do something in Israel that is going to shake everyone up and get their attention. The time has come for me to bring down on Eli’s family everything I warned him of, every last word of it. I’m letting him know that the time’s up. I’m bringing judgment on his family for good. He knew what was going on, that his sons were desecrating God’s name and God’s place, and he did nothing to stop them. This is my sentence on the family of Eli: The evil of Eli’s family can never be wiped out by sacrifice or offering.” (1 Samuel 3:11-14 MSG)

I had not been thinking about idols, Samuel, Eli, or anything else from that “neck of the woods”. But the dream sure got my attention.

A number of people in the Bible were given dreams which God used to speak to his people, and to nations. Joel prophesied, and Peter quoted:

And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. (Joel 2:28)

“…your old men shall dream dreams…” At sixty, I guess I fall into that category.

Here are a few examples of God-given dreams.

Daniel interpreted two of the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams. Jacob’s son, Joseph, was referred to as “the dreamer” by his older brothers. Jacob himself was known to receive a message from God from a dream.

God used dreams to warn  people: Abimelech, Laban, Esau, an unnamed baker, and of course, Egypt’s Pharaoh.

King Solomon had a visitation from God, as God appeared to him in a dream. Mary’s husband, Joseph, was warned in a dream, as well as were the Magi. Pilate’s wife tried to persuade her husband to release Jesus; saying she had “suffered many things in a dream because” of him.

Dreams. Specifically, God-given dreams.

I believe my dream is a warning for America; but not just a warning for Hollywood or Wall Street. It’s also a warning to the Church. Much of the American Church seems preoccupied with the ways of the world. A growing, one-sided love affair has the Church courting the world’s acceptance. Seeker-friendly services are used to promote church growth; while society does all it can to exterminate Christianity as if it were the Black Plague.

Time will reveal whether I’m right or wrong, but it’s really not too hard to see. Just look around. The United States of America is in a condition of decline and decay. It is not the great nation it once was. It is no longer the “city set on a hill”.

Wars and rumors of war, the national debt, liberalism, conservatism, religious cults and sects, promiscuity, selfishness, and the like. What a mess. Issues such as “gay” marriage, abortion, the legalization of marijuana, and illegal aliens have polarized this nation like never before.

Where is the greatness of America these days?