The Heavenly Dreamer
We are dreamers because God is a dreamer. His book, the Bible, is actually the story of His dream. That may surprise you. Some think the Bible is a legalistic rule book or, at best, a boring history book. Nothing could be further from the truth. Obviously, it contains many precepts and principles, but they are given to us as a road map for life’s journey, not a rule book. In Scripture, God shares His dream with us - in a most vulnerable way, I might add - and invites us to enter His dreaming world. He and His kids were to be the ultimate “dream team.”
The dictionary defines a dream as:
A cherished desire
What is seen, envisioned, or longed for in the mind concerning the future
Unrealized desires, longings, or plans.
In light of these definitions, it is obvious that creation’s story is that of a dreamer, the tale of a “cherished, unrealized desire” in the heart of God - a “longing” for family. He who had innumerable angels serving Him had not yet dared to create a being in His own image and likeness. His heart, however, wasn’t satisfied having only angels with which to relate. Certainly, these amazing creatures were a wonderful part of His company, and I’m sure they brought Him a degree of pleasure, but they weren’t family.
He who is love personified (1 John 4:8) desired sons and daughters; He also wanted suitable companions - a corporate bride - for His Son. To accomplish this, God would create the human race in His own image and likeness, far different from the angels. He would actually give this new “species” the amazing ability to procreate other eternal spirits. That fact is almost dumbfounding.
For five days, the Creator worked on their “home.” In Genesis, we read of His meticulous creation of the heavens and earth, the sun and moon, animals and plants. He separated night from day and established the boundaries of the seas and land.
Angels must have watched with great fascination as various plants, seeds, mountains, rivers, and oceans were formed. Certainly, they weren’t surprised at the power of His words or the creative force of Holy Spirit’s hovering. Having lived with God for so long, they were aware of His greatness. However, they must have been curious throughout the week and perhaps even found some of the creatures humorous. Was there laughter at the elephant’s trunk or the zebra’s stripes? Did they “ooh” and “ah” at the butterfly’s beauty, the eagle’s majesty, the cheetah’s speed, or the lion’s might?
We’re not given these answers, though I suspect these things occurred. Job seems to imply that the angels sang and shouted for joy during creation (see Job 38:7). It’s not difficult to imagine high praise erupting from them as mountains sprang up, waves began rolling, birds started singing, and the first sunset was seen.
Then came day six, the day we humans were formed. My guess is the atmosphere changed, angels' mouths hung open in silence, and eyes stared in wonder as the Creator stopped speaking, and with His own hands, began to shape from the dirt…What was this to be? It must be special if He needs to form and mold it with such meticulous attention, they must have thought. Look at the care with which He is forming and handling this creature.
But wonder became shock and awe as He brought this as yet lifeless creature - which had an uncanny resemblance to the Creator Himself - into an embrace and what looked like a kiss! God breathed out, Adam breathed in, and emerging from a hidden place in God’s dreaming heart, a created being described as “a little lower than God” (Hebrew - Elohim) stepped into creation’s story (see Psalm 8:5). This was more than unbelievable; it was unimaginable. God had practically cloned himself, forming someone in His own image and likeness.
Gene Edwards, with great poignancy and imagination, captures the significance of this amazing moment in his book, The Divine Romance.
“He paused, reached down, and scooped up a small handful of earth. He stared at the soil for a moment, then spoke again.
“‘From this red dirt, I will create the highest form of life within the realm of things visible...’
“The angels…stared, enthralled at their Lord’s intensity. They noted how deeply the aloneness, so uniquely His, was etched upon His face.
“Suddenly, the look on the face of the Creator changed. He was searching for something…something in His own being. Slowly He drew that element from out of Himself and engraved it upon the clay.
“With the last sculpting stroke, He stepped back from the moist sod, allowing the angels to have a full view of His completed work. They gasped in amazement and cried together, His image! Visible!”(1)
It is difficult to imagine what the angels must have felt. God had made an image and likeness of Himself, shaping it with His own hands, then filled it with His very Spirit. His dream of family was coming true. And He was pleased - very pleased. Six times in creation’s story, our Maker said the progress was “good.” I find that fascinating. Was God bragging, patting Himself on the back for a job well done? Of course not - there is no pride in Him. Was He surprised - “Wow, this is turning out really well!” Certainly, that wasn’t the case, either. God was simply voicing the satisfaction of His dreaming heart.
His pleasure increased to its highest level, however, after creating Adam. In the sixth pronouncement that creation was good, the Architect added a word: “This is very good.” That one word practically leaps off the page at me. Can’t you hear the heart of a satisfied dreamer in each of these statements, especially this last one? His plan was coming together, and like a proud parent standing over a newborn baby, papa God was savoring the moment.
If we humans experience such a mix of elation, contentment, and joyful expectation at the birth of our children, what must the Father of all creation and giver of life have felt? One can only imagine.
Following this extraordinary launch of His dream, God further explained His plan, entrusting humans with the stewardship of their amazing home. “You’re going to manage earth for us,” He said to Adam and Eve (see Genesis 1:26-28). In describing this role, He used Hebrew words that held the meaning of “ruling,” “managing,” and “governing” (mashal, radah). He was clearly saying, “Taking care of the planet is now a partnership, a family-run operation. I will speak with you, teaching you My ways and communicating with you as My family and friends. You will do the hands-on work of managing this paradise.”
But there was more, much more. We would be more than managers; we would be developers. Unlike animals, Adam and Eve weren’t programmed to act without thinking; nor would they function like angels, simply waiting for a command and then obeying it. They were processors, thinkers, reasoners…and, like their Creator and Father, they would also be dreamers.
“You will also dream with Me, Adam,” our Father may have said to him, for it was unquestionably true. “I will reveal to you the laws, secrets, and resources hidden within the earth, and you will use the incredible imagination and intelligence I’ve given you to create with them. You’ll discover the laws of physics and harness the powers therein.” Perhaps picturing skyscrapers and airplanes, He continued, “Your dreaming will be breathtakingly exciting and the results astounding as you think of creative ways to use the resources of your elaborate home. Each new discovery will lead to others and be fascinating beyond your wildest dreams.” (Pun intended!)
What a plan!
That we inherited God’s dreaming nature is undeniable. And thousands of years and billions of people later, He is still inviting us into His dreaming world - one dreamer at a time.
I realize that religion - a system of works-oriented, structure-based activities through which humankind attempts to find God - makes Him seem cold and distant. But the Bible makes clear that He is the essence and personification of love (see 1 John 4:8). Even after we became estranged from Him through Adam’s sin, He loved us so much that He sent His only Son, incarnated as one of us, to reverse that separation (see John 3:16). The dreaming God was determined that nothing would end His dream of family. Nothing.
As a result of this redemption, we can now step back into God’s dream program. I’m hoping to enlist you. You were made to dream, and you must dream - both for yourself and for God. God is the Author of your dreams, and you’re an outlet for His.
Pray with me:
Almighty Father and eternal Dreamer, we thank You for Your thoughts toward us, which the Psalmist said are too numerous to count. You formed us in Your image and likeness, making us dreamers like Yourself. You spoke of it as “very good.” Revisit Your people with the wonder of this amazing plan.
You wrote about us in Your book before we took our first breath. So often we see this as Your list of demands or requirements for us, not Your dreams regarding us. Break off the concepts we have of You that are filtered through the Fall - the fears of rejection and the propensity toward performance. You are the great Lover!
We pledge to become dreamers with You. While we dream our natural, human dreams, we refuse to be tethered to earth by doing only that. We join our hearts with Yours and dream of the greatest harvest of souls the planet has ever experienced. Bring this ingathering now we pray, in the unlimited authority of Christ. Amen.
We declare that we will cast off of us the limitation created by not dreaming with God. We are becoming heavenly dreamers!
Today’s post was taken from my book Dream.
[Dutch Sheets Dream, Discovering God’s Purpose for Your Life (Grand Rapids: Baker Publishing Group, 2012), pp 25-31.]
Click on the link below to watch the full video.
Gene Edwards, The Divine Romance (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House, 1984, 2992), pp 3-4.