Posts tagged ‘dreams’

March 18, 2015

Daily Devotionals: (March 18th) The Dreams of Patrick II

by Aaron Dunlop

Patrick of Ireland: A Devotional History

Reading: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Romans 8:14

Patrick refers a number of times in his Confession to spiritual guidance through dreams in the night. He was either a zealous mystic with a wild and vivid imagination or a man in touch with God—a man, like Enoch who walked with God and like Moses with whom the Lord spoke as to a friend. I will let Patrick speak for himself concerning his devotional life: “I would wake to pray before dawn in all weathers, snow, frost, rain; and I felt no harm and there was no listlessness in me—as I now realise, it was because the Spirit was fervent within me” (Confession, sec. 16). Notice his wording here—“the Spirit was fervent in me.” He is not speaking of his activity but of the activity of the Spirit in him.

Patrick speaks of dreams in the night in which he heard the voice of God. He says he woke out of his sleep “overjoyed” (Confession, sec. 24). As he slept again, in the dim and misty figures of a dream, he says he saw one “praying there powerfully and groaning; and meanwhile I was dumbfounded and astonished and wondered who it could be that was praying within me, but at the end of the prayer He spoke and said that He was the Spirit, and so I awoke and remembered the apostle’s words: ‘The Spirit helps the weaknesses of our prayer; for we do not know what to pray for as we ought; but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with unspeakable groans which cannot be expressed in words’ (Romans 8.26) and again: ‘The Lord our advocate intercedes for us’ (cf. l John 2.1)” (Confession, sec. 25).

Believer, does this seem foreign? It does, sadly. Perhaps it is because we are so far removed from primitive and vital Christianity. Beware of limiting the Holy Spirit; don’t let the modern Charismatic chaos make you skeptical. Don’t be content with a sterile and lifeless intellectual religion. Pray for personal revival. Walk with God, talk with Him, and “covet earnestly the best gifts”—the Spirit of God, not just dwelling but working in you.

“There is a way in which the Spirit leads the sons of God, a way that others do not know. He enlightens them with respect to their duty, by making their eye single and pure, whereby the whole body is full of light. He enables men to understand the commands and counsels of God’s Word, and rightly to apply them.”—Jonathan Edwards

All quotations from the Confession or Letter of Patrick are taken from the edition by A. B. E. Hood, 1978.

March 17, 2015

Daily Devotionals: (March 17th) The Dreams of Patrick.

by Aaron Dunlop

Patrick of Ireland: A Devotional History

Reading: “I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.”  Psalm 16:7  

Patrick speaks often about the direction he received from God through dreams in the night. He speaks of a dream in which he was directed to escape after six years of slavery (Confession, sec. 17), it was by a dream also that he was directed to come back to Ireland as a missionary. In that dream he saw Victoricus and heard the “voice of the Irish” crying, “We beg you, holy boy, to come and walk again among us” (Confession, sec. 23).

If you are tempted to think of Patrick as a mystic or fanatic, think again. We ought not to dismiss these dreams as spurious. Throughout the history of the church there have been many great men influenced spiritually by dreams. John Newton testified, “I have had people awakened by dreams.” Alexander Duff, the Scottish missionary to India, was converted after a dream of judgment day. John Bunyan was disturbed by dreams for many years before his conversion as was also Dugald Buchannan, the Scottish poet (1716–1780). Dr. Henry Cooke of Belfast was emboldened to take on the heresy of Arianism in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland after a violent and vocal dream which wakened him and his wife.

This is not mysticism. It is the Lord, through His Word and the natural processes of the mind, awakening sinners and strengthening and directing the saints as He has throughout history. If God can and does direct the mind in things spiritual in the waking hours, why would we doubt that He can do the same in the sleeping hours? Dear Christian, seek with all your heart to live like Patrick with a God-consciousness in the waking hours that is reflected in the sleeping hours. Pray for a mind and heart that are led by the Spirit of God and hear the Lord say, “Thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, this is the way, walk ye in it” (Isaiah 30:21).

“If you sweeten your last thoughts with the love of Christ, and the remembrance of your former mercies, or the foresight of eternal joys, or can confidently cast yourselves upon some promise, it will tend to the quietness of your sleep, and to the savouriness of your dreams.”—Richard Baxter 

All quotations from the Confession or Letter of Patrick are taken from the edition by A. B. E. Hood, 1978.

March 18, 2013

Daily Devotionals: (March 18th) The Dreams of Patrick II

by Aaron Dunlop

Patrick of Ireland: A Devotional History

Reading: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Romans 8:14

Patrick refers a number of times in his Confession to spiritual guidance through dreams in the night. He was either a zealous mystic with a wild and vivid imagination or a man in touch with God—a man, like Enoch who walked with God and like Moses with whom the Lord spoke as to a friend. I will let Patrick speak for himself concerning his devotional life: “I would wake to pray before dawn in all weathers, snow, frost, rain; and I felt no harm and there was no listlessness in me—as I now realise, it was because the Spirit was fervent within me” (Confession, sec. 16). Notice his wording here—“the Spirit was fervent in me.” He is not speaking of his activity but of the activity of the Spirit in him.

Patrick speaks of dreams in the night in which he heard the voice of God. He says he woke out of his sleep “overjoyed” (Confession, sec. 24). As he slept again, in the dim and misty figures of a dream, he says he saw one “praying there powerfully and groaning; and meanwhile I was dumbfounded and astonished and wondered who it could be that was praying within me, but at the end of the prayer He spoke and said that He was the Spirit, and so I awoke and remembered the apostle’s words: ‘The Spirit helps the weaknesses of our prayer; for we do not know what to pray for as we ought; but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with unspeakable groans which cannot be expressed in words’ (Romans 8.26) and again: ‘The Lord our advocate intercedes for us’ (cf. l John 2.1)” (Confession, sec. 25).

Believer, does this seem foreign? It does, sadly. Perhaps it is because we are so far removed from primitive and vital Christianity. Beware of limiting the Holy Spirit; don’t let the modern Charismatic chaos make you skeptical. Don’t be content with a sterile and lifeless intellectual religion. Pray for personal revival. Walk with God, talk with Him, and “covet earnestly the best gifts”—the Spirit of God, not just dwelling but working in you.

“There is a way in which the Spirit leads the sons of God, a way that others do not know. He enlightens them with respect to their duty, by making their eye single and pure, whereby the whole body is full of light. He enables men to understand the commands and counsels of God’s Word, and rightly to apply them.”—Jonathan Edwards

All quotations from the Confession or Letter of Patrick are taken from the edition by A. B. E. Hood, 1978.

March 17, 2013

Daily Devotionals: (March 17th) The Dreams of Patrick.

by Aaron Dunlop

Patrick of Ireland: A Devotional History

Reading: “I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.”  Psalm 16:7  

Patrick speaks often about the direction he received from God through dreams in the night. He speaks of a dream in which he was directed to escape after six years of slavery (Confession, sec. 17), it was by a dream also that he was directed to come back to Ireland as a missionary. In that dream he saw Victoricus and heard the “voice of the Irish” crying, “We beg you, holy boy, to come and walk again among us” (Confession, sec. 23).

If you are tempted to think of Patrick as a mystic or fanatic, think again. We ought not to dismiss these dreams as spurious. Throughout the history of the church there have been many great men influenced spiritually by dreams. John Newton testified, “I have had people awakened by dreams.” Alexander Duff, the Scottish missionary to India, was converted after a dream of judgment day. John Bunyan was disturbed by dreams for many years before his conversion as was also Dugald Buchannan, the Scottish poet (1716–1780). Dr. Henry Cooke of Belfast was emboldened to take on the heresy of Arianism in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland after a violent and vocal dream which wakened him and his wife.

This is not mysticism. It is the Lord, through His Word and the natural processes of the mind, awakening sinners and strengthening and directing the saints as He has throughout history. If God can and does direct the mind in things spiritual in the waking hours, why would we doubt that He can do the same in the sleeping hours? Dear Christian, seek with all your heart to live like Patrick with a God-consciousness in the waking hours that is reflected in the sleeping hours. Pray for a mind and heart that are led by the Spirit of God and hear the Lord say, “Thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, this is the way, walk ye in it” (Isaiah 30:21).

“If you sweeten your last thoughts with the love of Christ, and the remembrance of your former mercies, or the foresight of eternal joys, or can confidently cast yourselves upon some promise, it will tend to the quietness of your sleep, and to the savouriness of your dreams.”—Richard Baxter 

All quotations from the Confession or Letter of Patrick are taken from the edition by A. B. E. Hood, 1978.

March 18, 2012

Daily Devotionals: (March 18th) The Dreams of Patrick II

by Aaron Dunlop

Patrick of Ireland: A Devotional History

Reading: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Romans 8:14

Patrick refers a number of times in his Confession to spiritual guidance through dreams in the night. He was either a zealous mystic with a wild and vivid imagination or a man in touch with God—a man, like Enoch who walked with God and like Moses with whom the Lord spoke as to a friend. I will let Patrick speak for himself concerning his devotional life: “I would wake to pray before dawn in all weathers, snow, frost, rain; and I felt no harm and there was no listlessness in me—as I now realise, it was because the Spirit was fervent within me” (Confession, sec. 16). Notice his wording here—“the Spirit was fervent in me.” He is not speaking of his activity but of the activity of the Spirit in him.

Patrick speaks of dreams in the night in which he heard the voice of God. He says he woke out of his sleep “overjoyed” (Confession, sec. 24). As he slept again, in the dim and misty figures of a dream, he says he saw one “praying there powerfully and groaning; and meanwhile I was dumbfounded and astonished and wondered who it could be that was praying within me, but at the end of the prayer He spoke and said that He was the Spirit, and so I awoke and remembered the apostle’s words: ‘The Spirit helps the weaknesses of our prayer; for we do not know what to pray for as we ought; but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with unspeakable groans which cannot be expressed in words’ (Romans 8.26) and again: ‘The Lord our advocate intercedes for us’ (cf. l John 2.1)” (Confession, sec. 25).

Believer, does this seem foreign? It does, sadly. Perhaps it is because we are so far removed from primitive and vital Christianity. Beware of limiting the Holy Spirit; don’t let the modern Charismatic chaos make you skeptical. Don’t be content with a sterile and lifeless intellectual religion. Pray for personal revival. Walk with God, talk with Him, and “covet earnestly the best gifts”—the Spirit of God, not just dwelling but working in you.

“There is a way in which the Spirit leads the sons of God, a way that others do not know. He enlightens them with respect to their duty, by making their eye single and pure, whereby the whole body is full of light. He enables men to understand the commands and counsels of God’s Word, and rightly to apply them.”—Jonathan Edwards

All quotations from the Confession or Letter of Patrick are taken from the edition by A. B. E. Hood, 1978.

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