Are you seeking God’s direction for the next season of your life? Have you hit some roadblocks? Is there a need for special intervention to sort out some of the decisions facing you? Are you open to guidance that may come to you by means of a dream or a vision?
On a few occasions, God has used dreams to direct the course of my life. In most cases, however, guidance has come to me through prayer and an active study of God’s Word, confirmed by the wise counsel of my wife, colleagues, family members or friends. It is appropriate to be cautious about seeking a miraculous sign for every decision we make. Yet sometimes, the LORD will use extraordinary intervention to direct us.
In this season of celebrating the birth of our LORD Jesus — when there was such a burst of supernatural activity — it’s helpful for us to explore this topic. Maybe in the process, you and I will realize that for us as well, this could be a time for supernatural guidance.
In this joyous time of the year, I usually focus a portion of my study time upon the New Testament accounts of Jesus’ birth. What have I discovered? At least one fact is eminently clear: there was a high degree of angelic activity and supernatural direction surrounding this event. The list is long, so I will try to summarize it succinctly.
The centerpiece was Mary in Luke 1:26–38, when she responded in faith to the angel’s announcement that she would be the mother of our LORD. During this time, angelic assurances were coming to Joseph (Matthew 1:20–25), to whom Mary was betrothed. Likewise, Gabriel appeared to Zacharias, husband of Elizabeth, a relative of Mary (see Luke 1:10–25).
Then there were the shepherds (Luke 2:8–20) who received joyous tidings from the angelic messenger — immediately punctuated by “a multitude of the heavenly host” filling the skies outside of Bethlehem. Angels on assignment throughout the story of the nativity!
Direction through Dreams
The miraculous interventions at the time of Jesus’ birth were not limited to the appearance of angels. There were also the special dreams! Four times, dreams came to Joseph, Mary’s husband — convincing him not to walk away from Mary (Matthew 1:20–25), warning him to flee with his family to Egypt (Matthew 2:13), directing him to return to Israel (Matthew 2:19–21), and warning him to avoid Judea and instead go to the area of Galilee (Matthew 2:22–23).
We can also take note of the dream that directed the paths of the wise men who visited Jesus when He was a young child. “Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way,” (Matthew 2:12).
Signs and the Moving of the Spirit
Speaking of the wise men, the entire reason for their awareness of the birth of the Messiah was a miraculous sign — a special star they observed in the heavens. Along with angelic visitations, dreams and signs, there was also the robust activity of the Holy Spirit at this time.
Simeon “came by the Spirit” into the temple (Luke 2:27) at the exact time Jesus’ parents brought Him into the synagogue. Anna, an 84-year-old prophetess, was led by the Spirit to the same spot: “And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the LORD, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem” (Luke 2:38).
At the time of Mary’s visit, Elizabeth’s baby leaped in her womb, and she herself was filled with the Holy Spirit. Reading Mary’s response in Luke 1:46–55, can anyone doubt that the Holy Spirit was speaking in a remarkably prophetic way through this young girl?
Likewise, when Zacharias regained his voice after John’s birth, he was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied concerning his own son and the Messiah (Luke 1:67–79).
Considering this amazing concentration of supernatural activity, let’s ask ourselves the question again. Couldn’t the LORD provide a measure of direction for our lives in the same way? Might He also speak miraculously to us in these times, guiding us by way of dreams and visions? Is it possible that this could be our time for supernatural guidance?
Adjusting Our Perspective
In the second message of a two-part series on the role of the Holy Spirit, Derek Prince gave some helpful insights about the place of the supernatural in our lives. Based on some of what Derek shared, we may need to shift our perspective significantly regarding divine intervention and extraordinary guidance.
In the following excerpt from “The Holy Spirit in You, Part 2,” Derek remarked that for Christians in the book of Acts, supernatural experiences were regular occurrences rather than the exceptions to the rule.
“So, the Holy Spirit is the LORD’s deposit in us…. Paul speaks about having a deposit — until the redemption — of those who are God’s possession. We already belong to Him, but we’ve only received the down payment. The full payment is yet to come.
That is what the Holy Spirit is. He is the down payment of our life in God in the next age. And this supernatural life extends to every area of our experience.
If we study the New Testament with an open mind, we are compelled to acknowledge that the whole life and experience of the early Christians were permeated in every part by the supernatural. Supernatural experiences were not something incidental, or additional; they were an integral part of their whole lives as Christians.
Their praying was supernatural; their preaching was supernatural. They were supernaturally guided, supernaturally empowered, supernaturally transported, supernaturally protected. Remove the supernatural from the book of Acts, and you are left with something that has no meaning or coherence.
From the descent of the Holy Spirit in Acts chapter 2 onwards, it is scarcely possible to find a single chapter in which the record of the supernatural does not play an essential part.”
We Need the Holy Spirit
Do you sense a stirring in your heart in response to these truths from Derek’s teaching? Is there a degree of longing for a deeper experience of the supernatural in your life? Are you hungry for the LORD to speak to you now and in the future in a specific, direct way?
Of course, you and I will continue to seek His will for our lives through prayer and diligent study of the Bible. The LORD will be faithful to guide us as His Spirit illuminates His Word. Even so, it is perfectly legitimate to ask the LORD to speak directly to us, fulfilling the promise of Isaiah 30:21: “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.”
Would you like to pray with me now? Let’s ask the LORD together to open to us a greater dimension of His supernatural activity, just like at the time of Jesus’ birth.
LORD, I want a fuller experience of your direction for my life. When I read the experiences taking place at the time of the Nativity, it makes me realize that You delight in moving and guiding us in these remarkable ways.
I confess that I haven’t been as open as I should have been. I haven’t expected You to use dreams, visions, and special signs to lead me. LORD, I want that to change today. I need divine direction, and I believe You can provide it for me in any way You choose.
I will remain diligent to seek You through the disciplines available to me. With this prayer, however, I also take the step of faith to open my heart and mind to the possibilities of miraculous direction from You. I look forward to seeing the increased evidence of Your magnificent power in my life. I open myself to a greater working and leading of the Holy Spirit.
I am Yours, dear LORD. Please move in me and through me by whatever means You wish to use — and I will give You the recognition, the praise, the glory, and the thanks for whatever tools You use to bring direction to my life. Amen.
What we just prayed together may represent uncharted territory for you. Along with the desire you have expressed to open yourself to new dimensions of guidance, you will also need some reliable mile-markers to follow. In that respect, Derek Prince has some of the clearest teaching you could ever encounter on this topic.
As always, one of our greatest desires here at DPM is to support your progress in the Christian life. One of the ways we do this is by providing solid Biblical materials to help along the way. Let us get the ball rolling for you on this topic with a free offer. We want you to have the message from which we took Derek’s quote in this letter, the full teaching of “The Holy Spirit in You, Part 2.” It will expand your vision on this subject.
Thank you for linking up with us in such an active way. We are grateful for your partnership. The generous support you provide by way of your prayers and your financial contributions to DPM are a huge encouragement to us. All of us here send our thanks, as well as our sincere wishes for joy and blessings for you and your family as you celebrate the birth of our LORD Jesus this month — and always.
Deeper and Deeper
The days ahead may bring some remarkable answers to the prayer we offered earlier. Sometimes it is surprising to see and hear the wonderful ways the LORD moves when we ask Him to speak to us. It may be an increase in significant dreams or visions, or it may come through greater manifestations of His Spirit that come more frequently.
A primary obligation in our walk with Jesus is simply to stay open. Just about the time we close ourselves off to the LORD moving in such and such a way, or speaking to us using a certain means, He does exactly that — just to keep us on our toes.
Our prayer for you in the days ahead is that your relationship with Jesus Christ — and your openness to the Holy Spirit — will continue to grow deeper and deeper. I firmly believe there is much more awaiting us in the days ahead than we could possibly anticipate. Indeed, I sense that these days for all of us will be a significant time of supernatural guidance.
All the best,
P.S. Once again, we send you our love and thanks for your partnership with us. We deeply appreciate your prayers and your gifts. Please don’t forget to download week one of “How to Be Led by the Holy Spirit.” We know it will encourage you.
Materials used by kind permission of Derek Prince Ministries.