This video is from Rev DeCrastos. For his blog, go to: http://other-words.net
I've been excited about heaven recently. It's kinda strange because I have been preoccupied with looking forward to going there.
This is different than what I have had in the past. I have written about a dream that I had about heaven. I have speculated about my reaction to heaven possibly being similar to how our kittens experience transition from one home to another. I have also considered how people with disabilities may experience heaven. But this time, my thoughts about heaven seem different.
This is not about my frustrations of living in a sinful world. This is not about my frustrations of living in a body that is aging. This is not about my desire to finally be free of my sinful tendencies. This isn't a reaction to the bad news that I read about everyday and wanting Jesus to return to end suffering.
This time, for the past couple of weeks, I have been filled with excitement about the prospect of heaven. I don't know what started this emotion but I am enjoying it. Maybe I spend too much time in my head pontificating about what things could be like. Maybe I'm too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good.
But, I'm just putting this out there.
Heaven is something that gets me really excited.
I don't envision all the imagery found in Revelation.
I don't think about flying around playing harps and acting all righteous.
I see heaven as a place very similar to this world but being at total peace with myself and everyone else.
God's Peace will rule heaven.
I imagine running and not getting tired.
I imagine climbing mountains and not worrying about gravity.
I imagine traveling, visiting, remembering, spending an eternity with those whom I have only read about.
I imagine hearing story after story of God's faithfulness and grandeur.
I imagine meeting people that the world threw away and trashed but are highly prized by God.
I imagine getting to REALLY KNOW people and not worrying about time, expense or image.
I imagine time spent with Jesus.
I imagine times of review of people's lives and seeing where God intervened and nobody knew about it.
I imagine that I will be surprised at how involved God's Holy Spirit has been with us.
I imagine there will be no concept of time.
BE A MAN.
Dreams are odd. In dreams we can fly, shape shift, transmogrify, meet people that we admire and also be turned on sexually. There is also a psychological technique called "lucid dreaming" where one learns the techniques to manipulate dreams.
Men, when they are teens, experience "wet dreams" that are usually intensely sexual. So, men have a history from early in their lives of connecting dreams to sexual arousal. Many of the men that I counsel tell me that their dreams often trigger their sexual acting out.
How does one handle sexual dreams? Often they are not under our conscious control. So, are we responsible for our dreams? Are we responsible for our acting out sexually when aroused by a dream? How does one stay pure, even while sleeping?
You are VERY responsible if you practice lucid dreaming. If you purposely manipulate your dreams, then you will be accountable for such.
However, there are things that one can do to try and keep one's dreams from turning too sexual:
1. Pay attention to what you think about while you are falling asleep.
2. Memorize scripture that you can repeat in your mind while falling asleep. Philippians 4:8 is a scripture that is made for just such an occasion. Proverbs 4:23 and Malachi 2:15 are excellent as well.
3. Pray while you are falling asleep. This is a great time to talk to God.
4. In your prayer, ask God to protect your mind while you sleep. God can do that, if you learn to count on His faithfulness.
5. Pay attention to what you watch on TV, in the theatre and on the internet, especially right before you go to sleep. You may have to take the TV out of your bedroom. Dreams often are an amalgamation of our daily experiences.
6. If you work with a professional counselor, you can dissect your dreams to help understand them a little bit. Even though a dream may be sexual, the core of the dream may also be something that y0u need to confront in yourself.
If you wake up sexually aroused from a dream, what can you do to prevent acting out?
1. Urinate. Many times an erection is simply the result of a full bladder.
2. Read something non-sexual. Opening God's Word and talking to God about what you are physically feeling is way of strengthening your relationship with HIm and beating temptation.
3. Call a member of your accountability group.
4. Take a cold shower.
5. Stay away from TV and the Internet while you are aroused.
6. Do not recreate the dream in your mind. Distract yourself by thinking in a pure manner.
So, even though your dreams are often not under your conscious control, you can control what you watch and think throughout the day. God is faithful. If you ask Him for His assistance in this area, He will help. Also, arousal does not mean that you have to do something sexual. You can choose to act out or you can choose not to act out.
BE A MAN.
Sexual sin once robbed your heart of something very precious. Every little boy sees the fight for right and desires to be an agent of good, to be the good guy who saves the day.
Every little boy has dreams and visions of one day being someone great and doing something great, but sexual sin often steals these dreams away. God wants to recapture those dreams and restore them for God's man on the battlefield. Victory restores these hopes and renews the dreams that were once vaporized in the midst of sexual sin.
The dream lives! Now, with a sanctified heart, you know what you can do in Him. You feel it. You're a fighting machine, confident as you approach any battle. You've proven that your Command Officer can trust you with much as long as you abide in Him. And He's proven that you can trust Him to supply all you need in battle.
Battles test and transform soldiers, and this test revealed the depth of your love for Him. You're stronger, and you're changed. God is a strong God, and He wants strong, confident soldiers in His kingdom who are good in a fight, even when facing daunting odds that seem overwhelming.
Taken from Every Man's Challenge, pp 33-34.
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