When Jesus upgraded us from servants to friends, he demonstrated that he wanted his relationship with us to include our voice in the decision-making process. This was actually always the case—both Moses and Abraham understood that God invited them into His counsel (Moses when God threatened to kill Israel, and Abraham regarding Sodom and Gomorrah). God gives the agenda (“on earth as it is in heaven”) and sets us free to make it happen. Dreaming with God explores what this looks like.
Creativity is a key component; the first person filled with the Holy Spirit (Bezalel), was filled for creativity and craftsmanship. In fact, Wisdom includes an aspect of creativity, as Proverbs 8 describes Wisdom as a master craftsman with God at the creation of the world. “Divine wisdom springs from integrity, and becomes manifest through creative expression with excellence as its standard.” (45) The sacred-secular divide has killed a lot of creativity in the Church, which was designed to reveal God’s wisdom (Eph 3:10-11)
As children of God, we have legal access to everything, yet the process of receiving it is full of things we do not understand. This mystery is something we need to learn to value. Mystery is a cross for the mind; if we limit ourselves to what our mind understands, we will filter out most of what God has for us, because spiritual things are spiritually discerned. The mystery helps bring us to this place of discerning. It also can bring both God and us glory: “it is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings [us as God’s children] is to search out a matter.” (Prov 25:2). It is like an Easter-egg hunt. The parents enjoy hiding the eggs for the children, and the children enjoy finding the eggs. Finally, sometimes we are not ready to handle it, so God hides it from us, and then the process of searching for it gets us ready.
Learning to hear from God is clearly essential to partnering with Him. Johnson lists a variety of ways God speaks, both dramatic and subtle. God communicates through the written word (the Bible), the “spoken” word of God (the now-word when He speaks directly to you), the still small voice, unusual coincidences or circumstances, prophetic words, testimonies, our five senses, a vision on the screen of our imagination, or more rarely, a vision seen with our eyes or even an audible voice.
The Church is meant to rule the “seven mountains” of society: business, education, government, science and medicine, entertainment, religion, and family. God’s meaning of “to rule” is different from ours, though. “Jesus served with the heart of a king, but ruled with the heart of a servant.” (88) There is no “secular” work for a follower of Christ, so as we lovingly serve the people around us, we bring God’s creative solutions. For instance, a school in Johnson’s area was having problems with teens acting out. Church members observed that this was because the parents did not know how to have a functional home life. In partnership with the school, they started a mentorship program for the parents, with the result that the teens went from cursing their parents to their faces to asking their parents to play board games with them. One businessman finished his wood products with a toxic chemical, and had tried many formulations of non-toxic formulations without finding one of comparable quality. One day while they were praying, God gave his wife a list of letters and numbers, which He told to tell her husband. He interpreted it as a chemical formula, tried it out, and it gave excellent results.
Johnson observes that, as a Church, we have gone as far as we can go on the revelation that we have been given. To go farther in bringing heaven to earth, we need more revelation. This does not mean replacing the Bible, but it is clear that the Bible is not complete revelation, otherwise the Holy Spirit would have no need to reveal all truth to us. Paul prays that the Ephesians have a “spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him” (Eph 1:17), revelation about who God is or how the Kingdom works, and wisdom to know what to do with the revelation. So how do we get revelation? God does the revealing, but we can position ourselves to attract it. Some good ways are being childlike, obeying what you already know, meditating on Scripture, living in faith, giving, asking God to speak to you in the night while you are asleep, and becoming a friend of God.
The Bible itself is a good way to get revelation, but the way that we traditionally treat it does not position ourselves for revelation. Traditionally the Church treats the Bible with a certain set of rules, designed to make sure that the reader/interpreter does not fall into doctrinal error. However, this prevents the Holy Spirit from freely interacting with us through the Bible. Furthermore, it is unnecessary, as most heresy has not come from misinterpretation of the Bible, but rather through demonic “angels of light.” We also need to be aware that, while our Western mindset conceives of only one correct truth, the Biblical model of truth is that of tension between two opposing ideas. God is one, yet He is three. Jesus is God, yet He is Man. Don’t answer a fool according to his folly (Pr. 26:4), yet, answer a fool as his folly deserves (Pr. 26:5).
We have been given the opportunity to pull tomorrow into today. When King David brought the Ark to Jerusalem, he put it in a tent with worship 24/7. This was actually a violation of the Law, which required that only the High Priest could approach the Ark, and only then on the Day of Atonement after the proper sacrifices were offered. However, approaching God’s Presence in worship any time is the experience that every Christian has. David perceived that sacrifices could not take away our guilt, and that God was actually interested in the heart. This enabled him to pull into his day what was reserved for ours. When God reveals something to us, it is an opportunity for us to pull that into today. “God desires for us to bring forth His solutions for the difficulties and traumas of life on this planet. When we carry our concerns before the Lord, which come from our place of influence and authority on this earth, He begins to open up His mysteries that are concealed in His Word.” (154)
Dreaming with God is a grab bag full of thoughts and revelation of how to partner with God. Johnson encourages us that there is more to the Christian life than just church—we were meant to transform society, and it is not by reclaiming our society as a “Christian nation” but by becoming a friend of God, hearing His heart, and receiving His revelation and wisdom.