Reading time: 3 minutes
Do you remember your dreams? Some people sleep so soundly that they rarely wake up in the middle of a dream. Dreams can help you process your understanding of the world, yourself, and God.
Dreams are interesting. Sometimes they can feel real. They can be wonderful-exciting but they can also be scary-exciting–at least until you wake up from them. How can you tell if you’re in reality or in a story about your reality? Sometimes you can’t see the difference until you wake up. Being awake allows for a greater degree of awareness. Once you’re awake you can do a reality check. “That was so weird. Thank God that was only a dream.”
But even when we are “awake”, we can still be asleep. I am thinking of being spiritually blinded to God’s truth. One day, in heaven, Christians will be fully awake and able to see everything clearly.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.1 Corinthians 13:12 ESV
Seek Truth To Wake Up
The way you understand the world should be constantly changing. As a child, what you experience early on becomes your best understanding of what the world is all about. If that experience was horrible or even neutral, you’ll form that kind of worldview (understanding of the world) and self-image (understanding of yourself).
Until you experience God’s truth, which points you toward God, your understanding will continue to deteriorate. You’ll become more deceived as you continue to live with your vision blurred and darkened. Thank God that He has redeemed us. He is calling us out of the darkness so we can wake up from a bad dream.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.1 Peter 2:9-10 NIV
Having mercy and never receiving mercy are two very different places to be.
Seek Ephiphanies To Wake Up
What you experience becomes truth to you until something more true takes its place. Something totally wrong can feel definitively true. When God gives you a new heart and exposes you to the light, only then can you see the contrast. This experience can be so shocking, it’s hard to discern what is true and what is false. A psychological term for this is cognitive dissonance.
Cognitive dissonance is good for you. When you struggle to make sense of life, you are experiencing an opportunity to grow–to move further into the light. You should be experiencing epiphanies regularly. Here are some examples:
- Do you remember the first time you realized that Santa Claus wasn’t real?
- Have you developed your own worldview, or are you still running off of your parent’s worldview?
- How does your view of the opposite sex compare to when you were 10 years old?
- If you’re married, do you remember what you thought marriage was before married?
- What was your life like before you became a Christian? How do you see God differently now?
- How has your self-worth changed over the years?
How have you changed in the past year? What has God been doing to help you wake up from your false beliefs? Take a moment to thank God for His light. Ask Him to shine it upon you so you can see more clearly.
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.Numbers 6:24-26 NIV
Matt Pavlik is a licensed professional clinical counselor who wants to see each individual restored to their true identity. He has more than 20 years of experience counseling individuals and couples at his Christian counseling practice, New Reflections Counseling. Matt and Georgette have been married since 1999 and live with their four children in Centerville, Ohio.