Is There An Expectation To Understand the Symbolic?

Most definitely the answer to this question is yes.

Let’s think about the story of Elisha for a second. In 2 Kings 13: 18-19, Elisha begins to rebuke Joash because Joash only strikes the ground with his arrow three times. Well, that seems harmless enough until you look at the entire story. Joash had gone to Elisha because he knew the battle was going to surround him. He went to get symbolic direction from a true prophet of the LORD. Elisha said, “Take the arrows’. So he took them, and he said to the king of Israel, ‘Strike the ground’; So he struck three times, and stopped. And the man of God was angry with him, and said, ‘You should have struck five or six times; then you would have struck Syria till you had destroyed it! But now you will strike Syria only three times.’”

Why was Elisha angry? He expected King Joash to understand the symbolic! He had previously told him that “the arrow of deliverance from Syria” was from the Lord, and that Joash mush “strike the Syrians” till they are destroyed. There was an element of mystery in this encounter, and yet the prophetic and symbolic were wide awake. Look at the wording here. The arrow of deliverance, and strike the Syrians are clues to the parable that Joash was asked by Elisha to enact. When Joash struck only three times in hesitancy or uncertainty, Elisha was angry. How could Joash act so carelessly with the Word of God! Only Joash knows the answer to that, and yet it is clear he must have known and understood the validity of the symbolic, and how it correlated with the physical life just as much as the spiritual. He had obviously been around Elisha enough to know that when a Word was given it wasn’t always in a direct format. One wonders how Joash received this sorrowful news? In fact, haven’t we all (those who follow the LORD) been in this same place. Maybe we thought we heard something but didn’t act right away, or only acted half-heartedly. Perhaps, we asked for a sign (kind of like the fleece set out by Gideon), but it just didn’t seem big enough so we decide to wait for another sign. Why do we walk in doubt and fear when it comes to understanding and knowing the signs and symbols of the LORD?

Another example is the incident of Nicodemus (NT). He went to Jesus as a Pharisee and a member of the Jewish ruling council and asked, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.” Then Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” In this moment, can’t you just imagine Nicodemus scratching his head and trying to decipher what could this mean? He asked Jesus, “How can a man be born when he is old? Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born! How can this be?” Jesus merely shook his head (or so I imagine him to do): “You are Israel’s teacher, and you do not understand these things?” In other words, how can this be? Nicodemus, who knew the law, the signs, the symbolic should have understood completely what this mysterious parable meant, and yet he could not see beyond the natural aspect. Have you ever gotten caught up in the natural and found that it was impossible to look past reality into the spiritual? Our analytical minds can be such a major problem, right? I grew up with an analytical dad. He is a logical, reasoning, and fact-minded person. I learned early on how to craft a debate and win through sheer logic and reason. Those are great things for certain times or areas of life, but they don’t belong in the Spiritual. Logic and reason can create a huge barrier to the supernatural because a reasoning mind will want to find an explanation for each and every thing, and the truth is some things cannot be explained away so easily. Such as, how did Jesus walk on water? Why did He say that greater things that we would do than even He did? How can we even think that deep and wide? Jesus did mighty miraculous things, and yet He says we can do greater? The idea doesn’t have logic or reason to it. It is beyond the natural grasp of man to see so deep in the Spiritual because the spiritual requires trust, faith, and belief. The Word says, Now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen (paraphrased). Hoped for but not seen. Believed in but not seen or attained (as of yet). The supernatural and the symbolic are not always logical, but they are truly powerful and unique if only we will learn to let our arguer go silent long enough or God to bypass it and go straight to the heart.

 ( John Paul Jackson was one of my favorite author’s on dreams. I love his books and all the teaching material of Streams)

|It is the glory of God to conceal a matter….|

To understand the symbolic is something that we should all aspire toward. Jesus patiently and loving prompted the disciples to look, to seek, to discern the heart of the Father. When Peter said to Jesus, “Explain this proverb to us.” Jesus said, “Are you also even yet dull and ignorant? Do you not see and understand,” and then He proceeded to explain the parable. We must have a heart to see and understand. This is more than just about dreams. Yes, they are for the most part full of symbolism, but this is also for life. What if the LORD is speaking or showing you something around you in the natural, but you continue to turn a deaf ear and a dull eye. How can we become more sensitive to the things of the Spirit? How can we learn more on symbolism? One way is to go to the Word. God’s Word is full of symbolism (check out Daniel, Ezekiel, Isaiah for good starting points). For everything that God or Jesus did, there was always the explanation for the natural, and if God spoke in parables then why wouldn’t He do it now? I don’t know about you, but I want to be fully and spiritually awake and aware. Let’s pray today that our spiritual eyes and ears are opened, and that we see things in the spirit, understand, comprehend as we draw closer and closer to the LORD.

|Examples of Life|

One thing I would like to share is an experience I had in 2007. I was the leader of a very large women’s dance team. Every week we gathered for intense prayer and practice. After one particular night of awesome prayer, visions, and prophetic utterances I went home to share the insight with my husband. As he is laying in bed, and we are talking I look across the room at something black sitting quietly snug on the wall. In my mind I think, “That looks like a bat?” Then I’m like, no, it can’t be that. How would it get in, and it has never happened before. So, I get up to move closer, and sure enough it was a black bat on my wall. I freaked out and immediately started praying and the bat launched off the wall and began to circle my bedroom. Talk about a come to Jesus meeting! My husband grabbed a net and captured the bat and took it outside of the house. I anointed my back door and told the bat you will never come into my house again. To most that might seem crazy, illogical, even a little silly, but I knew the symbol for what it was. The LORD was letting me know that even in my moments of great joy, the enemy was lurking like a bat to suck the life blood out of my life, my ministry, and my family. I took immediate authority. It was less than two weeks later, and the dance team was hit with a massive bullet from the enemy. I was unfazed! Let me tell you, I pictured that bat as it swooped to get away, and I saw my husband (symbolic of my heavenly Bridegroom) take the net and capture the beast to eradicate his control as I war-fared over the dance team, the women, my home, and my life. I was not going to let it suck the life-blood from my ministry. What if I had not been prepared? What if I had not seen the symbol for what it really was? I could have faltered and let it take me down. Never again in all my years living in the same home has that happened again. So I know without a doubt that God was showing me something, and I was willing to listen. Are you willing to look beyond the natural eyes and see the spiritual? Have you ever had a moment when something weird happened and you know it had to be a sign from the LORD? Share with us your insight on your experience and how it has affected you or changed your life? Whether dreaming or awake we need to study to show ourselves approved. Seek to learn and understand, and then let it sink into your heart. May you be blessed continuously. Keep dreaming.
NOTE: If you are looking for a way to get started understanding more about symbols then this is the book I have used for years. It is amazing!! Check it out!

 ❤I love, love, love it!! ❤


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