I woke up from an interesting dream one night. In the vision a friend of mine, Akiel, was getting some instructions from our heavenly father. The Lord wanted him to build a ladder, so He told Akiel exactly how to build it and which materials to use. The instructions seemed pretty detailed and the Lord was specific in telling Akiel the steps that were needed to build the ladder. Once he got the instructions, Akiel went to the shed to start building the ladder just as the Lord had instructed him. Along came his mother, father, auntie, friends, and mentors all wondering what Akiel was up to. When he told them what the Lord instructed him to do they all pondered the matter, talked about it and decided to advise him to do things another way in order to achieve the same result. He listened to them, deciding to do things their way and sure enough he was able to build a nice ladder. The next day – still in the vision – the Lord spoke to him again. And again the Lord told him to build a ladder, giving him precise instructions to follow. He told Akiel to make sure and follow His directions. Once again Akiel had his marching orders, and once again his entourage came and persuaded him that although the Lord had given him instructions, theirs made more sense so he should follow their advice. Against his better judgement Akiel followed their advice again, and ended up with a very nice ladder.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
~Provers 3:5-6

The following day – still in the dream – the Lord spoke to him again. Telling him a third time to build a ladder, and again asking Akiel to follow His instructions precisely. This time my young friend decided to ignore his loved ones advice in favor of doing things the Lord’s way (they did approach him again with a seemingly more logical way of achieving the desired result). Once Akiel completed the ladder, not only was it perfect but the Lord sent down a beautiful blanket of peace and tranquility. And so ended the vision.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
~ Deuteronomy 6:4-5

Jesus loves us more than we can imagine, and He would never lead us astray. I would like to encourage us all to take the time and listen to His instructions and follow Him with all our hearts. Take time to seek Him in prayer, enter into His presence, meditate on His word, and listen! Do what He says! Always keep in mind that He does not go against His word, so it is crucial that you meditate on His word regularly.

“Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”
~John 14:21

When we make a decision to follow the Lord we have to learn to trust Him above all others. His ways are infinitely wiser than ours. The vision that I described to you reminded me of that in such an interesting way. When Akiel followed the advice of his friends and loved ones instead of following God’s instructions, although he was able to produce the ladder, it was missing God’s blessing simply because He didn’t do it the way the Lord instructed him to. Isn’t it wonderful that the Lord didn’t give up? He kept giving Akiel His instructions until Akiel finally understood that He should listen and FULLY obey. And what a beautiful reward! Is there anything that compares to the peace that the Lord gives? Of course not!

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”
~John 14:27

And so I’ve made up my mind to seek the Lord, to listen to Him, and to follow Him with all my heart, all my soul and all my strength, because I truly love the Lord! I pray that we would all learn to do the same.

My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts, says the LORD.
And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth.
They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry.
It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit.
It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.
You will live in joy and peace.
The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands!
Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow.
Where nettles grew, myrtles will sprout up.
These events will bring great honor to the LORD’s name;
they will be an everlasting sign of his power and love.
~Isaiah 55:8-13