A few years ago I had a vision – a waking dream of myself running. When I was 11 years old I contracted a painful disease in my knees that prevented me from running or participating in any sports. I was in constant pain and had several operations, and numerous treatments and therapy throughout my teenage years to fix the problem, all to no avail. Then when I was 18 years old I had prayer for Jesus to heal me and was instantly healed and pain free.
However I never went back to running. I got married, had six babies and was always somehow too busy. However about four years ago I started to repeatedly have a vision of myself running. This went on for months, until I conceded God must be trying to speak to me. You see I’d shut down that athletic part of my life but God started speaking in a vision about running again and so finally as a result I brought a pair of running shoes and started to run. At first it was only 30 seconds at a time, but I persevered until I was running long distances once again.
I had received the vision from God in my spirit, it was translated to my soul (my mind and emotions), and then my body eventually came into line with what God had spoken. In the process my heart was healed as the Lord restored what had been stolen from me as a child. I run 6-7km most days now, but it all started through God speaking in a vision.
We aren’t always open to hearing what God has to say to us, often because of our busy schedules or the state of our internal world, but through visions and dreams He is able to get past our conscious self-defence mechanisms and go right to the heart of the matter, revealing the true condition of our hearts, what we have been thinking about and also what God is doing.
All through the bible God used visions and dreams to bring direction, revelation and instruction. He still endeavours to instruct us this way and to imprint things upon our hearts and minds. The images we see may reveal a coherent message, or seem to make no sense. In my experience of interpreting dreams, there are often particular objects, people or places God uses to symbolise specific things. Initially it may make no sense, and you may feel like you are playing Blue’s Clues, but if we wait, seek and ask God will bring revelation and piece things together.
Both Joseph and Daniel had visions, dreams and interpreted their and other people’s revelations. The dreams revealed peoples hearts and told of the future. God will even speak in a dream or vision to those who don’t profess to know or believe in Him so as to fulfil His purposes and/or to draw them to a understanding of His existence. (Genesis 37:5-9; 40; Genesis 41 Daniel 1:17)
It is however important to understand that we can all have what I call “pizza dreams”, like when we’ve eaten too late and experience a disturbed sleep. We can have troubling dreams or even nightmares which can be from a busy or over anxious mind and heart, which is our inner world trying to sort out our previous day or things we haven’t stopped to deal with properly. It’s why its a good idea to spend some time before we sleep reading the bible and asking for forgiveness and healing for any mess up’s, or struggles or conversations we may have faced throughout the course of our day. We can also give any concerns over to Jesus before going to sleep. Then when we dream or have a vision, we can be more confident that it is God revealing and speaking to us and not just “the pizza”. I also pray over my sleep so that I’m not spiritually “attacked” in my sleep with troubled dreams or nightmares.
If we think that God has communicated with us through a dream or vision, the Bible is the best place to confirm whether the message we have received truly came from God. If it doesn’t sound like how God speaks in His word and doesn’t encourage or direct you in some way then caution is always wise. Not everything we dream or see if from Heaven and some things are a product of enemy attack or our own concerns or fears. It’s also worthwhile sharing what has been revealed to us with other Christians who know God and His Word well.
Today, consider the dreams or visions you may have had. Write them down, pray and seek God over them and what they may mean. God never does anything without a purpose, and if we have had a dream or vision from God you can be sure it is for a reason. We can also ask God for the spirit of revelation and wisdom that we might know Him better. Ask today, and expect God to speak and for you to begin to see visions and to dream dreams.
“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” (Ephesians 1:17)
“For God does speak—now one way, now another—though no one perceives it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they slumber in their beds. Then He opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction”. (Job 33:14-16)
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5)
Prayer: Lord thank you that you desire to speak to me and draw me closer to you. Please remind me of any visions or dreams you have given, and help me to understand and grasp hold of what you were saying. Please release to me in greater measure visions and dreams from heaven. In Jesus name Amen.