God has spoken so often to His people through the centuries through dreams and visions. He uses “picture” language every bit as effectively as words! And how utterly wonderful that so many of these visions have been safely transmitted through the centuries – whereas we often struggle to track down what the Lord showed us even a few years ago!
Because our minds are fully conscious when we receive visions from God, there is usually less subliminal clutter to filter out than is the case with dreams.
Visions can range from fleeting impressions and steering touches on the screen of our minds to the full-scale trance that Peter experienced on the rooftop – a vision the Lord used to open his eyes to His desire to reach the Gentile world. (Acts 10:9f) Many times the Lord has shown me something He has wanted to attend to in my personal life, or someone He wants me to reach out to in such ways. Many years ago, just as I was falling asleep, I had a vision in which I saw a girl of student age crying out, ‘Lord, I’m so lonely.’ I asked the Lord for details and He supplied me with the address. We went to visit the house the next day, but it was deserted. Had I got it all wrong? When we tried knocking on the door of the flat next to it, however, there was the young lady in question, just as I had seen her in the vision.
Receiving an insight from the Lord is the all-important part one; knowing what to do (and when to do it) is equally as important. In practice this often requires a separate set of skills. Sometimes we must seize the moment and share or act on what we have seen immediately; at other times, as in the powerful vision we shared last week about the vision for Armenians to flee Turkey, many years would pass before the time came to share the message publicly.
Like all heavenly communication, visions are only partial, and require further clarification. But what amazing truths Paul is pointing to here!
Just because what the Lord shows us does not make much sense at the time does not mean it will not make sense later on – or to others. What the Lord has shown us may perfectly compliment what someone else is sensing and serve as a prompt or confirmation. If the Lord has taken the trouble to share it with us, we can be sure He has had good reason for doing so!
Why not take some time now to pause and remember times when the Lord has spoken to you in dreams and visions, or when you have heard stories from those who have received them.
For Reflection and Prayer
Lord, we are so grateful for the many times
when You have given people ‘living words’ (Acts 7:38)
– and for giving them the courage
to pass them on and to act on them.
Make us open first to hear Your still Small Voice –
and then to know what to do
with the words and visions that You give.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Read other sections from Robert’s book The Still Small Voice by clicking on the category Still Small Voice near the bottom right of the blog.