God made this promise:
“I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions” (Joel 2:28 NKJV).
I have taught many times about dreams and visions, but I feel compelled in this teaching to focus specifically on visions – what they are and how best to respond to them.
Overall Bible, God spoke to man in many ways, each unique and wonderful, both through dreams and visions. Many people use these two words interchangeably and they are similar. Both imply that our Lord gives direct revelation. However, one of the main differences is that dreams come to us while we are asleep, while visions occur when we are awake. In fact, in Numbers 24:4, visions or “waking dreams” are given “with eyes wide open.”
God uses dreams primarily to speak to us, to reveal His plans, and to be guided by the Spirit Communicate, warn of impending trouble, produce prophetic revelations, and provide battle strategies.
Visions, while similar, have a different purpose. God uses visions to reveal himself, his glory, and to make himself known and revealed.
God used visions in people like Abraham (Genesis 15), Samuel (1 Samuel 3), Daniel ( Daniel 7-12), Ananias (Acts 9), Cornelius (Acts 10), and Peter (Acts 10).
The apostle Paul received several significant visions. One instructed him to preach the gospel in Macedonia (Acts 16), another encouraged him to stay longer in Corinth (Acts 18), and he also received a vision from heaven (2 Corinthians 12).
In Exile On the island of Patmos, John received the Book of Revelation as a vision that offered more detail of future events than was shown to Daniel.
Visions have continued through the years. And according to Joel 2:28, the days to come will see even more, especially through our youth.
Vision of the fiery inferno
I was a very young believer in early 1972, and I was praying in my bedroom, completely surrounded by the glorious presence of the Lord. Suddenly I had a vision of a huge crowd moving towards a large, deep valley in which a raging inferno was raging. Thousands fell in the flames. Then I clearly heard the Lord speak to me, “If you don’t preach, I will hold you accountable.”
I was overwhelmed by what I was seeing, all the sounds I was hearing, and the voice that spoke to me. It was a life changing moment and I pledged to serve God with every atom of my being.
As I write these words to you today, the reality of that vision is still as undeniably real to me as it was then the day I received it!
From that moment I was driven to preach the gospel to the millions, even billions, marching toward the raging inferno who desperately need to hear the message of God’s saving and healing power – many of them for the very first time.
For me, the vision of the fiery inferno was the first of a series of visions I have received since, and that experience drew me to it a lifelong study of dreams and visions.
Let me share briefly what I’ve learned specifically about visions.
Characteristics of a God-given vision
Everyone of us go through life changing moments when a new vision is given, but questions often arise. These are primarily the ways to show a believer that the vision is of God:
• A God-given vision reveals His holiness, glory, and power. The prophet Isaiah was given a life-changing vision:
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of His robe filled it Temple. Above stood seraphim; each had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of his glory!” And the doorposts were shaken at the voice of him that cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. (Isaiah 6:1-4)
• A God-given vision reveals your own humanity and frailty. After the revelation of the glory of God, the prophet Isaiah declared:
So I said, “Woe is me, for I am destroyed! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and dwell among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the king, the LORD of hosts. (Isaiah 6:5)
A vision always reveals God’s glory. When you see His glory and power, how can you be left but with a sense of your own shortcomings and shortcomings?
• A God-given vision will amaze you and sometimes even stun you for days. As the prophet Ezekiel sat among the captives by the Kebar River (Ezekiel 1-3), the heavens opened to him and he received several visions from God – including the hurricane, the throne room of God, the living creatures, the wheels, and much more.
After this vision, Ezekiel was amazed and speechless for days (Ezekiel 3:15).
• A God-given vision is always followed by its interpretation. Daniel 7 speaks of the vision given to the prophet Daniel and then says: “My thoughts troubled me greatly, and my countenance changed; but I kept the matter in my heart.” (Daniel 7:28).
The King James Version speaks the prophet’s troubling thoughts as “knowledge”. He didn’t understand his thoughts, so God sent an angel to explain the vision:
Then it happened when I, Daniel, had seen the vision and was searching for the meaning that suddenly there stood before me one who has the looks of a man. And I heard the voice of a man from between the banks of the Ulai calling and saying, “Gabriel, let this man understand the vision.” Then he came near where I was standing, and as he came I was afraid and fell on mine face; but he said to me, “Understand, son of man, that the vision refers to the time of the end.” (Daniel 8:15-17)
Many times you will have a vision that you do not understand at first . In that case, start by seeking God’s interpretation of what you just saw.
Five Steps to Making a Vision a Reality
It’s one thing, a vision to recieve. It’s another thing if you don’t understand or don’t know what to do with what you received. Luckily, the prophet Habakkuk revealed five things you must do to make your “waking dream” come true:
1. Bete Habukuk herself received (“saw”) a vision from God, a distressing panorama of what was to come. The Prophet prayed quickly, opening up to what the Lord wanted him to see and do: I will stand my guard and stand on the wall and watch what he will say to me and what I will answer when I am corrected. (Habakkuk 2:1)
The first thing you must do is pray. Prayer is the key to dreams, visions, revelation, interpretation and knowledge. Pray and ask God to reveal the meaning of your “waking dream”.
2. Write the vision down Time can cloud your memory. Your soul’s enemy will do anything to prevent your vision from becoming a reality. You may forget important parts of what you saw. The Lord told Habakkuk exactly what to do: write the vision down and make it clear on tablets so that whoever reads it may run away. (Habakkuk 2:2)
3. Act on the Vision “Run who reads it” refers to going out in faith and acting on what God has shown you. The moment you begin to act upon what you have seen, you begin to work with God to bring it about.
4. Wait for it
This may sound contradictory to acting on the vision, but waiting is an important part of making the vision a reality. Even if you go out in faith, you must also recognize that God’s timing is critical: for the vision is for a time yet; But in the end it will speak and not lie. Even if it hesitates, wait for it. (Habakkuk 2:3)
A vision given by God will always be fulfilled. However, God is not limited to human schedules. As you wait for a vision to materialize, cooperate with God in every way you can, patiently awaiting His perfect timing to fulfill it.
We are told, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him” (Psalm 37:7 ESV). wait for him Seek the Giver of visions, not just the visions.
Andrew Murray wrote: “Give glory to God by resting in Him, trusting Him completely by patiently waiting on Him. This patience greatly honors Him; it leaves Him as God enthroned to do His work; it puts itself entirely in his hands. It lets God be God.”
5. Do not lose faith “It will surely come” (Habakkuk 2:2). It may delay, but “the just shall live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4).
Every time you receive anything from God, including a vision, understand that the enemy of your soul will do everything to keep you frustrated, defeated and despondent, even taunting you into believing that the vision was just an illusion.
Hold fast to the promise: “He who is in you, is greater than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). If you focus your life on God and His will, even as you keep His promises and walk in faith, the enemy’s power will be defeated and you will live in victory.
Remember, like Samuel as a child, was called of God in the night. Twice he heard the voice of the Almighty in the darkness. Finally, on the advice of his mentor Eli, the boy waited in silence until he heard the voice calling his name.
Samuel replied, “Speak. I am your servant, ready to listen” (1 Samuel 3:10 MSG). God told him to listen carefully and quickly began giving instructions that would change the course of history.
Perhaps what God wants you to see is not as dramatic as what Samuel received but it is no less important.
Each of us goes through life-changing moments where a new vision is given and direction is set.From what I hear personally, through emails, and from the letters I receive, I believe this is happening for many of my partners right now as God prepares us for what lies ahead.
What is God showing you, either in visions or the still, small voice within you? After all, visions don’t always come in dramatic form. Sometimes God just puts something in your heart that He will illuminate and expand over time.
What has He put in your heart to do? A new chance? A bigger vision of what you’re supposed to do? A business idea? Improved Relationships? Lead loved ones to the Lord?
Clear your head. Spend more and more time in God’s presence and avoid outside distractions and thoughts. Then listen while you wait.
The prophet Isaiah, inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote: “Be careful and be still” (Isaiah 7:4). Silence and listening to God’s still, gentle voice go hand in hand.
We are told, “Oh that you would keep silent, and it were your wisdom” (Job 13:5), and “Teach me , and I will be silent. Show me where I went wrong” (Job 6:24 NLV). Silence allows you to pay attention to what is moving in your soul. Instead of suppressing or ignoring what is going on in your mind, pursue your time with God even more in solitude.
The more time you spend alone with God, the more you will learn, His voice to recognize when he speaks to you and the visions he places in your heart. Seek the Holy Ghost to bear witness to your spirit. Always remember that the Holy Spirit will only reveal the truth to you if you can hear it.
And as God speaks to you, write down the vision and make it clear.
My special request for you today
Finally, let me share this word with you. I believe the remainder of 2019 will continue to be a supernatural time of blessing and new direction for believers, and I want you to be a part of what the Lord is doing!
He wants, that we sow rightly and work purposefully toward the multiplication and spread of the glorious and everlasting heart-saving and miracle-working gospel. His Word tells us:
“Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows plentifully will also reap plentifully. So may each give as he has purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or out of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7).
The word “necessity” in this verse means “compulsion”. God does not want believers to feel compelled to give, but because they love him so much that they joyfully give for the spread of the kingdom. The Greek word for “joyful” is “joyful.” God is looking for men and women who will cheerfully and joyfully give in evangelism.
As God expands your vision and you take a step of faith in every area of your life, prayerfully ask Him what gift should you give today so that countless people can hear the gospel of Jesus Christ?
I look forward to hearing from you very soon and I pray that your gift will bring many lost souls to the cross.
At the same time, I pray that your gift will multiply into a vast harvest of blessings in your own life in the weeks and months to come, in the mighty name of Jesus Christ!
The principles of sowing and reaping are given to us in the Old and New Testaments. These principles and promises are for all to see, and I can testify of what He has done in the lives of so many believers who have been blessed beyond measure so that they may continue to be a blessing to others!
And that is my prayer for you today!
Your gift is helping me spread the life-saving, miracle-working gospel of Jesus Christ around the world, and I want you to know from the bottom of your heart how much I love your gifts, Appreciate your encouragement and prayers as we work together for God’s kingdom!
Will you join me today as we strive to reach the lost and needy around the world? ? May God bless you abundantly for all you give for the expansion of His kingdom!