VISIONS IN THE NIGHT
May 12, 2009 at 7:54 pm #20887
By T.R. Post
“In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, while slumbering on their beds, then He opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction.” – Job 33:15-16
A man fell asleep one night and had a dream in which God asked him, “Is there anything you’d like to ask Me?”
The man thought a minute and then asked, “What is a million dollars to You?”
God answered, “Well, a million dollars is like a penny to Me.”
“Can I ask You another question? What is a hundred years like to You?”
God replied, “A hundred years is like a second.”
“And now I have one more question. Will You give me a million dollars?”
“Sure…Just a second.”
Many Christians struggle with knowing God’s will for their lives. But the fact is God’s always communicating with us. We simply need to recognize when He speaks to us. One way is through dreams. The Bible says in Joel 2:28 (and repeated by Peter in Acts 2:17), “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters
shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.”
Incidentally, this verse doesn’t mean you have to be old to receive dreams from the Lord. This is a poetic passage known as Hebrew Parallelism, a common literary feature in the Old Testament in which the words of two or more lines of text are directly related in some way.
The Hebrew word for dream is “chalom” (kah lohm) which means “a vision in the night.” If for some reason the Lord can’t get our attention when we’re awake, then He’ll speak to us while we’re sleeping.
Nowadays there are numerous books on the market about how people can know the meaning of their dreams. I once heard a syndicated radio host who dubbed himself “the Dream Doctor.” Listeners called in describing dreams they had and then this doctor attempted to interpret the meaning of each one. But not all dreams are divinely inspired. The Lord warned in
Jeremiah 23:32, “Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams.”
Sometimes we can have “mind dumps” triggered by our diet or daily events.
Ecclesiastes 5:3 says, “For a dream comes through much activity, and a fool’s voice is known by his many words.” Other times the devil will harass us with nightmares or other perverted visions.
Often I’ve been attacked with fearful or pornographic dreams just before receiving a blessing from the Lord that same day. God alone gives the interpretation of dreams (Genesis 40:8, 41:16). In Daniel chapter 2,
King Nebuchadnezzar had dreams that he wanted to know the meaning of. At first the king called upon the astrologers and psychics of his day. But none of these soothsayers could help him. Only a man of God could tell the King what he had dreamt and the meaning of his dreams. Later in chapter 7, Daniel had dreams himself which he then interpreted for Nebuchadnezzar’s
successor, King Belshazzar.
Many other people in the Bible received divine direction through dreams…
• King Abimelech was told by God in Genesis 20 not to touch Sarah because she was Abraham’s wife.
• “Jacob’s Ladder” was a dream recorded in Genesis 28:12.
• God spoke to Laban the Syrian in a dream saying, “Be careful that you speak to Jacob neither good nor bad.” (Genesis 31:24)
• In Genesis 37, Joseph had two dreams about his family bowing down to him. After Joseph shared these dreams with his brothers, he was sold into slavery. This is why we must be selective in who we share our dreams with. Not everyone will be receptive to them. Nevertheless Joseph was later used to interpret the dreams of the butler and baker while in prison and then before Pharaoh’s throne. Shortly after that, Joseph’s own dreams came to pass as his family bowed down to him (Genesis 42:6, 43:26, 44:14).
• In Judges 7:13-14, Gideon overheard his enemies talk about a dream in which a loaf of barley bread tumbled into the camp, causing a tent to collapse. God was showing them that He would deliver the camp of Midian into Gideon’s hand.
• God asked Solomon in a dream what one thing he wanted the most (1 Kings 3:5-15). Solomon asked for wisdom, which also brought him other blessings.
• Another Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father, was instructed in a dream to take Mary as his wife (Matthew 1:19-21) and later flee to Egypt with the infant Jesus so King Herod couldn’t kill Him (Matthew 2:13). This was after the wise men saw Jesus and then were warned in a dream (Matthew 2:12) not to report back to Herod. Later when King Herod died, Joseph was spoken to
again in a dream to bring his family back to Israel, specifically in Galilee.
• Just before the crucifixion, Pontius Pilate was advised by his wife, “Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him.” (Matthew 27:19).
• The Apostle Paul received both the Macedonian Call (Acts 16:6-10) and an exhortation from the Lord (Acts 18:9-10) through dreams.
One of the first visions of the night I experienced as a young believer happened in February 1992. I dreamt I was in Utah wanting to visit the corporate headquarters of a multi-level marketing company I was involved in at that time. However I had difficulties trying to get the company’s phone number. Finally I called directory assistance a couple times and heard a recorded message that gave me the number but then said, “Please do not call this number!” When I decided to call the number anyway, a glass plate suddenly covered the telephone buttons. This prevented me from making another call. Then I woke up. Sensing that the Lord was telling me to get out of this business, I asked Him to give me a confirmation. The next night at church, my pastor had a word of knowledge telling me to get out of multi-level marketing and find a regular job.
A year later I had another dream involving an employment situation. In April 1993 I dreamt of a parked car covered with flyers promoting a store I worked at which sold self-help materials. In order for me to drive this car, I had to remove the flyers off the door and windshield. When I woke up, I sensed this dream was from the Lord but initially wasn’t sure what it meant.
Two months later l submitted my resignation notice. Three days after that, somebody gave me a car. It was then I realized what God showed me in that dream. He wouldn’t bless me with a car until I resigned from that store. This was because some of the materials sold glorified man’s
achievements without God’s help.
In a 1995 dream I had walked into various rooms. In the last room, a man that I knew from church asked me to pray for him. When I woke up, I questioned this dream being from God since I had eaten a heavy meal the night before. But later that evening while I was at a church evangelism meeting, this same man I had dreamed about began the meeting by asking people to pray for him because his business was facing a lawsuit.
In another dream I was in a cafeteria and ordered a cappuccino. The person behind the counter gave me a fruit juice instead. Again I asked for a cappuccino and again I was given a glass of juice. The Lord showed me I was drinking too many cappuccinos. He wanted me to reduce my consumption of them in favor of healthier drinks.
In 2002 I dreamt I was riding in a car with two other people. Suddenly we stopped in front of a radio station that had “WWW” in big red letters on it. The Lord showed me that He wanted me to broadcast on the radio over the Internet. Signs & Wonders Radio would make its debut four years later.
In October 2005 while visiting London, Ontario, I got to hear John Scotland minister for the very first time. A month later while I was in Toronto, I had a dream about John and perceived that we might work together in the future. That would come to pass two years later.
As you become aware of the details of your divinely inspired dreams, you’ll learn to recognize what certain symbols mean. For example God-given commands often come through an authority figure such as a parent, employer, or pastor. One time I dreamt I was sitting in the back row during a church service. The pastor walked up to me while preaching and with a
serious look on his face said, “Quit taking notes in church.” Prior to this dream I used to be an avid note taker. God directed me to cut back on this because it had become a time-wasting distraction.
God often gives warnings in dreams (Job 7:14). I had a dream in which I kept looking for glasses of orange juice in a house while a hurricane was raging outside. The orange juice symbolized the state of Florida. The Lord was warning me I would experience “spiritual storms” during an upcoming trip to Pensacola.
There may be seasons when you will have many dreams and others when you hardly have any. Trust God to give you dreams when He feels the need to. In his book “A Dream Come True”, Pastor James Ryle lists eight tips to help prepare a person to receive divine direction through dreams:
• Set your heart upon the Lord.
• Repent of wrong attitudes.
• Study the Bible faithfully.
• Be committed to your church and pastor.
• Ask in faith.
• Be alert in your sleep.
• Wake up and write down the dream.
• Apply your heart to wisdom.
KNOWING THE DREAMMAKER
Many times when I am out street evangelizing, people ask, “What about those who have never heard the gospel?” Because God is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9), nobody will have an excuse on Judgment Day. In countries where sharing the gospel is illegal, people are still discovering the only way to salvation. Wendell Evans of the Billy Graham Center’s Institute for Muslim Studies states “…more and more stories are coming out of closed countries of God supernaturally evangelizing Muslims…of the estimated thousands of new believers in Iran in the last few years, over half of them became believers after Jesus personally came to them in a
dream or vision.”
Romans 10:9 says, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” If you are not sure you will go to heaven when your life ends, then I encourage you to say a prayer like this one out loud:
“God in Heaven, I know I’m a sinner and I need Your help. I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins and rose again from the dead. Jesus, come into my heart, make Yourself real to me, cleanse me and protect me with Your precious blood, fill me with the Holy Spirit, keep me away from sin, make me a soul winner, be my Lord and
Congratulations! You have just reserved a place in heaven by making Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior. God has an awesome plan and purpose for your life that will manifest if you take the time to build a relationship with Him. For more information on that, please log onto to the “seekers and new believers” section in the Signs & Wonders web site.
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