Some people feel they have dreams from God.
Don’t count me in that number.
I say to them, maybe that is true. Dr. Willard points to numerous passages in the Bible where God communicates through dreams.
My wife has dreams. She tends to get more sleep than me and in the deep dream state that is often referred to as REM, she dreams. I think if you asked Susan about her dreams she would tell you that she usually has “bad” dreams and it is my hope that those are not communications from God.
There are numerous passages in the Bible [Acts, Corinthians, Genesis, Daniel and Jeremiah] where people dream and receive a message from God through the dream.
Dr. Billy Graham states that “God may communicate through dreams or visions even today, but we need to carefully check any such guidance we receive with Scripture and Godly counsel to be sure it is from the Lord. Anything which contradicts Scripture is not from God. Our minds and even Satan are capable of producing great deception in such subjective areas. Second Timothy 3:16-17 shows that God has revealed His will to us primarily through His Word. It says, ‘All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work’” [bolded print mine].
Other than pointing to passages from the Bible that highlight communication from God via a dream, Dr. Willard says little about this phenomenon and he lumps the vision in with the dream, which brings me to the vision or visionary person.
A visionary is a person who thinks about or plans the future with imagination or wisdom. Maybe their vision comes from God; maybe not. I have been in the company of a visionary person and it is inspiring.
Without telling you who I am referring to [some of you may know the person that I know], a visionary can imagine what things could be without specific plans in place. In fact, the visionary I am thinking about works better without specifics. In my working with him, I found I drug him down to the real world with my questions about specifics. He preferred to stay on the visionary level and skip the specifics.
Can a person get a vision from God? I think so, especially if the vision is designed to help others in God’s name. I have to admit that my visions are very limited and are dedicated to non-Godlike activities. I can see a landscape before I build it and I can see a golf shot before I hit it. These are not what I would call Divine visions.
Is it possible God could still give visions as He did in the Bible? The Compelling Truth Website states “Of course He can, but not to the degree He once did. Scripture is complete. Visions were generally for when Scripture was incomplete. Today, most of the authentic visions occur in areas that have not yet been exposed to Christianity or where the Bible is suppressed.
Visions are not and never were God’s primary method of communication. God has spoken through His eternal Word, and He had it written down for us. We must be extremely wary when someone claims to have received a vision from God. Modern-day prophets are easily deceived by the “delusions of their own minds”
In short, like dreams from God, visions need to be checked against Scripture. If a modern day “prophet” is sharing his or her vision and it is not supported by Scripture, it is probably a vision that is selfish and not God-centered.
Dr. Willard comments on dreams as a means of hearing God because of the ample evidence of the use of dreams in the Bible. He comments on visions because of the use of visions in the Bible and the prophetic vision that some profess to have today.
Can God use a dream or vision to communicate to us? Sure He can; He is God. He can do anything He wants.
Does He use this means to communicate today?
Maybe not; He has other means which we will discuss in upcoming posts.