Yesterday as we looked at God guiding Joseph, we noticed that another way which God guides people is through dreams and visions. In the Old Testament God frequently spoke to people and guided them by means of dreams. Paul often received God’s guidance through a vision, while Joseph and the wise men from the east saw dreams at the time of Jesus’ birth. In fact the Bible seems to make little distinction between both visions and dreams (Numbers 12:6).
So does God still speak in this way? The answer is yes! It sometime happens that a picture comes into our minds as we are praying or waiting on the Lord. Such pictures can be a beautiful gift from God in making his will clear to us. Of course like all visions and dreams they can also come from different sources.
I have heard many people say ‘God gave me this dream’ and while in many cases this is true, it should be obvious that not every dream is God speaking to us. We need to exercise the gift of discernment and test the dream / vision by the teaching of the Bible. If the picture leads to some sort of unholy living we can be sure that it is not the Holy Spirit speaking to us.
It is really hard to write a formula (although many seem to have tried) to know exactly when God is speaking to you through a dream. I have dreamed thousands of time and most of them are just simply dreams, but there has also been time when God has really spoken to me very clearly through a dream, both clearly and also in a form of a picture which was later explained while reading scripture. This is truly an area where the gift of discernment is vital.
Proverbs 25:2 says: “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search it out. It’s the glory of a king for something to be searched out.”
God wants to give you the keys of revelation to be able to search something out. Being able to understand revelation is about being a son, a daughter; it’s about kingship. If God has given you a dream for your life, He wants you to have the spirit of revelation upon your life. He has a great plan, and He wants to speak to you in a way you understand.