Difference between a vision and a dream

I just awoke from a dream.  I must have been standing in a dark corridor because I couldn’t see anything but blackness as night.  Then I heard the voice of a woman who was crying out to God.  However, she only knew to call Him ‘Alla.’  Her voice had an element of fearful distress … I knew in my spirit that she was seeking a confrontation with a living God.  Before I awoke, I had the impression that I was somehow witness to this as though this were a private place.  I was also aware that I wasn’t the only witness, that there were others that had access to this private place.

When I awoke, I had the distinct feeling that the private place was somewhere in the body of Christ.  I can liken it to the brain in that, we perceive many things from our senses, and our brain then decipher them, however I would say that it felt more like the heart because it was more than just mere perception I was experiencing.  I’d like to believe that this was the place of Christ’s heart.  It was as if He was revealing to me that there is a place where we can only get to when we truly seek Him with all our heart and once we get there, it’s a place where true ministry takes place.

However, my message isn’t so much a heart message.  I prayed for the unseen woman and by faith, I know that Christ will reveal Himself to her.  After all, it is only by personal revelation that you can gain a proper understanding of who God is.  I trust that Jesus will give this woman a correct understanding of who He is in a way that she will understand that she needed a course correction.

My message is more so about the dream itself.  I felt impressed to look up the story in Acts 16:9-15 where Paul had a vision in the night of a man beckoning him to come to Macedonia.  The next day he went that way and lo and behold, the man turned out to be a woman named Lydia.  Not only Lydia, but her household, were baptized.  What a work of ministry!

I know we are in the days of apostolic revival and just like in those days, we are seeing things like this happen today.  The cool part is that we have the benefit of learning from those that have gone before us and we have tools like the internet, books, sermons online, and other media that make it so very easy for us to get the proper training and knowledge to be truly effective in building God’s kingdom.

Let me share with you something I just learned that may perhaps help you.  In looking up this scripture, I found that there was a distinct difference in vision vs. dream.  A vision comes from a root word meaning to discern clearly, to attend to, to behold.  According to Webster, ‘vision’ in scripture is a revelation from God whereas a dream is a series of thoughts not under the command of reason and hence, wild and irregular.

Whether the vision comes in the night as Paul’s did, or during the day, the beauty is, the men in the bible knew without a shadow of a doubt where the message came from, even if the details of direction weren’t completely spelled out.

Back to my vision in the night … I wonder, why would God show me a secret place and give me indication that others are witness’ there as well?  I’m certain the answer will become clearer as God leads and guides my steps, but for now, I walk away with a strong feeling that God is revealing just how connected in the spirit we really are.  I felt He was showing me the importance of the body being in one mind and one accord.

I believe this is the place He is taking us too, a place of unity and understanding.  A place where our attention isn’t so much on the other workers in the secret place, but the voices of those that He is wanting to bring into His kingdom.  While He will do the work of revealing Himself, He will need us, His body, to attend to, teach, support, encourage, and love those spiritual babies that He is scooping up in His arms.  How blessed are we to be a privy to a time when it’s all ‘coming together!’

Wow!  How exciting it is to be a part of Christ’s kingdom!  Apostolic revival, here we come!

What’s a vision for anyway?

Have you ever had a vision from God that left you with a boost of enthusiasm that a situation would change?  Or what about a word of faith from someone else delivered with such confidence that surely you thought, it was going to happen?  Then, despite these prophetic moments, circumstances seem to reveal a slightly different path?

Maybe it left you thinking … just what was the vision for anyway?  Was this God’s way of teasing you?  Dangling a carrot out that you could never quite grasp?  Satan is surely there to point out all the depressing realities of the lack of prophetic fulfillment, isn’t he?  Or worse, he widdles his way into your psyche making you believe that somehow you’re responsible for the success or failure of the vision.

So what is the vision for anyway?  Having had a few myself of late and living out some of the thoughts above, admittedly, I have wondered myself.  I took these visions pretty seriously, so was God just teasing me, making me look the fool, or was there something more God had in store?  Today, I had a thought that perhaps the visions are more like seeds.

The intention of the seed is to produce something.  In fact, it’s intention is to produce something very specific.  If I’m the one receiving that seed, I suppose I feel I have a responsibility to do something with it.  I really have a choice to either toss it or plant it.  However, irregardless or what I do with it, God is still in control of what happens to that seed.

If I never do anything with it, that doesn’t mean that seed won’t germinate.  As a matter of fact, things may seem to get radical before that vision ever takes on the appearance of looking anything like what it was designed to, but that doesn’t mean things aren’t happening.

I could toss it out the window and some bird gobbles it up, poops it out, and BAM!  It falls into a nice pit of soil complete with fertilizer becoming a 200 year old solid Oak Tree.  The point being, if God’s intention is to produce, nothing I can do will stop that seed from producing exactly what God intended it to be.

Interestingly, in botony the ‘radicle’ is the first part of the seedling to emerge during the process of germination.  The ‘radicle’ is the embryonic root of the plant.  So, in my effort to play on words, there really is a place for all this seeming ‘radicle’ behaviour of this seed.

But what is our part?  What do we do with this seed?  Our part is to treat that seed just as God intended .. to plant it in good soil, to water it, to protect it from weeds, and to make sure it’s getting plenty of sunshine.  And when all else fails because maybe we never really got the hang of gardening or simply found that the cares of life kept us from keeping up on the weeds, we trust that God really is in control of the end result of that seed.  Trust that God doesn’t give seeds to just anyone and if He’s giving me one, He will follow through on His intention of producing exactly what He intended for that seed.

And when things get a little radical, instead of freaking out that the vision won’t happen, trust that maybe, God’s working His magic in the embryo of the seed.

Why do we always expect these things to happen over night?  Sheesh!  Give growth a little time for heavens sake!  Will ya?  After all, if it were to happen too quickly, we might just start taking more credit for the result of that seed than we should and then we are in for an entirely different problem!

God’s got this, remember?  😉