I had a dream recently that I’ve carefully discerned came from God. It’s not the first dream he’s given me, so I’ve learned how to recognize them. In the past year, it’s the third one that I know for sure (as much as one can know these things) was from him. It’s both humbling and amazing when God does this. It’s also something I’ve prayed for and something that has been prayed over me (that I would have dreams from God). I’m writing this down for my benefit, because I never want to forget the details. But I’m sharing it publicly so that others might read and understand, and should they ever wonder if God is speaking to them through a dream, perhaps it will help them discern—or at least to realize that it happens. It’s a pretty common occurrence amongst believers who’ve been baptized in the Holy Spirit—because dreams one of the many ways the Spirit moves and speaks when you’ve opened yourself up completely to him and invited him to continuously fill you to overflowing with his presence and power. With that said, here’s what happened in the dream.
In the dream, I was at church, and there was a call for a time of prayer. Philip, our friends B and A, and another couple surrounded me to lay hands on me and pray for my healing. I was standing in front of my seat; Philip was to my right side, and B, A, and the other couple were standing behind me and to my left side. All of their hands were on me as they began to pray together. I closed my eyes and as the prayers went up, I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit come on me—the sensation of radiating warmth and heaviness, along with a deep sense of the Lord’s presence and love. At this point, the experience of the dream was quite realistic, in that I’ve experienced this before during prayer ever since I first began being prayed over by Spirit-filled believers.
As they prayed, I began feeling a distinct pull upwards on my body (this is where the dream switches from a familiar, normal experience into something different than any experience I’ve ever had). Those praying weren’t causing it; they simply had their hands on my back or shoulders as they fervently prayed. I knew it was the Holy Spirit. I was being pulled upward, very gently but very adamantly—yet I myself was keeping my feet firmly planted on the floor. In other words, I was fighting the pulling sensation by standing as firmly and heavily as I could muster. I suppose because I was fighting a sensation that goes against all laws of nature and logic.
As I resisted this pulling, I heard in my spirit an admonition: Just let your feet lift up off the ground. But how? I’m so used to gravity. I don’t know how to “let my feet lift up off the ground”! But again, I felt like I should just let go—to let myself be lifted by this upward pulling sensation. I knew it was God pulling me up, so in an act of faith and trust, I stopped anchoring my feet to the ground. It’s very hard to describe, but I think the key is that I gave in to the Spirit’s will, even though it went against natural laws and instinct. I did a slight little lifting of my feet…possibly best described as a faint bobbing upward. At that moment, my entire body buoyed up—as if in water—and I ended up still standing, yet hovering about six inches above the ground.
Strange as it was, I accepted it. My praying companions didn’t seem to notice. They continued praying over me as if nothing had changed. Perhaps, in their awareness, nothing had changed. But in my awareness, I was standing suspended six inches above ground, seemingly weightless, being held up by what I knew was the Holy Spirit; I could feel his presence all over and within me. I responded by worshiping him, of course. With eyes closed and hands raised, I worshiped and praised the Lord with all my heart. I love you, Jesus…I love you…
As I worshiped and soaked in his Glory, I had a calm realization and understanding that Jesus was healing me. Right then and there, at that moment, I was being healed and made well again. More praise, more worship. I love you, Jesus…I love you…
And then I began to feel myself—in my spirit this time, not so much in body—being taken upward. My eyes remained closed as I (at least my body) stood in the church, but in my mind’s vision, I began seeing the whirring past of space and colors as I was traveling quickly upward, toward an ever-increasing light. This part is the hardest to explain. I can only describe it as the swooshing by of matter, as I was being taken upward. I knew it was God who was taking me upward in a vision. The vision continued to carry me upward, upward, as the colors around me changed from dark orange to light orange, to yellow, then to lighter yellow, heading toward bright white light above.
I’m going to interject something here that’s important to know. Since becoming Spirit-filled, I’ve been deeply hungry to know Jesus more. And I mean more. It’s an intense yearning to become closer to and more intimate with him, to know him more, to be fully in his presence. I’ve literally prayed, “Jesus, I want to see your face”. I’m not being pious, but to know how I’ve been feeling in recent months is to understand why I believe this next part of the dream happened. Back to the dream.
As I continued to travel up, up, towards brighter and brighter light, I recognized that the light—or the source of the light—was Jesus. Jesus himself! And I was being whisked up toward his presence. I was filled with awe and adoration for him, along with an overwhelming yearning to get to that light up above—so that I could be in his presence!
Finally, I was about to reach him. I was bathed in brilliant, white light, saturated with his love. His beautiful face—and only his face—began to appear from the blinding light. I strained to see him through all the blazing light, but I could only just make out vague features. Then his eyes became more visible. Jesus’ eyes! I wanted more. I wanted to see him. To my joy, the rest of his dazzling features began to become more clearly visible. But then…his eyes, which had been open and looking at me, suddenly rolled back into his head! What?! NO!!!
It happened so abruptly. His eyes faded away, and I began to struggle to see him. NO!!! What’s happening?!
And then part of me—my conscious self—was back down in the church sanctuary. The prayer service was still going on, and I was still being prayed over by Philip and the friends mentioned earlier. There was a woman standing in front of me; her back was to me, and she was holding a baby on her hip. The baby was facing back towards me, giggling and cooing and reaching for me playfully, while his mother prayed, oblivious. I love babies as much as anyone. But this baby was the source of the distraction that had interfered with my spirit’s magnificent journey into Jesus’ presence. This baby had been what had interrupted my vision of Jesus’ dazzling face! Argh!
I reached over to Philip, who was still praying to my right, and hissed, “Philip! Make him stop that!” (The baby was still cooing and grabbing at me.) I was still only half-present in the natural, because my spirit was still suspended way up somewhere within all that dazzling light, straining with all my might to see Jesus’ face again. “Philip!” I called to him again, but it was as if he couldn’t hear me. I was intensely frustrated as my natural self pleaded with Philip to make the baby stop bothering and distracting me. All the while, my spirit that was caught up within the vision desperately strained to see Jesus’ face again, but it was all in vain. The vision was gone. I had been so close. So close to actually seeing my Jesus’ face.
This is where I woke up. Immediately, I felt that the dream had been from God. There was a heavy sense of that over me, one that I’ve only felt those couple of times before. But what does it mean? I wondered. There was the part about being prayed over by Spirit-filled believing friends, and the knowledge that I had been being healed during those moments, as well as the Holy Spirit’s heavy presence that had fallen on me…those parts were all very understandable and easy to recognize as being God-sent. The part where I lifted my feet up and allowed myself to be suspended in-air by his power had an easy meaning: it had happened only once I’d made a step of faith and released myself into his power. Even the vision of traveling upwards, far up into the light and glory of Jesus’ presence, as well as his beginning to show me his marvelous face, were pretty easy to recognize as something God would have me dream: it fits with my deep longing and yearning as of late to have more of Jesus, and to be in his presence.
But why the rolled-back eyes? Why the disappearance of his eyes and face from that moment, despite my desperate attempts to not lose sight of him? And why the annoying, distracting baby? That part really had me confused. I was wondering all these things as I staggered sleepily into the bathroom in the dark (it was the middle of the night). I went over every detail of the dream again, trying to figure out the ending and what it could mean. Maybe it didn’t mean anything. Perhaps I was wrong, and this wasn’t in fact a dream from God. But no, I still felt it being impressed on me that it was. The beginning made good sense and fit with my current needs and situation, as well as exhorted me to continue believing for his healing, to continue having these people pray over me, to continue worshiping him with all my heart as I did in the dream.
But the ending…it made no sense and only confused me. I tried again to figure out a meaning, and nothing came. My mind was fairly fuzzy, still very much in sleep-mode. I was about to head back to bed, giving up on figuring it out for now. But this thought stuck in my mind: Oh, I had been so close to seeing Jesus’ face! And I would’ve seen it, had that stupid baby not come along and distracted me out of the vision!
And then, this:
The baby is all of the distractions in your life. Those distractions are keeping you from everything I have for you.
Wham! It had come out of nowhere. The thought came slamming in with an almost physical force, it was so powerful. Yet, at the same time, it was quiet. Soothing. Loving. His familiar, still, small voice spoke clearly into my spirit. And in an instant, the dream’s end went from frustrating and confusing, to as clear as crystal. I knew right then—it’s just something I knew in my spirit—that not only had God given me this dream, but he’d also just given me the interpretation of the dream. Incredible. And convicting.
I knew right away what distractions he was talking about. They’re various things that I’ve known for a long time he wants me to let go of. But I’ve been stubbornly holding on to them. God’s message to me is clear: these things are holding me back from my dreams, and from everything God has for me. From knowing him as intimately as possible. From experiencing his presence to the fullest. From seeing his face! Possibly even from healing. He has spoken, and I must get serious about removing these distractions from my life. I won’t have to do it without his help, though. It amazes me that he would reach down to speak to me in such a personal way. Yes, the dream admonished, but it also gives me great hope that there are wonderful things in store for me and my family.
Have you ever had a dream that you know (or think) came from God? I’d love to hear about it.