Have you heard stories of God appearing to people? Or do you wish you could just meet Him and have a straight conversation face-to-face? Well maybe you already have and just don’t know it – read on and find out how!
Is it possible to meet God?
I grew up in church, so I have been exposed to many of the bible stories over the years. I always wondered why so many people seemed to have God encounters back then, but not so much now. I used to think that God seems rather silent these days. But surely God is the same now as He was then? Why would He suddenly stop speaking? Have we been missing something?
Understanding my dreams was one of the biggest factors in changing my perspective on this. I now believe God is communicating with us all the time. Read on and I will explain…
In the first part I give a biblical basis for why we should expect to be encountering God, and then I give examples of how this works in dreams.
If you just want the explanation and examples – you can fast forward to that part.
Back to the beginning
Let’s take things back to the beginning – to God’s big plan for mankind. Often we can glean so much by going back to the first mention of something. As I look back in the bible, the first image we see of God interacting with humanity is the beautiful scene in the garden of Eden, which is alluded to in Genesis 3:8.
They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day. Genesis 3:8.
What a wonderful image. I love to imagine what it would have been like for Adam and Eve, having that closeness to God.
Since the arrival of Covid-19 and the enforced lockdown, my husband and I have been walking in our local area every evening. We are lucky enough to have open fields right on our doorstep. It is a great time to catch up with each other, talk about our dreams, plan together, and commiserate over the difficulties we have faced during the day.
Now imagine being able to do that with God! I know that those of you who are Christians will be crying out, ‘But I DO talk to God every day!’ OK, I accept that – so do I, to an extent, but it always feels a little one-sided. Can you say that you have a face-to-face type of chat with God like Adam and Eve did? I suspect not.
Moses used to make me jealous more than anyone else in the bible. He heard God’s voice speak to him directly from a bush (wouldn’t we all love to have such clear guidance!). After some dramatic miracles and a national exodus from Egypt, he then went up a mountain and spent 40 days talking to God and obtaining detailed plans.
Not only that, he spoke to God every day in the ‘tent of meeting’, which was a special tent that they erected for this purpose outside the Israelite camp. The bible even tells us that he spoke to God ‘face-to-face’, like one talks to a friend. Now THAT is the sort of relationship with God that I would like!
Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. Exodus 33:11
It’s all about relationship
I have read the bible many times. One thing I know for sure from what I’ve read and experienced is that it’s all about relationship. In other words, God wants to be friends. God WANTS to have that face-to-face relationship with us as much as we do with him.
That’s a staggering thought. I also know that after the infamous incident in the garden of Eden, something changed. Whether you take it as a literal story or figurative, one thing is for sure: We lost that face-to-face relationship, and have been struggling to regain our sense of identity ever since.
Now for the good news: What we also know from the bible, is that when Jesus came He changed everything. After he died and rose again, all of us now have the potential to have that kind of relationship again. Jesus himself said, ‘I will manifest myself to them.’
And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him. John 14:21
If that’s true, then I think we should all have an expectation that God will reveal Himself to us in some way, if we are listening.
So how do we meet God face-to-face?
Well, the title of my blog post gives it away! I believe that dreams are one way we can meet God face-to-face!
If you have got this far in my article, you may well already know stories of God appearing to people in dreams. I have just listened to a wonderful interview with Tom Doyle, who has witnessed many testimonies of Muslims meeting Jesus in dreams. If you are interested in knowing more, he has written a book on the subject called DREAMS AND VISIONS: Is Jesus Awakening the Muslim World?
You may even have your own story. You may have experienced God (or Jesus) appearing to you in a dream, or actually appearing in real life while you are awake! I personally know some people that this has happened to.
Have I met God in a dream?
But some of you may be thinking, ‘ I wish that would happen to me, but it never does.’ That was me too, but hold on for a moment – let me explain something that might just change your thinking!
I can remember the first time I experienced meeting God in a dream. I was involved in church leadership at the time, and was seeking God for direction and guidance for the church.
Dream: Walking with my Dad
I had a dream that I was walking with my Dad. We were walking around the church garden, and he was pointing things out and explaining what he thought about different areas of the church. He told me what areas needed more attention, and what was looking alright.
I had learnt by then that dreams are symbolic, and was trying to think about the symbolism of the different areas of the church. I knew that Jesus often told parables where the Father in the story represented Father God (e.g. Luke 15:11), and also that dreams are like night parables.
Suddenly the lights came on: I realised that I had just had a real conversation with God in my dream. It was none other than God the Father – walking and talking with me, just like God with Adam in the beginning! He was giving me real, practical advice about the church, and what He wanted me to focus on!
God in covert ways
That realisation changed everything for me. I have since discovered that God turns up in covert ways throughout my dreams: disguised as my friend, my brother, my husband, my helper and my leader to name but a few. As someone who always struggled to relate to an invisible God, this was (and still is) a game changer!
Sometimes Jesus has actually appeared as himself, which is rather special. I will write about some of those times in future articles. But I can honestly say that I don’t think I would have remembered those encounters if I was not in the habit of writing my dreams down and giving them importance in my life. Just think, I could have missed those precious moments!
I have compiled a list of a few of the ways God has met me in dreams, along with biblical references for further reflection.
Some ways God could appear in dreams
|PERSON IN MY DREAM||PERSON OF GOD REPRESENTED||BIBLE REFERENCE|
|My dad||God the Father||Matthew 6:9|
|My mum||God the Holy Spirit||Isaiah 66:13|
|My husband||Jesus as my husband||2 Corinthians 11:2|
|My brother||Jesus as my brother||Romans 8:29|
|A friend helping me||God as my friend||John 15:15|
|My boss||Jesus as my Lord||1 Corinthians 8:6|
|My church leader||Jesus as head of the church||Colossians 1:18|
|A doctor||God the healer||Exodus 15:26|
|A dentist||God who gives understanding||Proverbs 2:6|
|Someone I can’t see who is with me||The Holy Spirit||John 14:16|
How do I know it’s God?
These people do not always represent God in our dreams – it depends very much on the context of the dream. They can sometimes represent areas of our own life, or actually be about the person themselves. But sometimes it really is God.
I have found that it is quite easy to recognise when a person in my dream is actually God in disguise. They may give direction, offer a solution, rescue me, challenge me or help me in some way. But when I think about it, when it’s actually God, they carry an air of authority. What they say bears weight. Usually I can also relate the role to a biblical image of God.
I have also found that some characters (like my dad and my husband), are almost always God when they appear in my dreams. The others are more variable and it depends on the context. This is something you will have to figure out for yourself in your own dream life.
I hope this article has whetted you’re appetite to meet God. I hope that you will start writing down your dreams and training your mind to take them seriously, for who knows what God-encounters might happen if you do!
I encourage you to think about the images of God in the bible, particularly in the parables that Jesus told, and some of the names of God (e.g. judge, king, master, guide, owner). Then think about how those characters could appear in your dreams – as God in disguise!
Maybe you are already realising that God has shown up in your dreams and you didn’t know it was Him until now. How exciting!
So keep on the lookout! Stay blessed and have fun dreaming!