As I write, in the UK we are celebrating Father’s day. This is often a time when Christians to pause and reflect on the love of God, who is portrayed in the bible as our heavenly Father.
This is great, but have you ever met God the Father personally? Would you like to? Is that even possible?
Read on – and find out how our Father God could appear – either symbolically or literally – in your dreams.
Introducing a good Father
For many people, the image of a father is not a good one. I know people who have been hurt or abandoned by their earthly fathers – to a greater or lesser degree.
I am one of the lucky ones who had a good experience. My dad wasn’t perfect, of course, but I knew he loved me, and he did many things to support and protect me. He ensured that he gave me the best start in life that he could.
In this article I want to introduce you to a really good father. The ideal Father – that all of us wish we could have had; the true father of us all.
Who is this father? How do we know we can trust Him? How can we meet Him? what does He do? This, of course, is our Heavenly Father; our Father God. And we can meet Him personally.
Father God introduced by Jesus
I searched for the word father in the bible, and I discovered that it was Jesus who primarily introduced us to God as our Father. In Matthew’s gospel alone, Jesus mentions Father God more than 30 times.
Jesus consistently spoke about God as ‘My Father.’ We find that:
- He came from the Father (John 1:14)
- His Father loved Him (John 3:35)
- He talked to the Father in prayer (Mark 14:36)
- His Father guided and instructed Him (John 5:19)
- His Father was His source (Matthew 26:53)
- He was going back to the Father (John 16:10)
Sometimes we have an image in our minds of a rather distant God; one who issues commands and gets angry if He’s not obeyed. Maybe your natural Father was we that – so it’s easy to imagine Father God being like that too
But Jesus blew that image out of the water. His Father is revealed as someone incredibly good and kind; someone all powerful and able to help; full of love and compassion. We can see that clearly displayed through Jesus Christ – who’s life revealed the Father God He represented.
God is our Father too
Jesus also said that His Father is our Father. He told us to pray to our Heavenly Father. The Lord’s prayer (which is said in churches around the world) is the most famous example of this. This heavenly Father is our Creator God. What he did for Jesus – He will do for us.
Here are some examples:
- 1 John 3:1 See how great a love the Father has given us, that we would be called children of God.
- Matthew 6:8 ..your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.
- James 1:17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
- Luke 6:36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
- Ephesians 1:3 .. the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ… has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
Father as source and sustainer
The Hebrew understanding of Father is both as source (originator) and sustainer.
So, our Father God is both our source (the originator of life) and our sustainer (ongoing provider and protector). Someone who knows everything – yet is full of compassion and constantly helps us get back on the right path.
In general, the title Father signifies God’s role as the life-giver, the authority, and powerful protector.Wikipedia
These are all characteristics that we can recognise a good father should display. Who wouldn’t want an all-powerful loving father looking out for them?
Here is another article by Don Stewart at Blue Letter Bible that I found interesting if you want some further reading: In what sense is God Father?
Meeting Father God today
Our Father in heaven
The New Testament writers often seem to use the word God when they are referring to the Father. It is the Father we mean when we picture God sitting on a heavenly throne, with Jesus at His right hand.
So when we talk about meeting ‘Father God”, we are meeting God who is in heaven. As Jesus taught us to pray: “Pray, then, in this way: Our Father, who is in heaven…” (Matthew 6:9).
Bible characters such as Isaiah, Ezekiel and John were able to encounter God in those heavenly realms. I know people who have had similar experiences today and actually visited the heavenly throne room.
To meet the Father, we normally need to go into the heavenly places.
Because He is in heaven, Father God usually communicates with us through His Spirit. But it can be rather vague, and His personal messages can be hard to grasp for many of us. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could somehow have face-to-face conversations with the Father regularly?
I have discovered one way that we can – through our dreams!
Meeting the Father symbolically
Jesus told a famous parable about a loving Father – otherwise known as the parable of the prodigal son! You can read this in Luke 11:11-32. If you know it – take a moment to reflect on the story, and the attitude of the father; that’s our God! If you’ve never read it, check it out now! It’s a wonderful illustration of God’s heart towards us, His children.
But this parable also gives us a great precedent for using a father figure symbolically – to represent Father God. We can use this intel to identify Him in our dreams.
This parable illustrates using an earthly father to symbolise Father God.
Meeting Father God in dreams
So now we know who the Father is, we can discover how He might appear in dreams.
It’s easy to picture Jesus, because He lived on earth as a man. But it’s harder to imagine what the Father looks like. Therefore, the Father often appears in the form of a person that we can relate to and understand – just like in the parable above.
Literal appearances of the Father
What I mean by literal appearances is that we are aware that it is Him in the dream.
In my own experience literal appearances of the Father in dreams have been rare. To my conscious knowledge, it has only happened to me once, a number of years ago:
I dreamed I went into a spiritual realm where I met a man who I knew was the Father. He showed me a blue bead that was for me (representing heavenly revelation), and He also gave me some advice that was relevant to the church I was leading at the time.
I’ve always been intrigued by that dream, because I felt as though I was in a heavenly place. I believe that in our dreams we can sometimes break out of the natural and engage with heaven. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that I was actually somewhere in heaven talking to the Father!
Symbolic appearances of the Father
However, I have had a great many symbolic encounters with the Father in my dreams. I do believe that these encounters really are Father God speaking to me – through His Spirit. He is appearing in a non-threatening form that enables me to understand His message.
In these instances, He appears as my natural earthly father, or sometimes another person’s father. In these types of appearances, it is only on waking and reflecting on the dream that I realize it was Father God.
Father God often appears disguised as our natural father or another father figure
Our dad does not always symbolize Father God in a dream, so it takes some discernment to know if it is Him. The context and feeling of the dream will let us know whether it was or not. Having said that, most of the time, in my dreams, I find that it is!!!
Bear in mind what we learnt about the Father in our bible search: Understanding His character as a good Father will help us spot Him in our dreams.
Real dream examples
I can still remember the first time I met Father God disguised as my natural dad in a dream:
I dreamed I was walking around our church building with my dad, and he was telling me what he thought about some of the different areas of the church.
On waking, I suddenly realized that I had just had a conversation with God the Father about our church! It was a symbolic message, but I understood what He was saying. I was overwhelmed and quite emotional – because I had never heard from God so clearly about anything before!
And the thought that the Father would take the time to walk and talk with me in my dream… well, you can probably imagine how wonderful that felt. That moment changed my life – and I was hooked on listening to my dreams thereafter.
I have compiled a table of some more symbolic appearances of Father God in my dreams. Look to see how the character of our loving Father shines through:
Table of symbolic appearances of the Father in dreams
|Description of the dream||Interpretation||Explanation|
|I dreamed I was driving with my dad looking for a café. He said we could go out for a meal at Easter. I said I’d like that.||Father God was inviting me to spend some time with Him / praying over the Easter holidays, because He has something to share with me.||This is the Father as source of information (meal = God’s word) and guide (with me in my car = life journey). You can also sense that He enjoys our relationship.|
|I dreamed that I couldn’t see and it was hard to open my eyes, but my dad was leading me around.||This was at a time when I was confused about what I was meant to do; but Father God was reassuring me that He was still guiding me and I would be OK.||This is the Father as leader and guide. Being blind is about lack of clarity, or lack of spiritual direction.|
|I dreamed mum was laying a new floor which looked dodgy. I asked my dad about it and he said he hated it. He pointed out a few problems with it. At the end it was being pulled up.||This was Father God letting me know that one of my latest assumptions / beliefs was not right. I already had doubts about it – and this dream confirmed it.||In this dream Mum represented me trying to figure things out, but my basis of reasoning was wrong. My dad represented the Father bringing correction, which was very helpful.|
|I dreamed I was at university and given a writing assignment. I went to my dad to ask for an idea, and he gave me a topic (I won’t include the whole answer here). My tutor loved the idea!||This was Father God giving me instruction – and letting me know I needed to start writing. It was a very encouraging dream and helped me believe I could do it.||This is the Father as source of creativity and ideas, and also the one who instructs and guide me. It also shows the heart of a loving Father, supporting me and helping me believe in myself.|
|I was walking up Hope Street to my friend’s house. His dad was there and said. ‘Hello Jenny’ in a kindly way. He remembered me and was expecting me, much to my surprise.||At that time I was harbouring some disappointments from the past. Father was God was encouraging me to keep going. Some point soon He would meet me and restore my hope.||This was my friend’s dad – but I recognised Him as being Father God due to His kindly attitude. The key here is that it was Hope Street: This was the Father who restores hope.|
|I dreamed I had a baby in a buggy. I met my dad and he took me to a store where everything was available for the baby and already paid for.||I had a new idea for the church I was helping to lead. God was saying that He was in this idea, but would provide everything I needed – I wouldn’t have to do it myself.||This was the Father as provider. This actually happened a few years later; we combined with another church who had everything we needed already to fulfil my dream!|
Father God does the same for you
I have had numerous other dreams where my dad is helping me in some way, or he gives me a lift or picks me up from somewhere. These occurrences constantly remind me that God is with me and Fathering me; always intervening on my behalf; protecting and guiding me. He does the same for you whether you are aware of it or not!
He does the same for you whether you are aware of it or not!
For you it may not be your natural father; it could be some other positive father figure in your life, or maybe a friend’s father. Now that you know how He could show up, and what His character is like, you can be more conscious of His presence.
So keep a lookout in your dreams and see if you can spot Him – imagine how encouraged you will be when you discover He is there!
Meeting God the Father is not exclusively for biblical prophets like Isaiah, or for modern ‘super-prophets’.
You and I can meet our heavenly Father regularly in our dreams – either literally or symbolically. If, like me, you struggle to connect with God in other ways, this is an incredible blessing.
Mostly we do not realise that it was Father God at the time of dreaming. This means that we need to record our dreams and think about them afterwards – to consider whether or not it was Him!
It takes a bit of effort – but the reward of connecting more deeply with our Father God – and knowing He is with us and for us – is so worth it!
So why not start writing your dreams down today, and learning how to interpret them within the framework of your relationship with God?
Make a start today!
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How can we begin to interpret our dreams? This article explains one of the key concepts: Understanding our dreams as night parables.
Are dreams more than they first appear? Could they be a window into the spiritual realm? This article explores the idea from biblical and personal perspectives.
Do you wish you could just meet God and have a straight conversation face-to-face? Well maybe you already have and just don’t know it – find out how!