New year reflection: Do you see what I see?

How God entered the physical world in the form of Jesus Christ – and how he enters our own lives through real-life signs today.

One of the positive spin-offs of learning to hear God through dreams is that it is a springboard to hearing his voice in many other ways.

This article is a reflection of how God has changed my mindset this year – by speaking to me through everyday signs in the natural world around me.

Picture of fireworks and text: Happy new year

I approach dream interpretation from a biblical perspective. My belief is that our dreams can come from God, and understanding them is best understood within the context of an ongoing relationship with Him.

If you have just come across this post and are new to dream interpretation, it is worth mentioning that dreams are symbolic in nature. You might find it helpful to read Understand your dreams: A bible-based introduction to dream language and my 3 step dream interpretation method to give you a foundation.

Introduction: Do you see what I see?

Each year I try to pause and reflect on what God has taught me during the past year, and how I have learnt to hear his voice better – with regard to dreams and in other ways too.

I have had two main focuses during 2022:

Often God gives me a song that brings this into focus. This Christmas, my song has been ‘Do you see what I see? Do you hear what I hear?’

The encouragement for me (and to you too) has been to keep my eyes and ears constantly open to God’s voice around me. You can listen to the song below:

God became flesh and dwelt among us

At Christmastime we focus on the humanity of Jesus Christ: John’s gospel tells us that, although he was God, he left his heavenly home to embrace the frailty of a human body, and to be dependent on human beings and the limitations of physical life.

  • John 1:14, NASB And the Word [Jesus] became flesh, and dwelt among us; and we saw His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

When Jesus was born, his divine identity was totally unexpected for the people to whom he came.

They were expecting a human messiah, but they could never have comprehended God himself taking human form and walking among them – even though there were hints in the Old Testament scriptures.

But becoming physically human is exactly what God did in the form of Jesus Christ.

God is able to impact the physical world

Why is this important?

It’s easy to think that spirituality is simply a belief system to make us feel better until we get to heaven. But, this year, God has challenged my thinking on this.

In the church we can often focus on the spiritual aspect of things: We make great professions of faith, declare our love for Jesus, and our hope in his promises. But often our spiritual life can seem like ‘pie in the sky’ and bear little relation to what is happening in everyday life.

When God came to earth in the form of a human baby, it demonstrated that the natural, physical work was important to him.

Jesus demonstrated that the kingdom of God impacts the physical world.

And, during his life an earth, Jesus demonstrated that the Kingdom of God very much impacts the physical world: For example, He performed healing miracles, walked on water and multiplied bread and fishes to feed thousands of people.

Picture of Mary and baby Jesys, with text: The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

My mindset about God’s involvement challenged

For most of my life I have believed in Jesus Christ, and would say I had a good relationship with him, but he never seemed to do much for me in the physical world. Listening to my dreams has changed that to some degree, because I have tracked the scenarios in my dreams playing out in real life over the past 15 years. But it all still seemed rather hard to quantify.

Because of this, I subconsciously felt that I needed to get on with things myself because I thought God didn’t do much! I found my main motivation in hearing God’s voice was to obey him and see his will come to pass on earth as it is in heaven. My interest in dreams was mainly so I could hear God and obey his will for my life.

I subconsciously felt that I needed to get on with things because God didn’t do much!

This is not a bad thing in itself. It is a good desire to want to obey God. But God was challenging me to think on a higher level.

I realised that when I heard his voice, I felt under great pressure to make the things he said happen – both in my own life and in the areas where I had responsibility. And I now see that is a burden we are not meant to carry.

During 2022, to relieve me of this burden, God has been turning my mindset upside down and showing me that he is very much in control of the real world – and is more than capable of intervening physically.

He has done this though real life signs.

God speaks through real-life signs

Real-life signs are when God uses the everyday circumstances around us to speak symbolically – both to show us things and to confirm what he is saying.

They are a bit like dream symbols, but in everyday life. Here is an example:

I had just been talking to someone about dreams and how God was prompting me to speak out prophetically (in a black and white kind of way). I looked out of the window and saw a rare lesser spotted woodpecker on the tree outside the window.

I have never seen one of these birds before or since that day. The black and white colouring, plus the red colour on the head, confirmed what God was saying to me.

A few days later I was in the community centre where our church meets, and saw that a new painting of a lesser spotted woodpecker had been placed on the wall. This was a second real-life confirmation.

You can find more examples in the following article:

2022 was a rollercoaster ride for me in many ways. But God surrounded me with real life signs. It seemed that the whole world was speaking to me constantly with messages from heaven.

These messages came through many different ways: For example, through the natural world around me, through pictures on Facebook, through sporting events, through words posted by prophets, through bible verses, through things people sent me, through songs that came on the radio, or through things on TV.

All of these were quantifiable,  because I could take a photo, or take a screenshot, or save the bible verse or message. I have a physical record of them. 

In November 2022 alone I had over 120 real-life signs confirming what God was calling me to do – and the evidence is all recorded in my journal.

Picture of pregnant woman, with text: Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Signs in the natural world

This year, it was the signs in the natural world around me that were the most significant for me. These real-life signs in the natural world came:

  • Through weather patterns that link to what God is saying to me (like snow and ice and rainbows)
  • Through signs in the sky (like planets and moon cycles)
  • Through wildlife and nature (like the woodpecker)
  • Through road signs and other notices that catch my attention
  • Through physical objects (like helicopters and the Red Arrows flying over)
  • Through incidents (like accidents and road closures)
  • Through music (like songs coming on the radio)
  • Through places (like castles)
  • Through events (like results of sporting events)

Mostly, I have found, it is the timing of these things that capture our attention. Usually we have a thought about what God might be saying, a scripture, or an image from a dream that we are thinking about. Then, just as we are thinking about it, something in the real world will catch our attention and act as confirmation.

Because I have had so many real life signs this year, I can no longer deny that God is intimately involved in every aspect of life in the natural world.

This is not a new phenomena: In bible times, God frequently gave people real-life signs and encouragements to help them trust him or take steps of faith. For example:

  • In Judges 6:36-40 Gideon asked God to give him two physical signs to confirm that God was with him, before he stepped out in faith to save Israel.
  • In Luke 1:36-37 God gave Mary the physical encouragement of Elizabeth’s pregnancy as a real-life sign that he was with her and could do the impossible.

Learning to trust God

So what was the point of all these real-life signs?

The point, for me, was to learn to trust God: God wanted me to see that he really can impact every small detail of the physical world, so I really can trust him to intervene in the world and do the things he has spoken to me about.

God wanted me to learn to trust him to do what he said – in the real physical world.

Just like Jesus came as a real human baby in the flesh, so the promises God has given me will be realised in the flesh.

Rather than listening to God so I can obey him and make his word happen, I have begun listening to him so I can trust him to do what he says for me – and track him doing those things in real life.

It is rather like learning to trust in grace rather than works, but harder – because the instinct to speak up for what I’m hearing from God, to convince someone of what he’s saying, or to make it happen, is very strong! It is hard to let those things go and simply trust God to do them.

  • Zechariah 4:6, NASB ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of armies.

This is the training process God is currently taking me though, and it is a complete change of mindset. You might be in a different stage of the journey yourself – and that’s fine. But I will continue to track and document my journey of faith with God – and maybe I will write some more about it during 2023.

Conclusion

This year I have had to make some really difficult decisions where I chose to trust God rather that speaking up or acting in my own strength. I was able to do that because I felt confident – through real-life signs – that he could physically intervene in my situation if necessary.

There are some really big things that I am still trusting God for. But I have had so many signs I can’t deny that God is working all around me – so I am choosing to trust him rather than try and make things happen myself.

I hope that next year I will be able to write with testimonies of how God has come through for me and changed some of those situations!

Just like Jesus came as a real human baby in the flesh, so the promises God has given us can be realised in the flesh – even if we are still in the place of trusting and waiting for them.

So, in 2023, why not keep your eyes and ears open, and see how God speaks through situations in your life?

Have you got a story of God speaking though a real-life sign? Or do you have a testimony of God’s practical intervention in your life? If so, do leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you.

Some of my photos from 2022

Here are some of my own photos of physical things God used to speak to me this year:

Pictures of Lincoln castle, tree by water, December moon, industrial vats, Lincoln cathedral, snow, candle from Brac island
Pictured of Lincoln castle, Lenham cross, horses on West comon, water tower, boat on Thames with picture of Queen, zebra, 3 rams
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I hope you found this article helpful. If you want to know more, do subscribe to emails to receive regular dream interpretation tips.

The purpose of this blog is to provide solid biblical foundations for interpreting dreams, change mindsets in the church, and encourage others to make their own dream journey. I am primarily a writer and bible teacher – who loves dreams, and I hope you will be inspired to learn to interpret your own dreams.

It is not currently my aim to routinely engage in dream interpretations or provide training, except through writing blog posts. You can read my most up to date position on interpreting dreams here: Requests for dream interpretations.

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Picture of jenny Needham, Heaven's Dream Messages, with text : Thank you

I hope you have found this article helpful. If you want to know more, do subscribe to my emails below to receive regular dream interpretation tips.

The purpose of this blog is to provide solid biblical foundations for interpreting dreams, change mindsets in the church, and encourage others to make their own dream journey with God. I am primarily a writer and bible teacher – who loves dreams, and I hope you will be inspired to learn to interpret your own dreams.

It is not currently my aim to routinely engage in dream interpretations or provide training, except through writing blog posts. You can read my most up to date position on interpreting dreams here:
Requests for dream interpretations.

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Picture of nativity crib, with text: When God became flesh... and how God speaks through real life signs today

3 thoughts on “New year reflection: Do you see what I see?

  1. OMGosh Jenny thank you so much. What an excellent and timely article. Love that God opens our eyes to see and our ears to hear Him through our travels throughout the day. It just shows His continual presence with us.

    Liked by 1 person

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