so, passing by mysia, they went down to troas. and a vision appeared to paul in the night: a man of macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “come over to macedonia and help us.” and when paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. [acts 16:8-10]


how should we think of dreams and visions?


paul the apostle has a history of visions:

now as he went on his way, he approached damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. and falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “saul, saul, why are you persecuting me?” and he said, “who are you, Lord?” and he said, “i am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. but rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” the men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. so they led him by the hand and brought him into damascus. and for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank. [acts 9:3-9]

i must go on boasting. though there is nothing to be gained by it, i will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. i know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body i do not know, God knows. and i know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body i do not know, God knows— and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. [2 corinthians 12:1-4]


we have many such examples of visions in the bible–jacob, joseph, daniel and many, many others saw things that the Lord was showing them, so is the experience of having dreams and visions typical, or even required of us today? 


i don’t think so–

long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. [hebrews 1:1-2]



in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. he was in the beginning with God. all things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was him was life, and the life was the light of men. the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth  [john 1:1-4, 14]


we do not need dreams and visions to help us discern what is God’s will–we have Jesus Christ–the Word who reveals to us what is God’s will in the scriptures–we live at a time where the whole counsel of God has been revealed to us in the bible–it isn’t just a book to collect dust on the shelf, it is the very living and active word that convicts of us of sin and directs us in how we should live!  we also have the Holy Spirit who lives within us–who is constantly working to direct our paths, convicting of us of sin, and causing us to walk in the path of righteousness.


can God use visions and dreams? certainly he can – but let us not wait for a ‘special vision’ from God when we have the whole counsel of his Word at our fingertips and living in our hearts! like paul let us be driven to action when the Holy Spirit moves– “immediately” –seeking true obedience to Jesus!


~ ce