Seven That Ways God Speaks to You: VISIONS
God speaks through Visions!
Let’s look at a couple of Scriptures, cause faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God….
2Co 12:1 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.
Acts 2:17 and your young men shall see visions,
Ac 16:9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.
Ac 16:10 And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.
Ge 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
Nu 12:6 And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.
2Sa 7:17 According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.
2Ch 32:32 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his goodness, behold, they are written in the vision of Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, and in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.
Jer 23:16 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you:they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD.
Eze 8:4 And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, according to the vision that I saw in the plain.
Eze 11:24 Afterwards the spirit took me up, and brought me in a vision by the Spirit of God into Chaldea, to them of the captivity. So the vision that I had seen went up from me.
Da 10:16 And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O
my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me and I have retained no strength.
Na 1:1 The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.
Hab 2:2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.
Hab 2:3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
Many of you know my story, my testimony. How I graduated college and went to work as a mechanical designer. I had served on the Carleton University swim team for my time at college, and in my final year, served on student government. Then, upon graduation, I was hired at Robotic Systems International in Sidney, BC, then when things did not work out there, went across to Vancouver, on the UBC campus, to work in the cyclotron for Nordion International, as a mechanical designer, helping design targeting stations in the cyclotron, to produce I123, a radioactive isotope, used in treatment of Thyroid cancer, that was shipped all over the world.
At school, I had studied under Dr. Marvin Glass, philosphy of atheism, and had pretty much discarded my Roman Catholic, or Christian upbringing. If God was real, and good, and all powerful, why did He allow so much evil in the world?
No, God could not be real, I reasoned, He was simply a crutch for the weak, an opiate for the masses.
Yet, I had rented a room in a Baptist bed and breakfast in Sidney, British Columbia and the very loving older couple that ran it, invited me to church several times, to hear an evangelist. I dutifully went, and even went up to the alter call several times, but felt nothing….Religion I thought…
Then, a missionary named Louise, stayed a week. She was a missionary to the Aleutian Island Indians, and she spoke little when she visited with me, yet emanated a peace, joy, and unruffled calm in the face of my academic arguments, that stopped me in my tracks. She gave me two books: ‘Mere Christianity’ by CS Lewis, and ‘Prison to Praise’ by Merlin Carruthers. I read them, and they made sense.
I said the prayers at the back, but still, felt nothing. The older couple gave me a Bible, that I began to read.
Yet, suddenly, I was unemployed, and needed a job.
One of our suppliers, Mantek, a machine shop in Port Coquitlam, hired me to install a CAM system on one of their 4 axis mills. Four months of intensity, but got it done. During this time, I had found a basement apartment with a Eastern European couple, and began to work out in the pool in North Vancouver.
I had just ended a 4-1/2 year relationship through college to my fiance, in a messy break-up (is there any other kind?).
On the rebound, I met a blonde bombshell of a lifeguard, who was taking her pschology degree at Simon Fraser University.
Within 3 weeks we had moved in together, and then broke the lease on our basement apartment, to rent a loft in Kitsalano. Her dad was a stock broker, so we started to hit the trendy places around town, the wine tasting shows, dinner up on Grouse mountain, coffee on the boardwalk, trendy.
I was still attempting to read my Bible, and she would watch Dr. Robert Shuller, and we would talk Jesus, but our relationship was not working. The cyclotron where I worked, busted a water line, and to avoid a potential water leak of radioactive water into the city sewage system, our team of seven men worked a 40 day turn-around, ordering meals in, only coming home to sleep a couple hours. Because of the sensitivity of the repair, we were instructed to not tell anyone why we had to work such long hours, to avoid some sort of Media scandal. So, I did not explain my long absences to my fiancé’. Her way of dealing with this period, was to hit the clubs, get drunk, and go home with several other men.
Even in my madness, my parents had set the example of monogamy, and I was always a one woman man.
My way of dealing with pressure at college, was to blow it out in the pool, and then triathlon.
So, in my sleep deprived state, I tried to blow it out running, and tore out the patella tendon in my knee again. I had done this previously competing for triathlon, and had been in a tensor bandage and on crutches for nine months, wondering if I would ever walk pain free, much less compete triathlon, but God, through a Christian acupuncturist healed my knee, and I got a couple more seasons of competition in.
Well, my fiancé and I had no where else to go, but our relationship had degenerated from screaming fits, to simply hugging each other and weeping, as we could not speak without fighting.
After the turnaround, instead of being rewarded as conquering hero’s and promoted, our team was put in a basement lab, my boss was used as the scapegoat for this mess, and we were expected to come to work quietly, and make no waves.
I resigned, the pain too great for words, my idols shattered.
I believed that if you worked hard, got the degree, and got a job, that you would make a good living, get married, and have a happy family.
Believed that if you trained hard in sports, you could excel…
Yet, did not figure Jesus into the equation, nor the Word of God.
My engagement was doomed, for we violated about every rule in the Bible regarding relationships. My career was doomed, for except the Lord build the house, we labor in vain. My sports career was doomed, for our bodies are designed as temples of the Holy Spirit, not to be abused…
Well, the worst part, is that this season of my life was four months long. When I would come home, to discover my fiance out partying with her friends, I would try and read the Bible, and often hurl it against the wall in frustration. It just didn’t work…
Then, one dark night, when I drove across Lions gate bridge, I asked my fiancé why they had chain-link fence all the way across. She said that was because so many people had committed suicide by jumping off there. A seed had been planted in my thought life…
Night after night, I would walk Kitsilano bike path in the dark, quietly praying, and often ended walking all the way to Burrard street bridge. I liked standing there over the wind and the waves, the ocean often bringing peace to my troubled soul…
Yet, my engineering mind would not stop. I looked at how this bridge was built, and saw the massive concrete footings that ran deep down to the ocean floor.
A thought crossed my mind: I wonder why they don’t have chain link fence on this bridge? Someone could jump, and if they hit the footing, surely they could kill themselves here? The seed had taken root….
So, over the next four lonely months, almost nightly, I would find myself limping out into the darkness, alone, always ending up on Burrard street bridge, the seed had become a plan….
Well, as my knee healed, I insisted on following the running circuit, running 10km runs on Saturday mornings when I was able. In April of 1989, there was one in Victoria, B.C. and though I worked late, I decided to catch the ferry across, and run it the following morning. My fiancé had a night class anyway, and I would see her for brunch Saturday, I thought.
Yet, as usual, I worked longer than I planned, and traffic was slow, so, as God would have it, I missed the last ferry across. So, I called my fiancé on her cell, to discover that she was not home as we discussed, but had gone over to one of her ex boyfriends apartments.
In the pained silence, I asked her if she was coming home that night, and she said, she would think about it.
I remember, that we had that poster on our wall: ‘If you love something, set it free, if it comes back, it is yours, if it doesn’t, it never was..’
I quoted that to her, and told her to make her own decision, for I honestly believed that I loved her….
Yet, I got back to the apartment, went to the 24 movie rental place, rented a VCR, and a couple of movies, expecting her home any minute. Yet, midnight turned into one o’clock, then two, then three.
One of the movies I saw had Mel Gibson in it. I think he had been to Vancouver to film during that time, and his movie, Lethal Weapon, really spoke to me.
In one of the scenes he stuck a pistol in his mouth, planning to kill himself, and the phone rang, and he said: ‘Okay, not today…’, in another scene, where he was having flashbacks from the war, he was crucified on the mast of a ship in the desert someplace, and somehow, I saw Jesus on the cross in that scene. Yet, as the clock ticked on, it became obvious that she was not coming home, and I switched into numb, analytic mode.
One by one, I evaluated my reasons for living, and they all came up short. Robotics, my belief that I could automate the mundane jobs of slavery, drudgery, that freed up more time for people to exercise, spend time with their families, and pursue higher education: destroyed when an automobile plant automated in Canada, and laid off 1500 employees, some of whom who had been there for over 20 years…My experience watching my intellectual physics professor boss get betrayed and spit out by the corporate machine.
Sports, having trained for seven years for an Olympic dream, to discover that the sport of triathlon was not accepted in Seoul, Korea, so it would be another 4 years for a potential chance to go…My dream of marriage, family, career shattered, and I knew I was in trouble. I thought of my friends and family, that I had isolated myself from in my tunnel minded pursuit of my goals, and there I was alone, with no God….
I was in trouble, and I knew it. I remembered that when my dad had been posted to Victoria, BC as a naval officer, as a young teen, my mom had volunteered on ‘Crisis Line’, a suicide intervention line, and she had always told us to call it if we were in any trouble. Had thought about calling her, but they had come to Vancouver some months earlier to meet my fiancé, and there had been a cat fight between both her and my mom, they did not approve of us living together, nor my marriage.
Bitter waters run deep, and we were not speaking…
So I called “Crisis line.” Looked it up in the telephone book. There were three of them in Vancouver. One was busy, one was out of service, and on the third, I reached a stressed out woman, who told me to call back later, as there were more serious cases on the line….The seed suddenly bore fruit…
With a sigh. I hung up the phone, and picked up a pen, explaining to my fiance and parents that I loved them, forgave them, but that I could not take the pain anymore, and I carefully placed it on the night table by the bed….
I guess, in a twisted cry for help, I even returned the videos, and VCR, but even in the business of street night life, no one seemed to notice nor care….
Truly there is no lonelier place, than to be surrounded by people, totally isolated, totally misunderstood, and totally alone in your pain…
I walked to my usual place on the bridge, and stood, above the wind and the waves, enjoying the breeze upon my face, carefully planning my trajectory unto the concrete footing that I was sure would end my life, when I thought to breath one last simple prayer: ‘God, if you are real, I am coming to meet You….”
Suddenly, my darkness was shattered by a blinding light, and Jesus, God the Son stood before me, in midair:
high above the wind and waves. His hair glowed, and His eyes looked right through me. He cared, He was not angry, He understood, and He spoke: “Chris, you have been an athlete all of your life, if you jump right now, could you handle the rest of your life in a wheelchair?”
I quickly replied: “Lord, I don’t even believe in You!”
He said, ‘Call Chappy!” and disappeared, but there was peace in that place.
I have thought back many times about this event, for a man with an experience, is never at the mercy of a man with an argument. I believe I had either an open vision, or Jesus literally appeared to me, it doesn’t matter. He knows my name, He knew what I was doing in my life, and He is Lord, for He told me exactly what would have happened had I jumped. I would not have died, but spent the rest of my life in a wheelchair.
Out of the mouth, the heart speaks, and in hindsight, I saw my problem. I did not believe.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
I had said the prayers before, but I had not believed them. Evidently though, Jesus had…He loves us!
So, I walked back to my apartment, thoughts still screaming in my head, but the experience revolutionized my life.
When I got back upstairs, the phone was ringing. It was my mom. She was crying and said: “Son, come home!”. I was so tired of her emotional outbursts, I said: “Why would I do that, I have to go to work on Monday?”
She replied: “Son, this is more important than work, I just had a nightmare that you killed yourself tonight, and I have been praying for you…”
Perhaps, when I come to speak in an area near you, the Lord will let me tell you the rest of the story, but for the sake of this lesson, let’s just say: Jesus is Lord, and He is well able to speak through visions and dreams…
In summation, a vision may be as simple as a mini-pic that flashes across your mind, or a movie explaining supernatural events, but visions are part of what God has surely promised for us that believe. I remember some years ago, a series of all night prayer meetings, we would all meet for dinner at 6PM, and would eat together, then would begin to worship God until midnight.
We had learned that we were the ‘Bride of Christ’, so we called these meetings ‘date nights with Jesus’. Now, any good date would include dinner and a movie. We cooked the dinner, and fell in love with Jesus, in worship. He would supply the movie, with many, if not all of us experiencing some sort of supernatural visions during those times…
He still gives visions!
“Father, please grant me heavenly visions, for You promised that Your young people shall see visions. I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen”
If you need prayer, right now, there are several 24 hour prayer lines here in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Here are some telephone numbers:
Abundant Life Prayer Group 918 495 7777
Victory Christian Center Prayer Line 918 496 0700
After Hours: 866 295 8442
Or simply email me at [email protected]