What is a Vision? Is it the Same as a Dream?

987553F9-D2E4-47A1-9A6E-88596C2BF0BC_1_201_aIn our ongoing journey to learn about dreams and visions (from the Holy Spirit), let’s talk for a moment about the difference between a vision and dream.

You all know what a dream is: while you sleep, you experience a sort of virtual (or really, spiritual) reality apart from the real world. You either watch scenes play out as an observer, or you get to dwell in them and participate. Then, often, the memory of them dissolves soon upon waking.

A vision is both similar and different from a dream, distinguished mainly by when it happens. Dreams happen while we sleep. Visions happen when we are awake!

What a Vision is NOT

A vision is not just an instinct or inspiration that comes to you, as in something you imagine in your own mind.

A vision is basically a dream in the day, literally a snapshot or moving scene you see flash or play out in front of your eyes while you are awake. Usually, you will have your eyes closed, but not necessarily. The real world fades out of sight momentarily while you watch another reality with spiritual eyes.

The Bible sometimes calls a dream a night vision, so you see the similarity, but again, visions happen while conscious and awake.

From personal experience, the times I have visions are usually when I am just waking up, or just before falling asleep. Also, sometimes they happen while laying awake in the darkness of night. While my eyes are closed, but my mind and body are awake, I’ll suddenly see a very vivid scene play out in front of me like a scene from a movie, except visions feel more real than a movie!

Let me give you an example from this past weekend of a mistake I would make, which the Holy Spirit had prepared me to recognize in advance through a vision.

Vision of the Insect

Late on Friday, possibly in the wee hours of Saturday morning, I was laying in bed trying to get to sleep when I had the sudden vision of an insect (like a small cockroach) crawling toward me. Being a typical woman, I was creeped out, and prayed about it. Beyond that, I didn’t know what to make of it.

The next day, on Saturday evening, my husband and I were searching for something different to watch on TV. We were tired of news and the usual fare.

After scrolling a bit through the guide, I noticed airing on one of the cable networks was the movie, Constantine, with Keanu Reaves. Years ago, we had seen the movie, and though it was pretty dark, we were intrigued and enjoyed it. Basically, the main character battles demons and sees into hell on his own journey for redemption.

I know, not exactly family friendly, and definitely containing both demonic and pagan imagery. But, I rationalized since we’d seen it before maybe there would be no harm.

Soon into the movie, the main character was battling a demon who took the form of… you guessed it, a swarm of insects! As he destroyed it, the bugs scattered out everywhere.

Instantly, I reconnected to the vision from the night before of the insect crawling toward me! The Holy Spirit had prepared me to recognize an inappropriate entertainment choice quickly.

Since the Holy Spirit had gone to so much trouble to forewarn me, I heeded His guidance and changed the channel, then prayed against unwelcome visitors in the name of Jesus!

You see, at times we literally put a candle in the window for the supernatural, sometimes an entire spotlight beacon that inevitably serves as an invitation and welcome mat to unseen enemies. We have the power to put those lights out, so they roll on by without noticing us, by keeping our homes (and personal lives) pure and free of pagan symbols and entertainments.

Do you see the incredible tool in the vision the Holy Spirit used, to warn and prepare me to recognize the problem and remove us from it? Powerful!

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow Me. John 10:27

He is a shield to those who walk uprightly. Proverbs 2:7

In the last season of humanity before the return of Christ, Joel 2 and Acts 2 prophesied His Spirit would be poured upon the entire body, family of God, and all of us, old men, young men, His servants and handmaidens… would be experiencing dreams and visions.

I pray today you are blessed, and that He increases your knowledge and understanding of His mysterious and wonderful ways!