One way God helps us see into the heavenly realm is by using our dream vision. The Lord showed me this a while back when I was asking Him about why some people don’t see anything when they have encounters with God. I know I didn’t see anything either until a few years ago. What He made me realize was that, just like He uses our inner voice to speak to us, he uses our dream imagination to help us see heavenly things. Bob Jones, who went to heaven like most people go to Walmart, used to call this our “golden imagination.” But this doesn’t mean we’re making things up; it means that God uses these “eyes” to show us His heavenly realities.
Let me be clear. I’m NOT saying that our dreams are us going to heaven (God may occasionally give us a prophetic dream); what I’m saying is that God uses the same neurological function of our brain so that we can see heavenly things. Only we’re conscious in this case!
Here’s why I’m making this comparison. When I think about natural dreams I’ve had all my life, while the people are usually real people I know, the settings of my dreams are very different. There may be some similarities to the city I live in, or a house I lived in, yet there are major differences. In fact, I’ve never actually been to these places. Yet, I have a whole dream history with them that’s familiar to me. Sometimes, I may return there in my dreams. Add to this, I’m having complete two-way conversations with people in my dreams that I’ve never had in real life. It’s almost like I’m living two different lives—my waking world and my dream world.
And like with my dream world, God is giving me a continually growing visual framework—a history, if you will—from which I can immediately ascend into His manifest presence. And I can do this anytime I want!
I can honestly say this is becoming more real to me than the natural world!
3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. (Heb.11:3 NKJV)
This may be how the heroes of faith listed in Hebrews actually “saw” the promises of God, even though they would not realize them during their natural lives.
13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. (Heb.11:13 NIV*)
I can say without any doubt that the deepest, most transformational worship experiences I’ve ever had are in this heavenly space with God. I’ve literally felt dissolved and totally undone in His overwhelming embrace so many times, where all I could do is lay there powerless! The frustrating thing about writing this is that I will never be able to adequately describe it to you.
Let me give three brief examples from my own heavenly encounters to explain what I’m talking about. I want you to notice the progressive nature of them.
I shared in my book, Sonshift, how the Father revealed Himself to me (The “Big Green Chair”) during a SOZO session many years ago. That encounter has become a foundational on-ramp for me to ascend into my Father’s lap every time I worship!
More recently, Papa not only brought me up on His Throne as before, but this time I was no longer looking up, I was looking out! I was seeing the heavenly realm (still dimly) from His perspective. It was overwhelming, to say the least!
And, just this week, God brought me from His throne into a large room with scrolls that contained people’s unique identities in heaven. Most unexpectedly, He took me to a particular place that was like a war room where people were discussing strategy. What was interesting about this vision was that what I was seeing was what a personal prophecy I was given several years ago was describing! God was showing me that this particular prophetic word was part of my spiritual DNA. Again, I had no anticipation that this would happen before this encounter.
I could literally give you dozens of other experiences with God just like these.
And here’s the tangible evidence. Every one one of these encounters has profoundly changed me in some way—made me more gracious, more loving, and has given me a better understanding of God’s nature and character that goes so much deeper than reading about Him in Scripture. Yet, my reading of Scripture has become electric and alive!
I’ve also been delivered from lifelong addictions, emotional wounds, fears, lies I believed about myself and God, been given insights into solving problems, and most of all, found my true identity in His love!
My heart and my faith grows more vibrant and free with each encounter. Now I see what the writer of Hebrews was getting at about looking unto Jesus in a whole new light!
As for us, we have all of these great witnesses who encircle us like clouds. So we must let go of every wound that has pierced us and the sin we so easily fall into. Then we will be able to run life’s marathon race with passion and determination, for the path has been already marked out before us. 2 We look away from the natural realm and we fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection.(Heb.12:1-2 TPT*)
I hope this encourages you to seek the Lord, for if you seek Him with all you’re heart, He will truly be found of you. I know this because I know His Kingdom is within you! (Luke 17:21). Beloved, this is your inheritance! This is your life in Christ. And He’s waiting for you to accept the invitation to His great adventure!
I will talk about some practical keys to developing these eyes of faith next time.