Seeing Visions – The Straight Scoop
I often hear people say that they don’t have visions from God and they want to know why not. I’m going to let you in on a little secret that your prophet friends may not want me to tell you. Most of you are having visions from God all the time, and you don’t even know it.
Prophetic people can make visions sound all mystical and weird and spooky, but the fact is – visions are about as normal as trying to remember the face of the woman in line behind you at the grocery store.
Visions are nothing more than visual images that appear in your mind’s eye or what some would call your imagination. If you try to recall what you ate for breakfast this morning, you might see a picture in your mind of a bowl of cereal or a huge plate of bacon.
When your mind retrieves the image of the plate of bacon and plays it on the little TV screen in your mind, you are experiencing the exact same thing God does when He gives you a vision.
Most people receive these little images from God and don’t even know it’s Him sending them. A vision from God is an invitation to a discussion. If you receive an image in your mind and you think it might be from Him, ask what it means. Maybe just take a guess at what it means and see what happens. You might receive another vision. Ask what that one means and wait for the answer or take a guess. Before you know it you’ll be having a visual conversation with God.
Visions can be seen with your eyes open or closed. Remember — the vision is in your mind. Don’t be too impressed with people who talk about having “open vision” as if they’re some great thing only a few anointed people have. An “open vision” is nothing more than an image God shows you in your mind while your eyes are open. It only takes a bit of mental concentration to begin seeing visions with your eyes open. The different types of visionary experiences we can have are described in the New Testament by different Greek words:
The Greek word apokalupsis is the most frequently used word in the New Testament to describe a vision. It literally means “disclosure”, “appearing” or “manifestation”. It refers to something hidden that is being revealed.
Enupnion and onar are Greek words for the kind of dreams we have when we sleep. Dreams are a form of visual revelation from God that our spirit receives while our body is sleeping.
Horama is Greek word for vision, literally meaning “that which is seen.” It refers to a spectacle, sight, or appearance.
Horasis is a Greek word that refers to the type of vision we have when our Spirit man looks through our physical eyes and our physical body is able to see what our spirit sees. This may sound a bit confusing but it is just a transfer of information from our spirit to our body. At times what you see will be something in the physical realm. At other times it will be something in the spirit realm. Sometimes you will see both. This often appears as two scenes superimposed over one another – one in the physical realm and one in the spirit realm. It could also appear as a completely spiritual scene that replaces what you would normally see in the physical realm.
Optasia is a Greek word that literally means “visuality” or “apparition”. It refers to seeing the manifestation of an individual person or being.
Ekstasis (from which we get our English word ecstasy) is the Greek word most often translated as “trance.” It literally means “a displacement of the mind,” or “bewilderment.”
Egenomehn ehn pneumati is a Greek phrase that is literally translated “to become in the Spirit.” It is a state in which we see visions and receive revelation directly from the Holy Spirit.
Visual communication from God is a language just like any other. It takes time and practice to develop an understanding of visual language. If you spend time asking God to show you things in the form of visions, He will. The more you spend time training your mind, the more your imagination will be able to receive visions and the more your understanding of them will grow.
For more on this subject, check out my book Seeing in the Spirit Made Simple.