Over the years a few people have shared with me details of a vision they have seen or other spiritual experiences and miracles. They have all been devout Christians whose words I trusted in absolutely, such as the lady I knew well who told me that one day when she was praying quietly at home she had suddenly begun to speak in tongues. She is a dear soul not given to flights of fancy or to boastfulness and I never heard the information since from anyone else so I do not believe it was shared widely.
Just recently an older gentleman, who was in ministry pre-retirement, told me of how he had trained for ministry and been ordained after a vision. Apparently he was given the vision of an empty room in which he was standing. Looking around he could see many doors leading out of the room and each was labelled above with denominations i.e. Catholic, Baptist, Methodist and so forth. As he stood there the room disappeared and he saw a heavenly being and heard a voice say to him ‘break down the barriers’; he was already a worshipping Christian.
Another incident which gave me pause for thought involved a man I knew well, very ill in hospital, his family had to break the news to him that his lifelong friend had passed away. Several weeks later he told his visiting family that he’d had a dream during the night in which his friend had appeared to him full of enthusiasm and saying to him that he really ought to see the place he was in. It was a very large house with lots of rooms, there were lots of people and it was a very good place and he loved it there. Each of the hearers immediately thought of how Jesus speaks of His Father’s house.
Sometimes visions leading to conversion do become well known and I think of Fred Lemon, an ex-convict who toured churches telling of his prison cell vision that had totally transformed his life. I think of several who became Christian ministers after time in prison though I do wonder why congregations generally (though by no means all) seem not to have members who have had visions.
My view is that people are reluctant to share them for fear of being disbelieved, ridiculed or boastful. Perhaps it is felt that God no longer communicates with his people directly. That ought not to be so since it happens throughout both the Old and New Testament, why should it end there? No doubt I am ‘preaching to the converted’. I do hope Fred Lemon had opportunities to tell his story to non-Christians.
I could give plenty of other examples but I hope the readers have their own examples and experiences. Doors and rooms – the Upper Room, where Christ met with the doubting Thomas. The Christ who said behold I stand at the door and knock and he would be one with anyone who would invite Him in, who would would take away the barrier keeping Him out.