How to Discern the Prophetic Visions God Gives You

(Unsplash/ Georg Bommeli)

Years ago, my husband had received an unusual email from a man in our city that we hardly knew. The man wrote to explain that he was having visions of horses and must speak to my husband right away. He further explained that the visions were true because God had confirmed the vision of the horse (drum roll please) ... by a stork.

What? A stork? That doesn't make sense!

You can understand why we would have a good laugh at that and completely ignore the man's prophetic vision. First of all, we hardly knew him, and his checkered background didn't help his credibility. Secondly, his explanation didn't make sense to my husband's logical mind. Although we didn't follow up with it, the man's saving grace was that I, too, had been having visions of horses. I just didn't know why.

As the story unfolded, another prophetic word came to my email box from a well-known prophet. This prophet was also having visions of horses, had much more credibility, and he could give a reasonable interpretation. The short story is that it was about a specific nation that I had been dreaming about bringing the gospel to. I was elated to receive this prophetic vision because that nation's government had closed it down to Christianity.

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We finally solved the riddle of the horses, but why the stork? It might have been a symbol of new birth, but there is a growing company of prophetic people who hear and see the voice of God in things that ordinary people can't or won't connect to. They will see or hear the voice of God in the cloud formations, in the way the wind is blowing, in the Major League baseball scores or in the sounds of the cars honking on the road. It's not something they make up. It's really the voice of God speaking to them and, in their world, it makes perfect sense.

We see stories like this all throughout the Bible, and it leaves most of us in holy awe and wonder. Consider the time when Elijah kept sending his servant to look at the sky as he prayed for a cloud to appear "as small as a man's hand" (1 Kings 18:44b). Then there was the time when the wise men journeyed to find the baby Jesus to worship Him (Matt. 2). Why did they do this? They claimed they saw His star appear in the sky. This is not something outside of our paradigm, but it is something outside of our logic. This type of phenomenon is often dismissed in the here and now because we don't know how to work it through.

What Do You See?

I gave my life to Christ my first year of college. I had a great honeymoon with the Lord but needed serious deliverance about a year later. It was all connected to my Mormon upbringing and some occult activities I had participated in. I went through a rough season of deliverance as a result, but found real freedom and authority in Christ. Two things happened after I was delivered from a spirit of sorcery during a prayer meeting. I received a strong gift from the Holy Spirit for the discerning of spirits (see 1 Cor. 12), and I also began having visions.

I should clarify that I was already connected to the spirit realm as a nonbeliever and did see spiritual things quite regularly, although it was always demonic. What was happening now in the Holy Spirit was much different. After my deliverance, it appeared I had been given a hefty spiritual package but it was heavy and too much spiritual information. It made me feel crazy instead of gifted and took years to learn how to walk through.

One of the first things the Holy Spirit did was to train me personally how to see into the visions. I needed to focus my spiritual eyes on things that mattered and not get distracted by the volume of activity going on in the spirit realm. I believe this is what the prophet Daniel meant when he said he was watching and looking at the night visions in Daniel, Chapter 7. He seemed to be intentional and do so with a purpose. He wasn't all over the place like I was at the time.

As He was teaching me, the Holy Spirit would highlight someone or a situation and then ask me two questions. He would ask me, "What do you see?" I would tell Him. Then He would ask me, "What do you know?"

He wasn't referring to what I could see or know naturally. I was supposed to answer Him with information past my natural knowledge. We would go back and forth on that drill, often several times a day, and this continued for a number of years. I began to realize soon enough that I was dialing into things with just enough accuracy to make all of us uncomfortable.

Later I found this same communication in the Bible as the Lord questioned both Jeremiah and Amos asking them, "What do you see?" (See Jer. 1:11 and Amos 7:8). This validated my experience as I always look to the Word to prove my experiences as legitimate. I believe this is an important communication pattern to follow. Logical people who don't see or hear into the spirit realm need more evidence that what is being revealed to you is coming from the right place.

Your Spiritual Gift Package

Visions and seeing into the spirit realm are part of your spiritual gift package in the Holy Spirit (see Acts 2:17). Many people have visions, but don't know they are having them. Let's say, for example, you are driving down the road and see a homeless person on the street. For a moment you feel sorry for the person, but decide to not to help them for a lot of reasons.

In your mind's eye, you suddenly see yourself picking up a sandwich at the nearby sandwich shop and bringing it to them. The scene plays so quickly in your imagination that you barely notice it and then your rational side persuades you to dismiss it.

What happened to you, however, was an internal vision from the Lord. You were being directed by the Holy Spirit to help feed this man. You failed to recognize it because it happened so quickly, and you dismissed it as just being your imagination. The place in your mind where you imagine things is also the place in your mind the Lord draws His pictures to instruct you. I've learned to pay attention to those seemingly insignificant internal movies and act on them. God is speaking to you through it.

Did you know that Jesus received His directives this way? This is what is behind His statement to the disciples in John 5:19 when He said He only does what He sees the Father doing. Basically, Jesus was receiving visions from the Lord and it was how He planned His day and His ministry activities.

Access Visions By Faith—Meditate on His Word

Like all the gifts of the Spirit, visions can be accessed by faith. If you don't have visions or struggle to see into the spiritual realm, you can kick start visions by going through the doorway of the Word. Let me explain how. One day I was reading Psalm 8, meditating very deeply on it, and my spiritual eyes switched on. I could see Jesus standing right there in front of me. I knew that transition happened simply because I was meditating on His Word.

Over the years, I've helped people step into visions through this same process. In the activation, you find a scene from the Bible and fix every detail of the scene into your imagination. I suggest you use the throne room scenes, such as those found in Revelation 4 and 5.

Once you have fixed every detail of that scene into your mind, you ask the Holy Spirit to breathe on it and then surrender your imagination to Him. In your imagination, you can walk right up to Jesus on the throne and ask Him your questions.

This typically results in having those short, internal visions like I described previously, but some will have external ones. The way you test that vision is by the way He answers you. If it's real, He'll answer you in ways you couldn't make up yourself and it will never contradict His written word. It does take some mental discipline, but this process works well with people who are too logical to have visions, or with people who need to feel very grounded before they can surrender their mind like that.

I believe the Lord wants to train all of us to see in the spiritual realm. There are some things that can't be explained outside of a vision.

Think about in natural terms. How can I describe to a blind person what the color red is? It's impossible! You have to be able to see the color in order to understand the color. Visions are the same way. They help us to more fully understand the word of the Lord because we can see what He is saying.

Jennifer Eivaz is a minister and international conference speaker with a heart to equip the church in the supernatural and for raising up passionate and effective prayer. She is a regular contributor to Charisma Online and The Elijah List, has been featured on several Christian television shows, hosts the popular podcast Take 10 With Jenn and authored several bestselling books including Seeing the Supernatural and Glory Carriers. Jennifer will release her fourth book, Prophetic Secrets in August 2020. Jennifer lives with her husband, Ron, and their two children in Turlock, California, where she serves as an executive pastor at Harvest Church.

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