I’d never considered myself a dream interpreter until a young Muslim man visited my office in Turkey. I’d recently got to know him through a mutual friend and occasionally he’d drop in for a chat. As we sipped tea he began to tell me about a dream he’d had the previous night. “It was very strange,” he said, “A man whose clothes were dazzlingly white appeared in front of me and he was walking on water! Do you know what it means?”
Grabbing my Turkish Bible, I opened it at Matthew 14 and carefully placed it in his hand. “Read this,” I said, pointing at verse 22, “Do you think it was him?” As he read aloud the story of Jesus walking on the Sea of Galilee he suddenly looked up, “Yes, it’s him!” he announced. That was the beginning of his journey to faith in Jesus. For several months we met to read the Bible together and later he was baptised and became part of a house church.
Dreams and visions have always been one of God’s ways of speaking to people. For instance, in the Old Testament Abraham, Jacob, Joseph and Daniel are well known for the dreams they had. God also spoke to non-believers like Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar. The New Testament starts with the three dreams of Joseph in the Christmas story, and Peter announces at Pentecost that in the last days, “your young men will see visions… old men will dream dreams.”
There are numerous modern-day examples of how God is speaking to Muslims through dreams and visions, and reports suggest that a significant number of Muslims who have become followers of Christ began their journey towards him through a dream. Commonly the dream involves a man dressed in white, giving them an instruction, a sense of peace or showing them something.
While dreams, visions and even angelic visitations are means God uses to awaken lost people, there is something they do not do. They do not preach the gospel, because that’s a job God entrusts to us, his people. That’s why when Cornelius had an angelic vision the angel told him to send messengers to fetch Peter. It’s why God used Nebuchadnezzar’s dream to open a way for Daniel to tell him about ‘the Most High God’. And why the ‘shining man walking on water’ allowed me to introduce him to my friend through showing him a Bible story. What a privilege God has given us!
One day my wife took a local Turkish believer, Lydia, to visit some Muslim ladies in two different homes. After some small talk, Lydia asked them to tell her their dreams. In both homes ladies spoke about seeing a man dressed in white. One of them said she could see from his feet up to his chest but couldn’t see his face. Lydia told her about Jesus and how he was inviting her to look into his face. If she hadn’t asked about their dreams they probably wouldn’t have told her.
It’s likely that many more Muslim men, women and children are seeing dreams of the man in white yet sadly may never meet a follower of Jesus who can help them to not just see him but to know him. That’s why we at Frontiers are passionate about recruiting and training people to take up residency in places with least access to the gospel. If Jesus is showing himself in dreams from Chad to China, and Baghdad to Bangladesh would you join us in praying for the Lord to raise up more workers from our churches for these harvest fields? I encourage you to sign up for our weekly ‘Pray Now’ prayer feed.