God has amazing ways of communicating with people and desires to speak to us today, as directly as He did in the Bible.
One of the extraordinary ways that God communicates is through dreams.
Is every dream we have from God? No. But I believe the Holy Spirit will clearly highlight those that are.
A single verse in the Gospels tells of a dream that God gave the wife of Pontius Pilate as he dealt with the charges being brought against Jesus.
19 While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him a message, saying, “Have nothing to do with that righteous Man; for last night I suffered greatly in a dream because of Him.” (Matthew 27:19 NASV)
And obviously this dream even impacted Pilate, as he initially tried to gain Christ’s release. Years later, Origin, an early church father (184 AD to 235 AD), said Pilate’s wife, Procula Claudia, had become a Christian after Christ’s resurrection.
Whether that is true or not we can’t be sure.
But a dream did result in the conversion of a Pakistani woman intent on becoming a suicide bomber to kill Christians or Jews.
Today, she goes by name of Esther Ahmad, a pseudonym, and she wrote a book of her conversion entitled Defying Jihad.
In an interview with the Christian Post, Esther told her story.
In order to please her father, Esther, now 37, joined an organization in Pakistan called Jamaat e-Islami that was providing a high school education for poor people in the country. But as she continued with the group, she said its language became more extremist as they started talking about killing Jews and Christians. In the end her goal was to become a suicide bomber to do just that.
But God miraculously spoke, stopping Esther just days before she fulfilled her goal of blowing herself up and others in a suicide attack.
And it involved a dream.
The Prophet Joel saw a time coming when the Holy Spirit would be poured on all people resulting in men and women receiving dreams and visions (Joel 2:28-29). I always thought this referred to just believers, but it appears the when prophet said “all people,” he meant “all” people.
Esther said her dream took place after she fell asleep during a time of prayer. In her dream she was standing in a dark graveyard when she saw a Man filled with light standing in front of her.
The Man told Esther to “come and follow Him.” Initially Esther said no and the “light man” repeated the request, this time calling Esther by name. When Esther again hesitated, the man calling her daughter, asked Esther to join Him a third time. At this point Esther began to walk with this Man of light down a path in the graveyard.
I found it interesting that Esther responded when the man called her “daughter.” A few years back, I told the story of Mario Joseph’s conversion to Christianity. A former Muslim Imam in India, it was due in part to John 1:12 that says believers are considered children of God. Joseph said this concept was very attractive to him because it was such a contrast to the Muslim message that Allah is the master who treats his followers as slaves.
Esther said that as she followed the Man in her dream, His light illuminated their path. She saw obstacles in front of them being tossed into the ditch as they walked.
But Esther was stunned when the Man of light stopped by a grave and raised a person from the dead. When Esther asked how He could raise the dead, the Man replied:
“I am the way and the truth and the light.”
This phrase which Esther had never heard before became the critical link to her eventual conversion to Christianity.
Three days later, Esther encountered a man at the hospital named John (pseudonym) where she had taken her mother. She was struck by the fact he didn’t address her in the way typical of Muslim men and found out he was a Christian.
After Esther asked why he wasn’t a Muslim, John asked if Islam provided salvation. When Esther said yes, the man said if this was the case why did Mohammad say in the Koran that he did not know what would happen to him or his followers when they died.
At first Esther refused to believe that this was in the Koran, but when she later found the very verse the man had quoted, Esther contacted John again and began a Bible study with him.
Eventually, her dream came up, and John showed Esther John 14:6 where Jesus describes Himself as “the way, the truth and the life,” the very words the Man of light spoke to her in the dream.
Because Esther, who grew up in a strict Muslim family, had never heard that phrase before she immediately realized Jesus was speaking to her in the dream and became a Christian.
It took several months before she had the courage to tell her parents about this conversion to Christianity, but finally did when they started making arrangements for her to marry a Muslim man.
After telling them of her conversion, Imams from the mosque her family attended came several times to their home to convince Esther to renounce her Christian faith. When Esther refused, the death threats started.
She fled her home and later married John. The two were eventually forced to flee Pakistan and were accepted as refugees in the US, where they now work with a ministry reaching out those coming into America from Muslim countries.
God still speaks to people today. Pakistan is a dangerous place for Christians, and because of this it takes an extraordinary event for a Muslim to become a Christian and because of this God sometimes speaks in extraordinary ways to catch a person’s attention.
- Ex-Muslim who planned to kill Christians and faced death for becoming one tells her story: Christian Post