To simplify complex technology, night vision goggles or thermal energy detectors or sensors are modern marvels that work like cameras but without sufficient light. Instead, they reflect differences of heat or energy and turn them into images that can be perceived by the human eye.
For the purpose of our spiritual analogy, the spirit or soul with which our Creator God has endowed us is capable without such high tech devices to receive impressions and guidance from Him at night when we are at rest and with our eyes closed, without natural light. The Bible records countless such cases of dreams and visions. They are not limited to biblical literature; all of us who have a relationship with God, who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, may anticipate such experiences. We can see and hear God speak to us at night.
Of course, not every dream and vision is a spiritual message from God. Some might be nightmares as a result of eating pizza loaded with pepperoni and cheese too close to bedtime. We need to ask God for discernment.
In the Scriptures God often guided His people through dreams and visions through the “eyes and ears of their hearts,” that is, their spirits. They heard and saw clearly and discerned God's will and direction in specific cases through impressions not necessarily through their senses. It requires an openness, a willingness to hear and to obey. “Today if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.” At night when daytime's distractions have faded and all is still, God can more readily break through the tumult and mental noise of the day to gain our full attention.
It is a fact that our minds remain active throughout the night, although our physical bodies are at rest. We should go to bed with our “spiritual antennas” up and tuned in to God. It isn't beneficial to set up road blocks to hearing the voice of God by listening to the late news on TV or reading a novel. Shouldn't we follow the example of young Samuel who was instructed by Eli to say, when he heard God's voice calling him, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening”? At first we may not be accustomed to recognize the whisper of God's Spirit in our spirit; it will come through experience as we increase our openness to hear and see Him at night.
King David obviously had such habitual night experiences with God because he expressed over and over again in the Psalms that he sought the Lord at night upon his bed. There was plenty of light in the darkness long before electricity was invented. “For Thou dost light my lamp; the Lord my God illumines my darkness” (Psalm 18:28). David obviously sang and prayed at night, whether aloud or in his spirit. “His song will be with me in the night, a prayer to the God of my life.” “In the night my hand was stretched out....” “O Lord, I remember Thy Name in the night.” “At midnight I shall rise to give thanks to Thee.” Isaiah echoed his nighttime experience, “At night my soul longs for Thee, indeed my spirit within me seeks Thee diligently.” They experienced that God would speak to them in the night as well as in the daytime—and so can we.
Rather than going to bed wearing our spiritual “hard hats” and “ear plugs,” wouldn't spiritual “hearing aids” be more appropriate? The Holy Spirit provides them. God continues to speak in the darkness of the night as well as in the darkness of our problems. Even the visually impaired can see and hear God at night. Rather than tossing and turning restlessly and fighting sleep, shouldn't we become more aware that God might be trying to get our attention?
Night vision goggles aren't necessary to see Jesus, the Light of the world, at night. “God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). He is present with sufficient light to reflect God's image on the retina of our spirit and speak to us when we relax and rest in Him and give Him our undivided attention. All we need to do is to invite Him: “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening!”