For God does speak—now one way, now another— though no one perceives it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they slumber in their beds, –Job 33:14-15
It is a scientifically proven fact that everyone dreams every night when we enter a stage of sleep called Rapid Eye Movement (REM). About 1/3 of our lives are spent in sleeping. Imagine that! When you reach the age of 60, you would have spent 20 years sleeping. By giving us dreams, God is redeeming our time. God is timeless, and so is our spirit. God never sleep nor slumber, therefore he is always watching over us and talking to us – even when we are asleep.
Dreams are one language that God uses to speak to us. When we are asleep, we are not distracted. We are literally “captive audience” to the Lord. Isn’t He clever to create dreams to catch our attention? Psalms 16:7 “ I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”
Scriptures regarding dreams
· Abimelech (Genesis 20:3-7)
· Jacob (Genesis 28:12; 31:10)
· Laban (Genesis 31:24)
· Joseph (Genesis 37:5-9)
· Pharaoh’s butler and baker (Genesis 40:5-19)
· Pharaoh (Genesis 41:1-7)
· Midianite (Judges 7:13-15)
· Solomon (1 Kings 3:5-15)
· Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2:1, 31; 4:5, 8)
· Daniel (Daniel 7:1-28)
· Joseph (Matthew 1:20, 21; 2:13, 19, 20)
· Wise men (Matthew 2:11, 12)
· Pilate’s wife (Matthew 27:19)
· In the last days (Acts 2:17)
Young and old can hear God through dreams. There is an increase amount of dreams this year. God is releasing an abundance of ideas, strategies, innovations, stirrings, healings and what he desires for us in dreams.
We can read about unbelieving kings receiving directions from God through dreams. Daniel and Joseph were promoted because of their gift of dreams interpretation. Solomon received an impartation of wisdom from God while he was asleep.
I went to bed feeling sick during one of my prayer trips. That night I dreamed that someone was praying in tongues over me the whole night. I woke up feeling completely well. God dreams are not confined to our natural environment.
Let us look at different dreams :-
God wants you to know your calling. He wants to reveal your destiny to you. Have you ever had a dream of speaking publicly or ministering inner healing to someone? That’s a calling dream. God is giving you a vision of what you are to do. Often, these dreams recur repeatedly. Why? Out of the mouth of two or three witnesses, the word of the Lord is established. When it keeps coming, It is because there’s something the Lord is trying to get through to you.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I believe Joseph had these calling dreams when he dreamed that his family will bow to him. More than his family, the entire nation had to bow down to him during the famine. He was destined to provide an answer during the famine. Like Joseph, we too can receive dreams to give answers to our world that is struggling with fear and death.
The Lord gives warning dreams so we can intercede and change the course of life for ourselves or for others. Once you have prayed through, we need to trust God to divert what he showed us in the warning dreams and not expect them to happen. We have a friend who receive lots of dreams but he is not willing to learn the metaphors of dreams or understand how to interpret dreams God’s way. He insisted his dreams are always literal. He believed that what he dreams about will happen exactly the way it was in his dreams. Sometimes dreams can be literal, but most of the times, dreams are symbolic.
When a warning dream comes to us, the first thing we do is to go to God in prayer. Ask him for understanding and wisdom to know how to pray the danger off from happening. Joseph was told in a warning dream to flee with little Jesus and Mary as Herod sought to kill the King of all kings.
“You’ve gone into my future to prepare the way, and in kindness you follow behind me to spare me from the harm of my past. You have laid your hand on me!” (Psalm 139:5, The Passion Translation)
God is always ahead of the devil. He gives us warning dreams so that we can wipe out the evil plans of Satan even before they can take effect. We can trust in the keeping power of God over us.
When we are anxious or feeling stressed, we will meditate more on the problems and usually our dreams will be from our soul. Our soul is processing the happenings of the day. Don’t decide in a hurry when you are feeling tired or fearful, even if you think that you have received dreams from the Lord. Ask for confirmations from Him through His words, or friends. God is not in a hurry and you will not miss out if you take time to pray and ponder over matters.
Soul dreams reveal emotions, attitudes, or beliefs that we may try to deny or repress.
They are a means that God can use for good—to help us bring them into the open and deal with them.
I used to have dreams about being blamed and misunderstood. In my dreams, I could not explain myself well. I could not refute those accusations. It cuts deep into my heart and I would cry bitterly and woke myself up crying. I knew these were dreams from my soul which God is using to bring an awareness to me through. I needed to be inner healed. I went to God and acknowledged that I needed his healing and forgave everyone who has accused me of things I did not do. I broke off the sense that I have been shut up, that I don’t have a voice. Once I did that, those dreams stop coming to me.
Signs you may be having a soul dream include:
· Actual memories resurfacing in your dreams
· Vivid emotions that you can link to an event, past, present, or future
· Repeating, or recurring dreams
Soul dreams may indicate a response, such as fear or anger, to an event that is happening at present in our lives, or that we are expecting in the future. Be assured that if something from your past is surfacing in a dream, it is ready to be dealt with and that your loving Father is waiting to bring healing to you.
We should never dismiss soul dreams as being unimportant. They give us insight into our inner world. God desires to shine a light on underlying problems and turn them around for our good.
If you are having soul dreams that you believe are significant, pray about them and ask God how you should respond. If needed, find a leader/mentor or wise Christian counsel to pray with you and help you process whatever is coming to the surface.
Spiritual warfare dreams or nightmares
Dreams can be an alert to pray during times of spiritual warfare.
“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.’ (1 John 4:4)
We can confront any spiritual darkness in our dreams that are trying to terrify us. I used to have a lot of nightmares and they were robbing sleeps from me. I was too afraid to go to sleep on my own. One day my prayer partner advised me to stand firm in my dreams and not run in fear from those demonic oppressions. That night, I purposed in my heart and mind to do that. I prayed for God to help me when the nightmare come to me again. I did have another nightmare, but this time I was prepared to face the intimidation with the help of the Lord. In my dream, the Holy Spirit came in and taught me what to say and do. From then onwards, the nightmares stopped.
“You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,”(Psalm 91:5)
Use the authority that Jesus has given you. Demons fear you; not the other way round.
Recently, I had a spiritual warfare dream. I knew I was entering that demonic disturbances. In the dream, I knew there were demons. The first thing I said aloud was “where are your angels, Lord?”. I saw a vague flash of light in the colour of a rainbow. I knew that was God telling me that his angels are with me in the dream. I asked the angels to tackle the demons. Although I did not see the angels or demons, but I could sense them fighting against each other. The angels quickly smashed the demons down. I want you to keep this in your mind. If you have a lot of nightmares, remember this dream of mine and go to sleep knowing that God have you covered. You can ask for angelic help to remove the demons assigned to hassle you in your sleep. You do not need to tolerate them. If you find yourself not able to speak the name of Jesus in the nightmare, you just need to think “Jesus” in your mind. It is equally powerful!
What to do when you have a dream? :-
Journal your dreams
1. Write your dreams down. Grab a notebook and write what you remember. If after praying you feel the dream isn’t of the Lord, then forget about it. But if you think God is in it, journal what you feel He is saying to you. Always have your notebook and pen next to your bed to be ready to record your dreams. If you take your dream life seriously, you will be amazed at what God will do in your dreams.
2. Title your dreams and record down the date. It will make finding and recalling you dream a lot easier. I had a dream that only came to pass10 years later. The Lord reminded me of this dream and told me to go back and reread my dream journal. He told me it was time to follow the directions of the dream. There were many confirmations, just as he said there would be, as we made one of the greatest transitions of our lives. Titling your dreams will also give you a hint to what that dream is about.
3. Pray before you do anything else. Ask God to expose the source of a dream. Is it from my soul? Is it from the enemy? Is it from God? What is your part to play to fulfil this dream? For example, you might need to research on the biblical symbols of your dream, go for some appropriate training, change a certain mindset, etc.
4. Listen to God. Take a moment and sit quietly before the Lord so that you may hear His perspective. In Gen 40:8, Joseph said “Do not interpretations belong to God?”.
5. Seek godly counsel. Pharaoh sought wise counsel from Joseph and a generation was saved from starvation (Genesis 41). Just be wise about with whom you share your visions and dreams. Please do not make major decisions based only on dreams. Always ask for confirmation from God and have someone you trust for accountability.
“The goal is not to have a notebook full of dreams. The goal is understanding your dreams and apply them to your life” – Steve Maddox (Author of the Dreambook).
It is about our responses to our Father in love; not for the sake of performance.
David says, “I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.” (Psalm 16:7)
Ask God to give you a dream. Pay attention to what He might show you and record it in your Dream Journal. If you don’t have a dream journal, please start one either on your phone, your laptop or on a notebook.
In your Dream Journal, have the following details for each dream.
Title of Dream:
Main character involved
Were you actively taking part or only observing:
Color – dark/muted:
May you increasingly hear God’s voice through your night dreams. Open your dreams to the Lord. Invite him to take over your dream life. Welcome the exciting adventure of dreams and encounters with the Holy Spirit. Happy dreaming!