Before we start taking ownership of our dreams and act on them there are some things we must learn first concerning dreaming and how God communicates through them. As you have probably noticed from previous dreams you have had, dreams can vary widely in content and meaning. This depends on several factors.
There are times when you have a dream that has to do more with what you ate than it has to do with God speaking. Learning to tell the differences between dream sources is one key to understanding dreams. Dreams caused by what you ate are rare, but from time to time they do happen. It is critical to be able to tell the difference. Dreams that come from God are prophetic in nature; because of that truth if your dream is from God it will produce fruit, in addition to lining up with God’s Word, God’s will, and the way of God. Because dreams are typically prophetic in nature, the interpretation first and primarily belongs to the Holy Spirit. This means that dream interpretation falls under the umbrella of the prophetic.
I have attended to classes on dreams and dream interpretation to find that, sadly, there is too often little equipping of those attending to understand the subject; they were mostly a man or ministry showing their gifting concerning dream interpretation. In one particular class, the individual leading the class began to interpret dreams solely upon common sense rather than revelation from the Holy Spirit. I was grieved because you cannot rely solely on common sense concerning dreams and visions. We must have both the reality of a reliance on the Holy Spirit and our common sense in play when we are asking the Father for an interpretation concerning revelation.
Each person has filters, known as their “world view,” that can at times deceive us in our hearts concerning the voice of the Lord. These filters develop throughout our lives and are influenced by our earth-based relationships, and they develop in the context of things such as our ethnicity and culture, what kind of family we grew up in, our friends, those we look up to and many other factors. We then see and interpret the world through these filters. Because these world views can distort reality, sometimes in small ways and sometimes in not so small ways, we have to rely on the Holy Spirit to overcome what we know is true (i.e. – at one time, many knew that man could not fly, at one time, many knew that the earth was the center of the universe, and so forth). God may use things that are familiar to our world view, but the interpretation of those things necessarily includes revelation from the Holy Spirit.
We must learn to rely upon the only One who has pure and true revelation. We must depend fully on the Holy Spirit to give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation concerning Him. Even though dreams may appear to be mostly about the individual dreaming them or those closest to them, in truth all prophetic dreams come from the Father and point back to Him. It’s not about you! All dreams from God, no matter how complex or specific to your life they are, are to point back to His heart, and to what He is doing and saying.
There are some important things to know about dreams:
- Not all dreams are from God. As we will learn, we can hear from four sources in the spiritual realm, even in or dreams; perhaps more especially in our dreams
- Simply because we have powerful and illustrative dreams does not necessarily mean we are prophetic. Remember that wicked people in the Old Testament had powerful dreams (Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar). Interpreting dreams, as Joseph and Daniel did for the two mentioned above, respectively, is what makes us prophetic.
- Colors, numbers and other symbolic occurrences are very important to the interpretation of the dream.Ultimately, the interpretation of dreams belongs to the Lord.
A good method for increasing our supernatural dream life is to lay a notebook or recording device by our bed before going to sleep. Before going to sleep, Pray to the Lord and tell Him, “Your servant is listening.” As soon as you wake from a dream, record all the details you can remember, including the way you felt when having the dream.
Let me encourage you to desire to dream and interpret dreams. Dreams can be a powerful ministry tool to reach the lost. They can also be a powerful tool when you are seeking direction from the Lord. Dreams are important to getting direction from the Lord; so much so that Joseph, In Genesis 41 tells us that a directional dream that is repeated means that the matter has been determined by God. Adjustments in your life are likely needed to accommodate what is about to take place. (Genesis 41:32)