Job 33:14-16 NIV
14 For God does speak—now one way, now another—
though no one perceives it.
15 In a dream, in a vision of the night,
when deep sleep falls on people
as they slumber in their beds,
16 he may speak in their ears
and terrify them with warnings,
17 to turn them from wrongdoing
and keep them from pride,
18 to preserve them from the pit,
their lives from perishing by the sword..
God speaks to us through dreams, no doubt about it. Because we have been brainwashed into western, carnally-minded thinking instead of spiritually-minded thinking, we miss messages from God that could have a positive impact on our lives. Here is your wake-up call to start paying attention to your dreams. Read your Bible for plenty of examples where God spoke to people in dreams, like the two Josephs and Daniel and others.
Not every dream is from God. Some are just your brain “defragging” and some are from Satan. I had a recurring dream for years and years when I was a teenager all the way to adulthood about smoking cigarettes. I never tried even one cigarette because I knew-that I knew-that I knew that I would become addicted. So Satan sent me these powerful dreams, so that I would wake up in the morning and want to smoke – that desire would not leave me all day long. I constantly resisted, for years. The dreams finally stopped, but I would say those dreams were definitely not from God.
Usually, you will know if a dream is from God. They will be relatively clear, have some kind of order or conclusion, you have some feeling that there is some kind of compelling message, and you will probably remember it when you wake up. If you only have fragments, ask God for the rest, He can give it to you.
A dream is like a puzzle or a riddle or a metaphor and it requires thought, prayer and interpretation. God wants to draw you to Him so you will ask Him for the meaning. A night vision doesn’t require an interpretation. It can be like a prophetic vision, but while you’re sleeping.
Twice I’ve had night visions that were set in my current home. In the first one, I saw myself getting out of my current bed in the middle of the night because I heard a sound in the house. I walked through my dark hallway to my living room and looked out the window. I saw in the moonlight or the street light that my garage door was open. It frightened me because I thought someone had entered the house. But all of the sudden this peace came over me because somehow I knew there was no one in the house. End of dream.
A week or so later, we had a storm come through my neighborhood and we had a series of power outages in the middle of the day. I worked late that night, and I got home about 7:30 pm. As I pulled up the driveway, I saw the garage door was up. I was horrified. I determined that the power outages must have somehow triggered the door to come up. I had left the inside door unlocked and I was afraid someone had entered my house and maybe robbed me. I quietly opened the door and called my cat. She appeared and I felt some relief. Then I tip-toed through the house, looking into closets and behind the shower curtain. Everything was intact. Then I remembered the dream and I felt peace. God had given me that dream to tell me that everything was going to be okay.
The other night vision was set in my bedroom, in the same bed, while I was sleeping on my side facing away from the door. My recently deceased father came through my bedroom door and walked through my queen size bed to my side. He looked about 30 years old. He said, “I have something for you.” I was mad at him for dying, and I said angrily, “Aren’t you supposed to be dead?” Now, my alive father would have responded instantly and angrily to my words. But this new spiritual father gently said again, “I have something for you.” He handed me a magazine (he was always reading Time, Newsweek and National Geographic) that had a message on the cover just for me that I won’t go into here. But it seemed like this was his way to tell me one last thing that he didn’t get to tell me before he died, and God allowed it. It gave me peace.
One time I was going through a terrible period at my job. Something had happened that day that was humiliating, depressing, and caused me to think I would not have my job much longer. I had a dream that night where I was in a huge building that was some kind of fine arts performing venue with red carpeting. I was carrying a small Chihuahua in my arms, and I knew I had to get to the staircase across the room. But between me and the staircase were dozens of black bulls lying on the carpet sleeping. I tip-toed past them so as not to wake them. But when I got to the staircase, they started to come after me. I turned around only to come face-to-face with a bull that was on my tail. His face looked like a man-demon, all contorted. The horns looked like corkscrews, very menacing. And this bull was mad.
I tried to run up the stairs as fast as I could, but I was frustrated because I had this little dog in my arms and I couldn’t grab the stair rail so I could go faster. I got to the top of the stairs and somehow I knew if I climbed through the window, there would be a staircase down to the outside of the building where I would be safe. I climbed through only to find myself on a ledge with nothing but concrete below. I started to get vertigo, and still holding the dog, I screamed at the top of my lungs, “JESUS! HELP ME!” The vertigo instantly stopped and I went back through the window, and that was the end of the dream.
When I woke up, I knew this dream was from God. I took and pen and paper and ask the Lord what it meant. Here is what I wrote down:
“My gifts and callings are irrevocable. You have been gifted with a faith and trust that is unshakeable. Remember that when the earthquakes come to shake you. Stand firm, stand fast, watch the Glory of the Lord, He is mighty to save. The bulls, the demons, will try to get you and scare you, but they cannot. Cling to what is precious to you, (the dog, which represents my relationship with Jesus, I believe – loyalty) to what you love and never let it go. Trust in Jesus, you don’t need to grip or hold on to anything else (the stair railing, solving problems in my own strength). The name of Jesus is powerful to save. There will be uphill battles (going up the stairs) but I am there through them all, close to your heart (the dog again was close to my heart, both physically and emotionally – I love animals). Keep your confidence in Me.” The performance hall with the red carpet represented my job, where I have to “perform”.
I told the Lord, “Okay, I’ll try to remember this.” I sat down to finish putting on my make-up, and I heard very loudly in my spirit, “Bulls of Bashan!” I knew that was from the Bible. I Googled it and found Psalm 22. I read it and felt the Lord speaking encouragement to me. Now, this psalm is always associated as a prophecy about Jesus. But He spoke to me through this psalm, and I just cried at cried at His tenderness. Here is an excerpt – remember how I felt about my job at this time:
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?
2 My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest.
3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the one Israel praises.
4 In you our ancestors put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.
5 To you they cried out and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
6 But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by everyone, despised by the people. (THIS IS HOW I FELT THAT DAY)
7 All who see me mock me;
they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
8 “He trusts in the LORD,” they say,
“let the LORD rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
since he delights in him.”
9 Yet you brought me out of the womb;
you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.
10 From birth I was cast on you;
from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
11 Do not be far from me,
for trouble is near
and there is no one to help.
12 Many bulls surround me;
strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
13 Roaring lions that tear their prey
open their mouths wide against me.
14 I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax;
it has melted within me.
15 My mouth is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
you lay me in the dust of death.
16 Dogs surround me,
a pack of villains encircles me;
they pierce my hands and my feet.
17 All my bones are on display;
people stare and gloat over me.
18 They divide my clothes among them
and cast lots for my garment.
19 But you, LORD, do not be far from me.
You are my strength; come quickly to help me.
20 Deliver me from the sword,
my precious life from the power of the dogs.
21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;
save me from the horns of the wild oxen.
There are several methods of dream interpretation. Make sure you study Christian dream interpretation methods. John Paul Jackson and Mark Virkler have good methods. I read Dream Dreams by Steve and Dianne Bydeley. Dream Interpretation: A Biblical Interpretation by Herman Riffel is another book to consider. Dream Language: The Prophetic Power of Dreams, Revelations, and the Spirit of Wisdom by James Goll is another one.
The best way to interpret dreams is to just ask the Lord for His help in giving you His spirits of wisdom, understanding and knowledge (Isaiah 11:2) to interpret. Then act on it.