“But God speaks again and again though people do not recognize it. 15 He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night when deep sleep falls on people as they lie in bed”. Job 33:14-15
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but what if that picture represented a thousand words spoken by God Himself? How much more valuable, how much more of a treasure would that picture become?
The truth is, each one of us, young and old, have the privilege of becoming the canvas for God to speak to us through pictures or movies that run through our souls as we rest our head on our beds each night or saturate ourselves in His presence each day. The question become, “are we listening?” and the bigger question becomes, “are we responding?” And are we teaching our children to hear and respond as well?
The Bible is full of countless stories of God speaking to humanity through a dream/vision, to Joseph and the wheat stalks, to Jacob’s ladder, to Daniel’s visions of the future yet to come, to Joseph’s warning to flee Bethlehem, to Peter’s vision, to even king Pharaoh who did not worship and serve God. Looking at these accounts as not just a part of history, but a manifestation of the character and nature of the unchanging God who we serve, we must come to the conclusion that God is still speaking to us as well through dreams and visions today.
Why would God choose to speak to us through dreams and visions?
There is something very unique that happens when we can go beyond reading words from a page or even hearing spoken words. When we can see a picture or especially a movie we become emotionally attached to what we are seeing. This is the very reason that the advertising and movie industry spends billions of dollars each year on putting a video or movie in front of consumers eyes. Emotions drive how we retain and respond to what we are seeing. Have you ever watched a movie and felt like you really knew the characters? You felt sad when they died and happy when they found their true love. Watching something unfold makes it feel real. This is also true with dreams and visions…and God knows that. Despite what you may or may not have been taught in church, God is an emotional God. God feels, desires, longs, and is love. He gets angry, and He feels Joy. God desires us to see His truth, to feel His truth, to know His truth, to respond to His truth, and our dreams and visions are what He uses to align our soul up with His truth.
I want to spend some time in this teaching to help us understand how to discern the source of our dreams/visions and how to react to them appropriately. We must have discernment with wisdom and understanding if we are going to hear and understand what God is speaking to us in our dreams/visions. These basic steps and principals on how to discern a God dream and react to it is extremely powerful for us as parents to apply to our children and to teach them to do the same.
There are basically three sources/spirits behind every dream/vision: God, carnal, or demonic. To determine if God is at the source of your dream/vision and is speaking to you, you must first determine the spirit/source of your dream. There are some basic principles we can use to do this.
Discerning the spirit behind your dream/vision:
1. Do you remember the dream?
a. Scientists have proven that the dreams you remember the most are the ones where you wake up in the middle of the night or right after the dream.
b. This is God’s design so that you may retain the dreams you need to listen to and respond.
c. If you do not remember your dream in great detail, most likely it is a carnal dream/vision and the response is simply to do nothing.
d. If you do remember the dream in great detail, you must begin to dissect the dream/vision further to find the source.
e. Dreams that feel very real and dreams that we are a part and not just looking in through a window are also dreams we must pay close attention to.
2. How did you feel in your dream?
a. This question can be tricky because often we can feel different feelings remembering a dream than we actually did having the dream.
b. Luke 6:43 says, “A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. 44 A tree is identified by the kind of fruit it produces”.
c. This means if God is the source of your dream you will only feel the fruit of His spirit as you experience that dream. This is true even when the dream may involve some experiences that are by the carnal nature of man – fearful, sad, anger provoking or even a warning dream.
d. For example: You were dreaming of standing up and speaking in front of thousands and in the dream you felt nothing but peace and boldness, but when you begin to rehearse that dream in your mind you begin to feel fear and anxiety?
e. If God is at the source of your dream, your spirit man is leading you, and therefore will only produce in you emotions characteristic of God, not of our own soul or of Satan.
f. Even when we wake up from a God dream, our own soul can creep in and pervert what God is speaking. We must be careful to discern what we were feeling inside the dream.
g. If what you were feeling inside your dream or even right after you woke up was fear, anxiety, anger, the spirit or source of your dream was either carnal or demonic.
3. How can I discern between a carnal or demonic dream?
a. Carnal dreams can manifest out of movies we have watched, situations in our life, common fears like robberies, kidnapping, death, etc.
b. Carnal dreams can be good and bad in nature but we must understand that God is not speaking to us, but instead it is our own flesh.
c. To rightfully discern between carnal and demonic dreams, you have to evaluate what is going on in your life at the time or if what you had a dream about was what you were already feeling.
d. If we are not careful, we can have a carnal dream and call it of God.
e. I have been on the end of someone’s inaccurate discernment of a dream that was carnal in nature. Because they were already thinking something about me, when they had the dream, they thought to themselves that it must have been true. We must be careful who we share our dreams with and stamp them from God.
f. If in your dream you were feeling ungodly fruit and there seems to be no tie in with an experience or emotions you have had, it may be a demonic dream.
g. If we are filled with the spirit, Satan cannot attack our spirit but he can attack our mind and emotions.
h. Demonic dreams/visions usually have several distinct characteristics to them.
i. They always bring emotions opposite of God’s fruit and they literally change the atmosphere of where you are at when you wake up. The room or place you wake up in will feel cold, dark, and demonic in nature.
How to react to your dream/vision
1. If it is a carnal/demonic dream
a. Use the word of God to renew your mind and replace any ungodly thoughts or emotions.
b. For example, if your dream/vision brought fear, pray and declare scriptures to come against fear.
c. Use the name of Jesus. Every thought, dream, and imagination must come under submission to the name of Jesus.
d. Say the name of Jesus and picture Him in your mind until peace comes upon you.
e. If you know that it was a demonic dream apply the blood of Jesus over the power of that dream in your life; breaking it off from prospering in its work against you.
2. What if it is a God dream?
a. Write the dream/vision down in every little detail from what you were feeling, to colors, to everything you saw.
b. Pray for God to reveal to you what he is saying.
c. Start with the word of God. Begin to dissect everything you wrote down by comparing those same objects, colors, numbers, etc. in the Bible.
d. If what you saw or experienced cannot be compared to anything in the Bible, begin to ask yourself what those things mean compared to your own experiences. God speaks to us individually in a personal way that He knows we can understand.
e. As an example, if someone loved cats and dreamed of a cat rubbing up against them they might discern that God is speaking to them about a person in their life that gives them comfort or love. But if God gives that same dream to someone who is allergic to cats, that person may discern that God is speaking to them about someone in their life whom they are reacting badly towards or the person is not good for them.
f. It is important to remember that God knows us best. Dream interpretation for someone else has its place as it did in the Bible. But if we are filled with the spirit of God we have all we need to interpret our own dreams (outside of a child receiving help from his mom and dad).
g. After we feel a partial or full understanding of our God dream/vision we must began to pray into it and declare that the word of God go forth and accomplish its will in our lives.
h. We must also take actions for anything God is asking us to do.
As I mentioned earlier, God gives us dreams/visions so that His truth can collide with our soul bringing the manifest will of God into our lives. There is no greater power to bring God’s will into our lives than when we see and experience it in a dream/vision and are able to stand on that truth until it comes to pass.
Author: Alicia White, KIMI Ohio