First, it must be established whether or not the dream is from the Lord. I’m going to go into this in a later blog, but most all who have studied dreams knows that not every dream comes from God. We would be foolish to simply be led by dreams without consulting the creator of the Universe to see if He has sent the message. It is the same with a prophetic word. I John 4:1 says, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” Also Jeremiah tells us “For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the god of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners (dreamers), that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye (YOU) cause to be dreamed” (29:8). So yes, we can cause our own dreams to happen, but for the sake of this blog we will focus on dreams that have been discerned, prayed over, searched our and lined up with the Word.
Once you have determined that this dream is significant, and it lines up with the Word of God (because God will NEVER contradict His Word), then you will be able to focus on the details and discern who and what this dream is about. In understanding the spheres of dreams, it is important to pay attention to what is going on and where you are at in the actual dream. There are actually three ways that one can determine who the dream is for:
- Are you the focus of the dream? This means that you are the main character. Think of your favorite movie as an example. If you removed the main character then the entire movie would become senseless, null and void. Are you the main character in your dream? If you took you out of the equation would the dream simply fall apart? If so, then this dream is for you and about you. It doesn’t matter who else is in the dream, God is speaking a word to YOU.
- Are you Participating in the dream? This means that you and probably someone else is doing something together like a main character and a supporting actor. That means that whether or not you are “removed” from the dream then it could still continue and make sense. If so, then this dream is about something other than just you. God is speaking to you, but He is also giving a message for and about something or someone else as well. These dreams are often associated with church, business, jobs, family, etc.
- Are you Observing in the dream? I discussed this type of dream in my blog about Observation or voyeurism. In this type of dream you are simply watching the scenes unfold much like you would if you watched a movie at home. You are not a physical part of the dream, but you are observing the scenes from afar or possibly even a foot above (kind of like hovering and looking down into a room). In this case, this is a dream for someone or something else. This dream does not have anything to do with you other than the Lord is capturing your attention in order to get you to intercede and pray for the situations you observe. Note, God does not give us these dreams to accuse, gossip, slander, or become angry at another person. When we are entrusted with such a dream it is for us to be vigilant and intercede. Prayer is the key to breakthrough! It doesn’t matter if the person never knows that you dreamed about them. God can still move mountains when we choose to pray and believe.
Now that we know who the dream is about, how do we determine the meaning behind the symbols? Also, why are some dreams/symbols more difficult to understand than others? Think about Joseph (OT). His dreams were very transparent, right? When he told his father (who was also a dreamer, by the way) he knew immediately what it meant. Even his brothers understood the message behind the sun, moon, and stars bowing down (Gen. 37:8). However, there are also dreams that are very Obscure. This means that they are difficult to discern and need interpretation from a skilled interpreter. Think about Pharaoh’s dream of the lean and fat cows in Genesis 41). He had everyone in the kingdom that understood prophetic or divine interpretations trying to discern the meaning behind the dream. Only Joseph (remember him – he’s the dreamer!) could understand the true meaning behind the symbols, and the interpretation saved the lives of millions. Also, think about Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 2. Not only did he have a difficult and troubling dream. It says that “…Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; and his spirit was so troubled that his sleep left him.” Wow! talk about the Lord trying to catch his attention. He called the magicians and the astrologers, sorcerers, and the Chaldeans to interpret the dream, except, wait . . . there was a catch. They not only had to interpret the dream, first they had to tell Nebuchadnezzar what the dream was about?! Yes, he refused to tell them the dream, and demanded the ultimate, which was that they make known to him the dream. He said, “Therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can give me its interpretation.” Perhaps, he had shared many dreams before that they had “interpreted” in the wrong way. Whatever the reason, he was firm and wanted the seemingly impossible. They said, “There is not a man on earth who can tell the king’s matter . . . It is a difficult thing that the king requests, and there in no other who can tell it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling in not with the flesh.” (10-11). Oh how wrong they were!! Daniel, who served God with diligence stepped up to the plate and smacked it out of the ballpark. God revealed the dream and the answer to Daniel in a night vision. I shared all of that to make it understood that some dreams are very hard to understand. They are so obscure that it takes much time, prayer, and even at times the interpretation from a trusted, prophetic voice. This story in Daniel also reminds us that God can and will do the impossible in order to get His message across to those who don’t believe. Daniel said, “[God] gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and secret things: He knows what is in the darkness and light dwells with Him” (Dan. 2:21-23).
Whether it is a simple message dream with direct and to the point self interpretation, or a complex symbolic dream that needs interpretation from someone that knows how to seek God’s revelation, God is speaking if only we will listen. Study the Word. Look deeper beneath the symbols to what the LORD is trying to say. It isn’t just about understanding what our dreams mean; it is about finding revelation in the Word. Jesus said to His disciples, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?” This let’s me know that studying, seeking, praying, and uncovering symbolic meaning is essential to understanding what is being spoken. In other words, if you can’t understand the simple then you will never comprehend the complex? After all, the overall purpose is for us to move closer to God, right? Seek His face today. Let Him fill you with divine hope, love, and understanding beyond your comprehension. Let your heart seek His heart and learn from His ways. He is so good and so full of LOVE.