Understanding the Setting of Your Dream

Dreams are interesting and complex. Even Daniel, when trying to understand his own dreams states that he “wrote down the dream telling the main facts” (Daniel 7:1). Sometimes we have to weed out the excess and focus in on what God is specifically trying to show us. What is the main scenario going on in the dream? Where are you in the dream? Are there any specific colors that stand out to you? What are some basic symbols that seem to stand out to you? I once dreamed that I was taking a vacation at a nursing home. What?? Yes, that was where I was, and as unusual as that sounds it was very significant to that moment in my life. Not only was I staying with my family overnight, but there was only one bed for five people!. Then, to make things worse the nurse came in and took my favorite fan away. I was furious! I stormed to the main office and loudly complained about my treatment; however, none of the people working behind the desk would listen or even seemed to care. When I got back to my room, it was trashed. The nurses had returned my fan, but in their anger over getting reported they trashed my room. So, what did I do? I stormed back up to the office, and this time I took my husband. I carried a different authority, and they were not only ready to listen but were very considerate and ready to fix the problem.

Now, look at the setting of this dream. I was in a nursing home. In the natural we know that a nursing home is a place where elderly people go to stay when their families are unable to care for them. It can become a permanent residence. So how does this apply to my life? In a spiritual sense, a nursing home is a place where there seems to be very little control over one’s own life. They fix your food, they bring your medicine, clean your room, and take care of you. Not much is required of a person who lives in a nursing home. In the dream I had gone there for a vacation, or to get away from daily life, right? The setting is very important because it usually reveals the subject of God’s message. The scenes that follow are what carries the plot forward and enlarges upon the overall scene.

For example, look at Nebuchadnezzar’s second dream in Daniel. There are two scenes that make up the entire dream. Verses 10 through 12 and then 13 through 17. The king states, “These were the visions of my head while on my bed: I was looking, and behold, a tree in the midst of the earth, and its height was great. The tree grew and became strong; Its height reached to the heavens, and it could be seen to the ends of the earth. Its leaves were lovely. Its fruit was abundant, and it it was food for all. The beasts of the field found shade under it. The birds of the heavens dwelt in its branches, and all flesh was fed from it.” (Daniel 4:10-12). This is the first scene of the dream. The setting is established here for Nebuchadnezzar. His main setting is all about prosperity and growth for his kingdom. The second part of the dream is all about God’s displeasure at Nebuchadnezzar’s prideful attitude, and it also gives the subsequent meaning to the first part of the dream by showing the chastisement that is to come. However, Daniel states that the dream is a warning, and Nebuchadnezzar has the ability to shift the outcome, right?

Now, back to my dream. In the nursing home I was unhappy with the accommodations (there was only one bed for five people). Why were the accommodations not right? Because it is not a place that I need to be at this point in my life. I was unsatisfied with the treatment (the nurse took away my fan, which I use to help me sleep in reality. It was my possession). My comfort and rest was stolen. I was really out of place in the nursing home. I couldn’t be satisfied because I wasn’t even supposed to be there, and yet, I was trying to take a vacation there. How crazy is that?

This is what I discovered. I wanted to be in a place where I would be taken care of, and yet, I found that as long as I tried to stay in that “position” I was going to find it very uncomfortable and unsatisfactory. While at a nursing home, the nurses are the one who have the authority. They are the ones in charge because most of the time the residents are unable to do things for themselves (Not the case for all but most). Nothing, in the dream was going my way because I had submitted to the authority of the “nurses” by checking into this facility as a guest. Do you see where I am going with this?

To have my own authority I have to allow the LORD to take control of my life – not people or situations, but the LORD. I cannot set down my travel bags (my identity) in a place where I give my authority over to others who do not have the same goals, mindset, or beliefs as I do. In my old way of thinking I want to attack with anger when things get difficult, but it is ineffective in the long run. In fact, God was letting me know that He doesn’t want this for my life. He showed me that it will never be comfortable in that place of apathy. I will only have issues in that position. The first scene let me know that as long as I walk in the place where I am in an old mindset, old attitude, and old way of thinking then I do not have the authority to make the changes needed. I have to allow HIM (husband often represents Christ within a dream) go with me and make the changes that are needed. It was only when I found my husband and took him with me to the main office to complain that things began to shift. At this point in the dream I was taking back my authority, and not letting anyone else run all over me, and with the LORD by my side I am more than a conqueror.

Now, look at the setting:
Nursing home
Nurses take my fan (comfort, peace, and ability to rest: Nurses=authority)
My bags (identity)
Main office ===== I complain but nothing gets accomplished. It only gets worse

In the first scene, the Lord has shown that by my own authority and power nothing will change. I will be stuck in a place of old mindsets and attitudes, still trying to fix problems the way I always have (be confrontational), and still nothing will get better.

Subsequent scenes:
Return to the room ===== it’s trashed
Find my husband (Christ and the church)
Main office –======== Taking my KING with me and getting things accomplished through HIS power and HIS might. Not my own. Only then will things begin to shift

Isn’t God amazing?? I say it all the time, and it is so true! I love how the Lord will reveal the mysteries to us when seek HIS face and His Word. Just remember, when trying to discern what the dream is truly about always seek out what the first scene is, how it applies to your life, and what symbols are being used. To apply the message of the dream correctly it is important to ask yourself from the beginning: Who is this dream referring to? What is really going on, or what is it truly about? Don’t assume if there are other people in the dream that it is about them. The truth is that the majority of our dreams are for us, about us, and speaking to us. They are internally working to bring about correction, hope, admonition, or speak a word to heal, deliver, change, set free, etc. I believe that the LORD uses dreams for a purpose. When we know without a doubt that the dream is directly from HIM, then you will also know that it means something and is speaking something important to you. Does it mean that the dream will come to pass right away? No, remember Joseph (OT) dream took around thirteen years to come to pass, and the word tells us that “Until the time that his word came: the word of the Lord tried him” (Psalm 105:19). Does the dream mean, if it’s correction for a NOW word that it will happen now? No, you could receive a dream where the LORD is encouraging you to change some situations, but this could still take time. Like Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel encouraged him to repent and seek the glory of the LORD so that the dream would not be what it showed to be. It is a great reminder that dreams are only sent to help us walk closer with the LORD. I encourage you today, seek HIS face. Ask Him what needs to be fixed or healed. Find out what the LORD wants you to do in order that you might walk closer with HIM. His love is mighty and wonderful. He is good in all HIS ways. Be blessed and keep dreaming.

7 thoughts on “Understanding the Setting of Your Dream

  1. Me reading this post today couldn’t be more perfect timing. It helps to confirm what I suspected was God answering my prayers for guidance in my living situation. The similitudes between your dream and my concerns are too stark to ignore. Naturally I enjoyed the read ☺

  2. So interesting Michele. I’ll be reading more. Thank you for the like at DailyBiblePrayer. Many of us are feeling “hard pressed”. Whatever challenge you are facing, I pray God will increase your faith and give you the encouragement you need to persevere. God bless you. Laura

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