Guidelines For Interpreting Your Dreams & Others
This is an essential tool to help you gain a broader perspective on interpretation. Understanding, testing, and responding to dreams (my blog from the first workshop) gives you a stronger base when seeking to interpret your own dreams and others. So I suggest reading it first before attempting to tackle this one.
Interpretation is amazing, but it can also be very tricky. I have learned through my own trial and error that it is not enough to just know all about symbols and use that as a means of understanding the fullness of a dream. It is essential, when it is our own dream and when dealing with others dreams, to take into account what is going on during that season of your/their life. Ask: what are you dealing with on a natural or emotional level? What are some issues that have come against you? What are some things you have been praying about or seeking God over? Having an understanding of the persons life is so important. When you don’t have a basic idea of their life then it is impossible to understand the fullness of a dream and all it involves. I have been dreaming and interpreting for years, and I still had to relearn this lesson the other day after having a dream for someone that I really didn’t know well. I was trying to go on the symbols and piece it together to make it fit like a puzzle, and no matter how hard I tried it just wouldn’t work. It took me sharing the dream with this person, and then allowing them to explain some areas of their own life that I had no idea about in order for me to gain a better perspective on the symbolic meaning within the dream. Then, after much prayer, it began to click. Once understanding is increased, then things can begin to shift and fit together; however, even at this point, no one can be 100% sure about what another person’s interpretation is. It is only when the dreamer feels that Aha! moment – that revelatory impact on their spirit man – that one might gain a little insight into the right meaning of the dream. Even then, it is only when the message of the dream actually comes to fruition that you will know (assuming, if it’s someone else’s dream that they share this with you) that you have given the right interpretation. Whew! That’s a big realm to step into, and a lot of hoops to get through before confirmation is given. It’s a little scary at times, and that is why I consistently pray over my dreams and others dreams before interpretation is attempted. I don’t know about you, but I never want to be outside of the will of God. The interpretations (as Joseph from Genesis told us) belong only to HIM and HIM alone. We are merely the vessel that He blesses and chooses to speak on His behalf.
So, with all that said, here are a few guidelines for interpreting for your own dreams and if the need arises, for other dreamers.
1. Keep dreams in perspective. Paul gives us the warning in Colossians 2:18-19, “Let no one cheat you of your reward. Taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into these things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the Head. . .” We must keep our perspective and focus on Christ. He is the Head, and we must never allow our own fleshly mind to become so puffed up, enamored, with the ‘spiritual’ experience rather than the ONE who give us all things in order to teach us, guide us, and lead us closer to HIM.
2. Be rooted and grounded soundly in the Word of God. Psalm 119:11 says, “Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.” Also in 2 Timothy, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” (ESV). Keep the Word as the foundation. Let it guide you in all truth so that no matter what you will not be ashamed because the Word speaks life and is sharper than any two-edged sword.
3.Pray for Wisdom. Always seek God’s help when interpreting dreams. Don’t just assume that you know all the answers and understand all the symbols. Pray for discernment and increased wisdom. Even Daniel prayed for more wisdom and understanding. He held the knowledge that only through God could dreams be deciphered. HE and HE alone holds the universe in His hands.
4.Seek God’s timing on everything. When interpreting for other people, be sure that you seek the LORD on what and how much to reveal. The reason that HE gives us dreams and visions is to cause us to seek HIM more. He wants us to ponder, search, and pray for revelation. Remember, the journey is often more important than the actual destination. The journey is to cause us to ponder and seek Him. His ultimate goal is always to draw us closer to Him. His timing is everything, and we must know what to say (when speaking into other people’s life), and how much. This is, of course, assuming that we know the complete revelation. Dreams are often complex and are only revealed through the dreamer’s own search and patience. For example: Joseph was pretty sure that he had a great understanding of what his dreams meant at 17 years of age; however, it wasn’t until the actual fulfillment at around 30 years of age that he finally understood the complete fullness of God’s plan. That’s a long time in between, but he had the dreams to hold on to so that his heart could believe and hope in the LORD knowing that the God who promises is not slack in fulfilling His Word. The scripture says, “Until the time that his (Joseph’s) word came: the word of the Lord tried him.” (Psalm 105:19).
5.Never go farther in interpreting a person’s dream than the dreamer is willing to go. Sometimes we may get an understanding for someone’s dream, but if they are not ready to receive the Word, then we should not press. For example: often, as the meaning is being drawn out – when interpreting for others – the dreamer will suddenly realize that the dream is referring to something that they are not ready to address or even discuss openly. When they say, “That’s enough.” Then it is time to stop. It is not up to us to press or push to make someone see something. Remember, this is God’s work. Not ours.
6.Ask Questions (for yourself and others): What was the main feeling you experienced in the dream and when you woke up? What was the main action going on in the dream? What was the dominant trait of the main person (other than you) in the dream? How do the events in the dream relate to your real life experiences?
7.Make a list of all the symbols and decipher the ones that you know. Pray about the ones that are complex and hidden. These alone will not tell you what a dream is about, but they will give you a basis to work with in order to break down some of the main focus within the dream.
8.If a dream can be taken literal then it probably is. In other words, if you dream of something going on right now, and you look exactly the same. Everything is normal in the dream, and it is in present tense – then more than likely this is a literal dream. There will always be a clue within each dream which will reveal whether or not you are dealing with literal or symbolic. Look for things that are out of the ordinary to help determine this: an airplane driving down the street, your hair is different, your age is different, you own a blue car, but you’re driving a red one, you have three kids but you only have one in the dream, etc.
Helpful Questions to Ask When Interpreting Dreams:
1.What is the dream’s subject? Action?
2.What past or present situation could the dream be related to? What have you asked God lately? Are there problems you are facing in reality? Internal conflict? Decisions or directions?
3.Who does the dream refer to? Who is in the dream? Name? Age? Race? Occupation?
4. What is the setting of the dream? A house? Church? Job? Stranger’s home? Woods?
5. Is the dream past, present, or future? Look at the ages of the people, the setting around you such as an old house from your past? Etc….
6.What symbols were used? Shapes? Objects? Colors? Numbers? Names?
7. What are the main emotions during and after the dream? Questions? Impressions? Repentance? Anger? Confirmation? Did you feel a warning?
Hopefully, this will give you a little more insight into dreams and their meaning, and the wisdom to decipher and discern your own dreams. I am still learning even after all the years of studying I have put in that interpretation is a never ending cycle, and I’m so thankful that the LORD patiently teaches me on a daily basis. He is wonderful and faithful, always. As you continue to work on these areas of interpretation, just keep in mind that only God knows the fullness. Never assume that you know it all, that you’ve got the exact perfect answer, or that you know the fullness of the meaning. Keep prayer and intercession as your main focus, and seek His wisdom and understanding daily. Even the disciples had to seek Jesus over the parables. I pray that this workshop has blessed you. Keep dreaming.