Learning to interpret dreams is much more difficult than it sounds. It takes a lot of prayer, being deeply rooted in the Word of God, carrying an understanding of the Word of God, and having a firm grasp on symbols, numbers, and enigmas (or proverbs) in order to gain better insight into the depth of dreams. To interpret your own dreams and others, the key factor to remember is that the interpretation truly belongs solely with the LORD. Joseph (OT) said, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace” (Gen. 41:16). In other words, interpretations belongs to God alone. Only He can give direction and peace in your heart. Only God can reveal the secrets you are longing to know, or what the night time enigma really means behind the symbols and colors within your dream. Seek His divine revelation first and foremost and allow peace to rule in your heart.
With all that said, interpretation doesn’t always come immediately, and in the process of waiting there are actually 7 key principles that can be applied to dream interpretation to help increase your wisdom and understanding. It is essential that you are able to grasp these fully before trying to interpret your own dreams or the dreams of others.
7 Key Principles
1. Ask questions: “Does this (symbol, color, number) mean anything specific to you?” or “What did you feel emotionally within the dream and upon waking?”
Does the dream require some kind of action? Repentance? Intercession?
Is it a confirmation, instruction, or a type of warning?
*Walk in humility, and approach interpretation with caution. It is very dangerous to walk in a spirit of “being a Know-it-all”. Never presume that you have all the answers or the spiritual meaning of another persons dream.
2. Turn your dream (or other people’s dream) into a time of intercession. Always pray about the dream and the meaning before presenting what you feel. Even then approach cautiously and let the other person direct the answer or how far they are willing to go with the interpretation. Always give any and all revelation with gentleness. Remember: The reception of the message is often dependent upon the delivery of the message. Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Think about Daniel. His life was dependent on not only knowing the dream but also the interpretation. What did he do? He first rallied his friends to pray and stand in the gap with him for the revelation. Then when he was granted his petition by God, he thanked God and praised Him. Lastly, he went humbly before the king and spoke with a humble, gentle, nature.
3. Always keep dreams in perspective: in Colossians 2:18-19, Paul gives the reader a stern warning to “let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the Head…” In other words, we have to be careful that we keep Christ as the Head and Center of our lives. We are never to become more enamored by the spiritual experience about Him; rather, we are to stay focused ON Him and In Him.
4. When interpreting always remain humble and give all the glory to God. It is nothing in and of ourselves, but it is all about HIM. He deserves all the glory and honor.
5.Always pray for Wisdom and discernment when interpreting dreams. Everything comes in God’s timing. WE have to remember that we can’t force an interpretation. We cant rush or beg for it to come. It is all in his timing. The reason we are given dreams and visions it so create a spirit of searching within our hearts. He desires us to ponder, search and pray for the full revelation. We often learn more in the search than in the final destination.
6. Remember: An appropriate interpretation should always bring you closer to God. The interpretation should always bring freedom and never bring you into bondage or legalism. The interpretation should never contradict God’s Word or nature. He will never contradict His Word.
7. When Interpreting make sure you remind yourself and others that we must always seek to be cautious. It is essential to never become dependent or directed by our dreams on a daily basis. An incorrect interpretation can falsely lead us astray. Make sure that each and every dream is brought before the LORD and that peace rules completely in your heart and mind once interpretation has come, been confirmed, and even then only take baby steps toward fulfillment. Never rush ahead or jump blindly toward making a dream message come to pass. Remember that dreams usually take a long time for fullness or fulfillment.
These are essential principles, and I have learned through the years (through trial and error) that interpreting for other people can be very painful. It is so important to keep your focus on the LORD. It can be exciting to feel like you understand the dream and have the answer, and it took time for me to learn that just because we may understand and know what the LORD is wanting to say, it doesn’t always mean that we have the liberty or permission to say it. Timing is so important. Sometimes we may know, and we are called to simply keep it and pray over it. Other times we may be instructed to share a knowledge of the symbols, and through this ‘outline’ the true meaning will penetrate the dreamer’s heart, and the interpretation will come to them alone. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide and direct you at every turn. We are merely vessels in the hands of the LORD. My desire is to speak with the tongue of the learned, and know how to speak a word in due season. I never want to be out of turn, or speak hastily. Psalm 119:11 says, “Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.” Again Proverbs states, “A man will be praised according to his insight,” but we must first learn wisdom, knowledge, understanding, discretion, and every good thing.
Have you ever had someone share a dream with you? Did you understand the meaning and jump in to share? Did you hide the message in your heart in order to pray over it? Have you ever had a dream that you completely understood and thought would happen immediately? Did you get discouraged when it didn’t come to pass right away or are you still waiting? Be patient and trust the LORD that if He is able to give you the message, then He will fulfill His Word. Stand strong and stay in the faith. Do not become discouraged, but if you are holding on to that prophetic promise begin to make warfare with the Word. Pray, intercede, speak those things that be not as though they were. God is good and faithful. Share with us something that you have experienced in interpreting your own dreams or someone else’s? Have you ever had a dream for someone else and sent them the message? Was the results good or bad? Did you act too hastily? No matter what, I encourage you to continue asking, seeking, and knocking. God will never fail you. Be blessed and keep dreaming.