Dream Interpretation part 3

Over the last two weeks, I have blogged about the importance of dreams, preparing to dream and how to record your dream. The first week I covered dreams in the Bible and some amazing dreams that people have had and how these dreams have helped influence society with their inventions, scientific discoveries, movies, books etc.

Last week I blogged about how to prepare for a dream and then how to document the dream. It is one thing to have a dream, but if you can’t remember it and don’t take the time to document it and uncover what the dream means, then you lose the full impact of the dream.

Today I want to unpack how you interpret your dreams and how God uses metaphors so that you can have a fuller understanding of that which God is trying to reveal to you.

Remember Proverbs 25:2 “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.”

You may well find that most of your dreams are not literal. They are symbolic. God usually uses metaphors. A metaphor is a figure of speech where a word or a description is applied to an object eg God as a Father, God as a rock, God as a strong tower. They are all metaphors to describe God. When you understand the metaphor and look at what it is meaning or ‘similar’ to, it gives a greater depth and understanding to God, to the situation and to yourself.

The word ‘interpret’ in the Hebrew has two words which explain its meaning – pathar and pashar. Pathar relating to a mouth/opening and a cross (representing a symbol). Pashar relates to the understanding of a dream. Thus, when we interpret a dream, we are opening up the symbols of a dream and the understanding of a dream.

It is one thing to have a dream but if we don’t take the time to consider its meaning and interpret it, we are missing out on vital information from God.

There have been numerous times when my dreams have helped me understand what has happened in my life or have helped in various situations over the following days or months. Several times it has really helped me make important decisions as the wisdom gleaned from the dream was applicable to that which I was facing at the time.

As you record your dream, please take the time to also record how you felt when you first woke up. Even those times when the dream left you feeling confused or ‘yuck’, they can still be useful.

Are all dreams from God – no. The devil can also impact your dreams. Dreams reveal things about ourselves, God’s plans, the enemy’s plans for our lives, and they can also be a processing of past events or unresolved issues that we may well have ‘brushed’ over and felt that the event no longer impacts us. God, in His wisdom, knows far greater, and sometimes that may be the only way we will start to process the past hurt or situation.

Steps to Interpret your dream:

  1. Pray. As your read through what you have written down, pray about the various aspects. Pray for more revelation. Pray about how to apply what you learn to your life. Work with the Holy Spirit in the interpretation and application to your life. Genesis 40:8b says, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.”
  2. Summarize the dream as if you were telling a story in 30 seconds maximum. Thus, tell just the highlights and the repetitive details. Write this down as it helps you determine the important parts.
  3. Give your dream a Title. This helps in the future when you are wanting to remember and apply the dream but it also sums up the dream in a few words and again, it helps you to determine the most important aspect of the dream.
  4. Are you an active participant in the dream or are you looking on as an outsider, like an observer? Sometimes the observer role indicates that it is a call to intercede.
  5. What is the main focus or the primary element?
  6. Look at the context / setting. Is it about you, your family, your career, relationships, ministry? What is the general theme or main focus?
  7. Who is in the dream? Most times, the people in your dream do not represent those people in your actual life. Most times, those people are symbolic. Look at the role or what that person means to you in your life – are they a close friend, a mentor, a daughter-like figure, a dad? Look at that relationship from a biblical or metaphorical perspective eg dad usually represents Heavenly Father. One night I had a dream about my High School Principle who was called Mr Cross. The dream was not about Mr Cross. Mr Cross in the dream represented Jesus who died on the cross. Is the person’s name a play on words? Does it represent a generation or age group or a type of person?
  8. Develop your own unique dream vocabulary. God speaks to us each as individuals. He doesn’t treat us all the same. Thus, your dream vocabulary will not be the same as mine. An example is that a black dog to you might represent your pet dog growing up who was black. As soon as I think of black dog I think of depression. Two vastly different meanings. That doesn’t mean that I can’t use helpful books (And one book I highly recommend is ‘The Divinity Code to Understanding your dreams and visions’ by Adam F. Thompson and Adrian Beale. (A huge plus is that these men are from Australia so have both American and Australian language in it.) I find that God often uses puns with me. Eg to let = toilet; Russian man – rushing around,
  9. Recognise that there is usually multiple interpretations and levels that can be gleaned. Remember, God is in the details. On the other hand, please don’t get stuck in the nitty gritty details and go off on a rabbit trail.
  10. List out the main 5-7 major points / symbols from the dream. Look at those that carry the most ‘weight’. Then start to unpack them. With metaphors, look at the hidden meaning or truth that each metaphor could represent.
  11. Vehicles in a dream usually represent ministry or influence. Thus, if on a bicycle, it is referring to a solo role or individual calling that doesn’t go far very quickly ie locally based; a car – small ministry. If you are driving, it may be your ministry. Where you sit is important eg back seat – taking a back seat etc; a bus – a larger ministry etc Likewise, buildings, houses and rooms within a house have meanings eg bedroom usually signifies intimacy; kitchen – spiritual preparation
  12. Ask Holy Spirit to confirm within you the meaning or seek advice.
  13. Apply the outcome, if possible.

Dream interpretation is really an invitation to draw closer to God. Using discernment is so important.

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

Every week I list 5 prophetic activations/exercises under children/family, group, beginner, intermediate and advanced. The purpose of these exercises is to practice to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and see and sense God and His way of communicating with us. This enables us to grow in our relationship with God and also to impart to others what God tells us for them. Feel free to use as many of these activations each week as you can. The more you practice, the sharper you become at hearing God’s voice. Enjoy! Remember that whenever you give another person a prophetic word or picture etc, please make sure that it is encouraging, edifying (strengthening) and comforting (1 Corinthians 14:3) and that it comes from a place of love.

1. Children / Families Activation:  Prepare some different flavours for the family to taste eg sweet, sour, spicy, bland, bitter. Even add in some various textures. Place on the table. Ask each person to taste the different food, all tasting the same dish/food at the same time. Spend some time each sharing what aspect of God, themself or some else it reminds them of and why.

2. Group Activation: Ask group members to pair up. Ask them to hear/see/sense from God an image of a ‘sign’ from God for their partner. Prophesy over each other what God said.

3. Beginner Activation: Pick up an item of stationary. Ask God to reveal to you something about Himself for you through that item.

4. Intermediate Activation: Deliberately go past a street sign today. Spend a few moments taking note of the street sign and asking God to speak to you about the application of the street sign and something in your life or someone else’s life. Turn it into a prophecy and declare it out aloud.

5. Advanced Activation: Ask God to highlight a high profile celebrity to you and begin to spend time each day seeking God’s heart for this person. Prophesy out aloud into the atmosphere what God shares with you, especially about this person’s character and heart. Start interceding for this person.

Sleep, dreams and deepening your relationship with God

iStock_000003625833Large (1)iStock_000003625833Large (1)If I was to share with you a way to have an extra 6-8 hours per day on deepening your relationship with God and with very little effort, you would be interested. Right. Well there is a way.

We sleep ~ 6-8 hours per night. It is mainly ‘wasted’ time for productivity except for refreshing the body and it being essential for normal body functioning. Imagine finding ways where we can use that time to communicate with God and deepen our relationship with Him.

I truly believe that we haven’t yet fully understood all the ways that God wants to communicate with us and our spirit connecting with His Spirit. Dreams are one of the ways that God uses to communicate with us, but I am sure that there are more.

When you are dreaming, you are quiet. You are not distracted. You are not trying to figure out in your head whether this is really God, although that may well occur when you awake from a dream.

The Bible has a bit to say about sleep:

  • Genesis 15:12-16 Abraham fell into a deep sleep…God gave a promise to him.
  • Job 33:15-16 “When deep sleep falls on people as they lie in their beds, He opens the ears of men and then seals their instruction…”
  • Psalm 4:8 David says, “I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety”. Thus prepare with positive habits in your preparation and a clear conscience. Relax into God’s arms.
  • Psalm 17:3 “He visited me in the night.”
  • Psalm 91:9 “Angels have been given charge over me whilst I sleep”.
  • Psalm 127:2 “For He grants sleep to those He loves.”
  • Proverbs 3:24 “When you lie down, your sleep will be pleasant/sweet.”
  • Jeremiah 31:26 “At this I awoke and looked around. My sleep had been pleasant to me.”
  • God speaks in dreams and visions – see Joel 2:28, Acts 2:17, Daniel 7:1. Dreams occur whilst asleep. Visions are vivid images whilst praying and awake.

Practices to implement for hearing God overnight:

  • Be expectant. Expect God to speak to you.
  • Pray as you lie down to go to sleep.
  • Confess any known sin.
  • Worship Him and focus your thoughts on Him.
  • Ask God to show Himself to you throughout the night.
  • Ask God to communicate with you through new ways, how He wants to, whilst you are asleep.
  • Ask God to give you new strategies for problems you are facing in the daytime, strategies to save you time the next day.
  • Ask God to romance your soul and spirit overnight with His love, His goodness and His mercy.
  • As soon as you awaken, record any dreams, thoughts, new ideas.
  • Focus on God, not on the dreams.
  • Take note of the words you say about your sleep. Isaiah 55:11 says that your words will not return empty. Therefore, if you are saying, “I don’t sleep well”, “I have trouble sleeping”, “I don’t dream”, then that will come true. Change your words to a positive declaration about how great a sleep you have and how God speaks to you at night.


Dreams & visions may reveal direction & guidance, future ministry & destiny, protection & promises, information, unresolved issues in our heart, or carry a warning of sin or trouble to be aware of. God can make us aware by bringing such matters to our mind when our defences are down, especially in relation to hurts and suppressed issues, so that the healing process can begin and/or continue. Whilst asleep, our conscious mind can’t get in the way. We can build walls around areas of emotional pain to shield us from more perceived hurt but God can use dreams to bypass those walls. Promises revealed in dreams give us the determination to push through difficult circumstances so that we will continue until we see the promises fulfilled.

Repeated dreams may be God really wanting to get your attention or it may indicate an unhealthy soul tie that you have towards another person/place/object.

Interpreting dreams:

There is no one formula for interpreting dreams. There are some keys that do help though.

  • Focus on a healthy relationship with the Holy Spirit who is the author and interpreter of dreams.
  • Seek Godly counsel from experienced interpreters of dreams.
  • Pay attention to how you feel when you first wake up, and the time.
  • Record your dream but don’t write too much detail. Just the main points and any significant people in your dream.
  • Go on a journey of discovering what the symbols in your dream mean. A great book to consult is “The Divinity Code” by Adam F. Thompson and Adrian Beale. John Paul Jackson’s website (www.streamsministry.com) has a fantastic dream course you can do to understand dreams and dream language.

Remember our focus is on God and what He wants to communicate to us, not our dreams. Enjoy the journey of discovering the more of God each night as you spend 6-8 hours resting comfortably and safely in the arms of your Father God, the lover of your soul.

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

The purpose of these exercises is to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and recognise God’s voice and way of communicating with us. This enables us to grow in our relationship with God and also to impart to others what God tells us for them.

Remember that whenever you give another person a prophetic word or picture etc, please make sure that it is encouraging, edifying (strengthening) and comforting (1 Corinthians 14:3)

1. Children / Families Activation: Everyone chooses a person to partner with. Ask God to show you a colour that represents something about that person. Then ask God what He thinks about that colour and why He showed you that colour for that person. (God loves being asked questions so encourage your children to ask questions of God.)

2. Group Activation: Find a creative way of getting into pairs. Once in pairs, each person asks God for a book title for their partner. It may be an actual book title or a made up title that God wants to give to that person to highlight something about them. Capture the first thought that goes through your mind and go with that, as long as it is encouraging, strengthening, comforting. Keep asking God questions about the book – fact or fiction, children or adult, what the title means, what you would find in the book etc.

3. Beginner Activation: Ask God to reveal to you an aspect of nature and what He would like you to know about Him through that nature scene.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to show you a vivid nature scene with some aspect of it moving. Focus on the object that is moving and ask God to show you what it is He wants you to know about it and how it applies to you. Ask God to highlight to you the colours, sounds, smells, taste, feel and what it means at this time. You could also do this activation asking God who the picture is for and then sharing it with that person.

5. Advanced Activation: Ask God to identify a particular person to you who is struggling with an issue. Ask God to then reveal to you the key that will unlock the answer to the issue that person is struggling with. Share the key with this person at the appropriate time.