God is so amazing. He loves communicating with us. He is extremely creative. In fact, He is the author of creativity and creatively uses all sorts of ways and means to get our attention.
One of the methods that God uses to communicate with us is through our dreams.
Unfortunately for most people, we short-change ourselves by not making use of this communication with God. We may have ‘shut’ our dream life down by an inner vow after a ‘scary dream’ or may not be aware that God even wants to speak to us during the third of our life that we are asleep.
When I am talking about dreams, I am referring to the events or series of thoughts and images seen in our mind whilst asleep.
I dream prolifically and find that they are extremely helpful to me in my daily life. Just the other day, I had a dream and on waking was unsure what it meant. Lately I haven’t been paying enough attention to them as I haven’t prioritised writing them down in my dream journal, but I knew that I needed to write this dream down. I still had no idea what the dream meant and didn’t make the time to do this. I just knew that it was a warning that Gary & I were ‘running ahead of ourselves’ in a certain area and taking possession of something before the right time. In other words, we were too eager in our timing to see something huge accomplished and pushed ahead when we should have waited. Several hours later, I suddenly realised that that my dream was relevant to that very day. I had just received news that the shipment of my paperback books had not left the warehouse and wouldn’t be delivered for several days. We had been expecting the delivery that day and all the plans I had made for the day plus the weekend and next week would need to be adjusted. Initially I was extremely disappointed and frustrated. Realising that God had tried to show me this suddenly shed a new light on the situation.
God has a purpose with our dreaming. He is inviting us to draw closer to Him. In Proverbs 25:2, the Bible says, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.” We are royalty as a child of God. As such, we are invited to live as royalty and have an invitation to search out what God is trying to communicate to us.
Dreams show us more of God. Dreams reveal more about God, more about His nature, His ways, and His workings. Dreams produce a hunger for more of God.
Other purposes of dreams include:
- Wisdom and insight
- Evangelism – many Muslims have dreams of a man in white speaking to them and become Christians due to their dream.
- Show us outcomes and what to do
- Dreams bypass our reasoning
In the Bible, we see a number of people had night time dreams where God communicated to them.
- Abimelek in Genesis 20:3 was warned by God that he was about to commit a sin by having sex with Sarah. Abraham had not been honest with Abimelech and thankfully God stopped Abimelek in time.
- Jacob was given a dream of a ladder with ministering angels in Genesis 28:11-22 and Genesis 31:10-13 which revealed God’s will to him.
- Laban’s warning in Genesis 31:24
- Pharaoh in Genesis 41 – for preparation for the future of his country.
- King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 2
- Solomon in 1Kings 3:5 encouraged to ask for anything he wanted in his dream.
- Daniel in Daniel 7
- Gideon, in Judges 7:13-15 was mightily encouraged by God and His faith built up by overhearing two Midianites talking about a dream where Gideon overpowering them.
- Joseph, in Genesis 37:5-10 had the future revealed to Him.
- The imprisoned cupbearer and baker in Genesis 40:5-23.
- Joseph, Mary’s husband & Jesus’ stepfather was given multiple instructions by God for the care and safety of Jesus in Matthew 1:20-23, 2:13, 19-20, 22.
- The Wise men seeking Jesus dreamt of being told not to visit Herod the Great on their return trip home in Matthew 2:12
- Job in Job 33:14-18 shares about dreaming as a warning, preparation and preservation
- Pilate’s wife in Matthew 27:19 had a warning dream about the death of Jesus and the implications for her husband.
Throughout history, we can also see the amazing effects of when people have had dreams and put the outcome of those dreams into action. Some fantastic examples include:
- Elias Howe invented the sewing machine after searching for answers to the issue. He then dreamt about cannibals surrounding him and preparing to cook him as they waved their spears up and down. His eyes focused on the holes near the end of the spears and the upward and downward movement of the spears. He put that picture into reality with the sewing machine needle and found that was the answer to the invention.
- Paul McCartney from The Beatles had a dream in which he immediately rolled out of bed and played the music and lyrics he had heard in his dream on the piano by his bed. He had just composed the song ‘Yesterday’.
- Jack Nicklaus dreamt of an adjustment to his golf swing which he then implemented the following day and improved his score dramatically.
- Abraham Lincoln dreamt that he would be killed three days before his assassination.
- Frankenstein, Kubla Khan, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Tintin in Tibet, The Terminator, and countless other books and movies have been inspired by dreams
- Science has been impacted greatly through scientists and philosphers dream life – Descartes and his philosophy, Albert Einstein and his theory of relativity, Kekule and his discovery of the chemical benzene, James Watson & Francis Crick discovering the structure of DNA, Bohr’s structure of the atom, Mendeleev envisisioned the complete arrangement of the periodic table in a dream
I wonder what mysteries, inventions, amazing discoveries and opportunities we are missing out on by not paying attention to our dreams?
Over the next few weeks, I will start to unpack dreams and look at basic dream interpretation. Next week I will also offer some suggestions to help your dream life to be more active.
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: Go for a walk around your neighbourhood playground and pray a blessing over the park, equipment and families who will return there after the COVID-19 lockdown.
2. Group Activation: Ask every group member to bring a small object to the meeting (whether online during this COVID-19 time or in-person). Take it in turn to prophesy over each person in regard to their object and what God is showing you as a springboard to their life.
3. Beginner Activation: Ask God to show you how to express His love to your neighbour.
4. Intermediate Activation: Open your fridge and ask God to highlight an item. Use that item as a basis to write a prophetic word for a friend.
5. Advanced Activation: Spend time with God hearing and sensing His heart for a business owner in your local area who is needing to make a decision about the future of their business.