Jeremiah and Zechariah criticized "false" dreams, because they knew the importance of "true" dreams from God (see Jer. 23:25; 27:9; Zech. 10:2).
Daniel 1:17 tells us, "Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams." The young prophet ends up prophesying to King Nebuchadnezzar concerning a dream he had.
The impact of the revelation was so powerful that the king exclaimed, "Truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, since you could reveal this secret" (Dan. 2:47).
Early church fathers and mothers readily accepted the validity of dreams as a way in which God speaks. First-century Jewish historian Philo said that dreams are a way God gave to mankind to learn about the spiritual world.
Tertullian of Carthage, who lived in the second century after Christ, said, "Almost the greater part of mankind derive their knowledge of God from dreams." Jerome, the fourth-century theologian who translated the first Latin Bible, the Vulgate, was converted to Christianity by a dream from God.
God has never stopped speaking to men and women who want to hear His voice. In fact, dreams are such a powerful means of communication that the enemy has tried everything in his power to discredit and counterfeit them.
Why do New Age practitioners have so little trouble with the idea of dreams, and why do Christians—the ones who long to hear God's voice—devalue it? God created this connection between His Spirit and our spirit for a reason.
Biblical dream interpretation comes as the result of a growing relationship with God. A hunger for Him translates into a hunger to hear and understand His voice.
True dreams from God generate a curiosity in us, a question that we're desperate to answer. We long to hear His voice.
Every night, God whispers into the dreams of unsaved men and women. He seals the truth within their hearts. Some will search the world looking for the key to unlock that truth. Many today are drawn to the New Age movement, thinking the answer might be there. Others may go to dream interpreters who operate in the perversions of Freudian and Jungian dream analysis, and they will find no peace.
Christians who hear and understand the voice of God hold the key for these wanderers. Prophetic evangelism is about giving a human voice to the spiritual mysteries God has implanted in the lost.
During my years of study, I have discovered that God will give the interpretation to a dream in any of four different ways:
1. God will speak the interpretation to our spirit in the dream. We will awaken with the understanding of what the dream meant.
2. God instantly gives a dream's meaning. As with Daniel, the interpretation comes through an angelic messenger.
3. God gives the interpretation during the process of recording the dream. First Chronicles 28:19 says, "'All this,' said David, 'the Lord made me understand in writing, by His hand upon me, all the works of these plans.'"
4. God gives us interpretations of dreams as we grow and mature in our understanding of His ways. Proverbs 25:2 says, "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter." God wants us to meditate on His mysteries. He places great value on our searching for the spiritual truths and insights that He conceals like buried treasure.
Often, we learn as much, if not more, in the discovery process of interpreting a dream as we do in simply obtaining the dream's answer itself. The more we learn, the hungrier we become.
It's Him We Need
God will not remove our need for the Holy Spirit. It is through His wisdom that dreams are interpreted and that we commune with God.
Even though there are biblical guidelines for interpreting dreams, we need Him, not pat answers or fixed rules. We are truly dependent on Him to lead us into all truth. And to truly hear the Lord, we need His peace in our lives.