It would be naive and irresponsible to suggest that all spiritual dreams result in a true God connection. Dreamers who mistake their own subconscious thoughts or even demonic influence as divine instruction can make grim and historic mistakes. Recently a woman in a rural village sacrificed her child in the river out of obedience to what she thought was a dream from God. So how can you discern whether a dream is from God?
- It’s biblical. Make sure it doesn’t contradict the Bible. Scripture forbids many kinds of spiritism, including sorcery and consulting psychics (see Lev. 19:31, Deut. 18:10-13). It’s a good idea to get counsel from a trusted pastor or Bible teacher.
- It’s convicting. “Usually, when you are very in tune with spiritual things, if you have a dream you are convicted by it,” says Abraham Sarker, author of Understand My Muslim People. (See Is. 6:1-6.)
- It lingers. Unlike most dreams that fade from memory, a dream from God lingers and might bother you until it fulfills its purpose.
- It comes to pass. Many dream conversions are based on testimonies of people whose dreams literally come true, as in the account of Saul and Ananias (Acts 9:10-19). An aid worker tells about a woman in Indochina who cried when she first met the worker’s friend. She recognized the man from a dream she had. In the dream, this man told her he had a message for her. “So she talked with him, and he led her to the Lord,” says the worker. This type of experience is commonly reported in the underground church.