Have you ever had a spiritual dream, one that stayed on your mind throughout the day or week? Have you ever not known what to do about the dream or how to interpret it? Every dream you receive from God is a blessing and should draw you closer to Him. Dream interpretation is a great adventure between you and Him and should be approached with wonder, awe and love.
On the Day of Pentecost, when the disciples of Jesus were baptized with the Holy Spirit, the Apostle Peter quoted the prophet Joel in Acts 2:17-18 saying, "In the last days it shall be,' says God, 'that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even on My menservants and maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days, and they shall prophesy." This means that the outpouring and gifts of the Holy Spirit are for everyone who "calls on the name of the Lord" (Acts 2:21). Spiritual dreams are included in the great outpouring of the Spirit we are living in today, since Pentecost.
God gave dreams throughout Scripture. One of the most notable stories we can learn much from concerning dreams in the Old Testament is that of Joseph, recorded in Genesis 37 and 39-50. In Genesis 37:5-8 he shared his first dream with his brothers. This dream was highly symbolic, but it's interpretation was easily discernible. They quickly understood the meaning and yet "hated him even more" (Gen. 37:5b). From this passage of Scripture, we can learn that sometimes we make dream interpretation more difficult than it is, when the meaning may be understood quickly. We can also learn that we must be sensitive to who, when, where and how we tell the dream. James 1:5 says we are to ask God for wisdom even when we face trials and tribulations. Wisdom is necessary to know and understand spiritual dreams even if our faith is being tested by other people.
We should realize that dream interpretation can be easy as we rely on Scripture and our relationship with the wonderful Holy Spirit. You can also develop your own dream language dictionary for the dreams He gives you that can help aid you in their interpretation.
Knowing that Scripture is "a lamp to my feet and a light to my path," according to Psalm 119:105, here are several ways I interpret dreams:
When I wake from a spiritual dream, I will write it down in my journal. If I don't immediately know a Scripture reference related to it, then I will look in a Bible concordance for verses referencing the symbols or topic. After this I'll look in a Bible dictionary for the topic or theme's definition, prayerfully asking the Holy Spirit to highlight what He is wanting to communicate.
I will also take into consideration that some symbols do not appear in Scripture, especially things that are present-day. For example, a car or microwave is not in the Bible. The car may represent ministry or your career, or it implies you are going to a destination or that you are in motion, en route or driving in God's will. A microwave can be interpreted multiple ways, such as something being done quickly, too quickly or having a set amount of time. But the Holy Spirit will give the interpretation in time as you search for the meanings from Him and celebrate His revelation.
As you become more acquainted with the Spirit and Scripture as He communicates to you through dreams, you can develop your own dream language. You should not rely on someone else's interpretation or revelation because some of the symbols, signs and metaphors the Spirit shows you may mean something different to someone else, or there are multiple scriptural meanings depending on context.
Also, the symbols, metaphors and analogies God showed you in one dream may have a different meaning and interpretation in another. Each dream is unique and special and should be treated with the utmost care. God wants to have friendship with you, giving you dreams and their interpretation. Below are four keys on how to develop your dream language:
1. Rely on the Holy Spirit. Out of your communion and fellowship with Him He will give you more insight on the dreams He gives you as well as their interpretation. Sometimes the interpretation can be immediate, while at other times it may take a few days or weeks, but you are to remain faithful in dialoguing with Him.
2. Refer to Scripture. The more you know the Scriptures, the easier it is for you to receive the interpretation of your dreams. You are to be faithful in the reading and study of Scripture, and your spiritual growth will increase immensely as you develop this great spiritual habit.
3. Record each dream and interpretation. When you write down your dreams, you can also build your personal dream dictionary (along with Bible references) for future use. Be open and available to personal revelation for each dream from Him.
4. Review every dream. On occasion, go back to your journals, looking over your dreams and interpretations and always thanking God for talking to you.
If you keep these four keys in mind as you continue to grow and set your affections on Him, your dream language will grow as He rewards your faithfulness (Proverbs 3:3-4).
Jared Laskey is starting Destiny Open Bible Church in Virginia Beach, VA and is a Master of Divinity candidate at Regent University. He has a Master of Arts in Christian ministry from Shepherds Theological Seminary in Cary, North Carolina (2016) and a Bachelor of Science in pastoral studies from Eugene Bible College (2003). He served in the Marine Corps from 2006-2011 with the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines. He lives to see Jesus awaken this generation to the power of His Holy Spirit. Follow him on twitter @jaredalaskey or visit firebornministries.org.
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