how to interpret your dreams biblically

Have you ever had a strange dream? Or maybe you have the same dream repeatedly.

If you have ever awoken from a dream you knew was important but couldn’t make sense of it, stay tuned, because, in today’s video, we’re talking about how to interpret your dreams biblically. After all, one dream could change your life.

Dreams carry the voice of God

God longs to speak to you. And He will communicate His love and truth in a variety of different ways and one of those ways is through dreams. God even said that He will speak to us in dreams. 

Joel 2:28 tells us, “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.”

This is not limited to the dreams of old men. The bible shows us how frequently He spoke to people of all ages and genders through their dreams.

And since He is the same yesterday, today and always, we who are alive today can expect to hear from God in our dreams.

So let’s talk today about how to interpret some of those seemingly strange dreams

Step #1: Believe

If you do not believe that God speaks in dreams then you will not value the interpretation.

Once you believe, you wait expectantly for God to not only give you a dream but also to give you the interpretation. 

In Genesis 40, the baker and cupbearer both had dreams that baffled them. And Joseph replied, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.” Joseph believed that God spoke through dreams AND interpreted them. 

If I told you that God called you and left a voicemail, would you just ignore it because you didn’t have time to check it? You can build your belief by taking the time in the morning to journal your dreams. Yes, it can be time-consuming but this shows God that you value what He may be speaking to you. Once your dream is recorded, pray for revelation.

Step #2: Understand the source

There are three sources of dreams. God, Satan, and your soul. Dreams from God bring life and purpose (even if they seem like bad dreams). God speaks in color, metaphors, and symbols. 

Satan’s dreams reveal his plan for destruction over your life. His dreams are often dark in mood and color.

Soul dreams are dreams about unresolved soul issues. These dreams often reveal the things that are going on in your soul (mind, will, and emotions) that you’re likely trying to ignore

God and Satan can also work through soul dreams. God’s goal is to bring healing, Satan’s goal is to bring destruction.

Step #3: Gather the context

If you have ever had someone take something you said out of context, you know that it communicates something entirely different than what you intended. To best understand the meaning of your dream, it helps to take a high-level view and get the overall context.

To help gather the context, ask yourself a few questions:

  • If I had to summarize the dream in 3 words or less, what would they be?
  • What feelings did the dream evoke?
  • What was the end result? Did it end well, badly, or was it incomplete?

Sometimes the interpretation of the dream reveals itself when we reduce the dream to its simplest form. Don’t overlook the obvious.

Step #4: Understand the symbolism

In the Bible, God often used symbolism to communicate his point. Rainbows, rocks, doves, stairways, lambs are just some symbols He used. 

And Jesus often spoke in metaphors, such as when he would say, “The Kingdom of heaven is like…”

Proverbs 25:2 reminds us, “It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.” God wants us to be active participants in his pre-ordained plan and symbols are the key that unlocks the mystery of how to do that.

It’s important to understand the 3 aspects of symbolism, which are: positive meaning, negative meaning, and personal meaning.

For example, in the positive sense, dogs in dreams can mean loyal companions. In the negative sense, they can mean unclean, such as, “don’t give what is holy to the dogs.” And in a personal context, perhaps you suffered an attack by a dog—if so, a dog in your dream may symbolize danger. Or in my case (I have a huge place in my heart for rescue dogs), dogs almost always represent compassion.

Every symbol has meaning, but not every symbol holds the same weight as another.

Once, I was standing with a bunch of ladies in the church, and one was telling us her dream. Part of the dream was an orange clock, and immediately another woman cut her off and said, “Oh no, that’s not good. Orange is a negative color and I think you’re running out of time.”

My heart broke as I watched this woman’s face grow frightened and try frantically to figure out what she could possibly be doing wrong. Especially when, based upon the context of her dream, the orange clock was God telling her to persevere because it was going to take time.

Do not let the symbol determine the dream meaning. Symbols simply support the context of the dream. 

(We could get into an entire series on symbol meanings and perhaps we will–let me know if you’d like to.)

If you want to be skilled at interpreting symbols, you must be a student of the Word. When you begin to understand the patterns that exist within the Bible and how God speaks, you will be better equipped to interpret your dreams.

Step #5: Pray and wait

Remember, even the most skilled dream interpreter can’t compete with God. It is He who brings revelation. After you have gathered the context and symbols, pray again and ask for the revelation. Then be prepared to wait. Sometimes God will reveal the meaning of dreams right away and other dreams take years to understand.

Be patient, God is worth waiting for. 

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