How God Speaks Through Dreams

If I told you that God called you and left a voicemail for you, would you ignore it?

God speaks to people in many ways, from the scriptures to prophecy to the quiet voice inside your heart, God desires to be in a relationship with you.  And a foundation of every good relationship is communication.

One of the most frequent questions I get from my clients and those in ministry is this….how do I hear from God?

The desperation in their voice breaks my heart because the truth is, God is already speaking, you just might be missing it.

If you want a guaranteed, consistent form of communication between you and God, you have to read his Word.

A Christian that’s not in God’s Word is a stunted, ineffective Christian that will not hear from God.

So if you’re stuck, dive into a study of his Word.

Another form of communication that many miss is when God uses dreams to speak to people.

The more you are in God’s Word, the better you are able to decipher your dreams. 

We all dream.  Believers and nonbelievers alike.  The problem is you may not remember your dreams or they are being snatched away by the enemy or concealed by God.

Have you ever woken up and knew you had a dream but couldn’t remember it?

There were times when I was having a dream and in the dream, I was telling myself that this is important, you need to remember this and when I woke up, I couldn’t remember a thing.

We are asleep 1/3 of our day and life.

I believe that God uses our times of rest to communicate with us because our guard is down.  The defenses and logic of our hearts and mind are temporarily arrested.

The first question you want to ask is: Are dreams biblical?

When we search the scriptures we see numerous examples of God speaking through dreams in both the Old and New Testaments.

He spoke to Joseph (son of Jacob) in Gen 37:5-10 where his family would bow to him.

He spoke to Jacob in a dream in Gen 28:10-22  where he dreamed of angels ascending and descending a stairway to heaven

He spoke to Joseph father of Jesus in Matthew 2:13 where God where the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph with instructions to flee with Jesus and Mary to Egypt

God has even spoken to nonbelievers like Abimelech, Pharoah, and Pilate’s wife all in dreams.

There is also a prophecy of the prophet Joel (Joel 2:28), quoted by the apostle Peter in Acts 2:17, that mentions God using dreams. So God can speak through dreams if He chooses to.

When God speaks to us in dreams, he bypasses the heart and mind to communicate his truths to you.

 Job 33:14-18

For God does speak—now one way, now another—

    though no one perceives it.

In a dream, in a vision of the night,

    when deep sleep falls on people

    as they slumber in their beds,

he may speak in their ears

    and terrify them with warnings,

to turn them from wrongdoing

    and keep them from pride,

to preserve them from the pit,

    their lives from perishing by the sword.

We all dream, the question is, are you giving value to this form of communication?

My hope during our time together today is to awaken your dream life so that you can hear the awesome voice of God. And what he’s saying to you, your situation, and your purpose.

Let’s start by talking about types of dreams.

Warning dreams 

God will often give you a dream to warn you.  This warning could be about others harming you or a sinful behavior he wants you to deal with. 

Matthew 2:13 would be a good example of a warning dream that he gave Joseph the earthly father of Jesus.

“After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” 

Directional dreams

Dreams from God can also be directional – telling you where to go and what to do.  I had one such dream when I was in the process of transitioning out of the fitness industry and into full-time ministry.

I wasn’t exactly sure as to what to do with my business.  I believe in my heart, that I knew that I needed to just walk away, but the business person in me reasoned to find every excuse not to walk away from an investment without doing all I could to hold on to it.

In the dream, God told me to “close” my business.

Prophetic Dreams

These dreams tell of the future for yourself or others.  It can be for yourself, a family member, a friend, a church, a city, or a nation. Please note…prophetic dreams are rare.   And they will depend on your sphere of influence.  If you have no influence or impact over someone or something, it’s highly unlikely that you will have a prophetic dream for them.

For example, you have a dream that you are telling the president of the United States what to do does not automatically make it prophetic.  It’s more likely that the president represents something or someone other than himself.

Many people mistake the people in their dream for the actual person and they say “I had a dream about you”.

This is not always the case, as the person can actually be the person or more often they are often symbolic of something else.

This is sometimes but rarely the case, rather it’s typically symbolic.

Cleansing dreams.  

If you’ve ever had a dream where you were sitting on the toilet with others watching or taking a shower in the middle of the highway, you’ve like experienced a cleansing dream.  Cleansing dreams are where God is purging you of impurities.

These impurities can point to a sin that you need to address or it can just be from daily interaction with a dirty sin-filled world.

There are many types of dreams and many ways that God can communicate through dreams.

But be warned, dreams can come from other sources besides God.

  1. Demonic realm – Yes, Satan can influence your dream life.  These are often called dark dreams and we’ll talk about how to identify and deal with these dreams in a later post.  
  2. Soulish realm – In other words, these dreams are coming from YOU.  In these cases, the dream is revealing things that are going on in your soul (your mind, will, and emotions).  The insecurity you’re battling with.  The envy you don’t want to admit.  Even the unrepentant sin that you are still carrying.  The mind tries to resolve in sleep what it can’t during the waking hours.

So how do you know if your dream is God speaking, satan influencing, or your soul wrestling? 

If you want to learn more about how to decipher the source of your dream, click here 

There are key elements in dreams from God that you will want to watch for.  Those are the symbols and metaphors.

God will often use symbols in our dreams to pique your curiosity to search out not only the meaning but search out God in the process.

He will often speak in metaphors. Metaphors are comparisons made between two or more things using figurative language.  Metaphors are meant to turn difficult ideas into simple concepts like when Jesus said “I am the bread of life, I am the light of the world”.

The wonderful thing about dreams is that they are like ‘riddles’ that we need to decipher.  While some dreams are direct and clear in their meaning, many require searching.

Proverbs 25:2 reminds us, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.”

God longs to reveal himself to you and give you direction and correction but they will often require searching.

The better you know his Word and the biblical meaning for many symbols, the easier it will be to decode your dreams.

Keep in mind however that there are barriers to hearing God’s voice in any context, even in dreams.

  1. Busyness. God will not override your decision to overload your schedule and mind. Part of being able to interpret your dream is to remember your dream.  Dreams are fleeting.  If you are waking up to a blaring alarm clock and rushing off, you will more than likely lose the dream.
  2. Logic.  If you’re the type who has to apply logic to explain what you experience or read then you will likely ‘reason’ your way right out of revelation. 

God longs to be in a relationship with you and that relationship is a two-way street.  He wants to hear from you and he wants to communicate with you.

My prayer is that your desire would be to hear more from God.

The best way to hear the voice and the heart of God is through his word.  Even when God is speaking through dreams, his communication will ALWAYS be in line with his word.  The better you know his word, the better you are able to interpret your dreams.

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