Are you wondering whether your night dreams are worth paying attention to?
Over many years I have documented, reviewed and prayed over my dreams to see what messages they contain.
Here I share ten reasons why I love dreams, and why we can’t afford to ignore them!
These were originally a number of individual posts on Facebook. To see the original series, visit my Facebook Group – a place where we share tips about interpreting dreams, and also discuss our own dreams.
In this article these are all my own photos, taking inspiration from scenes in my life journey.
#1 Everybody dreams
Experts tell us that everyone dreams, even though we don’t remember them all the time. If, as I believe, God speaks through dreams, then that opens up the field for every single human being on the planet to be able to personally hear from their Creator.
I always thought I was terrible at hearing God’s voice, and as a Christian that was quite demoralising. Other people reported hearing God speak, but for years I didn’t have a clue what that was like. Once the thought entered my awareness that God could be speaking through my dreams, that changed things overnight (no pun intended!!). I began a relationship with God that I never thought could be possible.
So if I can learn to hear from God, with no special prophetic ability or gifting, in fact as someone who was particularly weak in that area, then absolutely anyone can. If I can learn to understand my dreams, and develop a closer relationship with God through them, then so can you!
#2 A picture is worth a thousand words
Visual images, stories and illustrations are very much part of our lives today, you just have to look at social media to see that!
I love the fact that dreams are not just pictures, they are movies, and ones that we are personally involved in. They take us to new places beyond the realm of our natural lives. They allow us to fully engage the scenes with our mind and emotions. If, like me, you have ever woken up in a sweat in the middle of the night because of a scary dream, or conversely, not wanted to leave behind a beautiful scene because it felt so peaceful, then you know what I mean!
For example, seeing an open door in front of us speaks of an opportunity to enter into something new. But what kind of doorway is it? What can you see beyond? It is inviting or scary? How do you feel about going through it? Dreams provide a wealth of insight as we pray over the images and ponder the messages they contain, so much more than a few words could ever convey.
#3 Dreams circumnavigate the mind
I have a confession to make. I admit that most of the time my mind gets in the way of me hearing God’s voice. I jump to conclusions. I rationalise away what my spirit is trying to tell me, and I am very good at overlooking my own stumbling blocks.
I have discovered that dreams are God’s sneaky way of getting around all those things. I settle down for a nice sleep, my unsuspecting mind switches off for a rest, and then wham! God finally manages to get a word in and throws me a dream that shifts everything.
I love it! I greatly enjoy having my misconceptions challenged, my wrong thinking realigned, and my blind spots unveiled. I love the fact that my Heavenly Father cares enough to help me navigate this life. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
#4 Dreams are fun
My Grandpa used to do the Telegraph cryptic crossword, and I can remember him explaining to me that the word flower in a clue could also mean a river (a ‘flow-er’). Since then I have loved doing cryptic crosswords. It’s hard work to get the answer, but once you do then all the pieces of the clue fit, and you know for sure that you’ve got it right.
Dreams are also like cryptic puzzles. They contain symbols, word plays, puns, and yes, even jokes! What a lovely surprise to find that God has a sense of humour! I have discovered that He loves to make me laugh. He is the ultimate creator of ‘Dad’ jokes (you know what I mean!). Yes, dreams often do contain serious messages, but there is fun in the journey.
#5 Dreams make sense of my life
I’m the sort of person who likes to know where I am and where I am going. If I am planning a holiday I research the place in advance so I can make the most of my time there. When I embark on a long car journey I familiarise myself with the route. When I am hiking I like to know where I am on the map at any given time. My guitar teacher used to comment how I was always looking ahead to the next page of music to prepare for what was coming next.
In the same way I like to know where I am in life. I believe that my life has a purpose, and that there is a God who knows why things are happening and what is coming next. I also believe that this same God is committed to my success.
My experience through listening to my dreams is that Father God loves to share insights to encourage me, to help me understand current events, and to prepare me for what’s coming. I don’t know where I would be without them!!
#6 I meet God in my dreams
I can remember the first time I experienced meeting God in a dream. I was involved in church leadership at the time, and I had a dream that I was walking with my Dad. He was pointing things out and explaining what he thought about different areas of the church. I knew that Jesus often told parables where the Father in the story represented Father God, and also that dreams are like night parables. Suddenly the lights came on and I realised that I had just had a real conversation with God in my dream!
This changed everything. I have since discovered that God turns up in covert ways throughout my dreams: Disguised as my friend, my brother, my husband, my helper and my leader to name but a few. Sometimes Jesus has actually appeared as himself, which is rather special. As someone who always struggled to relate to an invisible God, this was (and still is) a game changer
#7 Dreams are personal
There are many places one can go to find good advice for life. The internet abounds with tips for success and self improvement books are always popular. As a Christian I love the bible as a guide for life; it is a place where I can learn from the successes and failures of those who have gone before, and better understand God’s heart and interactions with mankind.
There is just one problem. Often the specific answer I need is not clear. I can find examples to say one way is best, and other examples to suggest another. Sometimes the situation I am in needs specific wisdom, not general wisdom. Sometimes there is no right or wrong answer but I know my decision is important. This is where my dreams come in. I have found that the God I meet in the bible is the same God I meet in my dreams, except, finally, I actually know exactly what to do!
#8 Dreams are creative
Did you know that the lockstitch sewing machine was invented because of a dream? Or that the melody to the song ‘yesterday’ came to Sir Paul McCartney in a dream? If you’re feeling sceptical, just go to Google and you will find that there are many such examples! I love looking out for stories like this, and regularly spot them. I have friends who tell me it is normal for them to dream of solutions to problems they are facing.
I don’t claim to have received an invention or a creative masterpiece, but I do find that the answers I need in life frequently come through my dreams. They contain ideas I hadn’t thought of and reveal new ways of looking at situations. They seem to come from outside of myself. I am more of a reasoning type of person rather than intuitive, so sometimes I struggle to ‘think outside the box’. So for me, having this night time help is a lifesaver.
#9 Dreams feel like touching Heaven
Have you noticed that dreams seem to feature more in books and movies these days? We find characters receiving guidance through dreams. We find them observing events happening elsewhere, or entering into other dimensions. They receive visions and visitations from other people and beings, and insight from higher places. “That’s just fantasy”, I hear you cry!
For those who are Christians like me, these type of things are recorded as having happened to people in the bible, so it’s not as far fetched as we might think. I have also experienced similar things myself over the years. I often wake up feeling as though I have encountered a higher reality, engaged heaven even. And I think I probably have. There is a song we used to sing in church called, ‘ Touching heaven, changing earth’, and I think dreams can help us do just that.
#10 I feel loved!
This is the last day of ‘10 reasons I love dreams’. You may have realised by now that I believe dreams can originate from outside ourselves, and that our Father God is often the source. I have journaled, reviewed and monitored my dreams for nearly fifteen years, and as I have checked the accuracy of their meanings with the benefit of hindsight I can no longer doubt that they were real messages sent to help me.
Words cannot express how loved I feel knowing that God cares enough to craft messages for me night after night. That He knows me, guides me, meets me, makes me laugh, corrects me and lovingly pursues me. There was a time when I chose to believe it, but now I have experienced it. He and I have a lot of fun talking over my dreams together, and my heart overflows with joy when I think about the relationship I now have with Him as a result.
My prayer is that you too would experience that same love.