Experts tell us that everyone dreams. But could they actually contain communications from our Creator God?
Do you remember your dreams? Experts tell us that everyone dreams, even though we don’t remember them all the time.
But could God be speaking through our dreams?
If that were true, then it opens up the field for every single person on the planet to be able to personally hear from their Creator. This article explores this idea further.
I approach dream interpretation from a biblical perspective. My belief is that our dreams can come from God, and understanding them is best understood within the context of an ongoing relationship with Him.
If you have just come across this post and are new to dream interpretation, it is worth mentioning that dreams are symbolic in nature. You might find it helpful to read the following articles: Understand your dreams: A bible-based introduction to dream language and Beginner’s guide to biblical dream interpretation .
Is God real?
I have believed in God for as long as I can remember, although I have had wobbles of faith at various times of my life.
In my younger days I would spend hours going through all the evidence in my mind – for the existence of God and for the resurrecction of Jesus Christ – and I would keep coming to the same result: that the evidence does indeed point to the existence of a loving God who wants to be friends with us, as described in the bible.
This was somewhat of a relief, because I found the idea of a world without such a God a terrifying thought. However I did struggle for a long time to find a connection with God that felt genuine. Maybe you have had a similar expereince?
I struggled to find a genuine connection with God.
Since those days I have developed more of a relationship with God, but it has come through constant seeking. My experience was like Proverbs 8, which says, “Those who diligently seek me will find me,” and I was very diligent. You can read more about that, and the impact of dreams, in my story.
- Proverbs 8:17, NASB …those who diligently seek me will find me.
Despite my own experience, I am well aware that from an intellectual point of view it is possible to argue convincingly for a different (or even opposite) opinion and deny the existence of God.
Why is God so hard to find?
This leads to a puzzling question: Surely, if (as many people think) God is real and desires to be in a relationship with us, then why is it so easy to miss Him? Why is it so easy to live our lives as though He doesn’t exist? Why did it take me so long to ‘find’ Him? It doesn’t seem to add up.
If God desires relationship with us, why does He seem so hard to find?
Surely there must be some way of God communicating to all of humanity: a way that gets around all the hurdles of our ideas, preconceptions, world views and prejudices; a place where anyone can receive direct communication from God even if they have nobody in their environment to point them in the right direction.
It only seems fair, after all, that this should be the case – as we all have vastly different backgrounds when it comes to the concept of God.
Surely there must be some universal way of God communicating to us – whatever our background?
I believe that there are ways, and that one such way is through our night dreams.
What do dreams mean?
There are many different opinions about what dreams might mean. They have been studied as branches of psychology, philosophy and science – and they have been the focus of religious and spiritual movements.
There may be disagreement about the meaning of dreams, but one thing is certain: Everybody dreams! (Google ‘everybody dreams’ and you will find many references to this subject.)
One thing is certain: Everybody dreams!
It is known that dreams usually occur during the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage of sleep. Most people have at least several dreams in a night, however dreams can be very quickly forgotten – which is why many people think they don’t dream.
If you don’t wake up shortly after a dream you are unlikely to remember it.
Could dreams be from a spiritual source?
So we can at least agree that dreams are common to humanity, and that they are also somewhat of a mystery.
Therefore it seems entirely credible to me that science may be overlooking something, namely this: The possibility that some of our dreams are coming from an external source rather than our own subconscious minds (a ‘higher power’ if you like), and that they are mainly speaking to our spirits, rather than our minds.
Could science be overlooking something?
I am not a researcher who is able to study dreams in a scientific way, but I have pursued a relationship with God and spiritual truths for 40 years, so that is where my experience lies. I have also prayed through and interpreted my own dreams for more than 15 years.
My personal observation is that I struggle to connect with God when I am awake, but when I am asleep I am more spiritually aware.
Can dreams help us find God?
In 1 Thessalonians 5, the apostle Paul describes us as having a body, soul and spirit. In that context, our spirit refers to the part of us that can relate to the spiritual world and connect to God.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:23, NASB …may your spirit and soul and body be kept complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Commonly, our soul is thought to include our mind, will and emotions, and is the unseen part of us that is able to bridge the gap between our natural body and our spirit.
My feeling – and that of many others like me – is that when we sleep our mind becomes less dominant, and our spirit becomes more receptive to heavenly messages. When we awake we can often remember these encounters for a short period of time.
- Psalm 139:18, NASB When I awake, I am still with You.
- Isaiah 50:4, NASB He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple.
Dreams are in the bible
This idea would seem to be confirmed by the ancient text of the bible. One only has to look at the many examples of dreams found within its pages. There are also some other hints which suggest that they thought dreams were a window to the spiritual realm.
Dreams were in the ancient books
Take for example the book of Job, which is thought to be one of the older books in the bible, possibly written around the time of the patriarchs such as Abraham. This comment from one of Job’s friends gives us insight into how dreams were viewed in the culture of that time:
In a dream, a vision of the night,Job 33:15-16
When deep sleep falls on people,
While they slumber in their beds,
Then He opens the ears of people,
And horrifies them with warnings.
King David picks up this theme in Psalm 16, saying:
- Psalm 16:7, NIV “I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me”.
The word heart is sometimes translated ‘mind’, but literally means ‘kidneys’, and figuratively represents our inner man (as per Strongs and NASB footnote). In Psalm 17:3 he says the following, which suggests that much of this process was happening while he was asleep:
- Psalm 17:3, NASB You have tried my heart; You have visited me by night…” and he concludes in verse 17, “… I shall behold Your face in righteousness; I will be satisfied with Your likeness when I awake,”
In the Old Testament, it seems that it was expected that prophets would hear from God in dreams.
Dreams in our current time
However, after Jesus came the situation improved even nore. Through His death and resurrection, the bible tells us that we now have His Holy Spirit living in us. This is my experience, plus that of many other followers of Jesus.
How much more, then, should we expect to hear from God in our dreams, as well as through many other ways?
In Acts 2 Peter quoted the book of Joel and said the following:
‘In the last days,’ God says,Acts 2:17, NIV
‘I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
This is referring to the new era which Jesus initiated – and that we are now living in: a time where the connection with God which was once only available to a few prophets – is now available to all mankind.
Be encouraged: All means all! I take heart from the fact that young and old are mentioned, as are men and women. All ages. All people. Everybody.
Dreams are for everybody
For those of you who are followers of Jesus like me, this is encouraging. Not everyone has a well developed prophetic gift, able to see visions and the like, or hear God’s voice clearly. But everyone dreams.
That opens up the playing field. Dreams are usually metaphorical, and in my opinion can be pretty similar in style to some of the symbolic ‘night visions’ I see recorded by prophets in the bible.
That means all of us have a chance of getting in on the action and receiving information from God – gift or no gift.
Dreams could be your way of meeting God!
For those who don’t know Jesus, or are not sure yet if you believe in God, be encouraged too.
The bible records the dreams of some people who did not believe, for example Pharoah’s dreams in Genesis 41, and King Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams in the book of Daniel.
In fact Nebuchadnezzar became a believer in God after the prophecy in one of his dreams came true. His dream helped him to come know God, and his testimony is recorded in his own words in Daniel 4.
It seems that you don’t need to know God to hear from Him in a dream, and in fact they can be a means of meeting Him. So, if you’d like to know whether God exists – try paying attention to your dreams and see what hapsens!
If you’d like to know whether God exists – try paying attention to your dreams and see what happens!
We have seen that everybody dreams, and therefore considered whether they could be a way for everybody to connect with their Creator God. The ancient writers of the bible indicate that it could be so!
I hope that, whether or not you believe in God, I have awakened a curiosity in you!
I hope that next time you go to bed, you might, just might, consider the possibility that communications from heaven could be awaiting you as you sleep.
And I hope that some of you will even take a pen and paper and leave it by your bed to write down your dreams, so the memories are captured – and not forgotten.
Most of all I pray that the eyes of your heart may be opened so that you are able to receive every good thing that God desires for you.. and, if that involves dreams, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
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I hope you found this article helpful. If you want to know more, do subscribe to emails to receive regular dream interpretation tips.
The purpose of this blog is to provide biblical foundations for interpreting dreams and encourage others to make their own dream journey. I am primarily a writer and bible teacher – who loves dreams, and I hope you will be inspired to learn to interpret your own dreams.
It is not currently my aim to routinely engage in dream interpretations or provide training, except through writing blog posts. You can read my most up to date position on interpreting dreams here: Requests for dream interpretations.
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The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this article are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article. Jennifer Needham disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article.
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How did God speak to people in bible times?
An overview of ways God spoke to people in the Old Testament, how that changed with Jesus, and what it means for us today.
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- Meeting God in your dreams