I have previously written about how dreams feel like touching heaven, and how we can actually meet God in our dreams disguised as other characters. I have hinted that Jesus has actually appeared to me in my dreams. I have also been writing about having fun on this journey into dream interpretation, including the use of puns and wordplay.
In this article I am pausing to bring those elements together, as I reflect on the friendship with God that I have gained as a result of making this journey myself, and how I have come to know a Jesus who laughs.
I hope that you will be inspired by my story, and grasp the potential for your own relationship with God.
As a follower of Jesus Christ, I do believe that Jesus is God, who became man, died, rose again, and now relates to us constantly through His Spirit. Therefore I frequently use the terms Jesus and God interchangeably.
How do I know if my dream is from God?
This is a common question for most of us, when we start trying to understand our dreams. I can speak from what I’ve learnt from my own experience.
I journal and pray through my dreams regularly – most mornings in fact, and I have developed an ongoing relationship with God through doing so. I sometimes ask Him questions and He provides the answers in dreams (although it usually takes me a while to unravel the answers!). We have themes running though my dreams – we have shared jokes and conversation threads.
I have also come to recognise God’s presence. When I wake up and reflect on my dreams, I can usually identify whether God was in the dream, and the thoughts that have come from Him. I also find that I have a sense that something is wrong if all or part of a dream is not from God. This inner sense is something that needs to be honed over time, but is worth developing.
I have read the bible regularly for most of my life, and that really helps, because from that I have gained a good sense of God’s character, and the way He has related to people in the past. I will write about that in a future post.
But for now, focusing on my personal experience of God, laughter is one of the defining characteristics of how He relates to me. He always seems to be laughing or smiling! Even when I am being corrected, or shown to be falling short, it is always done with a hopeful glint in the eye and a sense of lovingkindness.
Two dreams of Jesus
To illustrate this point, I’m going to share two dreams which I had in 2018, where I seemingly encountered Jesus. I had the first one at New Year, and it woke me up in the middle of the night with my heart pounding!
Dream: The false Jesus
I was in my son’s bedroom , which was arranged how it used to be years ago. I was thinking how hard it had been, struggling to know God. I felt I just needed to see Jesus’ eyes. Jesus came into the room and comforted me. I was suspicious as he was like a classic Jesus in films. I said, ‘Go away and come back later if you are genuine’.
The next scene was our hallway, at the current time. Jesus came back. I asked if he was the real Jesus he said yes. I considered how to test him. I asked if he died for me (thinking I needed to see the marks on his hands and feet). He immediately changed his manner upon realising that I was not going to just accept him without question and said, ‘I died for no one’. I realised it was not really Jesus and ordered him to leave.
I woke up heart pounding.
This dream was at New Year, and set the tone for the whole of 2018 for me . It was telling me that I had embraced a false ‘religious’ image of Jesus in the past, and now it was time to leave that behind.
The following dream was a few months later:
Dream: Meeting the real Jesus
Myself and some others were driving home in a car. We kept getting messages to pull over and I was shouting. Eventually I pulled us over to the right. Jesus came to meet us. I knew it was really Him this time, because He made a joke, and I recognised his sense of humour. I gave him a hug/squeeze. He explained the way ahead and told us he had a plan. We set off up a different road with Jesus helping us.
I believe this was a real encounter with Jesus. Since the previous dream I had left work and devoted much of my time to seeking God and just being with Him. This dream was an affirmation of that choice, and confirming that Jesus would be with me as my life took a different direction.
I still remember the wonderful feeling I had when I met Jesus in that dream. I get the same feeling when I talk to Him in prayer as I go about my life.
These two dreams illustrate how we can have an inbuilt sense, in our dreams, of whether someone is good or not, and whether they are genuine. Our spirit seems to know what is good. It is worth paying close attention to the atmosphere, and how we feel about the people we meet in them.
God in real life situations
A positive side effect of getting to know God through my dreams, is that I find it easier to recognise Him in other situations.
For example, one time last year I was out on a walk with some friends. We came to a blocked path and had to make a big diversion. We then got to a point where thought we might be lost – that’s no joke when you’re on foot, as a detour could take miles. So after a few more twists and turns to navigate we got quite anxious.
I turned my thoughts to prayer and immediately had a ‘picture’ in my mind of Jesus laughing! I shared this with the others. I said, ‘I don’t know why Jesus is laughing, but I’m pretty sure he’s not worried, so I don’t think we need to be.’ About thirty seconds later we popped out onto a big path, exactly at the end of the diversion! Jesus was laughing because He could see all along how near we were, and He wanted me to see the funny side of it too. We did share a laugh!
Catch the feeling
Earlier on this year, myself and a number of others from my church watched the series called ‘The Chosen’. If you haven’t seen it yet, it is a TV series based on the life of Jesus – but unlike anything I have seen before. You can stream it directly from The Chosen App.
The Chosen’s portrayal of Jesus is the closest I’ve ever seen to the real Jesus that I have a friendship with. He laughs, he has fun with His friends. He knows when to make a joke and when to be serious. Check it out and see what you think – it might help you catch the feeling of the loving, funny side of God.
This is like the Jesus that I know – and you can know too! I chose a gif of Jesus laughing from The Chosen for the dream image above. Have another look and catch the mood!
Here is a brief YouTube glimpse into The Chosen TV series, to give you a taste of the atmosphere, and it includes the details at the end if you want to go on and watch it:
I feel that this is a message that everyone needs to hear – particularly during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic and all the uncertainty in the world. We have entered the endurance phase – we are starting to suspect that the virus is not going to go away quickly.
Now, like never before, we need to hear from God personally, and take steps to position ourselves to listen. We need to know His perspective and have the hope that He brings.
Last year I spent many hours learning to journal with God. I am talking about two-way journaling: asking God a question, and then writing down what I feel He is saying in reply. (There is a brilliant book about this called 4 keys to Hearing God’s Voice by Mark and Patti Virkler. I often use this tool to pray through my dreams, as well as in my general prayer time.)
I often have the impression that God is laughing, so one day I asked the question, ‘Why are you laughing, Lord?’ I journaled His reply, a summary of which is recorded below. I think this is not just to me – it is a personal message from God to all of you too.
I hope you are blessed by this, so read on and enjoy!
- Why don’t I remember my dreams anymore?
- Dream symbols: The colour brown and what it means
- 5 tips for interpreting your own dreams successfully
- Why does God speak in dreams and parables?
- Understand your dreams: A bible-based introduction to dream language