There is so much information out there. It can be difficult to know what’s good advice, and what’s not – and what’s relevant to your personal situation.
Wouldn’t it be lovely to cut through all that and hear God’s thoughts about your life?
Read on to discover how understanding night dreams can enable you to do just that – to find the personally-tailored advice that you really need, as part of an ongoing relationship with God.
The agony of not hearing God clearly
I can remember when I was a young Christian, trying to decide on the best career path.
It seemed terribly important: my choice of job would set the path for a number of years to come. How would I make the right choice? I didn’t even know what I wanted to do, let alone which career was the best fit for me!
As a Christian I prayed and sought the wisdom of God. I read my bible avidly. But no voices came from heaven. No lightning bolt of revelation struck. So I just made a decision. That was the story of my life for many years: worrying about every choice, and longing to hear God’s voice more clearly.
If only I’d known thirty years ago what I know today! I could have saved myself a great deal of angst.
These days I think it is even more difficult. On the surface it seems easier – as there is so much information available at our fingertips. We can Google anything we need to know and it’s right there!
But in other ways it makes things worse! There can be too much advice to choose from!
I recently typed a question about blogging into Google. Suddenly I’m getting adverts appearing everywhere: “The exact steps you need to take to successful blogging”. “7 things you need to do to succeed as a writer”. Seemingly there is so much more that I ‘absolutely’ need to know – and everyone wants to help me!!!
Which is the right advice for me? It’s difficult to know.
How can we choose wisely?
In the bible, King Solomon was famous for his God-given wisdom.
However, his son – Rehoboam – took advice from the wrong people and ended up dividing the nation of Israel. (You can read the story in 1 Kings 12). This illustration demonstrates how important it is for us to go to the right source of counsel when we are making decisions.
We need to get our advice from a good source – a source that is both wise and specific. We need someone who knows us well; someone who has our best interests at heart, and can give us personally-tailored advice to help us make the best decisions.
And the best person to do that is our loving Creator God!
I wrote in a previous article that our Father God knows the best path for us to take for success, and that He is committed to helping us. Therefore, we need to somehow access God’s thoughts about us, and learn to hear Him clearly and directly.
But how do we hear God clearly?
As a follower of Jesus, I dearly love reading the bible. But I have to be honest: although God regularly speaks to me through it, sometimes the specific direction I need eludes me. For example, the bible can tell me about my attitude to work – but not which exact job to take.
And if, like me, you know the bible very well: despite the amazing blessing that it is – it can sometimes make it harder! As soon as I need to make a decision, all the various biblical options spring into my mind, and I can make a rational case for any one of the potential paths to take!
The difficulty is, that what’s right in one situation might not be right in another. We can’t just live by rules and knowledge – that’s religion. We need a personal relationship with God; we have to rely on the Holy Spirit alerting us to which option is right for our own specific situation.
King Solomon sums this up so well in the book of Ecclesiastes:
There is an appointed time for everything.
And there is a time for every matter under heaven.
A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiates 3:1-8 (NASB)
A more personal way
I humbly suggest that we can’t depend on the bible alone – without a personal relationship with the One who inspired it. We need the specific guidance that comes from His Holy Spirit.
And dreams are an important part of that direct communication.
The moment I realised that God was speaking to me through my dreams, my relationship with God improved overnight (excuse the pun!). Mind you, I had been a Christian for nearly thirty years before I realised this key fact! Don’t let that be you!
Dreams provide a personal way to hear from God directly that everybody can tap into!
Making dreams part of our daily routine
I don’t have any advantage over the average Christian in terms of my ability to hear God’s voice, and I’m not a natural dream-interpretation wizard either. But I have discovered a way to work around that!
I did these four things and implemented them over the past ten years:
- I took some training to give me a good biblical foundation for dream interpretation.
- I kept a journal by my bed so I could record my dreams when I woke up.
- I worked out how to organise my routine to make time for praying through them during the day.
- I reviewed them regularly to learn from any misunderstandings.
Doing those things was the best decision I ever made. And I think that any Christian can implement them into their lifestyle – if they have a desire to do so.
Hearing God’s voice better
So I listen to my dreams, and incorporate them into my relationship with God.
It’s not perfect. Yes, I get frustrated sometimes, because it takes time to learn God’s dream language and the discernment that goes with it.
I have messed up. I have misinterpreted things. Even in the last few weeks I have abandoned my dream journal and listened to every voice on the internet – and gotten into a right pickle!!
But I have also developed a much closer relationship with God through this process: I understand His heart for me, and have confidence that He can get my attention if it’s important.
I’m in a much better place than I was before.
Real dream example
Several years ago I gave up my paid job as a hospital pharmacist to study the whole bible in a year. As I walked out of my paid job, I honestly thought that I would never go back, and that new things awaited me.
I thoroughly enjoyed that bible course – it was the best year ever – and at the end I prayed about what adventures lay ahead. The trouble is, I didn’t have clarity about anything. I had no clue what to do next!
I was wondering whether to go back to pharmacy again. As I prayed about it, I had the following dream:
Dream: “I can get you a job”
I dreamed that a friend of mine came to speak to me. She told me that she could get me a job at the hospital (where I used to work), for three days a week, starting in September (it was getting towards the end of September at the time of dreaming).
She gave me her phone number, and said I should call her if I wanted the job.
Dream elements explained
My friend: I had met this friend when we did some voluntary work in a hospital in South Africa. She had enabled it for us – due to her hospital contacts. So for me, she represented ‘making a way into the hospital’. I suspect she was really the Holy Spirit (or God as my friend and enabler) in disguise.
The phone: This phone in the dream was about communicating: I was meant to ‘give my friend a call’, so it represented prayer: talking to God.
God was letting me know that He could get me my job back at the hospital if I wanted it: I should talk to Him about it.
One evening, later in the week, I sat down to pray about it. I told God that I had been hoping for something new and exciting, not my old job. But I said that if this wasn’t the right time for something new, then I’d rather have my old job back than nothing.
The morning after I prayed that prayer, my old boss phoned me. Bear in mind that I hadn’t spoken to her for over a year! She told me that the lady who had taken my old job had just left, and my job was available if I wanted it back. They really needed some extra help at that time.
I said yes. The timing was unbelievable!
Normally it takes weeks for a new member of staff to be cleared to start working in the NHS. There are interviews, paperwork, checks, health clearance, etc. I started the following week – right at the end of September (everyone said it was a miracle) – and worked three days a week; just like I had been told I could in the dream.
It’s a relationship
Can you see how that dream fitted into my relationship with God?
It wasn’t just an ‘order’ for me to follow. It was a two-way conversation with my Creator. It involved prayer, and my feelings were taken into account.
In the end, I realised that I didn’t have the big picture. I have subsequently left my job again – to pursue new things like writing. But it wasn’t the right time back then – although it was already a little seed in my heart.
I also witnessed a miracle. And I had peace that I wasn’t somehow ‘missing out’ on some amazing opportunity by going back to my old job. I understood that I could be a blessing in that place for a while. And I agreed to do it.
So it’s not just about doing the right thing. Dreams can help us understand God’s heart, so we can make a well-informed choice.
Learning to understand our dreams takes time. It’s like learning a new language – God’s language!
But it is also part of our relationship with our Father God. We can enjoy the journey, and it’s so worth it when we find we can hear from Him directly!
If we want to cut through the confusing noise of the opinions around us and make good decisions – then our dreams provide a way: through the blessed relief of a personal connection with The One who loves us and wants to help.
Nothing is more wonderful than that!
So if you are willing to walk this journey, and learn to hear God directly through your dreams – then do get in touch. You could also check out my Facebook Group when you can connect with others on a similar journey.
I hope to connect with you soon!
More in this series:
- Meeting the resurrected Jesus in your dreams
- Dream symbols: The colour yellow and what it means
- 10 practical tips for recording and remembering your night dreams
- Dream perspective: On recording and interpreting dreams – when it’s a struggle!
- 7 reasons to record dreams – from the biblical example of Daniel