Five foundational lifestyle habits that can help you receive and understand more dreams from God.
Do you want to have dreams from God? Are you wondering how to make sure you are doing so safely – and not being led astray?
This article identifies some good spiritual foundations that you can cultivate for godly dreaming.
Find the confidence to believe for heavenly dreams – and for understanding the messages contained in them.
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 .
Preparing to dream
In recent weeks we have looked at some practical ways to prepare for dreaming. This has included various ways to help ourselves remember and record our dreams; we do need to have some practical systems and habits in place – if we want to succeed.
You can check out those tips in the following articles:
But I, along with many others, am convinced that dreams are not just thrown up from our subconscious. Many of us believe that dreams can come from the spiritual world – including dreams from God Himself.
If that’s the case, then there must be a spiritual aspect to our dreaming; that it’s not just about having a pen and paper to hand – that there’s more to it than that. We need some solid spiritual foundations.
Why do we need safeguards?
My experience is that dreams are like a window into the supernatural world. In actual fact, I believe that we can meet heavenly beings (both good and bad) in our dreams. We can receive communications from the spiritual world, and we can even meet God and have conversations with Him!
If that’s the case, then we do need some safeguards. Many of us have suffered from nightmares as children – and some people continue to have them through adult life. This experience is enough for us to know that there are negative forces out there – who will try and hijack our dream life.
That’s not something to be fearful of; just something to recognise and take steps to minimise.
Like all thoughts and ideas, dreams can be broadly organised into coming from three sources:
- Dreams from a positive spiritual source (God)
- Dreams from our own soul (subconscious mind, will and emotions)
- Dreams from a negative spiritual source (the enemy)
As followers of Jesus and seekers of Truth, we would want to have more dreams from God, and less dreams from ourselves or from the enemy.
FIVE SPIRITUAL FOUNDATIONS
Here are the five spiritual foundations which will give you a good foundation for receiving and understanding dreams from God:
1. Walk in relationship with your Heavenly Father
If you want to receive dreams from God, then it helps to have some sort of relationship with Him already! Otherwise you may be more easily deceived, or jump to wrong conclusions about what your dreams mean. Or you might simply just not realise that it’s Him! Therefore, I believe that dreams are best understood as part of an ongoing relationship with God.
Walking in relationship with God will look different for each of you reading this blog, and will even vary through different seasons of your life!
But, whichever season you are in, make your relationship with God a priority, and pursue that over everything else. Do the things that help you feel closer to God. Whether that’s worship, journaling, prayerful meditation, using a devotional – or whatever.
If you do that – then dreams will be an extra tool which God can use to bless and enrich your relationship.
We can see this in the example of Daniel, who is one of the famous dream interpreters in the bible. He very clearly had a regular habit of prayer. I suspect that this was one of the reasons he was so successful.
- Daniel 6:10, NASB Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God.
Knowing God enables us to understand His messages
Also, the way you see God will also influence your ability to understand what He is saying to you. I, for one, am confident that God wouldn’t give me anything bad. I believe that God wants the best for my life. Jesus Himself said that we can trust God to be a good Father:
- Matthew 7:9, NIV “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?”
- James 1:17, NIV Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
Think about it: If you know God, and see Him as your ‘loving Heavenly Father’, then you are well positioned to recognise His voice in your dreams, and your heart is ready to receive good dreams from Him.
2. Know God’s voice through the bible
I previously wrote about this subject in Biblical tools: knowing God’s heart and ways.
Sometimes I think that reading the bible is like tuning into God’s frequency. Turn your minds back, for a moment, to the days where we had old-fashioned radios. Some of you won’t remember this, but there used to be a little dial that you had to turn until you ‘tuned in’ to the right frequency, and picked up the relevant radio station.
Reading the bible can be a bit like this – in the spiritual airways!
The bible is full of examples of God’s interactions with people over thousands of years. Through it we can get to know God’s heart and ways, and how He has spoken to people in the past.
When you read the bible, it can be like tuning the dial of your ‘inner radio’ to God’s channel. It is like setting the frequency so that you are ready to hear from Him. This can mean that you are spiritually tuned into His voice, and ready to hear from Him through your dreams.
- Psalm 119:105, NASB Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
As well as generally getting to know about God, you can also read through the examples of dreams in the bible. This can give you an appreciation of the way God speaks in dreams, and the type pf things He says – also helping you to tune into the right messages in your own dreams.
You can check out my overview of dreams in the bible, below, to save you time trying to find them all!
3. Recognise that Jesus is the door
So how does Jesus fit into the picture of dreams?
Jesus very clearly identifies Himself as the Good Shepherd, with us being His ‘sheep’. He says that He is the only way to safely enter into the spiritual realm; the doorway to experiencing God. If we come through Him, then we will be safe. If we come another way, then there is potential for the thief to hijack our experience – with nightmares or other negative spiritual experiences.
Check out this record of Jesus’ words in John’s gospel:
- John 10:7-11 (TPT) “I am the Gate for the flock. All those who broke in before me are thieves who came to steal, but the sheep never listened to them. I am the Gateway. To enter through me is to experience life, freedom, and satisfaction. A thief has only one thing in mind—he wants to steal, slaughter, and destroy. But I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect —life in its fullness until you overflow! I am the Good Shepherd who lays down my life as a sacrifice for the sheep.
In relation to dreams, we can think of the thief as negative spiritual influences, or the enemy, who wants to give us nightmares and false dreams. Whereas Jesus, as the good shepherd, leads us into God-given dreams.
Jesus is the only way to safely enter into the spiritual realm
Jesus gave His life so we can enjoy these things
So were these just empty words? The evidence for the truth of what Jesus said, is that He was willing to lay down His life for us in love, just like He said He would. He did this so that we can enter into all the good things that God has for us, including the redemption of our night time experience!
If you don’t know Jesus yet, you can invite Him into your life right now! He stands at the door of your heart, knocking, waiting for you to welcome Him in. Why not give it a try? Close your eyes and imagine your front door. Jesus is knocking! Will you open the door? Imagine opening the door and letting Him in. See what happens!
- Revelation 3:20, NIV [Jesus] Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
Make Jesus your foundation
Going back further to the ancient patriarchs of faith, we can consider the example of Jacob. In Genesis 28, we read that Jacob had a dream of a ladder ascending into heaven, with angels ascending and descending. This incident truly depicts how a spiritual gateway can open up while we dream.
However when Jacob slept, he placed his head on a stone. Take a moment or two to picture the scene in your mind:
- Jacob with his head on a rock, fast asleep
- Heaven opening up before him as he dreamt
- God himself speaking to Jacob in the dream
- Genesis 28: 11-13, NASB Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. There above it stood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac.
Let’s focus for a moment on the stone.
If you are a Christian, you may well be aware that Jesus compared Himself to a rock, or foundation stone. Therefore, when we rest on Jesus and make Him our rock, then we can expect God to meet with us as we sleep.
- Matthew 7:24 [Jesus] “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”
4. Be filled with the Holy Spirit
In the old testament, there are two main examples of great dream interpreters: Joseph and Daniel. Both of them interpreted dreams for kings and leaders of nations. It is interesting to see what those kings had to say about them.
This is what Pharaoh said about Joseph:
- Genesis 41:38-39, NASB Then Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom there is a divine spirit?” So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has informed you of all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you are.
This is what the great King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon said about Daniel:
- Daniel 4:1, NASB This is the dream that I, King Nebuchadnezzar, have seen. Now you, Belteshazzar [his name for Daniel], tell me its interpretation, since none of the wise men of my kingdom is able to make known to me the interpretation; but you are able, because a spirit of the holy gods is in you.’
Both of these kings had many ‘wise advisors’, who would have been skilled and trained in this type of thing. Yet both kings recognised that there was something different about the man standing in front of them. Both kings elevated that man to the highest position of leadership in their country as a result of the dream interpretation they gave. So those two men certainly made an impression!
Do you want God’s interpretation or man’s interpretation?
So what was different about Joseph and Daniel? The difference was God’s Spirit.
Both Kings recognised that Spirit, although neither of them knew about the One True God at that stage. Later on, Nebuchadnezzar wrote his own testimony of how he came to know the real God – his Creator.
Both Joseph and Daniel had a relationship with God, and His Spirit was with them to enable them to interpret dreams. They were able to give God’s interpretation of the dream – and that, surely, is what all of us want! In the words of Joseph:
- Genesis 40:8, NASB Do interpretations not belong to God?
Surely we don’t just want to reinforce our own ideas, or rely on our own limited understanding. Don’t we want to hear what our Creator says the dream means – and receive the incredible heavenly perspectives about our life that they frequently contain? Of course that’s what we want!
We don’t just want to reinforce our own ideas, or rely on our own understanding. We want to hear what our Creator says the dream means.
How can the Holy Spirit help today?
So, therefore, if that was true in the old testament, how much more is it true now! Since the outpouring of God’s Spirit in Acts 2, all of us can be filled with the Holy Spirit, and learn to hear that still small voice.
For The Holy Spirit lives within us, and God’s voice flows from deep inside. Every one of us can go on a journey to learn to recognise and hear it:
- The more we are open to the flow of the Holy Spirit in our lives, the more heaven-sent dreams we will receive from Him.
- The better we recognise the voice of the Spirit within us, the better we will be at understanding the true God-given message in those dreams.
As well as understanding other people’s dreams, both Joseph and Daniel had significant dreams about their own lives and destinies. So let’s be like them – filled with the Spirit of God!
So why not start today? Invite the Holy Spirit to fill every aspect of your life! Talk to God, and invite Him to be your teacher and mentor – as you receive dreams from Him, and learn to understand them.
5. Connect with other people who value dreams
The area of dreams is fairly new in the church today. It’s becoming more widely recognised (as it should be – it is biblical after all), but you might find yourself on your own if you start trying to understand your dreams.
If that’s you, then I encourage you to connect with other people who are on a similar journey. Find mature Christians who can mentor you and encourage you. Take some reputable training (I have a few recommendations of good bible-based dream interpretation resources).
In my early days with dreams, I only had one good friend to encourage me: my sister-in-law. Without her support I would probably have given up very quickly. I also undertook some training with Tony and Dwee Cooke at Streams UK. It was invaluable for me to have that input from mature Christians who were experienced in church life and knew the bible – and could apply that to dreams!
There’s a saying that iron sharpens iron. Let’s encourage one another, and spur each other on to hear God’s voice, and let Him redeem our night hours!
- Hebrews 10:24, NASB And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
We have considered five ways that we can prepare spiritually and build good foundations to hear from God in our night dreams. These are general spiritual lifestyle points:
- Walk in relationship with Father God
- Know God’s voice through the bible
- Recognise that Jesus is the door
- Be filled with the Holy Spirit
- Connect with other people who value dreams
You may have realised by now that these points apply to every area of our walk with God, not just dreams! That’s not surprising really – and we’d be worried if they weren’t. But as someone who advocates listening to dreams, I felt that these things needed to be said!
We have related each point to our dream life – and seen how it can help – with some biblical and personal examples.
With these foundations securely in place, we can confidently press on with our dream journey – with God’s help!
If you found this article helpful please leave a comment 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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