This is for all the believers out there.
I’m talking to those who have glimpsed a truth: a wonderful, marvellous truth – but don’t dare admit it for fear of seeming crazy.
I’m speaking to those of you who have discovered that God speaks through dreams – but worry what people will think.
I’m writing to encourage you that dreams contain treasures that are worth fighting for!
When the journey is tough
I previously shared in my story of how I struggled to hear God’s voice for many years. I desperately wanted to know God personally and hear him clearly. So, once I realized He was speaking though my dreams, I knew it was something worth pursuing.
And I did. Pursue it, I mean. I have literally spent thousands of hours praying over and interpreting my dreams during the past fifteen years.
Yet it hasn’t always been easy.
The biggest struggle I have faced is not wanting to look crazy; not wanting my friends and family to think I’ve lost the plot by taking my dreams seriously.
Experiencing ridicule for believing in dreams
When I first put God to the test with dreams, and discovered He spoke through them, I was very excited and wanted to tell everyone. I enthusiastically told a close friend what God was showing me. And they ridiculed me.
They discredited me in front of my children. And they ridiculed me in front of some of our friends, saying that I had gone mad.
As you can imagine, it was very hurtful, and it did set me back for a while. I lost some of my confidence.
But the trouble was that by then I knew it was true! I had gone over the edge and I couldn’t go back. Once you experience that lightbulb moment – of witnessing God speaking to you personally though a dream – it is impossible to go back to not believing again.
Once you’ve gone over the edge, there’s no going back!
It is very much like coming to know Jesus for the first time – or having any genuine encounter with God. You can hide it, but you can’t go back to not believing.
So I did press on, and the opposition actually caused me to check everything more thoroughly. So it did have some beneficial spin-offs.
You’re not crazy for believing in dreams
So, I’m writing this post for those of you who are worried about looking silly. Or maybe you are worried that you might actually be crazy?
I’ve got good news for you: By listening to your dreams, you are in very good company. I have looked into this for the sake of my own sanity – and I can vouch for the fact that you don’t have to throw rational thinking out the window to believe in dreams.
It is only really in Western culture that we have lost our understanding of dreams. In biblical times, dream interpretation was normal – and very much part of everyday life. Throughout church history God has spoken to people through dreams. And in other non-westernised cultures today dreams are taken seriously.
We think we have ‘scienced’ our way out of dreams, but we’ve actually forgotten something very important: that there is a spiritual realm too, and there is a God who wants to communicate with us.
God loves to restore truths
When Jesus came 2000 years ago, he brought a message that seemed very radical at the time.
It wasn’t actually radical. The Old Testament prophets had been speaking the truth for years, except nobody saw it or understood it correctly. It took Jesus Himself to point out where the Scriptures pointed to Him.
- Luke 24:25-27 And then He said to them, “You foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to come into His glory?” Then beginning with Moses and with all the Prophets, He explained to them the things written about Himself in all the Scriptures.
When Jesus came, many people thought His followers were mad. Or if not mad, they thought they were deceived. But His followers had encountered God in Jesus. And they couldn’t go back either. They had seen the truth and were ready to give their lives for what they had found. In fact, many of them were martyred for their faith.
We don’t need to be martyred for thinking dreams contain messages from God. But we do need to overcome our own doubts and fears. And we do need to be aware that others close to us might not understand.
I suggest that God loves to challenge accepted thinking; and is constantly restoring aspects of His Kingdom that we have lost or forgotten about.
A treasure hidden in a field
Jesus told a parable about a treasure hidden in a field. A man found it, then sold everything he had to buy that field – because he knew what was in it.
- Matthew 13:44 “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from his joy, he goes and sells everything that he has, and buys that field.
In the same way, it is worth making some sacrifices in order to understand our dreams; because the treasures that are hidden within them – personal insights from heaven – are worth more than any earthly reward or human recognition.
A pearl of great price
Jesus told another parable about an expensive pearl. Again, like the treasure in a field, he sold everything to get that pearl.
- “Matthew 13:45-46 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold everything that he had and bought it.
I believe that knowing God and hearing His voice clearly (as you can learn to do through dreams) is a pearl worth finding.
I have found that my dreams contain so many pearls of wisdom that enable me to live life skilfully that – in the end – I haven’t lost anything! What I have gained is far more than what I have sacrificed.
The example of Jesus
For the Christians among you, Jesus is our prime example. Jesus knew what He was talking about when he told those parables. He knew that He was going to have to pay a great price very soon.
Jesus knew that He was going to have to go to the cross; to die a humiliating, excruciating, horrible death at the hands of His people. And He did it for us. He chose to do it. He did it because of the wonderful, extravagant, ever-increasing joy that He saw on the other side of the cross.
He did it because He wanted us to be restored to a full relationship with our Heavenly Father. He wanted us to experience walking and talking daily in relationship with God.
- Hebrews 12:2 …looking only at Jesus, the originator and perfecter of the faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
In Acts 2 we read that dreams are one of the things that became accessible to everyone when the Holy Spirit was poured out at Pentecost – after Jesus’ death and resurrection.
- Acts 2:17, NIV In the last days, God says, 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.
So, if Jesus was willing to pay such a great price for that aspect of our relationship with Him to be restored – can we not pay a small price to enter into it? Even if we feel a little crazy and other people think we are too?
Hearing God through dreams is one of the things Jesus died to restore.
Still worried about embracing dreams?
I encourage you to put those doubts and fears aside and embrace your interest in dreams. Count the cost – and make the journey!
Be brave, and when you hear someone talking about having a dream (which actually happens quite often) – consider whether you could share about your journey.
You may feel a bit weird or silly to start with, but you’ll soon get used to it.
And maybe – just maybe – the wisdom and light that you shine as your relationship with God grows stronger – will start to have a positive influence on those around you. Maybe you will spark something in them – and find some new companions for your journey. That certainly happened with me.
In the short term it might be difficult – particularly when you are first learning and making mistakes – but in the long term, you will reap the benefits.
What have you got to lose?
So, if you’re on the fence about embracing dream interpretation because you’re worried what people will think, I want to reassure you of a few things:
- The climate in the church is changing. Many people now take dreams seriously, so it probably won’t be as much of a sacrifice for you as it was for people like me years ago.
- Anything of value is worth fighting for: Taking dreams seriously might come at a cost – but if it is contested, then there must be something paying the price for.
- Other people will want what you have. Although some will ridicule you, many more will want what you have, and be asking for your help before too long!
Reasons to press on with dreams
Here are some good reasons to be brave and press on:
- Interpreting dreams is a logical process. It’s not weird; it just takes some good training and then practice! If you take this journey seriously – you will end up feeling saner and more equipped for life then you have ever done before!
- You will get to know God better: Going on the journey will enable you to know God on a much deeper level.
- You will prosper. Because it’s not really a sacrifice. You will find guidance and insight to enable you to fulfil your purpose and destiny successfully.
So, if you feel that you’re going a bit weird by interpreting dreams, that’s ok. We’ve all felt like that – and you’re not crazy!
You’re just discovering who you really are in Christ, and the truth that God is so much more involved in your life then you originally thought.
And if you feel worried that others will think you’re weird – well, I can’t promise they won’t. They might do. But are you going to let that steal your reward? And who knows, you might end up helping their journey too in the end – by what they see happening in you.
This is the song that inspired this post. I woke up with it on my mind, and it puts into words some of the feelings I have been though on my dream journey. I hope it comforts and inspires you too.
And if you’re feeling like something a little fun… here is a family favourite of ours: ‘I’m a believer‘ from Shrek!
If you would like to know more about the biblical model of dream interpretation, then do sign up for emails below – you will receive regular articles on how that fits into a relationship with God.
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Do you struggle to relate to an invisible God, or wonder if it’s possible to hear His voice? If so, then read on, for this was my story. Understanding my dreams was a key that changed everything.
Are you intrigued about whether your night dreams could mean anything? Read on for some good reasons to check them out…
Do you feel that your dreams mean something but want some biblical guidance on interpretation? Here are 10 excellent biblical principles to help!
- Best bible-based dream interpretation resources – for Christians
- Dream symbols: Right, left, front, and back – and what they mean
- Am I crazy to believe God is speaking though my dreams?
- How I learned to interpret dreams while working, raising 3 boys, and running a church!
- Dream symbols: The colour green and what it means