You wake up from a vivid dream that you believe had a significant or spiritual meaning. What do you do with it?
As well as a physical body, the Bible tells us that we have a soul and a spirit; we are triune beings made in the image of God (1 Thess 5:23).
Dreaming is a natural process that our bodies carry out, as we are physically refreshed during sleep. But dreaming does not only have a physical function. We are aware that during our sleep our souls (mind, will and emotions) are processing our responses to our past and present, along with our perception of the future.
We are also spiritual beings, created to commune with God. The Bible tells us that one of the many ways God speaks to people is through dreams (Job 33:14-15). These dreams are spiritual, or ‘God dreams.’ A prophetic dream, when tested over time, will prove to be significant.
How to Make The Most of your Prophetic Dream
If you believe you have had a prophetic dream, what should you do with it? Here are some ideas to start you off:
1. Pray About It
If you think your dream may have a spiritual meaning, pray about it. As the Bible says, symbolic dreams are mysteries; only God is able to reveal what they mean (Dan 2:26-28).
2. Record It
Write your dream down as soon as possible, or at least jot down some of the key points to help you remember it (Hab 2:2). Your memory of the details in your dream will naturally fade. If you dream regularly (or get great ideas in the night hours) then you might like to keep a notebook by your bed.
3. Remember It
Some other things you can do to help remember your dream are:
- Replaying the dream in your mind will help you memorise the content of your dream
- Share it. Find someone to tell your dream to who will be interested and draw the details out of you.
4. Reflect on its Meaning
What was it about the dream that made you think it was spiritual in nature? Some questions you can ask to get you started are:
- What was the atmosphere in the dream?
- Who appeared in the dream? A person who appears in the dream may also be symbolic of an attribute in you, a role that you play, a ministry you are called to, or symbolic of something else.
- What objects, places or symbols showed up in the dream? This is where developing knowledge of the Bible and Biblical and prophetic symbols can be helpful. You can also find further helpful information about dream symbols in books from reputable Christian authors
- How did you feel during the dream?
- What did you sense and what came to your mind when you immediately awoke from the dream?
Remember that a dream in its entirety can be a mixture of both natural and spiritual elements. There may be one factor in a dream that is a revelation from God, but the rest could be from your own inner world.
Don’t discount the value of a dream that is from your soul, not from God. It can still be valuable to show you how you are responding in your inner world to past and present circumstances in your life and it may well be worth taking the time to meditate on it.
5. Seek Help in Interpreting Your Dream
The best person to interpret your dream is you, as many of the symbols in your dreams are from your personal life. You may like to share your dream with one or more people who can help you understand its meaning. Remember that the principles for checking a prophecy also apply to dream interpretation.
Whilst some people do have specific gifts in interpreting dreams, realise that just as in all prophecy, no one person has all the answers. Never become dependent on a single person with a prophetic gift. Be wary of becoming reliant at ALL on others with prophetic gifts or upon the gifts themselves. God has given you the Holy Spirit to guide you into truth (1 John 2:26) and good leaders in the church for protection (Heb 13:17).
6. Release What You do not Understand (1 Thess 5:21-22)
It is OK to RELEASE what you don’t understand, or anything that is not encouraging. If you are disturbed by a dream, find a caring Christian friend or leader who can pray with you about it.
In the New Testament, the recipient of a dream usually knew what God was telling them. Don’t try and force meaning out of a dream that is a mystery. If you have recorded a dream that you believe is significant, it may take time for the meaning to become clear.
Finally, the Bible illustrates that God uses dreams to foretell His future plans (prophetic dreams, Gen 37:5-11), give guidance (Acts 16:9-10), impart spiritual gifts (1 Kings 3:5-16), warn (Matt 2:12) and even give successful business strategies (Gen 31:10-13) to His people.
Let’s be open to receiving a prophetic dream, for our dream world can be an opportunity to encounter Jesus and receive God’s instruction and blessing for our lives.
© Helen Calder
Enliven Ministries: in the David McCracken Ministries family