Thursday, February 1, 2018

Three Keys to Understanding Dreams

Did you know that the God who flung the stars into space longs to communicate with us? He is a good Father, and His desire is to share His heart with His sons and daughters. One of the most profound ways that He communicates with us is through dreams. 

For far too long God's people have literally been in the dark when it comes to the subject of dreams. Scientists tell us that everyone dreams but not everyone remembers their dreams. Whether or not this is true, we do know from the Biblical record that God speaks to His people through dreams. Joseph had dreams and interpreted others dreams long before he became second in command in Egypt. In fact, one could say that dreams paved the way from his homeland to ruling in Egypt and saving his family and his nation from starvation. Another Joseph, in the New Testament was given dreams which saved the life of the Messiah, little baby Jesus. This baby went on to save His people and all who would come to Him. There are many, many examples of dreams in the Scripture which were given to guide, warn and prepare the people of God.

So, if God is speaking to us in our dreams, how can we know what they mean? I hope to give a few keys that will help you discover what God may be saying to you. But, first I will tell you what I repeatedly say to my students who come through the prophetic classes I teach. The number one reason God gives revelation is to cause us to pray! The heart of God is longing to connect with those who love Him. He is not just speaking in dreams in order to give us information. His desire is for encounter and intimacy. In other words, He wants us to know Him. That is what every lover desires: to be known by the one we love. The first key to understanding your dreams is to understand that He gives us revelation so that we would seek Him. Dreams are a means to cause us to pray and seek His face. So, this is the first place to start. It may seem elementary, but we often overlook this most important key. We much more easily turn to others to discover the meaning of our dreams, but God holds the answers if the dreams are from Him.

The second key to understanding your dreams is to determine the source of any dream you might have. Dreams can come from our own minds processing the events of the day or the season we are in. They can be influenced by physical factors such as pregnancy, what we have eaten, hormonal changes and many other factors. I also believe that whatever we have allowed our selves to be influenced by can affect our dreams. By this I mean that if we have filled our minds with ungodly images from some form of media, we open our souls to be influenced by the enemy. Dreams can come from different sources but if a dream is from God we want to pay attention. So, it is vital that we learn to discern when a dream is from God. Some clues might be that we sense God's presence while are dreaming, we hear or see Scripture in the dream or the dream contains Biblical symbols. Another indication might be that we are awakened suddenly or if we can recall the dream vividly days or even weeks later.

The third key to understanding your dreams is interpreting the message. What do the symbols or people in our dreams mean? Unless the message is clear, our dreams will not benefit us. Remember, if the dream is from God, He is wanting to communicate something with us. So as always, I remind you to go first to God and pray, asking Him to give you further revelation. Then, you can look up any symbols in Scripture for possible meanings. If there are other people in your dreams you might ask yourself what these people might symbolize to you. Dreams are usually very personal and God will speak in language that makes sense to you. So, what one person in your dream might mean to me may be different than what that same person means to you. As with most things, experience is a great tool for understanding dreams. Keeping track of your dreams can help you to understand their meanings more easily. I always encourage people to keep a journal for their dreams.

This third key, interpretation, is perhaps the most challenging aspect of understanding dreams. So I caution you with this fact: many immature believers have found themselves off track because of misguided interpretation. If God is the source of the dream then the interpretation belongs to Him. Both Joseph and Daniel acknowledged this and God used them powerfully to unveil revelation through interpreting dreams (Genesis 40:8, 41:16, Daniel 2:26-28). I would caution you to avoid interpretation of your own making. We can be good at deceiving ourselves when we want to! Instead of just interpreting your dreams alone, especially over very important relationships or decisions, I encourage you to share the dream with more seasoned believers. Tell them what you think God might be showing you, but allow them to offer their own insights. Their experience and history walking with God can offer you a better opportunity to understand the true message of your dream. Again, I recommend submitting any revelation to your leaders if you feel that it would require a substantial life change. Wisdom and timing are key essentials in following the will of God.

These are just a few keys for understanding dreams, though it is just scratching the surface. If you're wanting to know more of what God may be saying to you, I invite you to check out the resources and messages we have available for free on our website, And if you're in the area, come and join us for one of our meetings at The River. We are a people that love to hear the voice of God, and we welcome you to seek God with us.

Focus 2018 - Post 12

As we mature in our relationship with the Lord we will grow in our understanding of how He is the author of all life and everything good. He has the master plan of what real abundant life looks like and how it will flow to us and through us. And even though the very life we have pulsing through our finite bodies is completely from Him at every moment, He sets before us opportunities and choices to align ourselves with His life flow as it is in heaven. And so He comes in His mercy to speak in various ways into our hearts to direct us into the "paths of life" (Psalm 23:3). Because we find ourselves so often in a weakened, sick, depressed and broken-down state, His word of life comes to us as a remedy to what ails us. But unlike medicine we take to restore our health, His instructions reveal what we have not known before to walk in paths we have been blinded to or ignorant of. The beauty of the instruction of the Lord is that if we will align ourselves to it we become transformed and live differently from that time forward. Our path gets brighter, our load gets lighter, and life increases in us and through us to others who know us. 

In Isaiah 58, Father God addresses the mess they are in, and the futility of their choices, which are sucking the life out of them and their nation, because no new transformation that sets us free from cycles of death can take root in us without seeing our broken-down state in some measure and owning our past choices in our words, thoughts, attitudes and deeds. And our God is good enough that He will not offer just a bandaid or drug to mask the pain. He goes to the root of our problem and offers a true remedy. And once we embrace the remedy in obedience and trust, no matter how much it may challenge us, we connect ourselves to His wisdom and light. "For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light" (Psalm 36:9). 

As with the Israelites in Isaiah 58, our way forward in 2018 is to have the eyes of our hearts open to the One Who is "The Fountain Of Life" and has all the answers. King David made it clear in his psalm that God's life will become our life when we are "with" Him. Every instruction of the Lord (and rebukes) that we align ourselves with cause us to be "with" Him. Suddenly light increases by the Holy Spirit and new life springs forth. Righteousness is established and the blessings that come with it.

If you believe that our Father wants to give us great restoration and success in this year ahead of us, let us ask Him to give us a heart that is hungry for His light, ready to follow His directions/corrections. Let us ask, as the apostle Paul prayed in Ephesians 1:17, that the Father of Glory may give to us a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.