[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t’s a question every one of us has asked: Is this dream from God? How can I tell? And what does the dream mean? Understanding and demystifying dreams is an age-old passion, but as hard as people try, if God does not give the grace, the effort becomes a waste of time. God is the one who “…revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in darkness, and the light dwelleth with him” (Daniel 2:22). Without interpretation, the aftermath of a dream can become a nightmare. Sometimes the desperate bid for interpretation brings people in contact with charlatans, who help to cause more confusion. But the Word of God gives us guidance in discerning whether a dream originates from God, our own imagination, or the devil.
Dreams are generally a picture of happenings in the realm of the spirit, and there are three sources of dreams: God, Satan, and the activities of man—or, in the words of Scripture, the “multitude of business.”
God does speak to people through dreams. Godly dreams reveal present, past, and future happenings as it relates to a person, people, or things. “And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make my self known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.” (Numbers 12:6) There are several reasons why God allows dreams, and He uses dreams to:
● Reveal His future plans: For example, when He told Solomon in a dream, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you” (I Kings 3:5, 11-15), and when one of Gideon’s enemies saw a barley loaf tumbling into the army encampment, crushing the Midianite tent (Judges 7:13).
● Convey warning and rebuke: Consider Joseph, the foster father of Jesus, and the wise men (Matthew 1:20 and 2:12-14). God rebuked Abimelech when he unwittingly took Abraham’s wife for himself (Genesis 20:3-8).
● Reveal His impending judgment: King Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:19-27).
● Reveal the path to take: Joseph (Matthew 2:13, 19-20), and Paul’s dream of the man from Macedonia, saying, Come over and help us (Acts 16:9).
● Reveal the devil’s plan: Seven years of plenty and seven years of lack in Egypt during Joseph’s time (Genesis 41:1-9). ● Encourage a person: Pharaoh’s butler (Genesis 40:1-13).
Matthew 13:25 aptly describes Satanic dreams: “But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed…” Satanic dreams are filled with evil or fleshly activities such as eating, flying, marrying, meeting, having sex, and fear (Daniel 4:5). Sometimes, what happens in the dream happens in the physical realm. A woman who was about to get married saw herself in a dream taking food from a relative with evil intentions, and then saw herself defecating. She woke up with dysentery that defied medical treatment until a prayer of deliverance saved her from death. The enemy has used dreams to confuse many people in marital, financial, and spiritual matters.
MULTITUDE OF BUSINESS DREAMS
In Ecclesiastes 5:3, we read: “For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.” These dreams come as a result of human daily activities. For example, if you desire Chinese cuisine during the day, there’s a good chance you’ll eat it in your dreams (Isaiah 29:8). Your thought life also has a direct influence on your dreams. For example, if you are fond of counting your woes, tragedies, and misfortunes, you will do the same in your dreams.
Whenever you have any of the types of dreams detailed above, you must pray and handle them carefully. Use wisdom in dealing with your dream: It carries power.
Taiwo Ayeni is president of Rehoboth Bible Ministries, Inc., in Grand Prairie, where he lives with his wife Abidemi and their son and daughter. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.