In our modern ages and with the ascension of diverse types of spirituality, it’s becoming a trend to focus on our dreams and their meaning. In this context, many turn to different ways to make sense of their dreams, as dream interpretation can be sometimes very mysterious. Fortunately, Christians have a privileged source of information when it comes to dreams and dream interpretation. The bible recounts the stories of Daniel and Joseph, who were renowned in their time and ages for their ability to interpret even the most complicated dreams. Inspired by them, let us look at a few strategies to help you make sense of your dreams (and visions).
Here is a list of 8 practical tips to interpret dreams and make sense of all the mysteries hidden in them:
1. Prayer (Daniel and Joseph)
Daniel and Joseph were called by kings because they had a great understanding and could make sense of any dream. The bible tells us about their stories and how they impacted their generation. Although gifted in that domain, neither of them neglected the power of prayer for they knew the ability was not coming from them but from God.
Daniel 2:17-18 “Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery…”
Dreams are a mystery and it’s only if God’s grants us his mercy that we can have the ability to understand what they mean.
2. The Holy Spirit (knows God thoughts)
When we call upon God in prayer, he answers through his Holy Spirit. It’s only by the ability of the Holy Spirit, that speaks the word of God in our heart, that we can access God’s thoughts and tap into the revelation that is hidden in our dreams.
1 corinthians 2:10 “these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.”
We have access to the deep things of God by the power of the Holy Spirit, and we must bow down to his authority when it comes to dream interpretation.
Genesis 40:8b “Then Joseph said to them, ‘Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.’”
Interpretations do belong to God, and it’s only through God’s Spirit that we can access what belongs to him.
3. Grow in knowledge (Daniel and friends)
Acquiring knowledge is key to get the ability to understand dreams. The world of dreams and visions calls to many symbols, and the ability to interpret symbols lies in the knowledge and understanding that you have over many different topics. Daniel and his friends are the perfect examples. Their ability to interpret dreams was coming from the special favour of knowledge and understanding over their lives, as granted by God.
Daniel 1:17 “To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.”
So for you to grow in dream interpretation, you must always be eager to learn. Not only must you know Christian litterature and symbols, but you must also acquire all type of general knowledge. Read books and magazines, and develop a curiosity that will push you to always learning.
4. Understand the symbols (Jeremiah)
When it comes to dreams, you must never stop at the first layers of things you see, but you must go deeper to understand what does this thing you saw actually means. Everything is a symbol and that symbol has a meaning. Very rarely does a dream carry a very direct message unless you have an angel that appears to you to deliver a very specific and direct message.
Jeremiah 1:11-12 “The word of the Lord came to me: ‘what do you see?’ ‘I see a pot boiling’, I answered. ‘It is tilting toward us from the north.’ The Lord said to me, ‘From the north disaster will be poured out on all who live in the land…’”
Surely, Jeremiah saw a pot boiling but the message was not that there was a pot boiling but rather, it was an announcement of the calamity that would be poured on the land. So dreams are full of symbols that you need to be aware of, by meditating the word of God and getting the understanding. When you receive a dream, do not just stop at the things you see at first but seek further to try and understand the meaning of the symbols that are in the dream. You will encounter things that are familiar to your understanding (just like the pot boiling) but very rarely are they to be taken literally. Always seek to understand the meaning of the symbol. For that, you must necessarily have great knowledge, which you are already good at ever since you read tip #2.
5. Dissociate your thoughts
Seeking to understand dreams will bring you to a certain level of self-awareness. You have to understand that dreams are given to us through our mind, and multiple things can have access to that part of our soul, and not only God. You have to know that your dreams can be influenced by many things, including yourself. For example, if you go to bed hungry after a workout, you might dream of eating. So you need to discern whether your dreams might be coming from your own self or your environment to understand how you should address the dream.
Ecclesiastes 5:3 A dream comes when there are many cares,...
You must always be aware of your cares and thoughts when you want to address dreams. Those that are coming from your own thoughts are related to a present condition do not need a specific interpretation, for they are not carrying a divine message.
6. Repetition means confirmation (Joseph)
Genesis 41:32 “The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon.”
When it comes to dream interpretation, you have to watch for some specific clues such as repetition. You need to use discernment and see whether you’ve received the same dream in the same form or in another form. If you have seen a dream or vision repeatedly, it means there’s an unchangeable decision in the spiritual. So if you have a dream that has repeated itself but you can’t seem to understand, you really need to prioritize it and pray the more to be able to get the understanding of that particular dream/vision.
7. Ask questions (Ezekiel/Daniel)
You have to know that with dream interpretation, you need to show interest for what you've seen for God to send more revelation. If you do not seek you will not find what you’re looking for, which in this case, is understanding. For you to get the interpretation, you need to be bold enough to ask the Holy Spirit. Asking means you recognize that you’re limited, and that you need God’s help to go deeper in what you see for you to get the proper meaning of it. When you humble yourself and question the Holy Spirit, he who is the comforter, the one who reminds us of all the teachings of Christ, He will lead you to the places and the people that you need to reach the completeness of revelations. Asking questions also means that you are interested and you value the gift that you were graced with. It shows your interest not only in the gift but it the one who granted you the gift. When you question God, you recognize and acknowledge your partnership with him, and he will also draw closer to you in your effort to draw closer to him.
Ezekiel 9:8 While they were killing and I was left alone, I fell facedown, crying out, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! Are you going to destroy the entire remnant of Israel in this outpouring of your wrath on Jerusalem?”
As Ezekiel is receiving a vision about Israel, he interrupts the angel with a question that is also a prayer. Even in your dream, you need to develop a spiritual sensitivity to the point where you do not just live the dream but you participate in it with your question so you can get a progressive revelation. The Lord will answer to your thirst.
7. Write down and track your dreams (Habakkuk)
Your dreams can have a meaning for a future event or be significant in the course of your life. That's why you must make it a habit of writing down your dreams. When you track and write down your dreams, you display your valorisation for the prophetic message that is in that dream. The bible recommends to write down the prophecy for it is certain and it will come to pass.
Then the Lord replied:
“Write down the revelation
and make it plain on tablets
so that a herald may run with it.
For the revelation awaits an appointed time;
it speaks of the end
and will not prove false.
Though it linger, wait for it;
it will certainly come
and will not delay.
If you trust in the certainty of your dream, and of the one who sent it, you will understand the importance of writing down your dreams. Sometimes, it might also take a little period of time for you to get the full interpretation of your dream. As you keep praying for you to receive the revelation, you might need to go back to what exactly happened, you need to refresh your memory and that’s when writing down also shows its value. Furthermore, the interpretation of your dream or vision can sometimes be hidden inside of another dream/vision that you will receive later. Or, sometimes, you see a vision/dream more than once, and such a phenomenon is of significant importance when it comes to dream interpretation (see point 6). Keeping a record of your dreams helps you navigating in the mysterious world of the prophetic seer, and allows you to apply the principles of dream interpretation more easily.
Interpreting dreams and visions is certainly an interesting gift to receive in these times of the prophetic. I believe this 8 tips will help you grow into that knowledge. God wants to speak to his people through dreams and visions, and it is mandatory for us to acquire the ability and gift of interpretation and discernment, so we do not miss any communication to us from the Lord. Have questions or commentaries about dream interpretation, please comment now and I will get back to you the soonest.
Don’t forget to share and bless somebody who needs this knowledge.