The Bible defines a dream in Job 33:15, “In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the falleth upon men…” The Bible says several things in this one verse. First, a dream is a vision of the night. The verse also teaches that a dream occurs when deep sleep falls upon men. According to the Bible, a vision is something that occurs when a man is awake, while a dream is something that occurs when a man is asleep. Some who study dreams say that we are always dreaming when we sleep, but we only remember the dreams right before we awake. This would actually fit with the Scriptures in several cases where men remember a dream that actually woke them up.
Dreams can appear to be very real. Sometimes you may even wake up mad, sad or scared, yet you realizes after a while that it was just a dream and you settle down. The Bible speaks on this in Isaiah 29:8 when it says, “It will be as when a hungry man dreams – and behold, he is eating; But when he awakens, his hunger is not satisfied, or, as when a thirst man dreams – and behold, he is drinking, but when he awakens, behold, he is faint and his thirst is not quenched.” You may dream of eating or drinking, but when you awake you are still empty. That’s the reality of your dreams. It may have appeared real, but it was not. The same goes for visions; they can be so real in our minds, but not a reality; however, God may be trying to tell us something through that vision.
If you’re wondering if God speaks to us through dreams and visions, the answer is yes. The Bible tells us, “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions” (Joel 2:28). God actively speaks to us through them and these can have scriptural meaning. If you’re wondering what the Bible really says about dreams and visions and looking to better understand how God speaks to us through dreams and visions, this may be very revealing.
God uses our dreams and visions to bring instruction. God not only opens our ears, but also seals instruction through our dreams so that we are notified of our faults, counseled in wrong direction and given instruction on best ways to move forward from these circumstances. The Bible tells us, “He may speak in their ears and terrify them with warnings” (Job 33:16). God instructs through dreams, imprints upon the soul and through lasting impressions in a similar way that a seal is used to make an imprint in wax on a document. We can learn a lot through these instructions. We just have to be open to listening to what He is saying.
Our dreams are used by God to break down our walls of self-defense. They are produced through our subconscious minds. Because of this, they normally bypass our self-defense mechanisms and our preconceived notions about our strengths and weaknesses. Our dreams go right to the truth of the matter. By breaking down the walls of self-defense, and allows us to see the true motives and conditions of our hearts. We have the opportunity to listen to God and enter a whole new place of healing.
God also uses dreams and visions to open our ears. We aren’t always open to hearing God’s voice because most of the time with our busy and hectic schedules, we close our ears and don’t take the time to feel the Holy Spirit tugging at our hearts. While God can speak to us when we set aside time for prayer and meditation, He also speaks to us sometimes when it’s inconvenient, like the times when you can barely hear yourself think. But we must be prepared. During our dreams, God bypasses the shell we have surrounding our hearts that can make us dull of hearing. We then have the listening to hear what the Spirit is saying.
Another way God uses dreams and visions is to bypass our pride. Pride covers the sinful intentions of our hearts. When we hide behind our pride, it’s easy for us to be deceived. We often learn during our sleep that although we have not given into temptation, there still remains a struggle to overcome sin in our hearts. Because dreams are often formed from thoughts and images in our minds, they often show us the sin in our hearts that our conscious minds refuse to acknowledge and reveal the struggle within us. God ultimately desires that we be dead to sin, and not allow it to reign in our bodies, hearts and minds.
It is important that we are cautious and that we not become too dependent on our dreams and visions. Some people expect to be directed by them on a daily basis and this pattern can set you up for error and deception. You must be able to determine if your dream or vision is of God or of the flesh. False dreams can come from our mind’s attempt to lead us away from God’s principles and precepts. In fact, false dreams can convey darkness’ own prophetic messages. Soulish dreams in particular speak to the heart’s fleshly desires.
The voice of the Lord is speaking out to you right now through your dreams and visions. When we understand and interpret these messages, we can live fully in His purpose. Pay attention to what He is telling you. He may be speaking to you right now and you don’t even know it. When we understand what God is saying to us, we can communicate with Him in a new way and also live in His purpose.