Dreams, Dreams, Dreams! How many of us remember Joseph, the son of Israel (Jacob)? He is usually tagged “Joseph the Dreamer” These days, people who dream a lot are tagged in that same line except their names would be there instead, like “Godsplan the Dreamer” I have been given this tag a few times. The point is, over the years, right from the very beginning till now, one aspect of reality that people have never really taken seriously is the phenomenon of dreams; yet the fact still remains that dreams are as dangerous and material as reality. Dreams are one of the major feedback mechanisms of God. Through dreams, God shows us His plans, He tells us His mind, He shows us the plans of the enemy, He shows us the past, the present and the future, He shows us deep secrets and gives us feedback. This series, by the grace of God, was stirred up in me by the Spirit to sensitize the world on the potency of dreams through practical or real life experiences and theory. The real life experiences would include biblical, personal and third party experiences. This series would last as long as the Spirit leads by the grace of God. The ‘dreams’ in this context are majorly centred, but not necessarily limited to sleep. The theoretical aspect of dreams will kick of this series, to give us a prior understanding of the nature and potency of dreams. Subsequently, practical experiences will follow.
What is a Dream?
I think it is important that we first of all explain what dreams are all about before going any further. According to Encarta Dictionaries (2009), a dream is a sequence of mental images during sleep: a sequence of images that appear involuntarily to the mind of somebody who is sleeping, often a mixture of real and imaginary characters, places, and events. It could also be a series of images, usually pleasant ones, that pass through the mind of somebody who is awake; this is called a daydream. A dream could also be defined in the context of hopes and aspirations, it is also seen as something that somebody hopes, longs, or is ambitious for, usually something difficult to attain or far removed from present circumstances. As earlier mentioned, in this context, we would be dealing majorly with sleep dreams.
Dreams as a Major Spiritual Feedback Mechanism
Prayer is the means of spiritual communication between man and God. During the course of prayer, supplications are usually made to God (I use the word ‘usually’ because there are other forms of prayer), but since God is a Spirit, it is usually unlikely for man to get audible feedback from Him (it is usually unlikely because God indeed does give audible feedback to some people, but in rare cases), as a result, God gives feedback to man in so many different ways, but the major means of direct feedback are through prophecies, visions, the word of God (the Bible) and ideas (by the leading of the Holy Spirit) and dreams. In many cases, the revelations of God through dreams are not necessarily as a result of corresponding supplications and prayers made unto God; God speaks freely to anyone who is available or whom He wishes to reveal Himself to.
In 1 Samuel 28, we see the story of Saul when he was at war with the Philistines. God had already rejected him as at the time and Samuel, who was a prophet of God had died, so he decided to inquire of the Lord. Verse 6 – 7 says,
“And when Saul enquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets. Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.”
So here we see Saul praying to God and not getting any feedback, so he decided to apply sorcery; we also see that the major feedback means were through dreams and prophecies. For clarity, Urim, according to Young (1993), is said to be something in the high priest’s breastplate that gave an oracular response, so it is not applicable in this new dispensation. It was expected that God would respond either through dreams or by prophets. In verse 15, after Saul was successful in summoning Samuel through the sorcerer, this conversation transpired,
“And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.”
So we see a confirmation here that as at the time, when God wanted to give feedback, He did so mainly through prophets and dreams. In Deuteronomy 13:1-3, we also see a confirmation of these spiritual feedback mechanisms. It says,
“If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”
Here, we see the term ‘dreamer of dreams’ Yet again, in Joel 2:28-29, we see further proof of these feedback mechanisms, dreams inclusive. It says,
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.”
Here, we see prophecy, dreams and visions. A major highlight here is that we are all entitled to these feedback mechanisms because of the outpouring of the Spirit.
God in His clear words had this to say, when addressing Miriam and Aaron after they are criticized Moses for marrying an Ethiopian woman in Numbers 12:6-8,
“And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?”
So we see here, a final confirmation of the originality and potency of dreams. The word of God cannot lie, neither is God the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33), God said “I will speak unto him in a dream”. Remember, dreams are not the only major spiritual feedback mechanisms like I earlier said, God also speaks through prophecies, visions, the word of God (the Bible) and ideas (through the leading of the Holy Spirit), and direct audible feedback, which in the passage above is tagged as ‘mouth to mouth’ but like I also said earlier, these are in extremely rare cases as God Himself noted.
Practical Biblical Examples of Dreams as Spiritual Feedback Mechanisms
Here are some practical Biblical examples, where God spoke and gave warnings through dreams:
i. Abimelech, King of Gerar: Genesis 20:1-8
ii. Jacob: Genesis 28:11-16, Genesis 31:11
iii. Laban: Genesis 31:24
iv. The Three Wise Men: Matthew 2:12
v. Joseph, Father of Jesus: Matthew 2:13, 19-22
There are many other practical examples of dreams in the Bible, these would be covered in detail in subsequent series; but these examples above are simple scenarios of God speaking to men in clear terms, giving them promises and warnings through dreams.
The Tricky and Deceitful Nature of Dreams
It is important and worthy of note that dreams could be deceptive, this is because the devil is a liar. In the beginning, after God had spoken to Adam, the devil still went and twisted it to Eve. God said “in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:17), but the devil said “Ye shall not surely die” (Genesis 3:4).
When we defined dreams earlier, we said a dream is a sequence of mental images during sleep: a sequence of images that appear involuntarily to the mind of somebody who is sleeping, often a mixture of real and imaginary characters, places, and events (Encarta Dictionaries, 2009). This means that just as God ministers to us while we sleep, the devil can also minister to us in our dreams; in fact, based on the kind of images and thoughts we have stored in our minds, while we sleep, our dreams can also play out those characters; as a result, a man’s way of life in the physical is a major determinant of his dream life.
Let me give you a very practical example here. I remember very vividly, back in 2008, while I was still in the university, I was in my room in the hostel one night and I had slept off. I started having this very funny but sexually arousing dream. In this dream, I was right there in a part of the university and all of a sudden, Beyonce (Yes! Beyonce Knowles) and her crew were singing and dancing seductively (as usual) with the usual rubbish that they wear, and I was passing by so I stopped and started watching them, while I was wandering what was going on. It just didn’t make any sense at all, what was Beyonce doing in my dream? I was really baffled right there in the dream and in the physical, I knew I was really uncomfortable as I was rolling all over my small lower bunk, come on, I had half naked ladies entertaining me in my dream! After some time, I couldn’t take it any longer, only for me to wake up and what was I hearing? One of Beyonce’s tracks that my roommate was playing out loud, I can’t even remember the exact song, but it was one of those her seductive songs; what am I saying? Virtually all her songs are seductive in nature; ok well, probably not all. The fact was that there was a direct correlation between what my spirit man was hearing and what was playing out in my dream. Do you see?
Jeremiah 29:8 says,
“For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed.”
Please take note of this, “neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed” I have no further comments on this.
Also, we can have false dreams inspired by the devil to deceive us. Jeremiah 23:25-28 says,
“I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal. The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD.”
Verse 32 then says,
“Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.”
Zechariah 10:2 also has this to say,
“For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams; they comfort in vain: therefore they went their way as a flock, they were troubled, because there was no shepherd.”
A very good example is when people have dreams in which they are being attacked and the face they see is that of their parent or sibling. This doesn’t necessarily make that individual guilty, but when such dream is misinterpreted, the person in real life might start acting against his parent or sibling thinking they are actually responsible. Also, if for example, a man falls in love with a woman and falls so deeply that he doesn’t think clearly again, she might start appearing in his dreams, which would usually be encouraging even to the point of marriage; that doesn’t make that woman his wife and vice versa. This is why practical dream experiences with their corresponding outcomes will be shared subsequently.
The Potency of Dreams
Putting everything we have learnt above together, it is very clear that dreams should not be joked with at all, they are to be given high priority, especially when you know they are from God. As we will see in subsequent series, the outcome of dreams proves that they are highly potent. You must therefore, prayerfully attend to your dreams. Concerning self-manufactured dreams, they are not necessarily any cause for alarm at all, as they are only representative of your way of life in the physical. How can you watch a horror movie (I won’t mention any so you don’t go ahead and watch it) in the night, fall asleep watching it and demons will not pursue you in your dreams? Even I myself, after playing FIFA 2012 (by the way, I love FIFA, I have even finished a league in FIFA 2013) so frequently in 2011, I started playing the game in my dreams, in fact, I was not only playing the game, I became a player in the game. All I simply did was stop playing as frequently as I did and spend more time studying the word of God and the FIFA dreams stopped.
Oh! This one’s funny; I was once did a vacation job in school where we had to stamp every page of examination scripts all day. Thank God I was a supervisor so I didn’t get to stamp that much. Almost all my colleagues came back the next day complaining that they were stamping in their dreams. Also, in the scenario I gave above involving me and Beyonce in the dream, I didn’t need to cancel or bind any so-called spirit of lust, or even say a single prayer about anything, when I woke up, all I did was ask my roommate to please use an earpiece, the sound was gone, I went back to sleep and Beyonce had no right nor any audacity to show up in my dreams again. Shikena (end of discussion)!!!
Conclusion and Recommendations
Much has been said already, you need to start taking your dream life seriously. If you are not dreaming at all, check yourself and talk to God about it, and He will open up your dream life. If you have dreams and you always forget them, also talk to God about it, because the devil never wants us to get God’s promises and warnings for our lives, He wants us to continue to remain in darkness. When you wake up every morning, most especially when you know you dreamt but can’t remember your dreams or don’t understand them, always say this prayer:
Every bad luck, shame, pain, sickness, fear, stagnancy, failure, death and all forms of negativity against me in my dreams, I cancel and nullify them all in the name of Jesus, they shall not be and they shall not come to pass upon my life and my family in Jesus name, amen; and every blessing, favour, goodwill, prosperity, promotion, breakthrough, and all forms of positivity and goodwill in my dreams, I claim them all and I decree and declare that they shall all be and come to pass, and be established upon my life and family speedily, in the name of Jesus, amen.
This is a prayer I say every morning, especially when I can’t clearly remember or understand my dreams, but when I can, I speak to the events directly, nullifying or claiming. Whichever way, God has been faithful.
Remember, God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him would not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16). So if you haven’t yet accepted Jesus Christ into your life, you need to do that now, please say this prayer with me:
Lord Jesus, I humbly come before you today, please forgive and have mercy on me for all my sins, both consciously and unconsciously. I acknowledge I’ve gone astray, please come into my life even as I accept You as my lord and personal saviour; write my name in the book of life and help me to remain steadfast till the end, in Jesus’ name, amen.
You can share your dream experiences with their corresponding outcomes with me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Your contributions will be taken as prior permission for them to be reviewed and featured as one of the practical experiences in this series.
Cheers and God bless you infinitely!!!
© 2013 Godsplan Uzoaga.
Dream. (2009). Encarta Dictionaries.
Young, R. (1993). Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson