By Rochelle Arnold
Over and over again you will find in the Bible that God communicated to people through dreams and visions. Daniel was a prophet who was able to interpret dreams and understand all kinds of literature and learning. (Daniel 1:17) Joseph had an angel appear in his dream warning him to take the baby Jesus and his mother to Egypt to escape Herod’s plan to kill the child. (Matthew 2:13) The Lord also appeared to king Solomon during the night in a dream and invited him to ask for whatever he wanted. Solomon consequently asked for wisdom with discernment to distinguish between right and wrong in order to make good decisions.
In the book of Job we are told that God speaks, though no one perceives it, in a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they slumber in their beds. (Job 33:14) Finally in the last days God promises to pour out his Spirit on all people. Men and women will prophesy, see visions, and dream dreams; both young and old will experience this outpouring of God’s Spirit. (Joel 2:28) With all that being said, you may be able to see how important dreams are to us as a key way in which the Father speaks to us.
So, since dreams are incredibly significant, we must be able to understand symbolism. I interpret my dreams and visions on a regular basis with the help of a biblical based resource. I use Ira Milligan’s book, Understanding the Dreams You Dream, but there are other books out there that are available. I must stress that it is imperative to use a resource that is Christian and biblical based otherwise you may end up with a New Age book that interprets symbols in a whole other way. It is the difference between the Spirit of God and the spirit of divination; not all dream interpretation is done biblically, so use caution and find a Christian resource.
God warns us in dreams and he also shows us what is happening in our current lives as well as things that will come to pass in the future. I have had warning dreams, but I have also had dreams that were very comforting and gave me answers to complex problems. I’ve been interpreting dreams for approximately 20 years and I think I have become pretty good at it. I have also received teaching from online Webinars conducted by other Christian leaders that operate in this gift. I call it a gift, but I believe that anybody can learn how to interpret dreams with the help of the Holy Spirit and some practical teaching.
First, it is important to write down the dream or put it in a memo in your phone, this is what I generally do. You will also want to note how you felt in the dream and if you were the center figure or is the dream about somebody else. After you write down the dream, you should highlight the symbols. Once you highlight the symbols you can then begin the interpretation. With Milligan’s book comes several different meanings to a symbol for example: I dreamt I was walking in the sky. So, the first two symbols I would look up would be walking and sky. Walking means progress, living in or being led by the Spirit. Then there will be several Scripture references, in this example for walking Galatians 5:16 is given which reads: “This I say walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh, if we live in the Spirit let us also walk in the Spirit.”
In this particular case the word sky is not in the dream book. I would then pray about the interpretation and allow the Holy Spirit to guide me in understanding the symbol. In this dream I was walking in the sky with people I didn’t know so I could interpret that this may be a dream about the rapture when believers are caught away up in the sky or perhaps this is a dream about rising above earthly circumstances. At one point in the dream I found myself in a cafeteria which means church service or working with people in a teaching ministry. You continue this process until you have a meaning for each symbol. After this I generally write a summary of what I believe the message is within the dream.
God the Father does speak to us while we sleep, but it is also possible for the enemy to communicate to us in our dreams as well. Usually dreams from the enemy are in black and white and there is generally a sense of gloom or doom. Dreams from God are usually colorful and comforting. This is not always the case though and that is why it takes the help of the Holy Spirit to interpret a dream. For example, 20 years ago before I was diagnosed with cervical cancer, I had a dream that an alien monster or demon was hiding under my bed. I got up in the dream and discovered this creature hiding under my bed as I was shining a flashlight on it. Later I interpreted this dream as being the hidden cancer that was detected early and removed. In the dream the demon was hissing at me because it did not like being discovered.
In conclusion, I think it is very important to pay attention to our dreams and pray that the Lord will show us what they mean. Remember to write down your dreams and begin practicing interpretation. In my own experience, I have found that Jesus will often appear in my dreams as someone else, perhaps a doctor, a dentist, or an employer. Over the years, I believe the Lord has appeared to me in my dreams as various characters. Perhaps he does this so as to not overwhelm and encourage us to interpret the dream. Jesus often spoke in parables which were instructions and wisdom using symbols and stories. He still speaks in a similar manner through our dreams and visions. We just need to have the knowledge to understand how to go about interpreting his messages in a biblical and practical way.
For more teaching from Rochelle Arnold check out her books on Amazon.com
Rags or Robes: Finding Your Identity in Christ
SOJOURNERS: In a Strange Land
Rochelle Arnold graduated from RHEMA Bible School and is the Founder of Change the World Ministries. Her desire is to impact the culture for Christ through sound teaching and the fine arts. Author of Rags or Robes: Finding Your Identity in Christ & SOJOURNERS: In a Strange Land available on Amazon.