Dream Stewardship (Full Article)
“Indeed God speaks once, Or twice, yet no one notices it.”
“In a dream, a vision of the night, When sound sleep falls on men, While they slumber in their beds, Then He opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction. Job 33: 14-16
In our long journey ahead we will undoubtedly encounter dreams of our own or of others in the body of Christ; and sometimes from unbelievers. By and large, dream stewardship is neglected by many of us because of a lack of understanding or even fear of being deceived. Books, conferences and specific ministries have been made available in recent years by the Holy Spirit and for a good reason. Assessments of dreams and visions are essential to receive the benefits of God communicating with us while He will sharpen our skills in handling the supernatural. It is a good opportunity to pray and work with others that may have spiritual sensitivity, but may not necessarily have the gift of interpreting dreams. This article not only contains a basic understanding of handling dreams, but actual examples and interpretations/explanations, which will raise your awareness of the wide spectrum in which the Holy Spirit can work.
Dreams and visions in the night (1/3 of our lifetime) can be a result of not hearing Him when speaking to us repeatedly while we are awake, or a divine interruption to reveal something urgent, or direction for our journey (Job 33: 13-18). Like prophecy, it can just be a timely word of supernatural encouragement or exhortation or even a teaching. Occasionally Dreamer of Dreams and Prophets are mentioned together in the Scriptures and become relatively important in God pouring out His Spirit in the last days (Joel 2: 28-29). However, there are also clear warnings in Scripture not to be obsessed with dreams, or use them to manipulate others or delude your self. The word of God always takes preeminence compared to dreams:
Jer. 23:29 – “Is not My word like a fire?” says the LORD,
“And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?
Winds of Change
Dreams in the New Testament were given during perilous situations to warn and give strategic direction. I believe the body of Christ is already heading in that direction and in the season ahead we must be fully equipped to meet the challenges. One needs to become well experienced in handling and understanding the supernatural in our personal and corporate lives. I believe the trials and tribulations this generation will be facing will far exceed previous ones. The breath of God is breathing a fresh wind of revelation on all His people to become more like the sons of Issachar who understood the times and the seasons they were living in and knew what Israel should do (1 Ch 12:32). Prayer will be important, but strategy will be paramount.
The Scriptures provide three potential sources for dreams & visions:
– God Himself (Gen. 46: 2, Num. 12:6)
– Subconscious inspiration or human aspirations (Is 29:8, Jer 23:16)
– Demonic (Zech 10: 2)
We will only deal with the first source, but you are exhorted to test every spirit:
1Th. 5:21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;
We should take ownership of the dream. Write it down, including your feelings and impressions during and after you are awake while it is fresh, especially in case you should need help with the interpretation. (It often helps to indicate the scene change segments as you record a dream complex or long dream.)
Many times dreams just drift slowly by us and we dismiss them. Sometimes they border on absurdity on the surface, but are really a deep mystery of God and we readily dismiss it because we examine it only with our natural minds. Begin taking these things seriously as an exercise in faith, but without being obsessed with it or your only source of confirmation. Even though you “take ownership” the bottom line is, as Joseph said, “Do not interpretations belong to God?” (Gen 40:8)
Here are Seven guidelines* in bold type from a magazine article on the reasons He gives us dreams and their relative Scriptures. I have included some of my own comments (Italicized) as to what we should prayerfully consider in each category. Keep in mind the dream may have an application in more than one category.
1 ) To expand our understanding (Is 6:1, Ezk 1:1)
– Make sure it lines up with Scripture
– Share it with others with wisdom and humility
2 ) To warn us (Job 33; 14-18)
– Stop, Look & Listen: Pray about what action you should take, if any?
– If the dream came with a sprit of fear or intimidation it is not the Lord
3 ) To build courage and strength (Gen 28: 12-13, 15, Acts 18: 9-10)
– Pray into it and let it sink into your spirit, not just your mind
– It may be good as a testimony to others to encourage them
4 ) Instruct us to go in a new direction (Gen 31: 11-13, Acts: 16:10)
– Unless you’re experienced in being led by the Spirit, I would not act alone on this one. Leadership and the safety of body life are provided for a reason.
– Ask and look for confirmation (Do not act hastily)
5 ) To prepare us for something to come (Gen 37: 5-8)
– Is God asking you to act in preparation or just be vigilant?
– Is He informing you to begin to change your mindset or posture on something? (“Be dressed in readiness and keep your lamps lit”)
6 ) To give counsel to leaders (Gen 41: 25)
– He may give it to us so we can inform others, including those over us.
– God can use your input as confirmation in what He is saying to them.
7 ) To give us direction and guidance (Acts 9: 10-12)
– A particularly striking or vivid dream may be very important.
– Write down details ASAP. Look for your life’s past, present and future connectivity. It may not be for now.
– If it is, knowledge is not enough, we need to seek and pray for wisdom.
Summary: Watch for patterns or repeated dreams. Balance is important; if you’re not sure, put it on the shelf. It may be for the future. Remember the dream may have a personal and/or a corporate application. Go to the leadership before passing your “impressions” around to others if it is corporate. In the army I learned the hard way if I was not sure of recognizing authority, “When in doubt, salute!”
*From “PRAY! Magazine”, Issue Thirty-two: Sept/Oct 2002 (Praymag.com)
Note: Knowing the identity (spiritual, relational, characteristics, names, etc. of the characters) can aid in the interpretation apart from actual revelation.
Throughout this Website I have included a number of dreams and interpretations with various applications to wet your appetite, as well as to help you see the ways of the Spirit.