Bible Study

How & Why Are Dreams Used By God

(This is a longer post mainly because of a lot of scripture. Get ready to dig into the word of God!) 

This post was a blogger suggestion by Tammy. You can check out her blog at God Inspired Art & Quotes. Tammy is a huge supporter of so many other bloggers. One thing we both like discussing in-depth happens to be dreams and Tammy suggested a post that talks about discerning dreams. As I wrote this I discovered God was showing me I needed to cover dreams in general and their significance before I can even touch on understanding dream elements. 

Some think dreams are not used by God in today’s world. Some are very weary of dreams because dreams and dream interpretation are a very worldly thing as well. I want to absolutely agree we should be extremely careful about dreams, and make sure everything is pointed to God and goes to Him first.

When dreams are used by God and we use them the way He wants us to, He is glorified. But there are wrong ways to interpret, and it is possible to be misled in thinking a dream is from the Lord when it is not.

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Biblically, we can agree God certainly used dreams and visions to reach others, often as a warning.

  • Abraham
  • Abimelek
  • Joseph (coat of many colors) & the people he interpreted
  • Jacob
  • Gideon overhearing a dream being retold that he would conquer
  • Saul
  • Isaiah
  • Daniel & the people he interpreted
  • Ezekiel
  • Nahum
  • Obadiah
  • Joseph (Jesus’ earthly father)
  • Pilate ‘s Wife (Matthew 27:19)
  • Peter
  • Paul
  • John

and many more. 

People Will Dream In The End Of Times

On Pentecost, when the followers of Christ received the Holy Spirit and started speaking in tongues, Peter addresses a crowd and three thousand people turned over to Christ. Peter states this prophecy was fulfilled. (Joel 2:28)

(NIV) Acts 2:17, “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.”

Keep note of the word prophesy as prophecy is a gift we can receive from the Holy Spirit (not everyone will). If you would like to learn more about gifts, please check out these two posts.

Post | What Is My Talent/Gift | Believer 101

Post | Gifts From The Holy Spirit | Believer 101 (full list)

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DREAMS ARE A WAY FOR GOD TO SPEAK TO US

(NIV) Numbers 12:06, “He said, “Listen to My words: “When there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, reveal Myself to them in visions, I speak to them in dreams.”

God does not change. He used dreams and visions to speak to people in the past, and it’s very possible He will use dreams to speak to people in the present. As we are told people will prophesy and dreams/visions are often tied to prophecy, some may not even know it.

Corrie Ten Boom, for example, had a prophetic dream that she and her family would be carried away by a wagon. This was during WWII and they were hiding Jews in their home. This came to pass. Her sister Besty had a vision of a home they would have while she and Corrie were in the concentration camps. This, too, came to pass after Besty’s death in the camp and Corrie’s release. The home was used to care for the mentally ill.

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In the Old Testament, aside from Moses, dreams were how God spoke to the prophets. Most of these men and women did not have the Holy Spirit. We have the opportunity to take part in the Holy Spirit through Jesus. And scripture says when the Spirit is poured out, more people will have dreams and prophesy.

God shares that He does speak in riddles often through dreams/visions. This explains why Christ spoke in parables and also why dreamers, like Daniel/Ezekiel, received very cryptic dreams/visions.

(NIV) Numbers 12:08, “With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD.” (Referring to Moses, and how to others God speaks in riddles.)

(NIV) Hosea 12:10, “I spoke to the prophets, gave them many visions and told parables through them.”

Dreams from the Lord are cryptic, and they need to be carefully looked at with scripture. They need prayer and the wisdom from the Spirit to discern. These are things we cannot do on our own. The Lord must provide!

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SLEEPING WAKE UP CALL

Dreams are often used, not to encourage, but to warn. Often times, we struggle to listen in our day to day life. So, God will speak to us and illustrate warnings to us when we are completely vulnerable. The book of Job explains this perfectly through Job’s friend Elihu.

(NIV) Job 33:14-18, “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, that He may turn man aside from his conduct, and keep man from pride; He keeps back his soul from the pit, and his life from passing over into Sheol.”

WE ARE WARNED AHEAD OF TIME

Again scripture shares how prophecy is used as a warning. Dreams can warn us about what is to happen. Especially those dreaming of the end of times, we can verify through scripture. Remember, this isn’t about making up new info about the end of days, that’s false. Christ says He told us what would happen at the end of times so we would not be surprised! If we look at Matthew 24 alone, and then Isaiah, Daniel, or Revelation, we see themes of what Christ talked about. Christ backed up what the prophets saw in their visions/dreams and what they were being told by God.

(NIV) Amos 3:07, “Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing His plan to His servants the prophets.” (We are warned ahead of time.)

(NLT) Matthew 24:25, “See, I have warned you about this ahead of time.” (Not only what Christ told the disciples, but what God has been telling the prophets of old!)

Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of the Savior. We do not need more prophecy about a Savior or what it is to happen in the end. We’ve been told. Dreams MUST align with scripture. They must point to Jesus Christ as Savior. If dreams add to the scriptures or take anything away, they are NOT of God!  

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Dreams were meant to be interpreted. This does not mean every single one, but any from the Lord should.

(NIV) Habakkuk 2:02-03, “Then the LORD replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.”

ISSUES WITH DREAMS/INTERPRETATION

There are problems with dreams, however. Sometimes people seek more out of dreams than what scripture upholds. We cannot understand dreams properly and whether they are from the Lord or not IF WE ARE NOT LOOKING AT SCRIPTURE & PRAYING!

(NLT) Proverbs 29:18, “When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is joyful.”

There are people trying to serve Christ and other religions at the same time. It will not work and you will be deceived. You can’t have both Christ and other gods or religions preaching against Him!

(NLT) Jeremiah 23:32, “I am against these false prophets. Their imaginary dreams are flagrant lies that lead My people into sin. I did not send or appoint them, and they have no message at all for My people. I, the LORD, have spoken!”

(NIV) Zechariah 10:02, “The idols speak deceitfully, diviners see visions that lie; they tell dreams that are false, they give comfort in vain. Therefore the people wander like sheep oppressed for lack of a shepherd.”

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In fact, God has shared that people will sometimes be tested to see if they are actually serving Him or not, through others sharing their false dreams. Again, before ANY validity goes into a dream, we need to know scripture first! I have heard people share dreams that have elements of Greek gods, and that’s because the person has tried to serve both God and idols! Do not think you are exempt from darkness trying to mimic Him in your dreams!

(NIV) Deuteronomy 13:01-03, “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the Lord your God is testing you to find out if you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”

Dreams can be a way for the Lord to communicate with us. To wake us up even when we are sleeping. They are a warning not only to us but for others. They need to be treated seriously both in the message we take from it, and how we go about determining if they are from the Lord, have Biblical lessons that can be shared …and whether they give glory to God at all.

Ponder Below:
What are your thoughts on dreams?

Monthly Scripture – (NLT) Proverbs 29:19, “Words alone will not discipline a servant; the words may be understood, but they are not heeded.”

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19 thoughts on “How & Why Are Dreams Used By God

    1. ❤ He was all over this post! And I'm grateful He showed me and guided me to break down the topic. Point to Him and His truth. And I will continue to follow Him because how can I not? He's just that awesome and amazing ❤ And I want people to continue to see Him in this blog ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  1. When I had my foster children, I had a dream that they would be taken from me at daycare and a week later they were taken from me at daycare. God watches over children. 🙂 I believe he was warning me so I would be prepared and know he is watching them so I do not need to. (I do not tell many people so people do not think I am crazy) haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve had some people from my dream posts misunderstand or misinterpret. And I definitely do not share dreams with people often unless there is an interest because people are wary, even believers. I see a lot of rebuking when it comes to dreams, almost shaming. But God can use dreams the same way He uses people to be leaders or encouragers. There’s a proper way but it gives glory to God and we are the body. Not everyone can be a foot or a hand. Thanks for sharing your dream. I’m so glad God used it to help prepare you. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I understand that people are wary and maybe they should be. Believers sometimes forget that God does not change. Also, people sometimes like to accept certain arts of the bible and not other parts like prophecy and dreams and other… anyways I love your post.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Absolutely people should be wary 🙂 we are told after to test the spirits. Personally, and I’m getting better, I struggle when people do not understand why I’m grateful for dreams when it is so evident that the message of the dream upholds scripture and urges believers to grow in Christ and point to Him. You’re right, people do struggle with certain aspects of gifts/talents especially. I’m so glad you enjoyed this post 🙂 thanks!!!

        Liked by 2 people

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