In the blog “It is All About You!” I briefly mentioned that all the other people you see in your dreams are not random ‘extras’ in the cast, but they have a specific place and purpose in the message that God is giving to you. Remember that in the majority of cases it is all about you, and so you need to take your dreams personally. Therefore these other characters have to represent something specific to you.
What is it that you notice about people you meet? Is your first thought about how much they remind you of someone else you know? Is it the colour of their hair? Is it their name? Is it their character? These things are all important because they give you clues as to who you are and how you function. God speaks to you based on who you are, not based on who your neighbour is. He keeps it personal.
For me (Karen), names are significant. I almost always remember someone’s name once I have met them. When I was teaching at an outdoor activity centre, and we had many groups of children come through I made a point to remember their names immediately, they told me, so that I could use their names when teaching them and they felt valued.
In particular, the meaning of names has always been fascinating to me. As a little girl, I would name my dolls based on the meanings of the names. It is no surprise then that God uses the meaning of the names of the people in my dreams to speak to me.
But I know that not everyone is the same. Perhaps you are more interested in the job someone does, in which case God may use that to speak to you. For example, if a friend in your life is an actor then if that person is in your dreams God could be telling you that you are acting in a role instead of being your true self. Or perhaps your friend serves others, and God is using them to teach you about true servant-hood or the act of service. Or maybe your favourite teacher from school is in your dream, and God is using them to teach you something.
Maybe it is character that most impresses you. Do you have a person who you look up to as being very wise? Perhaps God shows you them in a dream to impart some wisdom to you. Is there someone whom you admire for their honesty or diligence? God may use them to show you your level of honesty or diligence.
Remember to keep it personal. It is all about what that person means to you. As an example, maybe six different people dream of me: Timothy, my mother, one of my children, a mere acquaintance, my best friend and someone who only knows me through these blog posts. If I were in their dreams, I would mean something very different to each one of them because each of them has a very different relationship with me. My children simply know me as their Mummy, and all that encompasses, in particular, their comfort. However, if you only know me because you are reading these blogs, then I may represent an element of dreaming that God is trying to teach you. On the other hand, I do not represent anything to do with dreams for Timothy because he is my husband and we walk together.
There are many different scenarios, and each one will also depend on the context of the rest of the dream. The thing to bear in mind is what each person represents to you.
Keep it personal.
Encountering God through the physical senses can be fun if you allow it to be. The more sensitive you are, the more likely that you will flow in this area. These types of encounters can also sometimes fall under the spiritual gift of discerning of spirits found in 1 Cor 12. God has given us five senses: touch, taste, smell, hearing and sight. When encountering God this way, you will use one or all five of your physical senses to receive revelation from Him.
Here are some examples that you might find: You taste honey, which means that you are tasting fresh revelation. You walk into a place or church and feel a particular sensation somewhere on your body that was not there before. You are praying, and you hear bells ring. You walk into a room and smell the scent of roses, but find that there are no roses in the room. The scent of roses is known to be the scent of the Father. One common thing you might find is pain showing up in your body, which can happen when someone in your midst needs healing, and God is showing you what part of their body needs healing.
There are so many ways that you can encounter God using your senses that large books could be written on this subject. One thing to remember though is that people may experience things differently depending on how God has created them. If you are new to this, then make sure that you start small and keep track of when something different happens to your body. Encountering God this way can take years with lots of focus before you come into any maturity on this subject, but if you do not start then, it cannot grow.
I can remember praying with a group of leaders when I began to taste sulfur in my mouth. I then knew that the demonic was in the room and that they had been sent to come against us for what we were doing. Without stating what I was tasting, I asked the group if they could taste anything and a few others also said they could taste sulfur. The women to my left stated that she could not taste anything yet by this time many of us were also feeling the uneasiness in our spirits. We kept on praying, and suddenly the women to my left yelled out “I can taste it! I can taste it!” Then she was ready to be sick because it was not a nice taste at all! We prayed until it lifted and knew that we had won that battle. I share this to help anyone that is new to experiencing God through their senses. So they can begin to flow in it when they are around others who walk in the area, which is also true of encountering God in other manners. It is learning to tap into what others are experiencing so that you can go into deeper realms with God.
If this is new to you then why not start taking notes of different sensations you feel and ask God to reveal to you the understanding of what you are sensing over time.
I had a conversation with someone the other day who had been dealing with a non-Christian who was going through a tough time. He lived alone and kept things to himself then after a while he would just break down. My friend asked the one going through the hard time who he talked to when things got hard like this, sharing that he talked to God and when he was going through some hard times that without talking to God he was not sure how he would have made it to the place he is now. We cannot speak for non-Christians or what I like to call pre-Christians, but we can talk about Christians. Who do you talk to when you are going through hard times?
This is a question we need to all stop and look at. I know for me in the past it was easier to approach God when things were good, but I would keep to myself when things got hard, and this did me no good. It was not until the other day when I had this conversation that I remember how I used to be and felt from God that I needed to write about it because many walk like this and do not rely on God for everything in their life. If we have given our lives to God and have chosen to follow His ways, then we need to approach God both in the good and hard times no matter what is going on or what we might have done. If we think that we can handle everything ourselves then what we are genuinely stating is that we do not need God. It would only take a moment to understand how untrue this is if God pulled His hand away from our lives. Those who do not think they need the help of God in all areas walk in a high level of pride and are blinded by the truth.
Let’s make sure that we are walking in the truth and bring God into every area of our life. When you are going through hard times going to God in prayer and being honest is the best place to start. God does not state that He will pull us out of what is going on, but He does promise to be there with us and help us through whatever we are going through. These are the times when we need to cry out for wisdom so that we can make the right choices. It is not until we do this in our own lives that we see the fruit of God flowing in our lives through the hard seasons. Just because things are hard around us does not mean we should not have fruit. Our real character will shine, and we and others around us will see our true character because through these hard seasons we cannot hide our character. When we come to understand the value of walking with God, and talking through the hard times with Him, and waiting for a response from Him; then we can help others around us, both Christian and pre-Christian, come to see the full value of walking with God all the time.
So ask yourself this question. Who do you talk too when things are good and hard? If it’s not God who you talk too then why not? Let’s make a point of putting God first in everything.
When I wrote ‘What does it mean?’ I gave a warning not to become over-reliant on symbols to understand your dreams. Here is why.
God gives dreams, and the correct interpretation comes through the Holy Spirit. We have to do our part and take steps to understand the symbols and language that God uses with us, however, understanding the dreams is a partnership between Him and us.
In the Bible, both Joseph and Daniel were recognised as skilled interpreters of dreams. However both of them stated that it was not them who knew dreams, but God who gives the interpretation. This understanding from the Holy Spirit comes in a variety of forms. It could be His highlighting a specific point, symbol or area of the dream for you to focus on as an essential clue to the understanding. Or He could give you the whole understanding. These are “inspired thoughts.”
I personally rarely receive the full understanding instantly, however, when I seek God for the interpretation of my dreams I often receive prompts.
If you think you have an interpretation but it does not sit well with you (but keep in mind the difference between something not sitting right, and something that you just do not like) then continue to seek Him. Just like King Nebuchadnezzar, you will not have peace or a ‘knowing’ unless you have the correct interpretation (Daniel 2:9). If you are merely trying to string together all the symbols in your dreams, then you will gain some understanding of your dream. However, there will be a piece missing a piece that will bring you peace about the message of the dream.
Just think for a moment if your best friend were to give you a message. If you did not fully understand what they were saying would you simply disregard what you heard or would you ask them to repeat it or to explain it? It is the same with messages from God. Talk to Him about the messages He gives you and then you can understand them in a far deeper way.
Remember, your dream is not just a list of meaningful symbols; it is a story, a message to you from God.
Do you ever find yourself in a place or around someone when you just seem to know something, and you do not know why?
This happens when you have encountered God through intuition, perception or impressions. I call it the ‘knowing’ because you will find that you know that you know that you know, yet at the same time it is not from you. This comes from the Holy Spirit, and ones who walk in the prophetic will discover that this is an active part of their make up. I am not saying that it is just for people who walk in a prophetic calling, but most prophetic people will find it natural. I believe that this method of encountering God is for everyone walking in any of the different callings that God has placed on the earth.
First, it starts with understanding that this does happen, and when you do, then you can ask God to begin to encounter you in this way. If you are already receiving from God in this way, then ask Him for more. There is always more. It could come in many different ways, but it is usually small. An example of a ‘knowing’ is in Mark 2:8 when Jesus was aware of His Spirit that the scribes were debating within themselves. You can find examples like this one in the scriptures all through Jesus’ life on earth, which also means that we too can tap into this and use it for the kingdom of God.
Next is learning what to do with what you are “Knowing” in the Spirit. The point of this type of encounter is to gain insight into something that you would not know about unless God reveals it, which can be very helpful to walk in if you are in the marketplace. It can help you in your job while working with others. But you need to make sure that you can tell the difference between what the Holy Spirit is giving you and what you already know. The Holy Spirit will start by giving you small things and building from there, and when you find that you know something, make sure that you give the credit back to God. If you think yourself as being smart, you will lose it very fast. We should never take credit for what is not of us, and even if it is of us, we can still give God the Glory.
Remember pride will destroy everything in your life.
I want to share a dream my wife Karen had. I believe that we need to apply this revelation to our lives. Let’s not be afraid of the enemy and let’s makes sure that we know his ways so that we can overcome. God is teaching us many things, let’s learn from what He is teaching us.
In my dream, I watched as a couple of people were throwing many tiny pups out of their building, with the intention of them drowning in the river. These pups looked very cute, like newborn puppy dogs, but they were wolf cubs.
A lady narrated what was happening, explaining that the owners had to get rid of every wolf and for the sake of accountability they were naming them before they threw each one out. I heard them name one ‘Bam’.
The lady was upset and stated that if they just left them un-named, which was normal practice, then they would somehow be alright, but once they have been named they will be ‘forever damned’ (her words) upon drowning.
I sensed the verse “The very hairs of your head are all numbered.”
After I awoke, I knew that B.A.M. stood for ‘Big Angry Monster.’
This is another unambiguous dream.
It is a warning to get rid of the wolves (sins that will destroy God’s work) while they are small. They may seem innocent, but as they grow, they will turn into big angry monsters and will destroy us. (Compare to Song of Songs 2:15 which warns us to catch the little foxes that destroy the vineyard)
We need to identify and name each issue we have in our lives so that it can be removed permanently. Simply whitewashing all sin and not taking responsibility for it in our lives will enable it to survive.
Do not feel an attachment to a ‘pet’ sin, instead remember that Jesus (in Mark 9:42) stated that it was better for anyone who caused someone to sin to be drowned – which is exactly what these owners were doing to the wolves.
Jesus also reminded us in Luke 12:5-7 that we should “Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has the power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Here He gives us the hope and assurance that He knows every detail of us including our sins, but He still loves us and cares for us – which is why He gives us this warning.
You talk about the Holy Spirit as though it is a person. Is it?
Can you have a relationship with the Holy Spirit and if so what does that look like?
I like this question because it brings back lots of memories for me when I was searching for more of God and found the Holy Spirit. I had a great experience with the Holy Spirit on Pentecost and did not even know what happened, or I should say I did not have any language for what happened. I began speaking in tongues and walking in the Spiritual gifts, and if you were to ask me if I had a relationship with the Holy Spirit, I would have said: “Oh yes and a good one.” What I did not realise was that I did not know the Holy Spirit at all. He had just given me the guarantee of what is to come, which is for everyone.
I came to find out that the Holy Spirit was a person on His own just like Jesus and the Father. Yes, they are one God, but they all have their roles to play, and in January 2005 God began to show me the differences. This was when I became aware of who the Holy Spirit was. In this time of my life, I had visions every day, and I began to see the Holy Spirit. I would see Him as a whirlwind in the Spirit but as a little boy in the natural. He would have His head down wanting to serve me yet if I did anything wrong He would be gone in a moment. I began to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to draw close so that I could know Him as my best friend because this is what I wanted. I can remember many encounters with the Holy Spirit that scared me because I did not have a grid for who the Holy Spirit truly was or I should say is. I am still learning and still need to draw closer so that the Holy Spirit is my best friend.
I have found that the Holy Spirit is something that many like to talk about, but do not know that they are talking about a person with feelings and lots of power and I would not want to play games with Him. We have lots to learn, and without a relationship with the Holy Spirit, I am not sure how any of us will live in the years to come when things get hard. It is the Holy Spirit who draws us closer to God and teaches us about His ways, and without that we have nothing.
I challenge you to take the next three months of your life and seek the Holy Spirit for who He is and not what you think He might be. Let Him show you who He is, and I promise you that you will never be the same.
Do you know who you are? I mean, do you really? Do you know what you are called to do? Why did God make you? Think about it!
Why did He make you? Not, why did He make your friend or your neighbour? Not even, why did He make your twin sister? Why did he make you? What was it He made you for?
You are fearfully and wonderfully made, and He had a good, pleasing and perfect plan for your life when He designed you. You know that you are unique. So, who are you? And when you can answer that with confidence, then you also know who you are not. Some of you will find it easier to answer the ‘not’ part first. But make sure you also discover who you are.
Now, what has your identity and your calling got to do with dreams? Well, everything. God speaks to us each according to who we are. That should not be a surprise to us. Even in Grade 1 at school children are taught how to alter the way they talk according to their audience, so why should it be any different with God?
Remember that dreams have a purpose so when you are given a dream you are expected to do something with it. God would not give you a dream that He has not designed for you to be able to deal with. So, you need to interpret your dreams based on who you are and on what He has intended for you to do. Consider your calling, your gifts and your character. God has given you all of these.
For example, if you are pastoral and intercessory, then it would not be unusual for Him to give you dreams containing specific people so that you can pray for them. It still does not mean that you need to go and share your dream with them. God is giving you insight for the purpose of prayer.
For those of you like me who do not have a call or gifting to pray on behalf of other people then people in your dreams are less likely to be literal, and more likely to be symbolic. Remember that one is not better than the other. We are all unique. We have our calling. We each need to steward the call, the gifts and the character that God gave us, and use these to help us understand what God speaks to us, in whatever manner that happens.
So, who are you?
Dreams are a topic that I have written, and Karen (my wife) has written many of them. Many seem to be following the post on dreams, and it is an area that God speaks to many through. I have said before that everyone dreams even if we do not remember that we have dreamt, and is a great place to encounter God. There is much to learn in the dream realm other than just getting personal revelation for yourself or others. It opens us up to the ways of the Spirit and how much God likes to speak in pictures using symbolism. God’s ways are different than ours, and if we approach God with our mindset and expect Him to do things our way, then we will truly never understand God and how He works.
We do not have control of our dreams, but we first need to come to the place and believe that they are from God and thank Him for our dreams even if you do not understand them. It may take weeks or years to understand the way you dream, but the Holy Spirit never gives up and will keep giving you dreams. When we give honour where honour is due then it lines us up for more, and that is what we want, more, much more of God, and this will happen in our dreams. For the most of our dreams, we will not see God face-to-face or get to walk with Him. I am not saying this will not happen, but it is not common at all. I am talking about encountering His nature and the way He does things. God uses dreams to guide us in our everyday walks, and if we look closely, we see how much He loves us and wants to be a part of our lives.
I will not spend much time on the details of dreaming and will leave for Karen to do so. She is the dreamer in this house, and there is not a day that goes by that we are not talking about a dream that God has given her. God speaks to me about what is happening and where we are going so I have the bigger picture. Within time God gives Karen the details we need in her dreams on the timing and what to do next in our walk with God. Karen and I are one, and that is the way God has laid it out and spoken about from the beginning. Because we walk this way we do nothing without our revelation lining up and both of us agree. By paying attention to what Karen is dreaming, I find myself every day wanting to draw closer to God because of how much He wants to be a part of our lives. The more He shares, the more we want Him, and it is great. God does not waste His time and what happens in our lives like having dreams has a purpose even if we do not understand it.
So, you have had a dream. You know it is from God, and you have identified what each person in the dream represents, but where do you go from there?
Well, God has also included in the dream many symbols each of which indicates as to the meaning of the dream. If you look at the dreams that are recorded in the Bible, you will see that many contain symbolism. Joseph had a dream of stars, and they represented his family who would all become important figures, the 12 tribes of Israel. Pharaoh dreamt of cows and grain, which represented the various harvests.
So, each item in your dream holds meaning. There are several ways to understand the meaning of these symbols. One reliable way is to take what they mean in scripture. For example, arrows can be taken to mean your spiritual children (Psalm 127:3-4) or words (Psalm 64:3 and Proverbs 25:18) depending upon the context of the dream.
Another is to consider what that item represents to you. For example, many people love dogs and even call them “man’s best friend,” so having a dog in their dream could be a very positive element, something that represents loyalty, or companionship etc. However, I do not like dogs. Therefore when I see a dog in my dream, I know that it is a negative element, and something to be very wary of. It serves as a warning to me about the events of the dream.
To understand your dreams, you need to become familiar with what symbols mean to you. It is, in a way, creating your own “list” or “dictionary” of meanings. You will find that God will use similar symbolism throughout your dreams so that you can understand what He is saying. For example, I once had a dream in which there were pencil cases. It seemed a fairly significant element of the dream and yet I was not sure what it meant or how to apply it to the context of the dream. After praying about it and taking the dream to God, He gave me several more dreams in which there were pencil cases. Seeing this repeated symbol in different dreams helped to clarify its meaning for me.
A word of warning, do not become over-reliant on symbols. The “answer” to a dream is not merely the connection of a stream of symbols. There is much more to it, but I will talk more about that in another blog.
Timothy, author and friend of God, shares out of a place of daily walking face-to-face with the Lord, encountering both the angelic and the saints of old, seeing and understanding things from a heavenly perspective.