Did you know that God has been speaking since before the world came to be? Did you know that the first thing He did when He made mankind was speak to them? He didn’t just speak to them one time, either, but He walked and talked with them in the Garden daily and even spoke to them after they disobeyed Him. John even called Jesus The Word and described how God does nothing without His Word (John 1:1-3). Jesus also tells us that His Spirit will communicate to us everything He hears Him and the Father saying (John 16:13-14).
When you read the Bible, it becomes extremely obvious that God runs both His Kingdom and His creation based on communication, and it’s something He deeply values in His relationship with you. It’s common sense that a healthy relationship can’t exist without good communication, yet many individuals are boasting about a “relationship” with God while believing that He’s mute. I don’t know about you, but I certainly wouldn’t be serving a God who didn’t speak to me.
The good news is that He does speak to us. In fact, He speaks a lot, and while He can, and does, use His voice to speak to us, oftentimes, He likes to give His children treasure maps. The dreams He gives are a lot like treasure maps. They contain symbols, they give us direction, they warn us of traps, and they give us hints about the future by giving us a picture of the journey that awaits us in order to reach the hidden treasure. But above all, it requires pursuit on behalf of the one holding the map.
If He were to give us the gold immediately, there would be nothing to pursue Him for. But if He gives you a map that leads you to the gold, He can build your character along the way, and soon, you find that He delights just as much in taking this journey with you than He does watching you discover the gold He’s hidden away for you. It’s also the journey that prepares us to receive what He has in store for us in the first place, and sometimes, it starts with a dream.
Dreams Reveal the Lord’s Destiny for You
Joseph knew God’s voice well in this respect. He had two dreams from the Lord regarding His destiny, which he eagerly told his brothers about. The first, he said, “There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf,” (Genesis 37:7), and the second, he said “This time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me” (Genesis 37:9). His brothers assumed that Joseph was flaunting his favor in their faces by sharing these dreams, but these dreams were actually extremely prophetic. Then, while it seemed his journey to the throne was met with one setback after another, the Lord kept sending messages—in dreams—to people that weren’t even serving Him to accomplish those plans He originally revealed to Joseph, yes—in a dream! It was because of these dreams, and especially Joseph’s ability to interpret them, that Pharaoh and his household acknowledged that the Lord was truly with this man, saying, “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?” (Genesis 42:38).
Dreams Provide the Lord’s Direction
Paul and the apostles relied on the Holy Spirit, who gave them dreams and visions, to help give them direction in ministry. Read about the extent to which they relied on the Holy Spirit: “Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go to Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night (Greek word horama: a sight divinely granted in an ecstasy or sleep). A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them” (Acts 16:6-10).
Paul had a vision in the night (most likely a dream) that communicated clearly to him where the Holy Spirit wanted them to go next. He took this dream so seriously that it said he sought to go immediately. If Paul, the man who penned most of the epistles, paid attention to his dreams to see what God was saying, how much more should we?
Other Biblical Examples
These are only two examples. I wish I had time to talk about how the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream and imparted something that defined him for the rest of his life and marked him and his reputation forever (1 Kings 3:1-15), or how Daniel had dreams (referred to as “visions in the night” in the text) regarding the destinies of kingdoms he was a part of, as well as the kingdoms and rulers that would exist leading up to Christ’s second coming, and how an archangel helped him interpret some of these dreams, or how an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream while Mary was pregnant to warn him about Herod, then that same angel appearing in a dream again to tell him that Herod died and the coast was clear. The list goes on.
God Dreams Impacting the World Today
Lastly, I want to briefly talk about an exciting phenomenon happening outside of the pages of the Bible that is turning hundreds, maybe even thousands, of Muslims to Christ right at this very moment. Shockingly, Jesus is doing what He has always done, and that is appearing to people in dreams. To the places we ourselves cannot go, He is going Himself to preach His gospel. He is also aware of how much stock Muslims place on dreams, which is most likely another primary reason He is revealing Himself this way to this people group.
One magazine reported that out of 600 Muslim converts (who became Christians), 25% said that having spiritual dreams influenced their decision. A missionary in Africa reported that “42 percent of the new believers came to Christ through visions, dreams, angelic appearances, and hearing God’s voice.” (See references below). How exciting to live in a time where God is revealing His Son to a whole people group that denies that Jesus is Lord! There are people walking this earth who were one person before they went to sleep and became another by the time they awoke, all because they encountered Jesus in a dream, and it changed everything.
Whether you believe dreams are important or not, God is going to use them to change nations for His glory with or without your belief in His methods. God even spoke through Joel, saying, “It shall come to pass in the last days that I will pour out of my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy” (Joel 2:28-30).
I’m here to tell you that I am a product of this prophecy and that dreams have been the primary way that God communicates with me. Just as He promised, His Spirit is leading me into all truth and showing me things to come. He has taught me so many things about Him and His Kingdom—all while I’m sleeping!
Now, I pray, Lord, that you would pour out your Spirit on those reading this and those who earnestly desire to know You and Your voice through dreams. Do for them as you did with Joseph, Solomon, Daniel, Paul, and the others. Thank you, Holy Spirit, that you listen to what’s being said in heaven, and you declare it to your children! Open their ears so that they may hear You clearly. Help them interpret the dreams they receive.
In Jesus’s name, Amen!
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