The Dreams You Dream

Christ-Centered Dreams Series | Part 1

I can remember it as clear as day. I was sitting on a stool outside on a sidewalk with a music stand in front of me. I was facing the street with cars slowly passing by. How I saw this was unique since I could view the scene in first and third person. An elderly gentleman (who I knew was a Pastor) is walking towards me on the sidewalk. As he nears to my left, I can hear him praying out loud and it sounds like Latin. When the Pastor is within earshot away, I hear him say, “Amen.” Unbeknownst to me, he places his hand on my shoulder and suddenly, I feel a surge of power come upon me. It was beyond anything I can attempt to describe but it was so overwhelming, even the view I had in the third person was shaking violently. After what seemed like an eternity (which was probably less than 10 seconds), it stopped. Shortly thereafter, a man ran across the street and asked me for his help. I went with him and, then, I wake up.

This was part of an actual dream that I had on January 7, 2007. While there are numerous details to discuss for the understanding of this dream, (stay tuned for the series on Christian dream interpretation!) I will tell you that the purpose was to reveal God’s authority that He placed upon me that day. The Lord not only wanted to communicate a message to me but He wanted to assure me that His power was with me as a minister of the Gospel.

You might think to yourself, “Whoa… that seems intense! I’m not sure that can really happen since God doesn’t speak to people in dreams.”

I would have to tell you in the most loving way possible: you’re wrong. God has been speaking to humanity through dreams since the beginning. The Old Testament is full of dreamers in which their dreams impacted their lives as well as the lives of others in incredible ways. Joseph had a prophetic dream that he would be of great importance, enough so that his brothers would bow down to him (Word of advice- Don’t tell your older siblings this, they might try to kill you! See Genesis 37:1-11). The King of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, had a dream that a lush and giant tree was commanded to be cut down to the stump; a dream that unfortunately, signified himself. One year later, this came true and his royal authority was taken from him (Daniel 4).

Let’s not stop there… many dreams continue to be guided by the Lord in the New Testament. Another Joseph – Jesus’ earthly Father – was particularly guided by God for the safety of Jesus as a newborn child. Joseph was told in a dream to escape from the hands of Herod’s as he ordered to kill all the newborn boys. Joseph responded by fleeing to Egypt (Matthew 2:13). After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph while in Egypt and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.” (Matthew 2:19-20). And again, Joseph had another dream on his return home warning him not to reside in the area of Galilee, so he and his family stayed in Nazareth (Matthew 2:22-23).

In fact, the Bible contains more than 50 references to dreams and visions in which God delivered messages to people. And God still does today! The Book of Acts reveals to us that we have the Holy Spirit given to guide us and communicate with us. Peter said this as a fulfillment of an Old Testament prophecy in 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.” This applies to us today as the Book of Acts is not just a history book of what the early disciples did, but a book that models the calling for each one of us to live life extraordinarily; we have the same Spirit and the same mission: to fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).

Therefore, God CAN speak to us! This is simply another avenue of how the Holy Spirit speaks to us and how God reveals His love towards us. Dreams are a great attention grabber, are they not? While we rest our minds, the Lord can bypass our rational minds to give us a message. Perhaps we were too busy to hear Him in the day… or too stubborn. Whatever the reason, God can and will speak to us in our dreams, so why don’t we ask?

Yet there are two more influences, other than God, from where our dreams come. It is important to understand where the sources come from to properly discern if they have a message for us and if they do, what that means for us. Our dreams can be influenced by Satan or by our soul (our own soulish desires or the flesh).

We know that the enemy comes to ‘steal, kill, and destroy’ (John 10:10). Therefore, he may try to use his warfare tactics while you are asleep. (We may suggest that this isn’t fair, but when does an enemy ever care about fairness)?

  • Have you ever experienced a dream where you are paralyzed by fear? That is the enemy attempting to encumber you with distress, which may cause you to make fearful decisions in a particular area while you are awake.
  • Have you had a dream, where after you awake, you are filled with guilt, shame, or condemnation? This would be another ploy of the enemy to undermine your character and calling in Christ Jesus.

How can we properly discern if a dream is from God or from the enemy? Always remember – Satan will create condemnation rooted in fear; to isolate you from the love of your heavenly Father. The Holy Spirit is based in love; where conviction is a loving response to redeem you back to God. The enemy wants you to wallow in your guilt; the Lord Jesus wants to set you free. The accuser wants to persecute you and ensnare you to your own problems; God wants to pursue you and work through your problems.

There are also dreams that come from own our soul. We all have had those dreams that are so random, you couldn’t make it up even if you tried! This is perfectly normal and part of the natural process of dreaming that rarely have meaning. There are also the ‘emotional’ dreams which can help you release and reset for the next day.  Perhaps you had a tough day at the office since your boss recently chewed you out. Later that night you dreamt about your boss, but you showed him or her who’s the REAL boss! In this instance, the dream allowed you to release your pent up emotions (that you’d definitely not want to hang onto when you get back in the office!), giving you the emotional reset needed for the next day.

While there is so much more to discuss regarding your dreams, understanding the source of where each dream comes from is the utmost importance. I’ll be discussing more on this topic as we build upon our understanding of dreams and learning to interpret dreams from a Christ-centered perspective. Until then, this week I’d ask that you take time each day to pray about your dreams. Yes, pray for and over your dreams! It is part of my nightly routine to ask the Holy Spirit to speak to me as I sleep. For some of you, you do not dream often and cannot remember many details when you do. Maybe there is a reason for this and you may want to pray about it? For others, you do not feel that your dreams have any meaning. Ask the Lord to give you a specific dream, one just for you. Do not worry if you do not understand the meaning yet – simply write it down and the revelation may come later. For those who experience fear or anxiety attacks in your dreams, specifically lift those up to Jesus in prayer. Ask that the peace that surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and mind in who Christ is (Philippians 4:7). Feel free to email me your particular requests for prayer regarding your dreams. May you look forward to your sleep as you remain open to hearing what the Spirit is saying to you while you rest.


  1. Nathan, what a nice message to reaffirm God’s presence in our lives. I also had a dream around 2011. My son Michael and his family were falling apart, everything was just horrible. I was extremely ill for a few months, one night I had a horrible fever and I had a dream that my father ( who passed in 2000) was giving me water. I was a new Christian then and I’ve come to believe that that was Gods way of speaking to me to stick with Him. There would be many more trials to come in my family but the one constance is God‘s presence.
    God Bless you for your sharing.

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