How I Interpret My Own Dreams
Christian dreams seemed to come naturally to me once Jesus was in my life. Even though I did not ask for it or pay particular attention to my dreams, there were many times when someone else shared a dream they had that I had a sense from God what the dream meant.
Further, when I shared what I thought God was saying, it blessed them. It became so common that in some cases people came to me because of a referral.
As I matured in the Lord, I found myself reading materials, manuals, and reference books to glean knowledge on how to interpret dreams. None of these resources seemed to satisfy the questions in my heart.
- 1) Pray
- 2) Listen
- 3) Pay attention to what gives you peace.
- 4) Understand and be willing to set aside your preconceived ideas of what God will say to you and let the Holy Spirit “guide you into all truth. ”
- 5) Pay attention to the feelings you had during your dream.
- 6) Be prepared to “shelve” what you do not understand.
- 7) Bounce your interpretation off of a trusted mentor.
- Christian dreams and dream interpretation are as unique as you are.
- Before You Comment
Who had dreams?
How did they interpret those dreams?
What kinds of things were consistent in their interpretations?
What reoccurring pictures or symbols were in those dreams?
Eventually, I found myself going to my most trusted resource; the Bible. The result was not a list of this symbol and its meaning, or what certain colors represented…In the end, I found God saying the same thing to me that Joseph said to Pharaoh in Gen 41:16:
6 “It is beyond my power to do this,” Joseph replied. “But God can tell you what it means and set you at ease.”
The Amplified version states the basis of my philosophy more succinctly when it says:
16 Joseph answered Pharaoh, “It is not in me [to interpret the dream]; God [not I] will give Pharaoh a favorable answer [through me].”
It is God who interprets dreams. If God is using a dream to convey His message, then God should be our first source of interpretation.
In 1 Cor 14:13, Paul admonishes believers who speak in a tongue to “pray that he may interpret.” Since God is interested in us understanding what is said when a public tongue is spoken then God, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, is also interested in you interpreting your dream(s).
Jesus said in John 14:26 “the Holy Spirit…will teach you all things.” Jesus wanted us to know that God himself through the Holy Spirit would “guide us into all truth” as he would “take of what is Mine and declare it to you” John 16:13-14.
God does not keep secrets. However, you may have to search out the truths of what He is trying to convey.
You might say, “But I don’t hear God. That’s why He spoke to me in a dream”. I maintain that if He gave you the dream, He intended to provide you with the interpretation.
Jesus said, “my sheep hear my voice…” John 10:27. If Jesus says, His sheep hear his voice who are we to say otherwise? He will tell you what your dream means.
I suggest you change your confession to agree with the word of God. You are equipped entirely to hear the voice of God. Jesus said you hear. So be wise. Stop waiting for God to speak to someone else for you and listen for yourself.
There are several ways that God can speak to you besides an audible voice (not often done). Let’s explore some of those ways.
7 Steps To Interpret Your Own Christian Dreams
Ask God and the Holy Spirit to give you the interpretation or understanding of your dream. James 1:5 says “if any man lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally…”.
Know that God seldom speaks from outside of us. He can, but the Holy Spirit resides inside the believer. So, the believer needs to know that when the Holy Spirit “speaks” to you it is most often be from inside.
While listening realizes the very thoughts you are getting could be from the Holy Spirit. As you get them to write them down. Let what you are thinking to be what you are writing. They could be random thoughts; you could be reminded of a scripture or a Bible story, you could have a memory of an incident in your childhood, or a memory of a recent occurrence or conversation.
As you do, expect to sense “oh that is what you are talking about.” It is like something “clicks.” You are having a sense of knowing. This knowing is stronger than a thought. It is an inward affirmation that what you are thinking is correct.
3) Pay attention to what gives you peace.
Peace is a fruit of the spirit and can be a great help in knowing when the Holy Spirit is speaking. Peace is settling and restful.
God is not the author of confusion. If there is confusion, stop and ask God to help you go back to the thoughts that were still peaceful. Continue from there.
4) Understand and be willing to set aside your preconceived ideas of what God will say to you and let the Holy Spirit “guide you into all truth. ”
Often our perceptions of God are equal to our experiences with people of importance in our lives. If these experiences are negative, opening ourselves up to hearing God’s voice can be frightening as our trust level with Him is weak.
Remember, God is love. He defines love. When we read about love (who God is) in 1 Cor 13 we see the character of God to be patient, kind, not puffed up, not rude, seeks others well, believing all things about us, hopes all things for us and rejoices in the truth.
Knowing God’s kind of love is essential because some dreams leave us feeling frightened or disturbed. In those cases, we need to hear from God if the dream came from him or not. If not ask him to cleanse your memory of its effects.
5) Pay attention to the feelings you had during your dream.
Were they related to the event? Were they directed toward someone in the dream? Did they change? What during the dream made them change? How intense were those feelings? Do I need to pay attention to them?
Feelings are important, but they may not be as important as what was occurring that caused those feelings. Again, ask God to give you specifics about them. If you do not get any details to be willing to lay those feelings aside.
6) Be prepared to “shelve” what you do not understand.
Just because it was a dream from God does not mean that everything in that dream is from God. Let Him do the interpretation.
If He is silent about something, don’t force the issue. Do not second guess with speculation.
Part of letting God interpret is letting God tell you what matters right now. Those things that are unclear to you may be unimportant. It could be that understanding them will come at a later time in your life.
7) Bounce your interpretation off of a trusted mentor.
If you are new at this or if you are new to the things of God it is always wise to seek Godly counsel.
It has always intrigued me that in the Bible no two dreams were interpreted the same. Jacob dreamt of a ladder with angels ascending and descending into heaven (Gen 28). As a result, He “knew God was in this place.”.
His interpretation was that this was the house of God, the gate of heaven, and a very impressive place.
Joseph had two dreams that his family readily interpreted when he told them what he dreamt (Gen 37). When we examine his interpretations of Pharaoh’s baker and cupbearer dreams, the interpretation is not clear.
How did he know that the bird plucking seeds out of three stacked baskets meant death for the bread maker while three grapevines intended restoration of position for the cupbearer?
Per his own words in Gen 40:8,” do not interpretations belong to God?” Even though the interpretations came true, the real purpose of God was to get Joseph out of jail. That occurred when Pharaoh’s dreams could not be interpreted by anyone other than God.
We must be cautious in thinking that these were easily understood. Remember, Joseph did not have a manual on dream interpretation at the time. He was looking to God and God alone.
We have the benefit of seeing the result but, that does not mean that when we dream of three baskets on our head that we will be dead in three days.
What of the dreams of Ezekiel, Daniel, and Jeremiah? Over the centuries there has been much written about them, so it appears to me that God is still working with man to get an accurate and complete interpretation.
Christian dreams and dream interpretation are as unique as you are.
God knows what you need and what you need to know. He is willing to get you the information so let him.
Once you have given God the chance to interpret then go to the manuals and books for help. Once there apply the same principles as previously stated to glean further understanding.
Remember God is your friend, and the Holy Spirit is your helper. Enjoy your inner action with Him and Be blessed as He leads you to be conformed into the image of Christ.
Before You Comment
This article is about learning how to interpret your Christian dreams. It is not an offer for dream interpretation.