Most people struggle to hear from God. Most people have difficulty finding time to still and quiet out hearts. We struggle to give God our full attention. We confuse God’s still small voice with our own.
I think that’s part of the reason why God loves to speak to us in dreams.
No TV blaring, no kids screaming, no kettles whistling.
In dreams he can finally get our unrivalled attention. He can speak without the distractions of daily life. He can touch us at the deepest level of ourselves.
And we get to sleep while he’s at it.
I remember when I had my first God-dream. I was amazed how it answered the direct question of my heart… how it addressed my life situation in such a profoundly creative, yet direct way.
But once I’d worked out the dream was from God, I wondered if this experience was ‘normal’. No-one I knew had heard from God this way. No pastor I’d heard had preached about it. No-one talked about it in the church foyer. In fact whenever I’d heard someone talk about dreams, it was more understood to be about having a godly sense of purpose for your life.
Then I started reading my Bible.
When it spoke of Joseph having a dream of promotion and leadership (Genesis 37:5-11), it wasn’t about his 10-year plan. When it told of God’s plan for a covenant relationship with Abraham (Genesis 15:7-20), it wasn’t about having godly purpose. When it recounted an invitation to wisdom for Solomon, it wasn’t a flash of brilliance (1 Kings 3:5-15). Joseph and Abraham and Jacob all literally fell asleep and had a dream. God’s voice came to them in picture language. They woke up, responded to it and their lives were changed as a result.
It’s the way God himself describes his communication methods: “I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions, I speak to them in dreams.” (Numbers 12:6) In fact, one third of the Bible comes to us in the form of a dream.1
And it wasn’t just for the Bible characters. It wasn’t just for Abraham, Joseph, Paul, Phillip and Peter. It was for all who had the Spirit, young and old, make and female (Acts 2:17) and all who were ‘afar off’ (Acts 2:39).
Yes it requires some discernment; yes it requires some practice in interpreting. Just like any relationship, the skills of communication take time and effort.
But hearing God’s voice is worth it.
As it’s been said before, dreams are “God’s forgotten language”.2 It’s a legitimate, godly and (dare I say?) normal way to have a God-conversation. To think otherwise is to miss out.
1. Sandford, John Loren. Elijah Among Us. US: Chosen Books, 2002, p.163
2. Sanford, John A. Dreams: God’s Forgotten Language. US: Harper One, 1989
What’s been your experience with God-dreams? Is it considered a normal mode of God’s communication in your church community? Leave a comment below.
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