Desiree Cole offers some tips for making sense of the confusing imagery in your dreams.
Sometimes the only way God could get through to people in the Bible was by speaking through their dreams. What’s amazing is that He could still be communicating this way today!
But how do you make sense of your dreams when the imagery is puzzling or random? Here are some tips for making sense of your most confusing dreams.
Acknowledge the Dream
First things first, acknowledge that the dream could be a message from God.
“It’s important to create a culture of receiving revelation,” says James W. Goll, a minister and best-selling author of Dream Language: The Prophetic Power of Dreams, Revelations and the Spirit of Wisdom. “Tell God that you acknowledge the dream and want to receive what he’s showing you. A lot of people just want to receive the answer to a dream, but they don’t acknowledge it. You need to believe that dreams are a way God still speaks.”
Write Things Down
The more dreams you record, the more you’ll find common themes, symbols and people who keep popping up night after night. Think of these commonalities as clues to unlocking your dreams.
Of course, dreams can disappear minutes after waking, so be sure to write them down right away. It may seem like a daunting task—especially if you need to get ready for work in the morning! But your dreams don’t have to be recorded with pen and paper. Some people find it easier to type notes on their cell phone in a notes app or even to email themselves. You’ll be amazed at what you remember as you write. Even if you start out with random sentences from the dream, the rest has a way of flowing out.
Don’t stress if you can’t remember every detail. God already knows the details you’ll retain from a dream. In fact, sometimes a few key things are all you’re meant to remember. Other information that slips through the cracks might just be a deposit from God that will resurface later (sometimes it might feel like déjà vu!).
Look for Biblical Symbolism
God is symbolically consistent throughout the Bible. He could be using certain objects, numbers or colors to communicate with you about a certain matter. You can take a look at our slideshow of common spiritual dream symbols here for insight. There are also several spiritual dictionaries available that can help you connect the dots. But it’s important to remember that dreams are unique. The symbol God uses to speak to you might not even show up in a dictionary.
“God’s language is personal to every individual,” says Joy Parrott, a minister and author of Parables in the Night Season. “He knows how we speak on a daily basis. He knows how we associate feelings towards things.”
Pay Attention to People
Sometimes God will place people in your dreams that you haven’t seen in years or that you don’t know that well. There’s a very good reason for that.
“Not everyone in your dreams is the actual character portrayed,” Parrott writes in Parables in the Night Season. “God will often use a person to represent someone else or to give you some insight to what He is saying to you.”
That’s why it can be useful to look up the meaning behind the name of the person who appears in your dream. That could be a clue to what the dream is actually about.
Ask for Guidance
God always gave confirmation to people in the Bible, especially after a dream. He won’t leave you hanging. So if you still don’t have answers to a dream after you’ve written it down or analyzed its symbols, there’s only one thing left to do—pray about it.
“Ask God to confirm your interpretation,” Goll says. “He’ll speak the message to you more than one time, through different ways, and maybe even through another person. He confirms things in twos or threes in the Bible, so he’ll do it the same with dreams. Maybe it won’t be the same dream, but the same essence or the same meaning.”
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