What is in our dreams and what do they mean?
Our dreams can be very powerful messages or empty messages. Our dreams can be a powerful ground for communication with God or afflictions from adversaries. I will use a few scriptural verses to answer this dualistic question. Our dreams could even be a ground for spiritual warfare. There is no explicit indication of these facts but with further examination and with the direction from the Holy Spirit, I will endeavor to answer the most critical aspects that relate to the impact our dreams have on us, whilst focusing on the biblical foundation, the cause, and common purposes or reasons why we dream.
A dream is defined (based on spiritual principles) in Job 33:15, “In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed;”. At first glance, it may not make clear sense as to its definition but there are several things pointed out within this verse. Firstly, a dream is a vision of the night. Secondly, the bible depicts a dream, as that which occurs when a man falls into deep sleep or while a man is asleep.
The Cause of a Dream
In the eyes of the natural and even in psychology/science, there is no solid basis for understanding the cause of dreams or why they occur. Studies in science have labeled contributors of dreams to brain activity, through perception and thoughts, amongst others (see Feud’s theory and Jung’s theory) but those simply do not suffice explaining the supernatural; thus, we come back to the wisdom of God. The bible explains a cause of dreams in Ecclesiastes 5:3 (NIV) –‘’A dream comes when there are many cares, and many words mark the speech of a fool’’. If you didn’t understand that, KJV reads ‘‘for a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words’’ (Ecclesiastes 5:3). Following the explicit words of KJV, the multitude of business will cause dreams. Some may read those words and focus on the multitude of physical and emotional business or a multitude of mental business but fail to recognize that those businesses that occur in the physical originate from the spiritual realm; although this is often thought of as the physical imposing on the spiritual—which is wrong. ‘’For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh’’ (2 Corinthians 10: 3). And Verse 7 of the same chapter goes on to say ‘’Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? if any man trust to himself that he is Christ’s, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ’s, even so are we Christ’s.’’ Verse 15 of the same chapter then literally encapsulates the true meaning comparing physical and spiritual through words such as ‘’Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men’s labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly’’. Thus, businesses in the spiritual realm contribute to the physical; and these businesses can be seen to contribute to our dreams and the things we see when we fall asleep. Most importantly, everything happens for a reason (Ecclesiastes 3:1) (Also consider Romans 8:28; Genesis 50:20).
Following the above points, it is then salient to enquire on the reality of our dreams. As aforementioned, dreams can act as a medium or they can be empty to the man who does not believe. ‘’It shall even be as when an hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite: so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against mount Zion’’ (Isaiah 29:8). Additionally, ‘’for in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God” (Ecclesiastes 5:7, KJV). This means, some of our dreams may not mean spiritual businesses but are divers vanities; but we should fear God. The purpose of dreams can range from seeing that which is to come, has come to pass or is currently occurring. In the Old Testament, God used dreams as a medium to speak to his people; and he is still doing that today. However, spiritually, dreams can serve as a medium for a revelation from God and for those who are not in Christ, can be used as a medium of affliction by the devil.
Here is a good example of the point I am trying to make. I once experienced two different scenarios in my dreams. Let’s assume there are two scenarios to consider.
In the first, I ate something that was served to me and it was very bitter and too salty that I couldn’t eat it. Mind you, at the time I had this dream I was supposed to be fasting. I didn’t eat the rest of the food after I had a taste and couldn’t even swallow what was in my mouth due to the taste. There were also many people around me—all of them were eating the same kind of food I just couldn’t swallow.
I had another dream after I had completed my fasting and in this dream, I ate something I had purchased and it tasted very good. In fact, in my dream I commended (within me) the makers of the product I was eating. In this scenario, I was alone, not at a table, when I ate the food. However, this does not mean that this dream was a good dream either.
But when both are compared, a clear interpretation could mean that the former was not a good food that was served to me; and spiritually, I was alert to know that I just couldn’t eat the food. However, even at the time I knew that there was nothing the devil could do to afflict me because I have already overcomed him. With Christ in me, I am indeed a neutralizer. It is important that we take note of such dreams and are spiritually sensitive.