Sunday, February 1, 2009

What does the dream mean?

We spend one third of our life sleeping and much of that time dreaming. Do our dreams have meaning?
For just over a year each member of my family has been writing down the main features of their dreams. Often we talk through the dreams before work and school. We also pray for each other, each night, asking God to give us His dreams for our lives. As I quickly forget my dreams, I keep a MP3 type note recorder by the bed and speak my dream into it to save them until I have time to examine them in detail later in the day. I also find that by talking about the dreams in the morning, we each remember some more significant details. Questioning each other about their dreams also helps trigger the memory.

Do our dreams have meaning. We have found that God uses them to encourage us in our every day lives. As we started to take our dreams seriously, we found that we remembered more of our dreams. We have also found that God does speak clearly to us through our dreams.

To help find meaning to our dreams we have completed three short CD courses on Biblical Dream interpretation by John Paul Jackson. He also has some useful "dream interpretation cards." John Paul runs in-depth courses on hearing God's voice and dream interpretation. James and Michal Ann Goll's book "Dream Language" is a useful reference and a great introduction. The Golls are great teachers on the symbolism of dreams. Doug Addison has taken Christian dream interpretation to the streets and new age festivals. He has brought many into a relationship with Jesus as he prophesied into their lives and gave meaning to their dreams. All the above authors have led me to restudy the dreams and the other symbolism found in the Bible as a basis for interpreting our dreams today..

Below I have reproduced an article by Doug Addison.
Blessings are falling around you
Bob Lipsys

Dream Interpretation: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Kingdom

Written by Doug Addison

Is dream interpretation a New Age practice? Is it possible for Christians to tap into these stories of the night and receive deeper insight into their waking lives? Many people believe that dream interpretation belongs to the realm of the psychics and psychoanalysts. The Bible, however, reveals to us that dreams are one of the ways that God speaks to us (Job 33:15 & Number 12:6). The key to understanding a dream God’s way is that we must use a biblical basis for symbolism and the Holy Spirit as our source of revelation.

Genesis 40:8 clearly states that the interpretation of a dream comes from God. There were two people in the Bible who actually interpreted dreams - Joseph and Daniel. King Nebuchadnezzar and Pharaoh both had dreams, and no one could interpret them except Joseph and Daniel who realized that the true interpretation came only from the Spirit of God. In both instances the popular dream interpretive methods of that day could not correctly interpret a dream from God (Genesis 41:8 & Daniel 2). We have found that this is still the case today.

Most dream interpretation methods and the explanatory books offered today use a Freudian or Jungian approach. These methods are not biblical and according to them, a dream does not come from the Spirit of God, but rather from our own soul or psyche. Therefore, if you try to apply these methods to a dream already interpreted in the Bible, you will not interpret it in the way God intended. I do not recommend using dream symbol books that derive their meanings from these methods.

Jesus often taught people by using parables, which are stories with a deeper spiritual meaning. He admonished his disciples that they must be able to interpret parables and understand this type of symbolic thinking in order to uncover the mysteries of the Kingdom (Matthew 13:10-15). Dreams are symbolic and are basically night parables.

The first place to look to understand the symbols found in our dreams is the Bible. For instance, depending upon the context in the dream, a tree can represent a leader (Daniel 4:22) and a snake can mean lies and deception (Genesis 3). But what do we do when we come across a symbol in a dream that is not defined in the Bible? We must then learn to think metaphorically.

Jesus gives us some insight into how to understand things symbolically in Matthew 16:5-7: When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

They discussed this among themselves and said, “It is because we didn’t bring any bread.” Jesus was attempting to help the disciples understand things on a deeper level, but they were thinking literally and not symbolically.

“How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Most people miss the fact that Jesus was giving us a major clue to understand parables and even the symbolism found in dreams. Yeast causes things to “rise,” so the hidden meaning here is that the teaching of the Pharisees causes pride and hypocrisy (Luke 12:1).

Applying this type of metaphoric thinking to symbols that are not clearly defined in the Bible can help us unlock God’s hidden messages in our dreams. A car can represent our life or career. A jet plane can represent a church or a ministry. Being late can symbolize a warning not to miss something important. Taking a test can give us a clue that we are being tested.

After interpreting thousands of dreams for people, I have noticed that there are a few common dream themes that I hear on a regular basis. Some of the common dreams are flying, teeth falling out, falling, going to the bathroom, to name a few. I began to recognize that the meanings of these dreams show where many people are today spiritually. For instance, flying indicates a high destiny in God; teeth coming loose or falling out may mean there is a need for wisdom or advice; falling may indicate feeling out of control of a situation; going to the bathroom is the need for spiritual cleansing or flushing (forgiveness).

As we understand the meaning of dreams, we can help other people find their destiny in God. Although not all dreams are from God, people everywhere are having dreams, and many of the dreams which people share with us have been divinely given. Acts 2:17-18 reveals that prophecy, dreams, and visions will become a strategic part of God’s strategy for reaching people in the last days.

I have been leading prophetic and dream interpretation outreach events for several years. We are finding that people everywhere are very interested in knowing what their dreams mean. As they share their dreams, their walls of resistance come down and they become very open to talking more about God. Since people today consider themselves spiritual, being able to interpret their dreams accurately through the Spirit of God is proving to be an evangelistic goldmine. Dreams are one of the tools that God is releasing to us today that allows us to become more culturally relevant.

Bio: Doug Addison is the founder of InLight Connection in Los Angeles, CA and the author of the book Prophecy, Dreams, and Visions: Revealing God’s Love through Divine Encounters. Doug travels worldwide teaching on spiritual gifts and training and leading dream teams and prophetic/power evangelism outreaches.

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