Understanding Your Dreams: Finding the Focus


“‘We both had dreams,’ they answered, ‘but there is no one to interpret them.’ Then Joseph said to them, ‘Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams’” (Gen. 40:8, NIV).

Thank You Jesus for a new computer! Now we can continue with our series on God’s night-time communication. 😊 Today we continue unpacking the “how” of dream interpretation. If you are just now joining us, you can find the beginning of this series here.

20) Don’t include every detail from your dream in your list of symbols. At least not initially. If you do so, you may become bogged down, lost in the forest so to speak. What you need is to get a sense of the big picture, as opposed to studying the bark on every tree. As you start out on the process of seeking the interpretation, only include the imagery from your dream that sticks out the most. Remember, each image is a symbol. Each symbol means something. However, only a few symbols will be necessary to grasping the main point that Holy Spirit is making. Once He shows you what those main symbols are, you are out to a great start.

This is similar to the concept of writing an outline for a paper. You first need to identify the central concepts. Later on, you can zero in on smaller details and specifics, fleshing out the fuller meaning of each part of your dream. However, if you get ahead of yourself in this process, it will be much harder to find the dream’s focus. Find the focus, or the main point, first. You should be able to sum up Holy Spirit’s message in just one or two sentences.

21) Think about what each symbol means to you personally. Holy Spirit will pull from your own life experience and your own heart language as He crafts your dreams. When Jesus used parables to teach spiritual lessons to the crowds, He chose imagery familiar to them. He wanted them to be able to relate to what He was describing, so He spoke of harvests, rulers, servants, and sheep; all components of their daily living. He will do the same for you in the night parables that He imparts to you as you sleep. He wants to make them very relatable for you.

Here are some examples. For someone who loves to knit or weave, He might use yarn and needles as a symbol of His artful work in their life. A mail carrier might see letters and packages often in his/her dreams. An athlete might dream of marathons or sports matches, each one with an important message from God incorporated into the plot.

So, contemplate the main pictures that jump out to you as you reflect on your dream. Do they have a unique meaning to you as an individual?

23) Avoid linear thinking as you seek God for the interpretation. Dream language is not logical nor categorical. The components of your dream will not fit into neat boxes. Holy Spirit has no problem mixing metaphors in seemingly bizarre ways. His aim is more to communicate a strong overall impression through a picture, than to assign a specific, systematic meaning to every little facet of that picture.

This is why we need a spirit of revelation from God, to be able to decode His mysterious night messages. “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit” (1 Cor. 2:14, NIV). Truly, the enigmatic pictures God uses in His dream concoctions often may seem like foolishness if we approach them from a natural perspective; that of our own human understanding. We can only discern their true meaning through the Spirit that God has given to live inside of us.

The preceding verse sums up dream interpretation nicely: “This is what we spak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words” (1 Cor. 2:13, NIV). Human wisdom will not get us anywhere truly meaningful as we contemplate our dreams. The wonderful news is, God gives His Spirit without measure. As we ask Him to explain His spiritual realities to us, His Spirit-taught words will begin to flow through our spirits and illuminate our understanding with real messages from Heaven!

Stay tuned tomorrow for more specifics on understanding dream symbols!


How comfortable are you with embracing the non-linear symbolism that appears in your dreams?


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