“But test everything. Keep what is good, and stay away from everything that is evil” (1 Thess. 5:21-22, NCV).
Today we finish up our discussion of the spiritual warfare we sometimes experience during sleep. Even though attacks on our dreams can be profoundly disturbing, there is abundant hope in Jesus. He always has a redemptive solution for every one of our needs! Including the very real need for safe, peaceful sleep.
(This is our very last installment for this list of pointers for processing dreams. If you are just joining us, you can find the beginning here.)
39) Ask God for discernment. Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether the dream we had was an attack. We need the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, to reveal the truth to us about it. I was recently listening to Jim Goll share about an encounter he had with a spiritual being. This spirit had a certain mysterious attractive quality about it, but he wasn’t sure whether it was good or not. So he asked it the biblical question, “Do you believe that Jesus Christ came in the flesh?” (1 John 4:2-3). It could not answer, and quickly fizzled away, disappearing from sight. Obviously, that spirit was from the enemy.
You have the same Holy Spirit that Jim Goll does. The Bible passage where he learned that question he used, 1 John 4, tells us to “test the spirits” (v. 1). I’m so encouraged by this verse. It means that you and I can successfully, by His Spirit, do just that. Not only can we, but we have the biblical responsibility to do so. If your spirit is unsure of the source of your dream, ask the Lord for discernment, and you shall receive.
40) Night terrors may reflect a need for healing and/or deliverance. If we have major unresolved vulnerabilities in our souls and spirits, this can sometimes be an opening for attacks on our dreams. This could include childhood traumas, abuse, or any number of emotional wounds. It could take the shape of unforgiveness, past involvement in the occult, or other practices forbidden in the Word of God.
Generational bondage could be another open door for these kinds of upsetting dreams. Sometimes there are issues in our family lines that need breaking off, even if we weren’t directly involved in what happened. If you suspect that any of the above is a reason for warfare happening as you sleep, I strongly encourage you to seek out a solid Spirit-filled Christian ministry with a well-known reputation for helping people with these kinds of problems. There is freedom and healing available in Jesus!
41) A troubling dream often can mean that God is granting you victory. I’ll share with you an example from my own life. I dreamed some time ago that the end of the world had come. I was in a line of the redeemed, headed into heaven. I noticed in the dream that a loved one of mine was not in the line. He had not made it. He wouldn’t be entering paradise with us.
It would be easy to be dismayed by such a dream, wouldn’t it? However, Holy Spirit has trained me not to take dreams like that as irreversible announcements of doom. On the contrary, I have learned that this kind of dream is actually an invitation to partner with Him in prayer. I didn’t take this dream as a prediction of my relative’s eternal damnation, but rather as a summons to be a part of Holy Spirit’s successful intercession for his salvation. I believe he will make it!
I have come to view dreams that feel sad or disturbing as the opposite of what they seem; I take them as precious promises from God. Know this: if He is showing you the problem, it’s because He is putting in your hands the solution. As you yield to His beckoning and allow Him to pray through you, you are becoming His vessel of redemption. Through your surrender, He will bring forth beautiful change in the lives of the people you love.
With these points, we come to the end of the list that’s been building over the last few weeks. Don’t miss the very last post for this series on Monday, which will be a surprise bonus!
Do you have any insights to share about nightmares and bad dreams? I love to hear from you!
10 thoughts on “Understanding Your Dreams: More on Nighttime Warfare”
Jennifer, I have intentionally not responded to your series of insights on dreams. I have noticed a minimal response on this blog concerning this topic. I am not certain what this means ! Very possibly, you have touched on a mystery that most do not consider. Dreams are of great interest in the natural world and people continue to attach explanations from the flesh. My most common dreams that I recall are not pleasant at all and have not given me any form of rest. Now that I have read what you are speaking of, I will pursue more fervently, the Spirit for insight and wisdom as to the source of and reason for these ungodly experiences. Thinking my health and medication, or even my diet is influencing these thoughts, I have sought out doctors for help. My next attempt has been to prioritize my time before falling asleep and meditate on the Word and pray more diligently. I will continue in this and your recommendations. In Christ Jesus I give you thanks. Len W.
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It’s always a blessing to hear from you, my brother. I had the same thought, that probably this is a subject that not many people have given as much thought to, and thus don’t have as much in mind to add in the way of comments. But it didn’t bother me at all, as I knew strongly that Holy Spirit was leading me throughout this series, and I trust everything to Him. I pray that He continues to give you insights as you seek His beautiful heart in this area. He loves you so very much!!
I’ve enjoyed your thoughts over this series of posts. I rarely dream anymore at night, but if you were to ask my family, I am a dreamer. I reminded of how God speaks to us in different ways and how important it is to be listening. His voice is always there no matter what form it takes…
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Yes!! Isn’t that such an absolutely beautiful truth? That He always, always is speaking to us in so many wonderful ways? Thank you, Greg, it’s a joy to hear from you!
I love your reference to 1 John 4, Test the spirits…I hadn’t thought of the meaning of that verse in that way Jim Goll used it. I enjoyed your series, thank you!
You are truly welcome, Stephanie! My surprise post on Monday is going to be per your inspiration/suggestion! For which I am truly grateful ❤ 🙂
Great! Thank you. I’m sure it will be great.
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Jennifer, I have just loved this series on understanding our dreams. So thankful you obeyed Holy Spirit and shared. I believe that there is so much wrong information floating around out there. Some of it is well intentioned but deeped misinterpreted by New Age type thinking. The Creator of our very beings AND our ability to dream is certainly the source we look to for understanding.
The examples you’ve shared here of testing the spirits and of your own dream concerning your loved one are fascinating! You’re absolutely right, our initial reaction may not be the real meaning at all. God may be prompting us to pray into the situation and be His might intercessors on someone’s behalf.
The troubling dreams are one I know all too well. With a lot of abuse and pain in my past, this kind of torment became very familiar to me. I noticed as Holy Spirit began to do a deep work in my heart, the dreams would be incredibly intense. Since my memories didn’t begin until I was around 12 years of age, I didn’t really know what happened to me for all of those years. I still don’t. What I do know is that our God knows and it is His desire to always heal, save and deliver us from the wounds of our pasts!
Awesome awesome posts, my friend. You are such a blessing. I’ve shared and hope others will come and learn too! ♥ God bless you sweet Jennifer. You are loved!
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Holly, I’m so grateful for your sharing. I’m also so deeply sorry for what you suffered. I feel Jesus’ deep sadness about your pain, reading your words. I’m so proud of you for allowing Him to do such a deep work in your heart. I know that has taken so much courage. His heart overflows with love for you and pride in who you are!
Thank you so very, very much for your encouraging words about my series, it really means so much. Sending you so much love today and a big hug in spirit! ❤ 🙂
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