“I lay down in sleep, yet woke in safety, for the Lord was watching over me.” (NLT)
Did you know that according to research, during our deepest sleep, adults probably dream 4-6 times a night. Which is crazy because some nights I don’t even realize I’ve been dreaming.
But then there are other nights that I have a dream so vivid that in the morning I think the dream was real. And some of these I wouldn’t call a dream, they’re more like nightmares. In these dreams/nightmares I do things I don’t want to do and I see things I don’t want to see.
After the dream I wake up with a sense of foreboding and fear, questioning myself, was that real? Is God trying to tell me something or warn me?
A group of us were talking about this just the other day and it seems we’ve all had these same kinds of dreams. Ones we don’t want to give words to because secretly we fear they might come true.
Weird isn’t it? Can you relate?
Since we know that God can talk to us in our dreams, how can we be sure these scary ones aren’t a sign or a warning from Him?
To answer my question I went back to the source of all knowledge…God, and His Word.
As I was studying, I noticed a couple of important facts.
Fact number 1. God never gave a dream without an interpretation or an interpreter. Here are just a few examples.
In Daniel 2:1 God gave a dream to Nebuchadnezzar that troubled him. And God provided Daniel as an interpreter.
Matthew 1:20, 21 tells us about the dream Joseph had in which an angel told him his fiancée, Mary, was pregnant by the Holy Spirit and not by man.
Again Joseph had a dream where he was directed by an angel to take his son and Mary to Egypt to protect them from Herod who was seeking to kill Jesus. Matthew 2:13.
No doubt the dream was a nightmare but because it was from God there were specific directions with it.
2 Timothy 1:7 reminds us, “God did not give us a Spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.”
Fact 2. It isn’t God’s will for us to live in fear. So it doesn’t make sense that God would want to scare us with dreams and nightmares.
God is love and there is no fear in love. Perfect love casts out fear. (1John 4:18)
So where do these scary dreams come from?
Two sources. One, is our subconscious. We are no doubt fearfully and wonderfully made. God made our brains in such a way to work out our problems through our dreams at night. Most of the time are brains work behind the scene and we don’t remember what went on while we were sleeping.
But,… there’s always a “but” isn’t there? But for everything good God has made there is always counterfeit. Satan likes to sneak in where he can and drive fear into our lives by putting in doubt. I suspect that’s what he does with us concerning our dreams.
Bottom line, don’t freak out over your dreams. If God intends them as a sign, He will surely give you a “sign reader”.
And for those, oh so real nightmares, research also says you can change them, by speaking out in your nightmare and changing the outcome by and saying, “Hey this is just a bad dream.” I know, it sounds ridiculous but I’ve known people to do it. I do hear it takes practice.
Now that you’re armed with the right information, enjoy a good night’s sleep and dream on baby dream on!