As I mentioned in my last post, dreams can come from a variety of sources, and it is extremely important to know what that source is.  And as I also mentioned, the best tool is intimate, extensive knowledge of God and His ways.  And another very important (and often overlooked) tool is a Holy Spirit gift that Paul mentions — the discernment of spirits: “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:  for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit…to another discerning of spirits…”(1 Cor 12:7,10)

And Paul encouraged people to “earnestly desire” and seek after spiritual gifts.  So…go for it!  “You do not have because you do not ask God. (James 4:4)”

But dude, even after you’re convinced that it’s a dream from God, you’re not all the way there.  There are actually three steps to successfully receiving revelation from God:

  1. Inspiration (actually experiencing the revelation)
  2. Interpretation (understanding what the dream actually means)
  3. Application (actually responding to the leading of the Spirit concerning the meaning/directive of the dream)

So…#1…inspiration.  OK, you got what you think is a dream from God.  But what does it mean?  Some revelation is meant to be taken literally and some is symbolic (in a sense like parables).

Some dreams are so straight-forward that they interpret themselves.  I remember one time a security guard at a local grocery store told me about a dream he had had recently.  He said, “In my dream, God is calling me to preach the Gospel, but the devil is trying to get me to smoke marijuana all the time instead.”  Then he said, “What do you thing that dream means?!”  (Hahaha!  Sometimes, even when the revelation is simple and straight-forward, we don’t “get it” because we really don’t want to.)

But some dreams involve symbolic elements.  One time, I had this dream:  “I am a business man and I fill out a requisition for a camel.”  That was it.  And when I woke up, I began praying about the meaning of the dream, and this is what the Holy Spirit told me:  “Camels are animals that are able to carry people and goods long distances over arid terrain, not needing much water.  Your business is about to go through a dry season, but don’t lose hope, because I have provided a “camel” (grace from God) and this camel will successfully carry you through the dry season until things start flowing again.”

And of course, the application of the dream is of ultimate importance.  Without an obedient, faithful response, the grace that God intended by giving the revelation is lost.  In the security guard’s case, he needed to stop smoking pot (duh!) and take steps towards becoming a lay or full-time minister.  In my case, I needed to keep my eyes on God’s encouraging promise of provision, even when things got a bit dry, business-wise.  (Which, by His grace, I did.)

So…what has God been saying to you?  Do you believe that God still speaks today?  Have you received dreams from Him?  And if so, what are you doing about it?

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