Sermon: Dreams and Visions (2.27.22)
“‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.
Note: This sermon is based on an article published on Belief Net.
Signs and warnings are important to pay attention to. Just about anywhere you go, you will come in contact with some kind of warning, whether in the form of symbols, lights and messages among other things. A few years ago, I was snowshoeing across Lake Pepin. About 50 years from the Minnesota shore at Central Point, there was a sign in the ice facing the MN shore. I couldn’t see what it said, but I had a pretty good guess that it was all about thin ice…so I turned around and crossed back to Stockholm safely.
Not heading these warnings can results in some pretty big consequences. The same goes for warnings from the Bible. Too often the most ignored warnings are those from God.
God sends us messages and warnings through our dreams today. The Bible tells us, “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions” (Joel 2:28). God actively speaks to us through them, and these can have scriptural meaning.
If you’re wondering if there are ways to interpret your dreams and figure out what God might be telling you, the answer is yes. God can use dreams to warn you of a situation you’re dealing with or a situation that is to come. This might be a bad situation that He knows you’re getting ready to go through or a toxic situation in your life.
While dreams can warn us of danger, it is important that we are cautious and that we not become too dependent on our dreams. Some people expect to be directed by them on a daily basis and this pattern can set you up for error and deception. You must be able to determine if your dream is of God or of the flesh. False dreams can come from our mind’s attempt to lead us away from God’s principles and precepts. In fact, false dreams can convey darkness’ own prophetic messages.
God not only opens our ears, but also seals instruction through our dreams so that we are notified of our faults, counseled in wrong direction and given instruction on best ways to move forward from these circumstances. The Bible tells us, “He may speak in their ears and terrify them with warnings” (Job 33:16). God instructs through dreams, imprints upon the soul and through lasting impressions in a similar way that a seal is used to make an imprint in wax on a document. We can learn a lot through these instructions. We just have to be open to listening to what He is saying. Second Timothy 3:16 says, “All Bible Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” That same instruction can be applied through your dreams.
Dreams can appear to be very real. Sometimes you may even wake up mad, sad or scared, yet you realize after a while that it was just a dream, and you settle down. The Bible speaks on this in Isaiah 29:8 when it says, “It will be as when a hungry man dreams – and behold, he is eating; But when he awakens, his hunger is not satisfied, or, as when a thirst man dreams – and behold, he is drinking, but when he awakens, behold, he is faint and his thirst is not quenched.” You may dream of eating or drinking, but when you awake you are still empty. That’s the reality of your dreams. It may have appeared real, but it was not. The same goes for visions; they can be so real in our minds, but not a reality; however, God may be trying to tell us something through that vision.
There are also people who wonder if nightmares or bad dreams are warnings from God. These dreams produce strong feelings of horror and fear. More likely than not our nightmares are a way for our brain to process our concerns and fears. If you’re experiencing nightmares, the best thing you can do is pray to God prior to going to sleep. This can guide you to a more restful state of sleep.
God might be warning you through a dream to change the way you hear what He is saying to you. It is common for people to be stubborn to the messages God is sending and ignore what He might be telling them. We aren’t always open to hearing God’s voice because most of the time with our busy and hectic schedules, we close our ears and don’t take the time to feel the Holy Spirit tugging at our hearts. While God can speak to us when we set aside time for prayer and meditation, He also speaks to us sometimes when it’s inconvenient, like the times when you can barely hear yourself think. But we must be prepared. During our dreams, God bypasses the shell we have surrounding our hearts that can make us dull of hearing. We then have the listening to hear what the Spirit is saying.
Our dreams are produced through our subconscious minds. As a result, they normally bypass our self-defense mechanisms and our preconceived notions about our strengths and weaknesses. We often build walls that hide who we really are. Sometimes the walls we build up keep truth and growth opportunities from getting in. God might be trying to use a particular dream to break down your walls of self-defense that block us from seeing our true potential. Our dreams go right to the truth of the matter.
Genesis 40:8 says, “’We both had dreams…but there is no one to interpret them.’ Then Joseph said to them, ‘Do not interpretations belong to God?’” All interpretation, including those of dreams comes from God. The voice of the God is speaking out to you right now through your dreams. When we understand and interpret these messages, we can live fully in His purpose.
If you’re looking to better understand the warnings God may be sending your way, pay close attention to the symbols He may be trying to reveal to you. He may be speaking to you right now and you don’t even know it. When we understand what God is saying to us, we can communicate and hear His voice more effectively.
When you think about all the ways God can speak to you, never discount the opportunities which arise in your dreams. Maybe that’s the time he doesn’t have to compete for our attention.