Understanding Dreams and Visions (Part 1)

I am really excited about starting this new year. I believe God is going to do something powerful during this fast if we seek Him with all our hearts. God wants to reveal Himself to us in a way that will bring radical transformation to our lives. We need to make every effort to hear God clearly throughout this fast. We do this through silencing outside distractions and being still in His presence. We need to lay everything at the foot of the cross that is weighing us down and rest in the promises of the Word. I believe God wants to speak to us through dreams and visions this year. If we commit to stewarding these dreams and writing them down, God will give us a deeper revelation of who He is and how He is working in our lives.

I. What the Word says about dreams and visions

Acts 2:17: ‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams.

God has already poured out His Spirit and continues to do so. This means that we will see these other things as well. Sons and Daughters will prophesy. It also says that God will speak to us through dreams and visions.

In the Bible, the words dream and vision are used almost interchangeably. In Job it says: “In a dream, a vision of the night, when sound sleep falls on men...” (Job 33:15). Again, in Isaiah, the same phrase is used: it “will be like a dream, a vision of the night” (Isaiah 29:7). Scripture also says that “the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a night vision,” and later, “I kept looking in the night visions...” (Daniel 2:19; 7:13).

God speaking through dreams and visions is throughout the entire Bible. In fact about a third of the Bible has some kind of reverence to God speaking to people in dreams and vision. That is equivalent to the amount of words written in the New Testament…

Dreams are a gateway to the spirit realm where God lives. They are regular and reliable. They are accessible and available to everyone every night, and they provide a meaningful, powerful way to hear from Heaven and connect to the very heart of God…

By seeing and agreeing with the meaning of our night visions, we help bring about their messages in waking life…

Vision is a bridge that helps move the Kingdom of Heaven from the spiritual side of the realm over to the tangible side of it.

Mark Virkler, Hearing God Through Your Dreams: Understanding the Language God Speaks at Night

Here are some verses about God speaking to us in the night:

Numbers 12:6: “If there were prophets among you, I, the Lord, would reveal myself in visions. I would speak to them in dreams.

God spoke to His prophets through dreams and visions.

Hosea 12:10: I sent my prophets to warn you with many visions and parables.”

Psalm 119:148 (NKJV): My eyes are awake through the night watches, That I may meditate on Your word.

My eyes are awake is referring to dreaming.

Psalm 16:7: I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me.

God instructs or councils us through dreams.

Song of Solomon 5:2: I slept, but my heart was awake, when I heard my lover knocking and calling:

We need to desire and ask God to speak to us in our sleep.

Why would we not want God to speak to us through dreams? We spend a third of our lives sleeping. We get out of the natural and get into the supernatural through hearing from God in our dreams.

II. Learning from Joseph’s dream

Genesis 37:5-11: “Listen to this dream,” he said. “We were out in the field, tying up bundles of grain. Suddenly my bundle stood up, and your bundles all gathered around and bowed low before mine!” His brothers responded, “So you think you will be our king, do you? Do you actually think you will reign over us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dreams and the way he talked about them. Soon Joseph had another dream, and again he told his brothers about it. “Listen, I have had another dream,” he said. “The sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed low before me!” This time he told the dream to his father as well as to his brothers, but his father scolded him. “What kind of dream is that?” he asked. “Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow to the ground before you?” But while his brothers were jealous of Joseph, his father wondered what the dreams meant.

Joseph obviously didn’t have a clear picture of what his dream actually meant. Yes, he would ultimately be in a leadership position over his family, but God had a purpose for putting him in that position.

Joseph had many hard lessons in order to prepare him for what God had called him to do. He was sold into slavery by his brothers. He was falsely accused of rape by Potiphar's wife and thrown into prison. Yet he remained faithful to God and grew in godly character.

The King’s cup bearer and baker both had dreams while in prison that did not sit well with them. Joseph could tell something was bothering them and tried to encourage them.

Genesis 40:8: And they replied, “We both had dreams last night, but no one can tell us what they mean.” “Interpreting dreams is God’s business,” Joseph replied. “Go ahead and tell me your dreams.”

Joseph knew God that was the only one who could interpret their dreams. He was confident that the Lord would help him interpret their dreams and His interpretations were correct.

We need to ask God to give us the interpretations of our dreams.

Genesis 41:15-16: Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream last night, and no one here can tell me what it means. But I have heard that when you hear about a dream you can interpret it.” “It is beyond my power to do this,” Joseph replied. “But God can tell you what it means and set you at ease.”

We see a common theme with the people that had dreams. They bothered them and stuck with them.

We again see Joseph looking to God for the interpretation of the dream. Not only did God give Joseph the interpretation. He gave him the wisdom for what Pharaoh needed to do in order to lead his people through the upcoming famine.

God fulfilled Joseph’s dream by placing him as second in command over Egypt.

Genesis 45:5-8: But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. This famine that has ravaged the land for two years will last five more years, and there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors. So it was God who sent me here, not you! And he is the one who made me an adviser to Pharaoh—the manager of his entire palace and the governor of all Egypt.

Joseph never anticipated his dream being fulfilled this way, but He clearly saw this was all orchestrated by God. God put him in a position to save his family as well as many other lives.

We should learn from Joseph and trust God to fulfill the dreams and visions that He gives for our lives.

We need to go through these next twenty-one days and expect God to speak to us through our dreams and visions. We need to steward these dreams well and ask God to give us an understanding and a revelation of what we are dreaming. I believe these dreams will have a significant impact on our lives and on our city. We start by committing to get at least seven or eight hours of sleep every night. We need to ask God to give us dreams every night and then put a pen and paper by our beds and record what we dream.

Let’s see what God does!