In the last four years, I’ve studied a variety of materials from the top teachers on dream interpretation. Initially, it was very difficult to understand the strange and highly symbolic messages that I kept getting in my dreams. Eventually, by persistence, study and repeated asking God for His wisdom, I finally broke through my intellectual barrier and began understanding these enigmatic encryptions. Here are some tips I learned from the pros that will help you short cut your own learning process and hopefully save you some aggravations.
“It can be very intriguing when you figure out a dream’s hidden message; it’s almost like decoding a secret from God, like you are His agent.”
– Doug Addison
Let me start out by presenting my belief again that the God of the Bible gives dreams and only He can give the wisdom to decipher them. Just as in the book of Daniel, there are those who attempt to give interpretations outside of a relationship with God and a knowledge of the Bible but this proves to be very problematic. In this blog, I attempt to reveal what I’ve learned about God’s parabolic language and how it is possible to see what He is really saying. From that foundational basis, here are some of the methods I’ve learned to use.
Start With The Basics
First, step back and look at the big picture. Without getting into all the details, what did you see going on? Did you see people or just a scene? Were there any actions taking place or was it just like a snapshot of a still image? Did you hear anyone speaking? Make a few notes based on those observations and write a brief summary of what you saw and heard. Just because something is weird, do not omit those details.
Who is the dream about, you or someone else? If no one is in the dream but there is scenery or objects of some type, that means it is very likely about you. If you are involved in some actions along with other people, the dream relates to you in a larger context. If the dream is about a person you know, there is something significant about that person in context of the other details. In some cases, you may be only observing people you know, but you are not interacting in any way with them; in that case the dream is not about you but has something to do with those specific people even if their appearance is symbolic.
Now take a look at the objects you see. Don’t get too deep into any one detail yet; just start at the shallow level. Take what appears to be the primary symbols and get a basic idea of what is going on. Once you have that, start thinking about what each of the most prominent symbols may mean.
Use a Bible to search on specific details. It’s a very good idea to start with a word search of the Bible for all primary symbols (eg: wolf, frog, arrow, river, moon, night, snow, etc). There are more answers there than you might expect in those 66 books. If you don’t have a good knowledge of the Bible, start by reading the Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the parables of Jesus. These are filled with all sorts of very deep and mysterious “dark sayings” (KJV) which require God-inspired wisdom to decode.
Let’s stop for a minute and look at a perfect example in a Bible passage and see how this works. In the verse below, if you have a dream where you see any of the symbology (underlined), it means there something going on with either you or someone else concerning the (italicized). If you happen to see something like this, it is a warning that you are off track and need to correct some things!
Because of laziness the building decays,
And through idleness of hands the house leaks.
Ecclesiastes 10:18 NKJV
Check out the symbols lists found in any of the books offered by the teachers I’ve linked in my resources page. If a symbol does not appear on any of those lists, you can always use Google; I’ve had to do that myself on a few occasions.
If you have a complex dream with many different actions taking place and you’re hung up on a symbol which you have no idea what it means, consider whether the basic message changes if you completely ignore the mysterious symbol. Sometimes, God allows certain details to remain a mystery until days, weeks or months later when He decides it’s the right time to reveal the meaning.
“Here is what I have found,” says the Preacher,
“Adding one thing to the other to find out the reason,
Ecclesiastes 7:27 NKJV
Very important reminder: just like every other subject on the supernatural, this not an exercise of strictly using the intellect to figure these things out; this is a matter of the heart and the ability to discern what God is speaking to you. Here’s where you will realize that very quickly. Each of the symbols we see in our dreams can have more than one meaning and the only way we will know what is being said is by the subtle quiet voice of God. And that is something that requires time and practice.
Give It Time
Interpretation is subject to guesswork until you’ve had a few years of experience. I myself do not get everything right on the first shot. Many times I get the general idea right but there are details I can’t figure out what to do with. In other cases, I arrive at more than one interpretation and determining the correct one is impossible until a period of time passes. When you are unsure of your interpretation, just wait! Be assured, even your correct estimations are going to be missing something here and there. These dreams are like peeling an onion, you will come to a more full understanding progressively as the weeks and months pass by. Back-checking your work against actual life circumstance as they arise will produce some amazing revelations!
What about the emotional factor? Don’t get too caught up with how a dream made you feel. Some of them are not what they appear but your brain probably doesn’t know that yet. Leave that for a later step. In my experience, I will sometimes get a dream that makes me feel anxious but, later when discover the interpretation, I often realize it is not negative as I may have initially thought.
One big caution… Do not read into a dream what you want it to say. Also, don’t throw out the ones where God is correcting you with a negative dream. Often, when I’ve done something foolish on a random day, I’ve noticed God promptly sends me a dream informing me of my misstep. I never like those dreams but I repent and ask for help to transform my character flaw right away. Failing to do that will shut you off from hearing God again.
Then He opens the ears of men,
And seals their instruction.
In order to turn man from his deed,
And conceal pride from man,
Job 33:16-17 NKJV
For a more in-depth look at this topic, I highly encourage reading and watching the materials from the top experts in Bible-based interpretation who I have linked in my resources page. Personally, I would start with everything that Doug Addison has to offer. He has excellent video training, live webinars every month and several books on this topic. His writing style cuts out the complications and just makes it all easier to understand. Many of the above tips here in this post actually came from his books and audio/video resources. As I’ve been saying in many of my recent posts, if you would like personal help with interpreting your dreams, go to my Dreams & Prophetic page and contact me that way. My aim is to help you understand these for yourself and discover what the God of the universe and all creation has to say to you personally!
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