Here’s a very common type of dream that can easily get you tripped up if you get the interpretation wrong. I’ve been having a rather unusual new series of dreams in the last few months that show me going back to a previous career of mine. There have been so many of these that I started getting confused about what was going on.
Because I deal so much with finding your life calling and purpose in your dreams at night on this website, these types of dreams are a critical topic because they get straight to the bullseye of God’s step by step instructions that you need in order to reach His intended destiny for your life.
If you have not had dreams like what I’ll be describing today, I can almost guarantee that you will at some point. But as you’ll see, this blog could be a huge relief to you if your dreams (like mine) are initially very confusing and even contradictory to what you believe you should be doing now.
And in order to properly set the stage for this discussion, I need to give a bit of personal history about my own past jobs and most recent assignment that God has given me. Here we go…
Personal Career Illustration
For the sake of context, I previously had a “normal career” for about 20 years where I was in the US military (active and reserve status) until God used circumstances to push me out and into a training phase for my real life calling. But during those 20 years, I saw how God orchestrated all my assignments in ways that many times required me to “walk by faith”. Sometimes this was easy and sometimes not at all.
Overall however, the structure of the military brought with it a huge support system. Every time I moved to a new duty station, I had (mostly) very little to be concerned with. I knew what my paycheck would be, I had access to all health / medical services, there was temporary and permanent housing available, I knew what my job was going to be and generally what the conditions would be like. And… a long list of every other kind of basic need you could imagine, all was readily accessible. That’s the nice thing about being in the military.
But, all that ended when God decided to abruptly push me into my next phase of life. The short version is that when God decided it was my time to move on, He would not allow me to have another “normal job / career” of any kind. That required me to walk away from everything I had become familiar with and live completely by faith. Not what I was planning on and not what I was prepared for.
And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.Mark 10:24-25 (KJV)
I’d love to tell the details of what it was like to experience having to give up almost everything to follow God’s plan but it could easily take up the length of an entire book. Only a very few of my closest friends know what that was really like. Suffice it to say that this is NOT at all what modern day churches or ministry training schools follow or just about anything you find in the western / American church realm.
I’d rather skip the commentary for now but this is why you almost never see any serious miracles in most churches. Failure to go through God’s ancient training process means you cannot access the highest of what He would otherwise be willing to give those who ask. You can find out all about why God would require such a process in the Kingdom of God book 1 by David E. Taylor (see image link at the bottom of this blog).
Process Of Elimination
So you’re probably wondering now what’s that got to do with dreams of returning to former careers and all that, right? Well, in my case, (short version) literally returning to my former military career is on the order of absurd. Could God do that? Sure, of course. But you’ll see here why a very different interpretation makes much more sense and why I chose to use that as an introduction to dreams you may get of returning to a previous job or career.
Sometimes the best way to interpret dreams is to use a process of elimination. When you’re able to figure out what a dream does NOT mean, then you can start narrowing it down to what it DOES mean. This is something I’ve told many who email me – use process of elimination when you need to. It is a perfectly valid interpretation key and I’ve used it many times.
Dreams of being in the military are more common than you may realize. If you’ve had these, it is probably a bit confusing if you’ve never been in the military and do not believe you are supposed to. So what can they mean if they are not literal? Again, process of elimination and a logical walk through of the possibilities is required.
In my case again, since my former career was in the military, this is a really easy symbol for me to interpret. Dreams of the military can be symbolic of various aspects of God’s kingdom. Why? How does the Kingdom of God relate to military service?? Very easy answer!!
In the USA where I live, the military is the only organization that resembles a kingdom structure. A kingdom has authority, rank, people promoted to various positions, strict rules and protocols that you must obey and a culture that you must fit in with. God’s kingdom is in many ways very much the same as being in the military. If all you’re familiar with is modern day church, everything I just said is going to sound like I just arrived here from a far away planet. And that is sad because it just shows how out of order the modern day church is.
Most Americans or westerners like myself do not understand God’s kingdom system because we do not live under a kingdom government in the natural sense. Our western democracy is NOT at all similar to a kingdom. So if you see yourself in a military context in a dream (and you are not literally in the military) then it is very likely God’s way of speaking to you about the characteristics of His kingdom. (Again, see book linked at bottom).
For any dreams of being in the military, you can find out more at the links below. For those branches of service or specific duty positions not listed below (Navy, Marines, Special Ops, etc), start with these basic descriptions and modify them according to the characteristics of each of those types I’ve just mentioned.
Return = Restore
After considering all my dreams in last few months about “returning to the military”, a few ideas surfaced. Remember what I said about how God required me to give up everything I formerly had while I was a military officer. This is the biggest clue to what my strange series of dreams means.
When I left my former career, everything I once knew came to an abrupt halt. My social status, my ability to provide for myself, a recognized place in society, everything most people take for granted was removed from me – and that was God’s plan for my last few years due to training for my next bigger assignment in life.
So, because returning to my former career is practically and logically not reasonable, it represents God restoring to me everything I had to give up or lost in the last 5+ years. If you really knew what those last years have been like, you’d know why I’ve counted the days (by the thousands) for that time to end.
The good news however, when you do what I and a few of my friends did, you will be given back literally according to the words of Jesus here…
So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life.Mark 10:29-30 (NKJV)
What I’ve learned these last 5+ years is that when you follow God’s ancient training system exactly as in the Bible, you WILL get results that are also seen in the Bible. As many dreams as I have of “returning to the military”, I also have an equally large number of dreams showing what is coming because of the price I’ve paid these last 5 years. And when this happens, be sure I will post the whole thing right here.
When you see the proof in a real life example that God’s ancient process is still 100% valid today, you might hopefully get inspired to do the same. Like I’ve said before, one person’s testimony becomes another’s prophecy. This website is very much a documentation for that exact reason.
Past Jobs – Start With The Basic Meaning
So let’s get back on track here and I’ll explain the standard symbolic meanings for a dream that shows you returning to a previous job. Basically speaking, any former job you had that appears in a dream can simply be a reference to your current “job” or assignment of any form that God has given you now.
If you are not in a normal job at this time but you see yourself in your previous job, pay attention to what is going on there. Are you late? Are you not doing your work on time? Are you getting a promotion?
These can all be symbols where God is using the past experience as a convenient reference to speak about the present. It does not necessarily mean you have to go back to that former job. Just like my “returning to the military” dreams!
Questions to ask yourself as a diagnostic – what are you doing now that can be considered your “job” or assignment?
Go back to my previous blog on school dreams where I explained a research project God gave me using a WWII British airplane. This had nothing to do with literally going back to a university! In the same way, find out what God is saying to you by using your past as a symbol for right now (or perhaps something He is bringing back to you).
Past coworkers – anyone from your past that you see in a dream can have a variety of meanings. It could be literally something about those people or it could be something symbolic about the position they held (boss, co-worker, employee of yours, etc). Consider what they did or what they meant to you or maybe something funny you remember about them and also, don’t forget to look up the meaning of their name (as I wrote in this very popular blog…
The context of what you see them doing in the dream is the clue to what they mean in that situation. Just head’s up, it can be a very abstract meaning that goes beyond the simplest of interpretations.
ID Cards – Various Types
Identification cards – in the most general sense, an ID card represents everything about your personal identity. This is what I went on at length to explain above. In a few of my dreams, I’ve had ID cards of various types appear and some of these represented me regaining everything as I said above.
If you lose an ID card in a dream, it can be God reminding you of your status in life, either spiritually or in the natural sense. If someone steals an ID card from you, it can be the devil trying to make you forget who you are according to God. Usually this is a form of mind warfare where the devil uses a barrage of negative thoughts to get you to doubt everything and feel very insecure. Believe me I had a lot of this in the last 5 years.
Following that, any type of ID card you see can have various meanings. Driver’s license can be about your personal calling since a car often represents exactly that. Your ability to “drive your life” is based on having a “license” (approval from God). If you lose that in a dream, it can mean that you are forgetting your sense of identity and authority to conduct the necessary aspects of your life.
If you have a college / school ID card, it can represent dealing with a stage of learning you are in (not necessarily a literal school). If you have a passport, this can also be linked to a form of a personal calling in the area of foreign travel, or it can be about you as an ambassador of God in your region, nation or beyond.
Context Of Action / Events
In dreams about past jobs, there are usually clues in the form of actions that take place or anything that is out of order from what you would normally see. These are the clues to the message God is trying to tell you about your life right now. Such as…
Missing an article of clothing for a work setting – you might see yourself in a past work environment (as I have) where you are missing an item of clothing. That can mean you are feeling insecure or unprepared in some area of your life right now. The way you are dressed can also convey a message.
Are you dressed too casually? If so, you might not be taking your current “job” seriously and this can indicate sloppiness or laziness. On the contrary, if you are dressed more formally than you normally would in your past job, it can mean God is showing you something about professionalism, either as a reminder or that He is bringing an increased status to you now (very much like what I wrote about myself above).
Consider The Possibility of A Literal Meaning
Now having gone through a long list of symbolic meanings for the various scenarios above, remember that not all your dreams will be fully symbolic. If God shows you losing your driver’s license or school ID card, consider if that could be a literal warning of loss. Consider if a dream of a certain job may be literally about that type job coming in your future. Consider if your past coworkers are not symbolic but literal regarding something going on in their life right now.
It is normal for us who have studied dreams for many years to jump right to a symbolic interpretation but in my case, I’ve had many dreams that were more literal than I first assumed. Just to say, if you try to interpret all dreams symbolically, you’re eventually going to make mistakes. The best way to discern this is by the Holy Spirit.
Today’s Steps To Reach In Your Calling
Before we conclude, let me circle back around to something I said right at the top of this blog. Part of you reaching your true purpose in life requires that you do all the things necessary right now at every step along the way. I’ve had many dreams showing me specific things I needed to be doing and if I was not doing them, I had dreams indicating I was slacking off or losing something important to me.
When you get the kind of dreams I’m explaining here, these are important pieces that you must be able to understand and act upon correctly. As you do, you will see God continue to give you more dreams showing you step by step in various ways what you need to be doing next to ultimately reach the intended end result of your life. To be continued…
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.Jeremiah 29:11 (KJV)
And congratulations for making it all the way through another of my super long blogs!!
- Article: Kings and Kingdoms: Our First Calling
- Article: Personal Wilderness: The Ancient Pathway
- Online symbols reference: Joshua Media Ministries International online dream symbols
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