In 32 years of walking with Jesus, I have seen fads come and go many times. One of the fads that is currently making it’s rounds across the church is Christian dream interpretation. As with most fads, Christian dream interpretation takes a biblical principle or teaching and runs with it and stretches it way beyond what the Bible or God intended. Because it is my job as a pastor to lead people to a place of maturity in their Christian walk, I feel I must address this issue.
Joel 2:28 28 “ 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, Your young men shall see visions.
A balanced approach to Christian Dream Interpretation
Let me first off state, that I am the type of person that does his best to be balanced and only speak where the Bible speaks and be silent or at least be honest enough to tell people it is an opinion, when the Bible is silent or not clear on a subject. That being said, the Bible is clear that God has and does use dreams to communicate with people. From the Patriarchs to the Prophets, to the Apostles and early church God has used dreams to communicate to His people. As the scripture clearly states in the scripture from Joel, dreams will be given in the last days, and we are definitely in the last days.
Is Christian Dream Interpretation from God?
So the question is not if dreams are a valid way that God communicates with people, but the method used to interpret dreams. Is there such a thing as Christian dream interpreters or a “ministry” of interpreting dreams for people? Honestly I have grave concerns about this. The thought that people have a specialized ability to interpret dreams is a common practice in the New Age movement. Anytime something comes from this movement, I screen it heavily before I will allow it even close to me or those God has entrusted me with. It is a movement that masquerades as spirituality, but is filled with deception and darkness.
Is there a biblical mandate for a ministry of dream interpretation?
There is unfortunately no mandate. There are a couple of instances where God gave the interpretation to someone but there is no ministry of dream interpretation. Joseph, when he was in prison was given the interpretation to some peoples dreams, but there is no record he became the official dream interpreter. Instead he became the Pharaoh’s second in command. Daniel was given the interpretation to a dream but he never was considered a dream interpreter, but instead he was a prophet, and Paul was given a dream to go to Macedonia but he was never an official dream interpreter. In fact he went to his ministry team and shared with them the dream, and together they interpreted the dream as God telling them to go to Macedonia.
Is your Dream from God?
So before you go run off and follow another Christian fad, that distracts you from the real purposes of God in your life, consider these things concerning dream interpretation.
- Not all dreams are from God. Just because you had a dream does not mean it is from God or that it even needs interpreted. I call this discerning the difference between late night pizza dreams and God dreams. I have found that when God gives a dream, it is accompanied by a strong sense of His presence.
- Some dreams come from your subconscious. When there is something that is bothering you emotionally or in your thinking, many times it manifests as a dream to help you work through it. An example of this is when I went through divorce and was separated for a short time from my kids. I kept having dreams that my daughter was dying or had died. I would weep in my dreams. This was my hearts way of expressing the feelings I was having about missing them and mourning the loss of the relationship at the time. Never was it a warning from God about her impending doom.
- Many times God will speak to you personally about the dream. You do not need an interpreter. God is more than capable of letting you know what a dream means. If He was big enough to send you the dream then He is big enough to reveal to you its meaning. You have the Holy Spirit, you have His word. Many times He will confirm the dream directly to you.
- Instead of chasing after some person who claims to have a gift of dream interpretation (which is not listed as a spiritual gift in 1 Corinthians). Go to the elders and leaders of your church. They are the ones that are entrusted with the care and well being of your soul. Get wise counsel from them, not some person who is claiming to have a gift. If you will look hard, those claiming to have a gift, are also looking to advance financially by this so called gift. Never do you see in the Bible a person truly gifted by God, charging for the use of that gift. Even under the guise of donations. Hear me very well here. If you chase after someone claiming to have a gift, to interpret a dream, you are walking very close to seeking after divination. The Bible clearly and explicitly forbids us to use divination. We are not to try to seek after those that would predict the future or unexplained mysteries. We are to seek after Jesus. All the dream interpretation talked about in the Bible, was given by God in a natural way, not because the believer sought after the explanation. God revealed it, they did not seek it.
How to Intepret your own dream from God.
So, if you have had a dream that you believe that comes from God, first and foremost go to Him for the interpretation. After you have gotten it from Him, then confirm it with mature and stable people in the Lord to see if your dream interpretation is correct and ALWAYS make sure it lines up with the word of God. Just because you had a dream about having a new wife, does not mean you are to divorce your current one! Kapish?
P.S. Please don’t write me asking me to interpret your dream. I am not a dream interpreter and if you do it just shows you did not read or take to heart what I have written.