How often do you dream? When do you find you dream? What do your dreams focus on? Is it the same thing repeated over and over or are all your dreams different? These are interesting questions and you will find any amount of answers as to why you are dreaming and what the dreams mean. Taking it a step further, many believe that God speaks to them through dreams with others interpreting these dreams to mean whatever the person would like to hear. I would be foolish to say to you I don’t have dreams. I do … and my dreams are seldom if ever the same.
(1) I do not believe God speaks through dreams the way people claim now a days. Depending on the “type” of Church you belong to, there will be a huge emphasis on dreams with some scaling down to no emphasis at all. Yes, God can and may speak through dreams but this would be the exception and not the norm. In Islamic communities where the gospel is not heard nor known, people have been known to have had dreams where the message is explicitly about Jesus and the need to believe and repent. Marvelously and miraculously they do … even at the expense of losing their family or extended families. But this is not the norm.
(2) I believe many of the more demonstrative gifts (charismata) is no longer required because the Canon of Scripture is complete and there is no need to have the spectacular when the Truth of God is readily available to all the people of God … and available to anyone who desires to “take up the Bible and read it.” There in you will find all the answers to life, spirituality, morality, ethics, relationships, marriage, holiness … etc.
(3) Why do people have dreams? I am not a lot of things … but I am a child of God and have been for more than 40 years. I am a pastor and having been in many situations which include people who have experience dreams that worry and concern them. Some of these people have been to other pastors of a different persuasion to me … (I am Reformed, Evangelical and Anglican. To be blunt, I am a Calvinist) … telling them way out things the dreams are supposed to mean. Personally and with many others, dreams experienced come from one’s holistic condition and experience at a specific time. You as a human being and as a Christian are physical, emotional and spiritual facing things like exhaustion, which could be due to ill health, disease, too many hours on the go and working too hard. Emotionally there is pressure from family, friends, employment, marriage, children’s schooling. Spiritually there is pressure to live a holy life. There are Church pressures which include service and ministry. The devil creates spiritual stress laying his offerings before you (like he did to Jesus in Matthew 4 and Luke
4). Personal sin tends to weigh an intentional believer down. Apart from many other things, the above influences and affects us in the three areas of our personal spiritual world, personal physical world and personal emotional world. Without our knowing it, these things affect our minds. Remember the brain never stops working. When we sleep the brain keeps working. It processes all the information sent to it from our bodies, emotions and souls. As it works our minds are influenced and could experience dreams that could make us feel good (encourage us) or make us feel concerned (cause anxiety or depression). Irrespective of what others say, I personally do not attached any significance to dreams. If you do, may I suggest you take it to the Lord Jesus and ask Him to help you deal with sleeping better. Dreams are real but dreams do not mean anything. Having said that, I say again that should God want to use a dream in your life, He can … though I say again, it is seldom that God will because we have the Bible and in the Bible we have the Gospel. From these flow Gospel Living that does not necessary prevent the devil’s onslaughts but generally there is power through the Spirit to stand tall for Jesus.
1) Nebuchadnezzar had a dream. Chapter 1 ends with God telling us that Daniel remained in government for some 70 years. He went into captivity at the age of about 17 or 18 years old. He was about 70 when thrown into the lion’s den … and died around his 85th year. A helpful verse is
Jer 29:10 This is what the LORD says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Chapter 1 ends like this
Da 1:21 And Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus.
As chapter 2 starts we read
Da 2:1 In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his mind was troubled and he could not sleep.
The chapter’s focus is the dream. Perhaps read it a few times as you have time. You might feel that we have a contradiction right here in the Bible. Daniel went into exile and was called to study in Nebuchadnezzar’s university for three years and then in chapter 2v1 we find it is the second years of his reign. There is no contradiction here. Nebuchadnezzar conquered Judah and many other nations and ruled the Babylonian Empire but he only became king, ascending to the throne once Daniel was in exile and studying.
(1) He had dreams. Not just “a dream” but “dreams”. The intensity of these dreams were such that his mind was affected to the point of being unable to sleep. Practically this was a huge problem because as king he needed to have all his faculties for his kingdom was huge and no one could be trusted. A troubled mind … an agitated mind … he was irritable and could not sleep. He was a frustrated man because in those days dreams were understood to be advance messages of what was to come. Remember this man is the leader of the superpower of his day. There is none like him with such power over all the known world … yet he is miserable!
(2) We understand what is happening but he can’t. We know the Sovereign God who punished His people Judah by sending them into the Babylonian Exile is already actioning revelation as to what will happen to this king and God’s people. Not only has God started to raise Daniel up as His servant in this pagan kingdom … He is now at work obtaining the attention of the king in the most vivid and dramatic manner. The king will learn there is a real, true, living God in heaven! These dreams which were repetitive had a singular message. We will pursue this tomorrow, but for now, don’t attach importance of your dreams to your life. Today God speaks through His Word.
Father, Thank You for the Bible. Help me to be a good and faithful steward of Your Word for Jesus sake. Amen.