In this recent article, Barbie goes into great detail about dreams through Scripture and what we can learn from them.
Many people are saying that they are experiencing an increase in their dream lives.
If that's you, I want you to read this excellent teaching message about dreams from Biblical times that will help you to apply them in your own life! (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)
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Keys to interpreting dreams are found by focusing on the symbols that cause the most emotion in us as we recall the dream. Interpreting a dream is like solving a riddle or putting a puzzle together. The dreamer attempts to fit the pieces together until the perfect fit is attained. This is done by comparing and contrasting symbols, asking questions such as, "Why this symbol and not another?" and making associations between symbols.
Here's an example: If someone says the word "cow," some may think of milk or beef, others may think of a bull. The color of the cow will give us a more specific indicator as to its meaning and function in the dream. If the cow is colored blue, it could represent a childhood toy cow we loved.
What about the word "house"? Some people envision an estate; others see an apartment or possibly a trailer. Our minds associate symbols in the dream with certain elements in our memories. If nothing seems to jump out by using this technique, then brainstorm about what a particular symbol means and make a list of ideas.
Biblical Foundation for Dreams: Dreamers of the Bible
Let me paint a picture for you: A warm breeze gently lifted the gossamer veil and it tilted toward the bed chamber of the king. He lay restlessly on his royal silk covers hoping to catch a few hours of rest before his vizier could impose another matter of court on his beleaguered mind. He thought of his new prize: a lovely, graceful woman, the sister of a wealthy traveler. She came to the king's court last week with her brother. "Abraham" was the brother's name, and the king could not get her out of his mind. Abimelech was going to increase Abraham's wealth by making Sarah a part of the king's harem.
Abimelech hung between blessed sleep and his pleasant thoughts of Sarah until he finally succumbed to the visions of the night. His dreams, though, were not pleasant. A smoky, eerie presence hovered over his bed and hung in his thoughts. This was a new sensation, a mysterious presence. This Spirit had never visited him before. The warm air quickly grew thick and a cold sweat bubbled up on the ruler's furrowed brow. His head lay heavy upon his velvet pillows as they darkened from his salty, oily sweat dripping off the curled side burns above his ears.
A voice spoke to the frozen figure as Abimelech clutched at his covers, his feet twitching ever so slightly as he tried to find footing in the troubling visions he now perceived.
He could see Sarah standing before a man with strange garments. He wore white linen and a large turban with a gold band holding it to his head. Abimelech had never seen this dress but he instinctively knew he was a religious figure, some kind of a priest. Sarah was being wed to another man. She was not his. Sarah was another man's wife. She was already married. It would be wrong to take her. And the man, Sarah's husband, who was he? A sudden jerk shot Abimelech straight up in bed, an involuntary gush of air groaned from deep within his throat. Beads of sweat congealed on his face. His hands still shaking in fear from his encounter, Abimelech ordered his servants to call for Abraham at the first sign of dawn. In a few hours, Abraham would tell all. (See Genesis 20.)
God's Method of Communication
Throughout Scripture, God spoke to both godly and ungodly people through dreams and visions. In fact, a third of the Bible deals with dreams, visions, and the impact the interpretations have on the dreamers' life stories.
God warned Abimelech, an ungodly ruler, when he appeared in a dream and said, "Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is married" (Genesis 20:3).
God also told the king that He knew Abimelech had intended to take the woman to be his wife in integrity of heart. The ruler did not know that she was another man's wife. God revealed the truth to Abimelech during a dream. Abimelech, a pagan king, came close to committing a transgression against his own laws. God spared him this disgrace and humiliation by causing a vision of the night to warn him. Abimelech responded with integrity and wisdom, quickly returning the beautiful Sarah to her rightful husband.
Nebuchadnezzar is another ancient and pagan king who encountered God in the night season. Nebuchadnezzar, a king who did not even believe there was a Creator, saw an extrinsic dream that revealed God's future plans for a later time in the world's history.
In the same way, God directs our paths through dreams, letting us know when we may be outside of His plan, even when we have erred unintentionally. God warns us because He loves us, and He wants to build a relationship with us based on trust and guidance through a supernatural display of His direction in our lives. God wants to reveal His plans of destiny; plans about events only He could know.
What is "onar"? Onar is a Greek word that means "dream." There are five onars mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew. In onars, angels can often appear and interact with the dreamer, giving messages of instruction and direction. At times, these angelic encounters provide a heavenly picture message delivered to the dreamer in a vivid, lifelike, visionary type format.
An even better known onar was illustrated through the Bible character, Joseph. The earthly father of Jesus was warned in a dream that saved the lives of his family. In this dream an angel appeared to Joseph and told him to take baby Jesus and Mary to Israel because those who wanted to kill Jesus were no longer a threat (Matthew 2:19-23). In the same way, God can direct our paths to different geographic regions through dreams.
King Herod called the Magi secretly to find out the exact time the brilliant star appeared in the heavens, announcing the birth of a King. Herod sent the wise men to Bethlehem requesting that they make a careful search to find the baby Jesus. Herod commanded them to report the new King's location so that he too could go and worship Him. The star led them to a house where they presented their precious treasures and gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They found and worshiped Jesus, and being warned in an onar not to report to King Herod, they returned home another way.
Years later, King Herod's death released another angelic dream visitation for Joseph. While in Egypt, the angel of the Lord entered Joseph's dream once again saying, "Get up, take the child and His mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child's life are dead" (Matthew 2:20).
Joseph heard that Herod's son, Archelaus, was ruling in Judea so Joseph was afraid to go there. He was warned in another dream, so he withdrew to the district of Galilee to live in a town called Nazareth. This fulfilled two prophecies that first Jesus would come out of Egypt, and secondly that Jesus would be called a Nazarene (Matthew 2:7â€“23).
New Instructions From Heavenly Visitations
The birth and life of Jesus Christ was a historic event that was divinely orchestrated and directed by visions, dream events and encounters with angels.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a young virgin girl who lived in Nazareth, a small town in Galilee. She was pledged to be married to a simple carpenter named Joseph. He was a descendant of King David. Joseph was a man of strong moral character who was ruled by a compassionate heart. During their engagement, Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel who proclaimed:
"'Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you... Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over Jacob's descendants forever; His Kingdom will never end.'
"'How will this be,' Mary asked the angel, 'since I am a virgin?' The angel answered, 'The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God'" (Luke 1:28, 30-35 NIV).
The angel's words were true. Mary conceived of the Holy Spirit before she and Joseph were married. Because Joseph, her husband, was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had thought that he would divorce her quietly, but after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in an onar and said:
"'Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.' All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 'The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call Him Immanuel' (which means 'God with us')" (Matthew 1:20-23).
Just like putting a puzzle together, interpreting dreams takes time and patience, but once all of the pieces are in place there is a beautiful colored picture that tells an astonishing story. (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)
The greatest power in the universe is love,