Tag Archives: interpreting dreams

Dream Language (Book Review)

I recently finished reading James and Michal Ann Goll’s book, Dream Language.  This is another “keeper,” friends, and I’m definitely recommending it.

I think what I love about James Goll the most is his adherence to sound biblical principles, but second to that is his willingness to identify with us common folk.  I derive such encouragement from hearing that he, too, has struggled with insecurity over his prophetic gifts at earlier stages of his life.  This man is so real, practical, and down to earth.  And he exhorts all of us to pick ourselves up out of the dirt when we fall down, and keep going.  I always come away from his books thinking, “Here is someone who understands — someone who hasn’t always had it all together any more than I have, but he has come through shining.  Now I’ve got hope I can make it, too!”

Michal Ann’s simple, humble way of telling her experiences are a blessing as well.  She, like her husband, encourages the common man or woman that we can all come up into higher places of revelation.

I bought Dream Language because dreaming is one of my primary ways of hearing from the Lord, and I always want to learn more about it.  But the book isn’t only about dreams.  There is a lot of solid info for how to interpret and apply all revelation with wisdom.

There are practical tips for how to increase dream life, recall details, and interpret dreams correctly.

The “When God Seems Silent” chapter was particularly helpful to me.  The dry seasons are times for pressing in to the heart of God persistently.  They are the times which actually increase our intimate relationship with the Lord, as we persevere in worship and dependency on Him.  The silent times are times of growth in character, and are needed for healthy spirituality.

In a section near the end called “A Voice that Can Be Heard,” Mr. Goll talks about why sometimes we repeatedly have the same revelation as others do, yet we don’t seem to be appreciated, while others enjoy great favor.  It doesn’t seem fair to us, but there are several very good God-reasons, and when we get the perspective that it isn’t necessarily that we did poorly or were rejected, it makes it so much easier to rest in the Lord and not give up.

A brief dictionary of dream symbols  is included in the book, as well as a section discussing very common dream scenarios and what they mean.

Whether you are a dreamer, or whether other forms of revelation are your specialty, this book will help you with the “why” questions you may have, with understanding how to increase in revelation, and how to release your gifts with wisdom so that you can be a blessing.

Buy at Amazon:  Dream Language: The Prophetic Power of Dreams

Hearing from God Through Dreams (Part 3)

God doesn’t always give us an immediate interpretation of our dreams, and this is another reason it is good to keep a journal.  As we reread our dreams, sometimes He drops understanding into us months down the road from when we first had the dream.  Why?  Perhaps events had to unfold in our lives before the dream could become relevant to us.  It could be a matter of maturity in our understanding.

Early in my experience with this type of revelation, I had a dream that explained specifics of what my primary function in the Body of Christ was to be.  There were many details, and the Lord explained most of them to me immediately.  Some details seemed important, but were held from my understanding for another two years.  I read through that dream often, and continued to ask about the unexplained details, and eventually the interpretations were given.

Dreams with recurring themes are particularly important to pay attention to, even if they seem a little silly.  Over a two month period, I dreamed four times about turtles in various situations.  God did not tell me right away what the turtles symbolized, and dream books and people I knew who were familiar with dream interpretation were not able to help me with this one.  I like turtles, so for me, turtles are connected with happy things.  I pondered the turtle dreams before the Lord many times, asking into them, and eventually understood that they represented blessings and God-promises in my life.  The Lord then showed me what He had been speaking about my promises in each of those dreams.

Dreams can be either panoramic, full-blown stories or snapshot pictures of one simple scene.  I sometimes doze off while praying, and when I do, I’m likely to have snapshot dreams from the Lord.  Even the snapshots can be full of important details.  Here is an example:

I had been praying for favor for my husband and myself – God’s favor and also a particular person’s favor.  In a snapshot dream, I saw a man in brown uniform running up to our front porch.  I just saw him from the back as he got to the porch.  I immediately awoke, startled.  I understood from the brown uniform that he was a UPS driver, and then had this conversation with the Lord:

“Lord, what was that?”
“He’s bringing you a package.”
“What is it, Lord?”
“Is it God’s favor or So-and-so’s favor?”
“It’s both.”
“God, You know that first and foremost I want Your favor!”
“I know that, and that’s why you can have the other one, too.”

Some of the details of this dream continued to nag at my mind over the next couple of days, so I asked more questions, and got more revelation:

The UPS man was running to show haste. God said we would get this favor quickly.  The package was left at our door – which meant I needed to actively receive it, to take it in.

I asked, “Lord, why was the package left at the front door?  They usually leave it at the back door.”
“It is front-door favor, not back-door favor.  It will not be done in secret.”

A week after the dream, we were given great favor by the person I had prayed about, and it definitely happened in a public manner.  It was also something we could have rejected, but chose to accept.

If you haven’t yet explored hearing from the Lord through dreams, I encourage you to get started now.  Ask Him to speak to you through this avenue, and be serious about recording your dreams and asking into their interpretations.  Those of you who have difficulty hearing from God in other ways may even find that dreams are the key that unlocks the door of revelation for you.  You will want to expand into other ways of hearing from Him, but dreams are a great place to start.

Previous: Hearing from God Through Dreams (Part 2) 

New Dream Interpretation Series (2013)

dream interpretation



The Dream Book: A Practical Guide to Christian Dream Interpretation,
by Lee Ann Rubsam



Christian dream interpretation workshop


Hearing God Through Your Dreams (Workshop, CD set or mp3 )
by Lee Ann Rubsam



Hearing from God Through Dreams (Part 2)

To get the full benefit of hearing from the Lord through dreams, I find it helpful to keep a dream journal.  The longer we wait to write down our dreams, the more details we forget.  I keep separate journals for dreams and my other hearing from the Lord so that I can easily find a dream, if I want to refer back to it.  I write down the actual events and details of the dream first, and then note my interpretations separately.  If we jumble interpretations together with the actual dream data, and our interpretations are somewhat faulty, when we do receive better understanding at a later time it is hard to remember which was which.  By keeping a dream journal, we send a message to the Lord that we take what He says seriously, that it is important enough to us to take the time to write it down.

I actively ask God to speak to me through dreams.  I keep paper and pen next to my bed, and if I awake after a dream (which usually happens to me right after a God-dream), no matter how tired I may be, I make the effort to rouse myself to write down all the details immediately.  In the morning, as soon as possible, I sit down with the Lord and discuss the dream with Him.  I ask Him questions: “What did this mean?”  “Why was I doing this?”  “Why was the object this color?”  “What did that object represent?”  As I ask the questions, God supplies the interpretations.

I’ve generally found that God does not volunteer information unless I ask for it.  This goes for other ways of hearing from the Lord as well, but it is particularly true of dreams.  As I sit with the Lord over a dream, often He brings recall of other details I had already forgotten.

Details of a dream are important.  God does not put them in the dream if they are not significant, and if we don’t pay attention to those details, we miss valuable information.  Surroundings, how we felt emotionally during the dream, who else was there, and whether we saw ourselves in the dream or were onlookers at the scene should all be noted.  Putting together the full picture of what God has been speaking through a dream is a lot like solving a mystery: we need all the clues.

We should be careful not to assume that we know the interpretation of the dream through our own natural thinking.  I am amazed by the number of people I encounter who do not ask God to interpret their dreams, but instead try to figure them out for themselves.  When we do that, we run the risk of ending up with a marred version of what God wants to speak to us, especially if we take the details of our dreams literally, instead of understanding their symbolic nature.

Because dreams are usually symbolic, what they look like on the surface is often not really what they are about.  Even people we recognize in a dream may be a representation of something else, rather than the dream being about that person.  For instance, a man I knew, an elder of a fellowship other than my own, appeared in one of my dreams. The dream was about the condition of the Church (all the local bodies) in our city, and the man in the dream represented church leadership throughout the city.  It was not really about him personally, but if I had taken the dream literally, rather than allowing the Lord to give me understanding, I would have come up with a totally wrong interpretation of what God wanted to say through the dream.

Drawing the interpretation of our dreams solely from dream books is another mistake to be avoided.  Dream books can be useful tools if we are not receiving a full interpretation from the Lord.  But they should be a last resort, rather than the first source we turn to.  Dreams are highly personal, and meanings of details in them are often minutely tailored to us.  Dream books list what certain items have meant commonly to many people, but it does not necessarily follow that an object must mean what the dream book says.  If you choose to purchase a dream book, make sure it is one coming from a Christian perspective and that you do not give it infallible status in your mind.

More on maximizing our dream experience next time.

Previous: Hearing from God Through Dreams (Part 1)
Next: Hearing from God Through Dreams (Part 3)

dream interpretation



The Dream Book: A Practical Guide to Christian Dream Interpretation,
by Lee Ann Rubsam



Christian dream interpretation workshop


Hearing God Through Your Dreams (Workshop, CD set or mp3 )
by Lee Ann Rubsam



Hearing from God Through Dreams (Part 1)

Dreams.  We all have them, but most of us don’t pay too much attention, other than to tell the more bizarre ones to our friends.  Yet, dreams are an important vehicle which God uses to speak to us, and if we are not paying attention, we could be missing out on valuable revelation.

Not every dream is from God, and therefore not all of them need to be heeded.  Some dreams are merely out-workings of our emotions and imaginations and may be a way our minds process things we have gone through.  Some of them are actually demonic in nature.  We need to learn the difference.

It is possible to have demonic dreams (usually nightmares).  These tend to cause fear of supposed future traumatic events, fill us with horror, or portray a situation in an untrue light.  It is possible for any of us to be harassed by such dreams on rare occasions, but when our lives are in order with the Lord, demonic dreams should be very infrequent.  Christians who are tormented by them generally have some kind of open door in their lives that needs to be shut — through renouncing sin (even long-past sin), through cleansing the home of objects that could hold a demonic presence (such as idols or artwork from countries where witchcraft and pagan worship are a way of life), through applying the blood of Jesus to themselves and their homes, or even through deliverance ministry, if necessary.

There are dreams that just don’t mean anything —  the “too much pizza before bed” kind.  They are generally one confused scene merging into another.  Possibly, they are a way that our minds naturally clean house and relax.

Dreams from the Lord distinguish themselves by being purposeful and striking enough to stay with us.  They are not confused, although they may seem bizarre, and are often less complicated than dreams which are imagination-induced.  God-inspired dreams are usually very symbolic in nature.  What you see in them is not the whole story of what they mean.

Dreams are one of my favorite ways of hearing from the Lord.  The neat thing about this form of revelation is that we can’t help what we dream, so we don’t need to be concerned, “What if I’m just making this up because I want to?” as we could with a vision or word.  Since we don’t have control over what happens in them, there is no reason to feel guilty if negative elements appear.  Interpretation of a dream can be manipulated, but the dream itself cannot be.  We should keep in mind that although a dream cannot be controlled, it may not present absolute truth either, because some dreams are only the out-working of our emotions and internal issues.  That’s why it becomes important to discern whether the dream is from the Lord or not.

God often uses dreams to say things that He can’t get through to us in our conscious hours, perhaps because we get busy and don’t listen, or even because we don’t want to hear something He wishes to speak to us.

Even those of us who think we never dream can be hearing from the Lord during our sleeping hours.  Sleep labs have shown that everyone dreams, but sound sleepers often do not remember their dreams.  God does speak, even in the unremembered dreams.  This is why we sometimes experience going to bed with an unsolved problem on our mind, and when morning arrives, we know exactly what to do.  God has been giving understanding during the night hours.  It is probably why people with major decisions to make often choose to “sleep on it” before making a final move.  God in His great mercy helps even nonbelievers with their decisions in this way, because He is concerned about their destinies.

Next time, I’d like to talk about how to maximize hearing from the Lord through dreams.

Next: Hearing from God Through Dreams (Part 2)

dream interpretation



The Dream Book: A Practical Guide to Christian Dream Interpretation,
by Lee Ann Rubsam



Christian dream interpretation workshop


Hearing God Through Your Dreams (Workshop, CD set or mp3 )
by Lee Ann Rubsam