One of the most important things I have learned about dreams is when I heard Ben Armstrong say that “Dreams are not a second-class God encounter.” That was such and encouragement for me because I’ve had dreams all my life but I think I had a belief that there were “levels” of how God would speak to us.
For example, top of the list: hearing the audible voice of God, then maybe open visions, then impressions, then a simple knowing or a hunch, then dreams, and then finally, for the not so spiritually minded, scripture. But . . . I was wrong. Every word that comes forth from God is worthy to be celebrated as an act of love and an encounter no matter how we “rate” it and dreams are no exception. We spend a third of our lives sleeping. Of course, God wants to be close to us in the night too. Dreams have shaped the course of people, nations, history and even my life.
There are dreams in major Bible events:
- Solomon had a dream with the “blank check.”
- Joseph had the dream of the sheaves of grain bowed down and then another where the sun, moon, and 11 stars bowed down (Gen.37).
- Daniel with King Nebuchadnezzar first gave the dream and the interpretation about the statue and the Kingdom of God that will never end (Dan. 2). Later, the king was given a warning dream about his arrogance and sin.
- Joseph had an angel appear to him in a dream and tell him who Jesus really was. Later, in a dream an angel told him to escape with Mary and Jesus to Egypt.
I had a short dream, years ago, where an angel came up to me in a dream with a stick of chewing gum, with the implication that whatever he was going to tell me I was supposed to “chew on,” and said, “Your life is not your own. It was bought with a price.” Then he was gone. Now often times when I start to feel myself doubt or want to do something stupid, I remember that God has a plan for me but it’s not all about me.
I had another dream where I saw a man sitting in a chair. He was wearing a crown and a purple robe wrapped around him. In the dream, for some reason, I knew that he was a priest and that I needed to make a sacrifice. I realized I was holding a bag of flour in my left arm. I reached into the bag panicked, pulled out a handful of flour, then threw it right all over him. I then realized it was Jesus and he started to laugh and laugh. I woke up and thought about the dream and realized that all my “sacrifice” in guilt has been nothing more than throwing flour at him. And . . . my kids think it’s really funny that I threw flour at Jesus.
I’ve had many more dreams that have played a part in my life. Some for direction. Some for warning. Some just funny. But when God speaks to me in my dreams I know that it is a real encounter.
By Jordan Lehner