I know years ago, I would not have answered that question quite the same. I'm sure my answer would have included hearing His voice through reading His Word, prayer, object lessons in nature, etc., but I doubt I would have included my dreams in that list.
In the last 3 years there has been a noticeable change and increase in hearing His voice, mostly during the night. I have to kind of chuckle at that a little. He knows it's pretty "lively" around here during the day with 6 children home and I can't help but think that the middle of the night seems to be one of the few blocks of time that I am able to hear His voice. I'm thankful for that time for many reasons, but foremost is the opportunity to listen and hear from my Abba (Daddy).
The dramatic increase in hearing Him speak came (I think) because I was seeking Him more than ever during a time of my life that brought me to my knees and kept me there for some time. He didn't disappoint me in the least. He lovingly and faithfully spoke to me, just what I needed to hear, time and time again. Perhaps it is also because we live in what I believe to be the last days and He is pouring out His Ruach. I believe it could be both!
One of the ways He ministered to me during this time was speaking to me through my dreams. I want to share this because I think overall, we as believers, can forget that Yahweh wants us to listen, even in the night. The number of times He spoke to believers (and unbelievers for that matter) in their dreams is worth noting in the Scriptures. Ya'akov (Jacob), Yosef (Joseph) and Dani'el come to mind. G-d does not change. As I began journaling more and keeping track of what I was hearing from Him on a daily basis, I also kept track of dreams that seemed significant. What I realized was that if I didn't write down the dream immediately upon awakening (often in the middle of the night), then many important details were lost that I wanted to remember and revisit so I could seek Adonai for wisdom and understanding.
Some dreams the L-rd would interpret for me immediately or they were easier to understand. Others took more time, where I would ask others for prayer and counsel if I thought they were significant. In these cases, having a journal was critical. There are several I am still pondering. I have had dreams that were about myself, my family, the body of Messiah and world catastrophic events. Several personal dreams have come to pass which indicate to me that others could be prophetic as well, putting me on watch and on my knees.
Now, I am not saying that all dreams are from the L-rd. Many reveal fears or struggles or weaknesses we have and some are just plain silly. There are many I wouldn't want to waste ink and paper on. But what I am saying, is that the time we are asleep is a very large part of the day, as 8 out of 24 hours is 1/3 of your day! I don't want to waste it quite frankly, and I don't want to miss something the L-rd is trying to show me because I am not aware of it or am minimizing it's importance.
Being cognizant of this, I began praying specifically for the L-rd to speak to me while I slept and in my dreams. Let me just say, He is faithful! I won't share but a few of my dreams with you, since many are too personal, but I will share a few that have stood out as being significant and healing to me.
Often recurring dreams are significant in our lives. I had one such dream that I had at least 3 times, but which finally resolved beautifully. The dream was this: I was in a play and I was backstage scurrying around with everyone else in the cast, getting ready for the big night. Everyone was getting their costumes and make-up on and seeming to know what they were doing. Except me. There was a huge crowd assembling in the theatre as patrons started filling the seats. The anticipation was mounting and my anxiety level was skyrocketing! Of course, no one could tell me what role I played and I couldn't find a script to even read the story line! The last time I had the dream it ended with me not knowing "who I was" until I came out on the stage where my heavenly Father greeted me with a wonderful embrace and spoke to me as His daughter. I couldn't have wrote that part better if I tried myself!
This dream came at a time when my family and personal life was transitioning. No longer a wife, I was evidently struggling with my identity and "role" in life and this dream basically just simplified it for me. It was Adonai's loving way of reminding me that I am His daughter and that is the most important role in life I will ever "play". No matter how life changes or what events happen, He will always be my Abba. A priceless and unforgettable reminder.
Another dream came that brought healing was this: I was in a large, empty, rectangular, in ground pool. It walls and bottom where covered in mud. I took a stick and began writing in the mud all the hurt, frustration, questions and pain from the last few years. It took awhile. When I was finally finished, a huge flood of clean water came and washed it all away. I love this dream! Adonai is always so good to tell us what we need to hear! Life is messy. I love that I am writing in mud and I love that the Living Water comes and washes it all away.
A prophetic word was spoken to me that I believe fits with this dream perfectly. I was told that "You are holding on to your pain like a treasure". That kind of shocked and surprised me. Funny how often we don't realize what we are doing! (I know I am only speaking of myself here....). That day, I spoke to Adonai about it and He confirmed that that was exactly what I was doing. As I reflected, I realized hardly a day would go by that I didn't revisit the past in some way, often times ending in tears with the grand finale- a dramatic questioning of "why, why, oh why?"
I don't know if anyone reading this has ever been in that place before, but if you have, you know how it drains all your energy! I decided that moment that I was going to give all the pain of the past to Adonai and never look back again. I previously didn't want to release my pain to Him because it had cost me dearly and I was gonna keep what I paid so high a price for! Like the over-priced (you fill in the blank) you bought at the store that you refuse to throw away because you paid too much! I now realized this was a treasure not worth keeping. In fact, it wasn't ever meant to be carried. The past had become who I defined myself as (my identity) and I knew if I wanted to move forward with Adonai I would have to let it go. As I prayed aggressively for release, it came and all that was left was Him quieting me with His love. Words can't really express what this experience was like for me as it encompasses so many emotions. I felt like a new woman! In the natural, winter was coming, but in the spiritual, it was spring for me!
I don't know what your story is like and what events have occurred that have brought you pain. I hope you are encouraged to give your pain to Him and let it go so you can experience freedom from your past and move forward with Him today if you are still holding on tight to that treasure. Give it to Him and don't hesitate for one more moment! I remember my Rabbi one Shabbat morning teaching, "Let us put aside every impediment that hinders our forward movement!" I believe he was paraphrasing Hebrews 12:1-6 and it stuck with me. Our past can be one of the greatest hindrances in our forward movement. It can be a huge roadblock, but it doesn't have to be. Yeshua has set us free!!! If we would only believe and walk in that wonderfully healing truth!
I am convinced that the enemy wants us so broken and wounded from our past that we as the body of Messiah can do no earthly good. I've had dreams where I saw the body of Messiah pictured as a little helpless baby, lethargic and limp in a stroller, with its head almost dragging on the ground, waiting to be pushed around by those who were doing the programming in the "Church". It was a dream so disturbing that I will never forget it. Dreams can cause us to pray and give us insight or confirmation of something Adonai is showing us for the sake of the body of Messiah. I'll try not to get to far on my soap box with this dream, but I believe it is an accurate picture of the immaturity of believers, who are not growing up in Messiah, are passively dependent on the leaders of the church and are not healthy or strong enough to even hold up their own heads. Maybe they are so used to being pushed around, that they are not even using their heads (searching the Scriptures for themselves and supported by Truth) anymore, so to speak.
Not only can dreams bring healing or show areas of your life that need addressing, but they can be prophetic or be dreams that show you your destiny or calling. I've had one in particular that relates to my destiny and purpose that He lovingly gave me as He called me out of one fellowship and into another. Interestingly, the Torah portion that week was the Exodus story! It's my belief that we need to know how to interpret our dreams because they can be so significant.
Chuck Pierce in the forward to the book mentioned below, says this, "We are entering a season where the L-rd is 'reordering our day'. If you will remember, the day actually begins at sunset. The Holy Spirit is now restoring the power of the night watch in the Church. We will be arising and praying as well as sleeping and receiving!" I believe that when the Word says to "stay alert" and be watchful, that even includes the night watch.
James W. and Michael Ann Goll have written a fascinating book, Dream Language, on dreams and their importance in a believer's life that I very much enjoyed reading. I have two similar books on my shelf waiting to be read, soon I hope! I highly recommend every believer read this book in order to become more skilled in interpreting their own dreams.
One of my favorite passages is Joel 2:28-29:
"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 dreams dreams, Your young men shall see visions, and also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days."The time is short. He wants to speak to you through your dreams. Shema (hear) Israel! Are you listening?