A few weeks ago I put a bucket on the info table and told the church that I would be answering Bible questions on this blog. The time has come, and today we are tackling the first question! (If you have a question to be considered, leave it as a comment to this post, or send me an email if you know me!) In the days and weeks ahead I'll be answering questions about healing, the gift of prophecy, and the origin of faith, Lord willing. Here's number one!
Q. Does God still use dreams to speak to people or to fulfill a purpose? Does Satan use dreams to do the same? If you sin in your dreams did you really sin? Is it counted against you as sin? If Joseph was a dreamer, did he continue to have dreams the rest of his life, or did they go away?
This is a very interesting topic! Let's hit these questions one by one:
Does God still use dreams…?
Peter quoted the book of Joel on the day of Pentecost: “And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams” (Acts 2:17, ESV). The last days began when Christ came the first time and include the church age we live in now. So it seems that God has told us that he will still speak through visions and dreams.
Much discernment should be used concerning our dreams. The Bible says that a “dream comes with much business” (Ecclesiastes 5:3, ESV). When we have a lot on our minds or our hearts, it could well up and bring dreams. So when we think God has spoken to us in a dream, we must pray and ask God to confirm this. Maybe he did. Or maybe we just had some bad sushi.
Does Satan use dreams to do the same?
I don’t know of an instance in Scripture where Satan made someone dream. (Can you think of one?) Usually in the Bible it is God who speaks in dreams. Satan and his demons can speak, however. Perhaps they whisper their lies to us which may induce dreams. The Bible doesn’t say.
When awaking from a scary dream, pray! Ask God to shut the mouth of any demon and speak peace to your soul.
If you sin in your dreams…
This is another situation that the Bible seems to be silent about. It would appear that when we sin in our dreams we have not actually committed that sin. However, it could be a sign of sin in our hearts that is taking expression in our dreams. So preventatively we must be walking in the Spirit, filling our minds and hearts with Scripture instead of the things of this world (giving ammunition to our flesh to use against us in our dreams). But when awaking from a dream about sin, pray! Do not receive what you have dreamed about; don’t own it. Reject those sinful thoughts, emotions, actions. Ask Jesus for cleansing with his blood and the removal of all guilt. Ask him to take away these dreams and give you peaceful dreams and thoughts of him. Fill your mind and heart with Christ!
In Genesis 37:19 Joseph is called a dreamer. God indeed spoke to Joseph through dreams on several occasions. But the Bible does not tell us if he continued to dream. God is in control. He speaks and gives word and vision to his prophets at his own will and in his own timing.
Hope that helps!