Can God Speak Through Dreams?

by | Apr 13, 2010 | SpiritLed Living

During times of discouragement, if
answers to prayer are long in coming or not what we had expected, we
can begin to lose hope and even doubt that God will answer our prayers.
To help us through, God sometimes encourages us by dreams or visions.

He did this for me and my husband shortly after I gave
birth to a son with a facial birth defect. A woman who lived 45 miles
from our home had a vision of a baby with socks on his hands and feet.
She began to pray for the baby even though she did not understand the

Later that week we were dedicating our son to the Lord
during a Friday night service. Our son’s birth defect was so sensitive
that we had to keep socks on his hands to keep him from harming himself.
When our son was held up during the dedication, the woman, who was
visiting that night, recognized that he was the baby in her vision.

God used the vision to inspire this woman to organize
prayer for my son during his early days of infancy and corrective
surgery. The vision and prayers blessed us with fresh encouragement and
hope during a very traumatic season in our lives.

However, our experience was not an unusual one. There are
many examples in the Scriptures of God’s bringing comfort and hope
through visions and dreams.

Prophetic Promises

Abraham was a wealthy man to whom God gave great promises.
He owned cattle, silver and gold, but he had no son to inherit his
wealth, for his wife was barren. The Lord appeared to Abraham in a
vision and promised him an heir (see Gen. 15:4).

God also said that his descendants would be as many as the
stars in the sky. Abraham believed God, and the Lord credited it to him
as righteousness (vv. 5-6).

After God spoke to him, Abraham fell into a deep sleep,
and God gave him a prophetic promise through a dream. The Lord showed
him his descendants would be enslaved in cruel bondage in Egypt for 400
years. Then the Lord would deliver them, and they would come out of
Egypt with great possessions and return to the land He had promised to
Abraham (vv. 12-16).

The birth and destiny of an entire nation was revealed in
this dream. Abraham had longed for an heir, and God gave him a promise
far beyond his expectations.

Jacob, Abraham’s grandson, received great promises from
God, also, not only for himself but also for his descendants. When he
was a young man, Jacob had stolen his elder brother Esau’s birthright
and obtained the blessings normally given to the firstborn. Esau sought
to kill Jacob for his deceit, so Jacob’s mother, Rebekah, sent him away
to seek a wife in the land of her brother Laban (see Gen. 28).

On the way, Jacob stopped for the night, and as he slept,
he dreamed: “And behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top
reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and
descending on it.

“And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: ‘I am the
Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which
you lie I will give to you and your descendants’” (vv. 12-13).

The Lord assured Jacob that He would be with him wherever
he went and that He would bring Jacob back to the land He had promised
to him (v. 15).

Two wives and 11 sons later, God spoke to Jacob again in a
dream (see Gen. 31:10-13). Jacob had been working for his
father-in-law, Laban, who continually cheated him. In the dream, God
revealed a plan for dividing the cattle of Laban’s flocks fairly and
giving Jacob his rightful portion.

This is the first recorded instance of God’s imparting
sound business strategy through a dream. God also used this dream to
tell Jacob to take his wives, his children and his flocks and return to
the land of his father.

The Lord let Laban deal deceitfully with Jacob. God was
purging Jacob. It was a long, arduous process, but through this process
the promise was fulfilled and Jacob became Israel, meaning “prince with
God” (Gen. 32:28).

Dreams often challenge us to change just as Jacob was
challenged to change. God had not addressed Jacob’s character flaws in
his dreams, but that did not mean that God approved of all that happened
in Jacob’s life.

Similarly, when we receive a word from the Lord, whether
through a prophecy, a dream or a vision, we must know that the outcome
will depend on our obedient cooperation with God’s maturing and purging
work in our lives.

Joseph was a young man of 17 when he had two dreams that
seemed to bring him nothing but trouble. He was Jacob’s favorite son,
which made his 10 older brothers intensely jealous.

The strife in Jacob’s household was exacerbated when young
Joseph had two dreams—one in which his brother’s sheaves bowed down to
his sheaf, and the other in which the sun, the moon and 11 stars bowed
down to him. Joseph shared these dreams with his brothers and, perhaps
understandably, his brothers hated him all the more. Even his father
rebuked him, although he also kept in mind what Joseph had said (see
Gen. 37:5-11).

Perhaps Joseph was unwise to share these dreams with his
jealous siblings. I believe he shared them not because he was prideful
but because he had more zeal than wisdom. Whatever the reason, the
outcome was that his outraged brothers sold him into slavery.


Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


How to Operate in the Power Gifts of the Holy Spirit

How to Operate in the Power Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He told the apostles in Acts 1:8 (NLT), “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” Jesus promises a gift that would give them comfort, power, strength and encouragement. That gift is the Holy Spirit, and that...

Messianic Rabbi: Make the Choice to Be an Outsider

Messianic Rabbi: Make the Choice to Be an Outsider

One of the wonderful things about reading through the Bible is that the more you read it, the more things you find within its pages. No matter how many times you read a verse or a series of verses, because the Bible is a living document, there will always be more to...

Kingdom Economics: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

Kingdom Economics: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress unanimously voted to pass a declaration of independence from Britain. Each signatory was facing death by hanging if the bold experiment failed. The Declaration of Independence declared that all men were created equal and that...

Consider This Unsung Hero of the Bible

Consider This Unsung Hero of the Bible

Sometimes, I think Martha in the Bible gets a bad rap! I am not saying that Jesus labeled Martha at all. Please hear me out. But I think we would be wise to avoid picking up and holding onto some of the dynamics in this potential sibling rivalry between Martha and...

Prophetic Word: We Are Entering the Books of Acts

Prophetic Word: We Are Entering the Books of Acts

On the morning of June 5, 2022, I was praying in preparation for the Arise Women’s Summit I was hosting near Knoxville, Tennessee, when the Lord took me into an encounter. I found myself in the library of heaven standing before a giant staircase made of extremely...

The Church Revived: 3 Keys to the Emerging Move of God

The Church Revived: 3 Keys to the Emerging Move of God

During the past two years, I believe the church at large has been in a season of returning to God. Repentance is crucial when it comes to revival. Scripture shows a clear pattern that repentance precedes the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (see Joel 2:12-28 and Acts...


How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

All of us at some point will hit a place of getting the wind knocked out of us. We all experience unexpected detours and times when there seems to be no way out. But there is One who lives in us,...
Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Whether it is the Spirit leading or forbidding in the book of Acts, or the Spirit leading throughout Christian history, it’s clear that the leading of the Spirit is important. In the Old Testament, it appears that the Spirit of God could be withdrawn completely from...

Joyce Meyer: Keys to Winning Your Race in Life

Joyce Meyer: Keys to Winning Your Race in Life

Everyone has a race to run. That just means we all have a life to live. The apostle Paul says in Hebrews 12:1 (NIV), “Therefore...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for...

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

In 1971, I was invited to spend one month in Singapore at a new institute that had been started by John Haggai. It was still in the formative stages then—a place where Asian church leaders would be trained and challenged to witness for Christ. Today, more than 40...

37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

It was a Pentecost bloodbath and most Christians never heard about it. More than 50 Christians were killed in one of the deadliest terror attacks on Nigerians this year. Scores of gunmen rushed in to kill Christians in the midst of worship. All told, over 360 million...

Pin It on Pinterest