Walking in the prophetic language of dreams is a form of tapping into the mind and heart of God, and can be an exciting and exhilarating journey. But understanding and interpreting your dreams, and other revelatory spiritual encounters, can often be a complex and even confusing process.
I encourage you above all else to keep interpretation simple! Keep the big picture of the dream and overarching theme in mind.
With too much detail, you could miss the interpretation. This is a lot like not seeing the forest for the trees.
Here are some basic principles of dream interpretation, presented in concise statements that will help bring clarity to the revelation you receive.
15 Keys for Interpreting Your Dreams
1. Most of all, dreams should be interpreted on a personal basis first (John 10:3).
2. Most dreams should not be taken literally. They need interpretation (Dan. 1:17; Gen. 40:8).
3. God will use familiar terms that you know (Matt. 4:19).
4. Ponder on the dream or revelation and ask the Holy Spirit for insight (Dan. 7:8; 8:15-16; Luke 2:19; 1 Cor. 2:12-14).
5. Ask the Holy Spirit what the central thought, word or issue is in the revelation. Reduce the dream to its simplest form. What is the main thought?
6. Search it out in the Word. Dreams from the Lord will never go against His written Word (Prov. 25:2).
7. What did you sense and feel from the dream? Was it a good or evil presence? What was the primary emotion?
8. Relate the dream to your circumstances and spheres of influence.
9. Consecutive dreams often have similar meanings (Gen. 41:1-7, 25-31). God will speak the same message more than once in more than one way.
10. What are the colors? Is everything black and white with one main object in color?
11. Interpretations can be on three levels: personal, church or national and international.
12. More than one interpretation can come forth in one dream. Just as with Scripture, there is the historical context as well as the personal, present implication. So it is with dreams. It might be a general word for the church with specific applications for yourself (or others).
13. Some dreams may only be understood in the future. They unfold over time. Details will make sense down the road.
14. Write down in a journal the summary: date it; write down where you were, the time (if you woke up from it), the main emotions and a possible interpretation.
15. The key to proper interpretation is to ask questions, questions, questions!
Dream Interpretations Belong to God
Finally, remember that dreams are significant to all!
To receive a dream is the first step of a divine purpose moving from the mind of God to become reality in human history.
Dreams and visions are where space and time are pushed away: where God allows our inner selves to see beyond and behind the conscious plane and where possibilities and hopes come out unrestricted by natural limitations.
Remember, God wants to help you with interpreting your dreams. So don't forget to invite Him into the process.
Father, we know that dreams and visions and their interpretations belong to You. With honor coupled with a deep hunger, we ask You to give us Your wisdom applications to understand the revelation You are giving us, in Jesus' great name, amen.
Dr. James W. Goll is the founder of God Encounters Ministries. He is an international bestselling author, a certified Life Language Coach, an adviser to leaders and ministries and a recording artist. James has traveled around the world ministering in more than 50 nations sharing the love of Jesus, imparting the power of intercession, prophetic ministry and life in the Spirit. He has recorded numerous classes with corresponding curriculum kits and is the author of more than 50 books, including The Seer, The Prophet, The Discerner, The Lost Art of Intercession and Praying with God's Heart. James is also the founder of GOLL Ideation LLC, where creativity, consulting and leadership training come together.