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Lately, it seems that more and more people are receiving dreams that are important and answer questions that they have been seeking God about. In this past few months alone, both of my children have received significant dreams from God. Most recently, my daughter was asking God to speak to her about an important ministry decision she needed to make. She received a dream for 5 consecutive nights. As we sat down to label symbols, pray, and seek God as to what His message was, it was evident He was answering her prayer in the form of dreams.

Welcome to part 2 of a 5 part series on dreams. Last week, I shared on Dreams part 1 – A Basic Understanding of How God can communicate to us through the avenue of dreams.

This week, I want to talk about the source of our dreams because not all dreams are God given. I will again be sharing pieces of my teaching from my training book Releasing God’s Heart Through Hearing His Voice.

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Source of Dreams 1 

Not all dreams are from God; so it is important we ask God to help us discern which are from Him and which are not. Dreams come from three different sources:

  1. God

God-given dreams contain revelation about circumstances which are occurring or are about to occur in an individual’s life. Sometimes if a dream doesn’t come to pass right away, we often think it wasn’t from God. However, Joseph’s dream took over 30 years to come to pass.2 Scripture shows us there are many types of dreams God can give us.

  1. Self

These are dreams that come from our soul: the natural mind, will, and emotions. Self-dreams come from our subconscious. These types of dreams are often playing out the events of the day, the things our mind has been dwelling on, good or bad. Even things that have been traumatic from our past can reoccur in our subconscious, leaking into our dreams.

For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are in your midst deceive you, nor listen to your dreams which you cause to be dreamed (Jeremiah 29:8 NKJV).

  1. The enemy

The enemy of our soul is always trying to deceive, trick, kill, and destroy us any way he can.3 If he can deceive us by any means, he will. Many individuals in our society have a growing awareness of the relevance of dreams in their life; the enemy may try to increase his activities in this arena of dreams to lead a person away from God’s principles and desires.

The idols speak deceit, diviners see visions that lie; they tell dreams that are false, they give comfort in vain. Therefore the people wander like sheep oppressed for lack of a shepherd (Zechariah 10:2).

Finally, because all dreams are not of God, we must, as stated earlier, discern and ask God to reveal the source. We must also be cautious not to become too dependent on dreams or visions as our sole source of guidance, direction, or confirmation. Be careful not to be deceived by satan or his workers who can masquerade like angels of light. 4  Test the spirit 5 and above all else remember God’s messages will never contradict His written word.

Last week, I encouraged you to look at your Bible and grab a concordance if needed and see how often the words: dream and vision were used. If you didn’t get a chance, it’s not too late. Dreams and even visions are throughout the Old and New Testament. God uses dreams in the scriptures in a variety of ways. Here is short list of “categories” and some Biblical examples of the types of dreams God gives to His people.


Dreams of protection can be either given to the person who is in harm’s way or to the person intending to do the harm. Here in Matthew we see Herod is intending to harm Baby Jesus; so a dream was given to the wise men and to His father Joseph.

And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route (Matthew 2:12).

When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”  So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt (Matthew 2:13-14).

In these next two Scriptures, we see God giving dreams to the people intending to do harm.

But God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream by night and said to him, Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad (Genesis 31:24).

But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night and said to him, Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife (Genesis 20:3).

Guidance and Direction

God gives dreams to His people to guide and direct them on the paths He wants and needs them to go. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). God does indeed guide us and direct us every step of the way. I myself have received several dreams with guidance and direction as the theme.

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:20).

After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead” (Matthew 2:19-20).


God can reveal His strategy to people to aid them in succeeding and to give them courage and confidence as they step out in obedience. In Genesis God tells Jacob which sheep to choose as his, and God in return gives him a business strategy for success.

“In breeding season I once had a dream in which I looked up and saw that the male goats mating with the flock were streaked, speckled or spotted. The angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob.’ I answered, ‘Here I am.’ And he said, ‘Look up and see that all the male goats mating with the flock are streaked, speckled or spotted, for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you’” (Genesis 31:10-12).

See also Gideon in Judges 7:9-15.

In my dream workshops and training classes I have a list of 11 categories I share taken straight from the Scriptures. As you read the Scriptures, what are some other Categories, or types of dreams you see?

Please, leave a comment below, I would love to hear from you and hear about How God has spoken to you through the avenue of dreams.

I invite you to join me next

Thursday September 3rd: Dreams, Part 2 Who’s the Source?

Thursday September 3rd: Dreams, Part 3 – Write it Down

Thursday September 10th Dreams, Part 4 – Symbolism

Thursday September  17th Dreams, Part 5 – Figuring it Out – Interpretation

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[1] Releasing God’ Heart Through Hearing His Voice.

[2] Genesis 42:8-9           [3] 1 Peter 5:8          [4] 2 Corinthians 11:14          [5] 1 John 4:1


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