So the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph and said to him, “In my dream there was a vine before me, and on the vine there were three branches. As soon as it budded, its blossoms shot forth, and the clusters ripened into grapes. Genesis 40:9-10
I know one thing for sure – God communicates far more than I hear. I was told growing up that God only speaks through scripture. Any other claim was heresy. And yet, the same people who policed what constituted a genuine word from God were the first to say that God had spoken to them in the night and called them to Peru as missionaries.
I grew up Baptist and I attend a Southern Baptist Church. However, I am much more progressive in my quest for experiencing God. Over a decade ago, I asked God to open my ears to hear Him in ways I had previously been closed. That began a new chapter for me. While I am a conservative person, careful to sift everything through the grid of scripture, I have now had many dreams. I share them when God nudges.
The cupbearer dreamt about vines, branches, blossoms, and clusters of grapes. Had he been hallucinating? Joseph never suggested that. Dreams are sometimes literal, sometimes allegorical, and when they are from God, they are powerful and life shaping.
Are all dreams from God? No. Satan also gives dreams. Dreams can also be quirky and full of silliness, quickly forgotten in the morning. Not all people dream, either. God speaks differently to each child, according to how He wired them. But for each of you who do dream, I share some thoughts. I keep a journal by my bed. When I wake up with details that are fresh, I get them down on paper. If the dream fades by the time I have the pen in my hand, I know it wasn’t important. If the dream was from the enemy, I know it because it was tormenting. At that point, I ask God to wipe the effects of it from my heart and mind and protect the rest of my night from Satan’s interference. If the dream was from God, it was vivid, unforgettable, instructive, intriguing, and came with an urgency to pray and seek clarification.
Many years ago, there was a period of time when I was in counseling. I was in denial about some of the people in my life and their true nature. God used dreams to show me their character. Night after night they acted out and I began to see that their behavior in my dream was quite consistent (though exaggerated) with how they behaved in real life.
The bottom line is this ~ none of us want to miss God’s voice in our ear. He speaks far more than we know. He will help us discover the hidden meanings behind many of our dreams by guiding our search for wisdom. And most importantly, if a dream is from God, it will be completely consistent with the character and behavior of God from scripture. As soon as a dream deviates, I am quick to let it go or I will be led into deception. The Word of God is always my plumb line for truth.
For each person who has been afraid of Your voice, give them courage. Instruct, comfort, and enlarge their experience of You. In Jesus’ name, Amen