What Does The Bible Say About Dreams And Visions


The Bible has made references to dreams and their interpretations in many different chapters. According to scripture, dreams are a way in which God can communicate with us or provide insight on important situations. In the Book of Genesis (37:5-11), Joseph had a dream of his brothers bowing down to him and even in the New Testament there are several references to dream messages. In the book of Acts (2:17-18), the Apostle Peter explained that this dream was a message from God: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams.”


There is also a distinction to be made between dreaming and seeing visions. Dreams are usually experienced subconsciously at night or during a state of rest, whereas visions are seen whilst noisily awake. In general, biblical visions are seen through special revelations from God. An example of this is found in the book of Acts (9:10-12), when Paul had a vision of Jesus.
In general, the Bible cautions against dreams and visions coming from Satan and warns us to check any dream or vision against the teachings of The Word. In Deuteronomy 13:1-3, it says: “If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them.”

The Purpose of Dreams and Visions

God has often used dreams and visions to provide direction and guidance to people in difficult situations. For example, in the book of Acts (7:9-10), Stephen shared his vision of Jesus with the Israelites: “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then said they unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?”
God often uses dreams and visions to provide insight into situations or to encourage us to take a particular path, cause us to react, or challenge us in our walk with Him.

Interpreting Dreams and Visions

Interpreting dreams and visions requires patience, discernment, and prayer. With many interpretations, the interpretation can vary depending on who is interpreting the dream and what their spiritual background and experience is.
When interpreting dreams, a lot of the time people rely on symbolic elements, feelings, and contexts to help identify the purpose of the dream. For example, if a dream features money, then this could symbolise a materialistic attitude, earthly wealth, or a general need for control. Whatever feelings the person has towards this symbol could also be taken into consideration when interpreting the dream.
In contrast, visions may have more figurative interpretations which can only be understood with the right knowledge, understanding, and spiritual discernment.

Addressing Unpleasant Dreams and Visions

It is natural to experience unpleasant dreams, even if we do not immediately recall their content. It is also normal to feel anxious or afraid when having a vision, particularly if the content is unusual or unexpected.
Regardless of the content, the Bible makes it clear that God is in control and should be our focus, rather than our fear. Psalms 23:2-3 says, ”He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for You are with me.”

Forgiveness and Freedom

When nightmares, unpleasant visions or night terrors keep us from restful sleep, we can be comforted in the knowledge that the Bible makes it clear that God forgives us in our aftermath.
In verses 32:1-2 from the book of Daniel, we read: “Oh Lord, in your great mercy, hear and forgive! For no one alive can compare with you! All who are proud will be destroyed and buried in the depths of the earth; but your healing power will lift us high.”
Moreover, there is a saying that “Freedom comes after the storm” and this rings true in terms of our dreams and visions. At times, we can be so overwhelmed by fear that our dreams and visions could manifest as a sign of spiritual enemy attack, which can cause us to become trapped in our emotions and overloaded spiritually. However, with God by our side, we can have the courage to face and overcome these challenges.

Valuing Our Dreams and Visions

It’s important to value our dreams and visions to ensure they align with our spiritual maturity and beliefs. By understanding what is revealed in the Bible, we can make sure our interpretations are true and rely on God to provide us with His truth.
The Bible reminds us that dreams and visions are a gift from God, intended to strengthen and challenge us. As such, it is important for us to process and make sense of them so we can learn and grow in our spiritual journey.

Prayer and Meditation

To properly decipher the messages from God in our dreams and visions, we should spend time in prayer and meditation. These tools help us to stay connected to God and will help us make sense of what we’ve seen and heard.
The Bible tells us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and this could mean talking to God quietly throughout the day or actively seeking time in the morning and evening to pause and reflect on the dream or vision.
Similarly, meditation can help us to focus and be still, allowing us to receive any divine messages and be guided by them, rather than jump to conclusions.

Putting Dreams and Visions into Action

For our dreams and visions to become useful, we must put them into action. If a dream or vision provides guidance towards a certain project or mission, it’s important to rely on that prompt and take the necessary steps to make it a reality.
According to the Bible, it is up to us to take action on the dreams and visions that God has provided us with. Galatians 6:2 says, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Therefore, if a message is given to us in a dream or vision, then it is our responsibility to share and act upon it, in order to live a life that shows our love for God and serve him faithfully.

Connecting with Others to Understand the Meaning

Finally, we must remember that interpretation of dreams and visions should never take the place of sound teaching. Connecting with a community of believers who understand God’s word may provide guidance and insight on how to interpret what we have seen.
At the same time, it is important to look within ourselves, understand our spiritual beliefs and feelings, and rely on the Holy Spirit to be guided. Proverbs 20:27 says, “The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the inner depths of his heart.”
All in all, dreams and visions are a valuable source of spiritual guidance and should be valued, treated with respect and acted upon. By understanding the Bible’s teachings on this subject, we can ensure that any interpretations or actions are true to God’s word.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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