The Spiritual Meanings of Dreams and Nightmares

The term "Dream" is a wide term that contains both good and bad dreams.

Dreams are gateways to the spiritual realm and are spiritually significant because it offers guidance and awakens your spirit man - keeps you alert. They are sources of divine revelation that show what is going to happen, or that explains a current event. Spiritual dreams provide a glimpse into the future, guiding man through forthcoming challenges. They are from God, so we need to be ready as Christians. Spiritual dreams when adhered to, keep us in the will of God.

The Spiritual Meanings of Dreams and Nightmares

Dreams can come from God and also from the devil. This is why as Christians we must heighten our level of our spiritual discernment in order to be able to tell apart a God given dream from a satanic dream. 

The best way to discern a God dream from a satanic dream is pray concerning it and ask for direction from the holy spirit.

A satanic dream can come in a form of a nightmare.

We know from the Bible that God loves to speak to his people through their dreams. His messages are always divine. The devil is unoriginal and loves to give a counterfeit to God's design. 

Key differences between a God given dream and a satanic dream

1. God's dream is full of light while a satanic dream is full of darkness and fear.

2. Dreams from God leave you feeling uplifting, while a satanic dream leaves you exhausted and drained.

3. Dreams from God gives you hope, while that of the devil leaves you hopeless.

4. God given dreams will align with the word of God, while satanic dreams will not. 

The Importance of Dreams according to the Bible

Just like Joseph, Daniel and other biblical figures, dream is God's way of communicating with man . There are 21 dreams recorded in the scriptures , most of them in the old testament , only six in the new testament . Dreams have a distinctively different from other ways God communicates with us.

1. Many of the dreams in the bible have a prophetic element , meaning that they foretell future events . For example, in the book of Daniel, Daniel interprets a dream for king Nebuchadnezzar. The dream foretells the rise and fall of four kingdoms . 

2. The holy spirit works through dreams to guide and inspire us. The Bible says in Acts 2:17 that " In the last days, God says , I will pour out my spirit upon all people. Your son's and daughters will prophesy , your young men will see visions , your old men will dream dreams ". 

3. A dream can serve as a warning to keep you out of danger . Joseph, Jesus' father , sees an angel in the dream who warns him to flee to Egypt before Herod takes the life of his son. ( Matthew 2:13)

What are Nightmares?

Nightmares can be very disturbing and also spiritually significant. They are categorized under dreams and can be called ' bad dreams' because of its connection with unresolved anxiety and trauma that continues to bother you. When bad dreams are consistent, it becomes a nightmare. 

Nightmares might be an indication that you need to pay more attention to your spiritual life. It is like a spiritual wake-up call.

Nightmares can be triggered by so many factors; stress or anxiety, irregular sleep, mental health disorder, emotional trauma , substance abuse and depression.

The spiritual significance of nightmares is not related to what happens while you are asleep but rather to how you react to a spiritual awakening . There are a few tips on how to respond to nightmares;

1. Read the word of God before you go to sleep every time and also memorise scriptures before you sleep. This will completely shift things in the realm of the spirit. It sets the atmosphere for your night of rest. Hebrews 4:12 says " For the word of God is alive and active . Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit , joints and marrow ; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."

2. Commit your night to God in prayer.

3. When you wake up with a nightmare, rebuke it right away in the name of Jesus.

4. What you do during the day can affect your dreams; therefore avoid filling yourself with ungodly contents from movies, magazines, and music during the day. 

5. Get counseling from your spiritual leader ( pastor or mentor) .

6. Prayers prevent the reoccurrence of nightmares, however pray without ceasing.

7. Reject the spirit of fear and anxiety; these two bring about nightmares.

What are the differences between Dreams and Nightmares?

1. A dream can be frightening, but it is not necessarily a nightmare . Nightmares are specifically defined by the disturbing or frightening content.

2. A person does not necessarily wake up from a startled dream, however a person can wake up in the middle of a nightmare.

3. Dreams can be very inspiring, full of ideas and responsibilities. Nightmares , on the other hand , can leave you feeling drained .

4. Dreams do not cause a lingering emotional distress while nightmares causes a profound impact on the dreamer that can lead to difficulties returning to sleep.

5. Dreams are often metaphorical and symbolic while nightmares can be more literal and direct.

6. Dreams can be as a result of our subconscious thought and feelings but nightmares may be as a result of anxiety and stress.

Read: 5 Recommended Spiritual Growth Apps for Believers

As believers, it is important to know that the devil can attack you in you dreams , this is what brings about nightmares . 

How to Understand your Dreams? 

1. Interpretation comes with every God given dream ( Daniel 2: 25 -28). In the bible, both Daniel and Joseph received and interpreted a lot of dreams.

2. Write down your dream and what you think is the interpretation 

3. Pay attention to signs, symbols and objects you see in your dream , then ask God in prayers what they mean.

4. Be dependent on the holy spirit for the interpretations of your dreams .

5. Don't get stuck when you cannot interpret your dreams , ask someone for help.

7. Ask yourself abound how your dreams could be guiding you towards personal growth.

8. Pray about every dream you have.

James 4:7 says " Submit yourselves , then, to God, resist the devil , and he will flee from you ". Taking time to submit to God includes repenting of any ways that you have opened the door to attack on your dreams and also to demonic nightmares .

Stay away from negative thoughts that can trigger bad dreams and nightmares . Visualize God's protective light surrounding you as you fall asleep. 

There are curses and covenants issued on people that may bring bad dreams and nightmares, however serious prayers are needed to avert these curses. 

By understanding the meaning of our dreams and nightmares, we will be able to grow as individuals. Dreams and nightmares are parts of human experience and they are powerful and mysterious. .

Dreams and nightmares are a reminder of our vulnerability and resilience . They are a reflection of our deepest hope and darkest fears. 

We should also take out time to interpret our dreams so that we can have a greater understanding of it.

And also dreams and nightmares are a powerful force in our lives that should not be ignored. 

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