Thursday, July 07, 2005

Dreams and Visions

Acts 2:17 " 'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.

In Middle Eastern culture in the OT, dreams were a big deal. You paid attention to your dreams. The same is true today in that region. I have a friend from Iran who remembers his dreams and tries to interpret them, and this, he tells us, is common. We aren't talking about visions here, which are something else entirely. Why don't Christians pay more attention to their dreams? Are we afraid of Freud? Are we too scientific? Do we say that we have the Scriptures and no longer "need" dreams? If I have a dream with strong spiritual content (and both I and my husband have) how much attention should I pay to it? Whom should one tell their dreams? Why am I reticent to share my dreams?

I remember reading somewhere that dreams are for people who are not quite as mature in the Lord, and that the Lord uses dreams in less mature Christians because they are more likely to get that young Christian's attention, while the more mature Christian lays great store by Scripture alone and knows his Master's voice in it better than in nay other way. But I'm not so sure that that is an idea borne out by the example of Scripture.

Are dreams a help or a hindrance to the Body today?


Blogger The Clinging Vine said...

I never seem to have dreams worth the effort to decipher, as they're usually about one child or another, or me winding up naked as a jaybird at the grocery store, or falling from a great height and jerking awake right as I hit the ground. Mostly I don't remember my dreams at all.

Not much help, am I? ;^)

I'm fascinated, though...what does a "spiritual" dream look like, exactly?

9:33 PM  
Blogger craigellachie said...

Well, if mine are anything to go by, and I'm not saying that they are, they have alot of Biblical symbols in them and a sense of urgency. The one I remember that comes to mind from long before I was a believer involved 1)being in the Holy Land, 2) a column-like monument that had the story of Jacob inscribed on it in pictures, 3) prayer, 4)a Cross, and 5) a Sun that overcame a terrible impending disaster. Then there was the context of the story, which involved trusting in Christ when all other help was hopeless. As for Rich, who doesn't usually dream stuff much at all, it involved a roaring lion, and the feeling of threat. I don't often dream these things, it's just that they are sort of like the practise of tongues: it's Biblical but no one seems to know what to do woth it and no one understands it well, so everyone gets uncomfortable when you start talking about it. I dunno...are we missing something? SUre wish the Reformed would address some of these phenomena a bit more.

10:14 PM  
Blogger The Clinging Vine said...

Running a search shows dreams are never mentioned in the epistles, and the last time one of the LORD's people had an "informational" dream was Joseph in the book of Matthew.

IOW, perhaps this is no longer a method the LORD uses to communicate with us, and it lapsed after Christ's earthly ministry.

Which is why nothing much is heard about them, y'know?

7:21 AM  
Anonymous Heidi said...

I keep a dream journal, and used to spend some time figuring out what they might mean. I don't do much "interpreting" any more, unless I wake up "knowing" what it means. Usually, what it means is something just pertinent to my life. One recent dream "told me" that the first church we went to here, was actually being abused by their pastor (turns out, they really were, but it didn't take a dream to tell me so. He was overtly foolish and wicked)

But I do write down my dreams as I remember them, and any ideas I have right at the time, of what they might mean.

As for whether dreams are useful in Christian life, I can't think why not. Didn't Peter preach that the pouring out of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, was a fulfillment of God's promise? and that the young men would dream dreams and the young girls would see visions?

Relying more on the Word than on dreams, OF COURSE. And using God's Word, not dreams or visions, as the basis of life in Him...


11:47 AM  

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