How Can We Objectively Know if a Dream is From God?

Nearly every time we sleep most of us have dreams. Some experts say that the average person will dream 4-6 times per night. If we have 7 billion people in the world right now, then in each 24-hour period there are about 24 billion dreams being experienced globally. That’s a lot of dreams.

Even a cursory study of the Bible will reveal that God has spoken in dreams. One researcher counted 21 dreams recorded in the Bible. Most of these dreams contained some type of warning, but some were prophecies about future events and kingdoms.

Does God speak through dreams today? I believe that He does. Missionary accounts that are coming out of the Middle East suggest that God is using dreams on a very frequent basis to reach Muslims. In his book “Dreams & Visions: Is Jesus Awakening the Muslim World?“, author Tom Doyle describes many detailed personal accounts of Islamic devotees having very powerful dreams which eventually led them to Christianity. He points out that in areas completely closed to Christian missionaries, Jesus is able to still reach seekers by using powerful dreams.

In June 2020, Pastor Dana Coverstone of KY released a video of himself recounting some dreams. The videos went viral and caused a great sensation. These series of dreams seemed to have predicted events that would happen in the late summer, fall, and early winter of 2020. Although all of the events depicted in the dream did not literally come true, there are still many who believe that there is a figurative message in the dream that God is trying to relay to the Church.

As I sift through the many interpretations of Pastor Coverstone’s dreams I continually return to the question: Are Pastor Coverstone’s dreams from God? I believe that many simply assume that his dreams are inspired because of how they made them feel. However, is this a safe assumption? Isn’t it possible that dreams are nothing more than a highly intelligent, imaginative mind doing what it does at night? Is it possible that dreams can sometime just reflect the things that we study and think about during the day? Must we always assume that every dream is from God and brings a message to us?

How can we objectively know if a dream is from God, and therefore must be interpreted?

This is a very important question to ask, and even more important question to answer. If we decide upon the wrong answer we might speak or act foolishly. Eliphaz, one of Job’s friends tried to convince Job that he had a message from the Lord which came in a dream that he had (Job 4:12-17). However, neither the message or dream was from God, and he is remembered to this day as one who spoke foolishly.

God does not tell us in the Bible how to know if our dreams are from Him or from other sources. Therefore, it would seem, like many other situations in this life, that we are left to be guided by the wisdom He provides to figure it out.

In Daniel 2, King Nebuchadnezzar called his counselors together and asked them to not only give him the interpretation of a dream that he had had, but he also wanted them to describe to him the actual dream! Ultimately, this objectively revealed to him who to trust for the interpretation, and it revealed that the dream was truly inspired. Although we are not told to test our dreams in the same way, we do see that God was very capable in providing objective proof that the dream was from Him.

It would seem reasonable that if God is speaking to us through a dream, and He knows that we may be confused by the source of the dream, that He would be delighted in confirming its source. Since God has promised wisdom to anyone who asks (James 1:5), we have been assured that He will guide us through the process. If He has supernaturally spoken to us in a dream, He can supernaturally confirm the source. If He has not spoken in the dream, then there will be no confirmation.

Here are some suggestions: 

  • ask God for wisdom to know if a dream is genuinely from Him
  • ask God to objectively confirm if the dream is from Him because you do not want to act foolishly or bring shame to the body of Christ
  • don’t reveal the dream to others while waiting for confirmation; their biases might influence you wrongly. However, ask others to pray for wisdom and confirmation
  • be open-minded to the possibility that the dream may not have come from God despite how powerfully it felt
  • wait for an answer before acting upon it

Proverbs 1:7 tells us that a fool despises wisdom. Don’t despise the wisdom God desires to give.

Dane Cramer is a backpacker, follower-of-Jesus blogger, jail chaplain, amateur filmmakerPodcast host, and author of two books: Romancing the Trail and The Nephilim: A Monster Among Us , and has worked as an investigator for over 35 years.



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