Nightly dreams mainly occur during a stage of sleep known as REM. This acronym stands for rapid eye movement where brain activity is high, a similar level to being awake. REM sleep results in the continuous movements of your eyes while you sleep. Meanwhile, neurologists like Freud and Jung have developed their own theory. The Dream Theory states that dreams merely come from within the human psyche, exposing what is in your unconscious mind.
For in a multitude of dreams and in a flood of words there is worthlessness. Rather [reverently] fear God [and worship Him with awe-filled respect, knowing who He is], Ecclesiastes 5:7.
When I searched the Bible for another point of view, a Jewish king frowned upon dreaming. Referred to as one of the wisest men to walk the face of the earth, King Solomon focuses on who to listen to, God or your dreams in the passage above. Despite this warning, Solomon does have something good to say about dreams in Proverbs 3:24. Anyone who practices discretion and sound wisdom will be blessed by a deep and sweet sleep. Later on in this book, Solomon writes about moments in life where dreams, prophecies, revelations and visions are absent, Proverbs 29:18. When this occurs, rely on God’s laws in the Bible to guide your steps.
And having been warned [by God] in a dream not to go back to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way. 13 Now when they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod intends to search for the Child in order to destroy Him,” Matthew 2:12-13.
One aspect of dreaming is described in the New Testament. The apostle Paul uses the phrase keeping in step with the Holy Spirit in Galatians 5:25 as a way to follow God. In the second chapter of the New Testament, Matthew gives two examples of how God uses dreams. The first is similar to a nightmare, a warning to not go back to Herod. Moments later, an angel of the Lord appears in Joseph’s dream. These clear instructions ushered Joseph into action immediately. God spoke to Joseph through dreams on numerous occasions, each time to direct and guide his steps on earth.
Now Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it to his brothers, and they hated him even more. 6 He said to them, “Please listen to [the details of] this dream which I have dreamed; 7 we [brothers] were binding sheaves [of grain stalks] in the field, and lo, my sheaf [suddenly] got up and stood upright and remained standing; and behold, your sheaves stood all around my sheaf and bowed down [in respect].” 8 His brothers said to him, “Are you actually going to reign over us? Are you really going to rule and govern us as your subjects?” So they hated him even more for [telling them about] his dreams and for his [arrogant] words. 9 But Joseph dreamed still another dream, and told it to his brothers [as well]. He said, “See here, I have again dreamed a dream, and lo, [this time I saw] eleven stars and the sun and the moon bowed down [in respect] to me!” – Genesis 37:5-9
In the case of Joseph, his dreams were the stars of his destiny. Based upon the accounts in Genesis, Joseph possessed a special connection with God. Some may refer to him as a prophet with others focusing on his gift of dream interpretation. Whatever the source, the favor of God never left Joseph despite a series of hardships. While many Christians would have become bitter and given up on hope, Joseph never wavered. From a practical perspective, if you believe in a dream, destiny or goal, a resolve and will is conceived. When darkness settles in, faith serves as a compass to keep dreams alive. May the saying “dreams are like the stars of your destiny” be more than just a slip inside of a fortune cookie. My the Holy Spirit awaken your soul to reach for the stars as you seek to follow God’s will daily.
by Jay Mankus