By Catherine Segars, Crosswalk.com
I was issued a set of army fatigues to fit my burgeoning belly. At seven months pregnant, I was being transferred to a battle station. All the soldiers on the transports were lying flat on their backs.
When I woke, my spirit was on alert. I asked my women’s Bible study for extra prayer. Being 45 and pregnant, I needed it. Even still, nothing was amiss. Every check-up had been fine.
Two weeks later, on December 18, 2016, I woke at 2:30 a.m. to my own deafening scream. In a dream, I had seen something evil hovering over my room. It pounced on my belly, and I came back to consciousness with a violent roar.
I recalled other recent dreams...of confusion, roller coasters, and storms.
Did these night visions mean something, or were they the result of some bad Chinese food?
That night—I knew the answer.
I was sitting on the sofa when I felt something shift and then gush. We rushed to the hospital and discovered that I had an abruption at 26 weeks. The connection between me and my miracle girl was holding on. But this high-risk, geriatric pregnancy just got a lot riskier.
I was put on bed rest for the rest of the pregnancy—thus, I gathered, the reason I dreamt of soldiers lying flat on their backs—and most of the next three months were spent in Centennial Women’s Hospital in downtown Nashville. We were in an all-out war to keep both of us alive.
But, thanks to these messages in my sleeping hours, we were prepared—this was no surprise attack. The weapons formed against us did land, but they not did not prosper. (Isaiah 54:17)
Do you look for God in your dreams? Let’s explore dreams from a biblical perspective:
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Biserka Stojanovic
Does God Still Speak to Us in Dreams?
My answer is Yes, He Does. Why wouldn’t He?
God spoke to his people through dreams in both testaments. The Old Testament Joseph saw his future in his dreams.
Jacob saw a stairway reaching to heaven in a dream and was promised that his descendants would bless the earth.
God whispered to Samuel in a dream.
Solomon asked for wisdom in a dream.
Scripture tells us that God is the same today as He was yesterday. (Hebrews 13:8) If He communicated in dreams throughout Scripture, why would He stop now?
Maybe He hasn’t stopped. Maybe we’ve just stopped listening. Maybe we’ve called these divine messages something else. Nightmares instead of warnings. Distractions instead of challenges. Curiosities instead of convictions. So what does the Bible say about dreams?
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Viacheslav Peretiatko
What the Bible Says about Dreams
Scripture tells us:
For God may speak in one way or another, yet man does not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, while slumbering on their beds, then he opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction. In order to turn man from his deed, and conceal man from pride, He keeps back his soul from the Pit, and his life from perishing from the sword. – Job 33:14-18
God’s Word confirms that dreams are powerful avenues of communication from on High. While we are asleep, God opens our eyes and gives us instruction. He warns us. He humbles us. He saves us in body and in spirit.
God’s Word also confirms that we do not always perceive these messages. Perhaps we should open our eyes and ears to what God is saying in the night.
What Is God Saying in Our Dreams?
“Through prophetic dreaming, God can communicate direction to you that perhaps you would not be able to hear while awake in your distracted environment,” writes Laura Harris Smith, author of Seeing the Voice of God: What God Is Telling You through Dreams & Visions.
In addition to being a best-selling author for Chosen Books, Laura is a dear friend and was my pastor when we went to Eastgate Creative Christian Fellowship in Hermitage, Tennessee.
She accurately predicted my fourth and fifth babies in her dreams, long before I was pregnant with them—before I was even open to having them. (That is the subject of another article.) So, she has quite a bit of street cred in my book when it comes to dreams.
Smith tells us, “Encounters like dreams and visions do not compete with God’s Word; they complement it.”
With that critical foundation in place, Laura offers 10 types of dreams that God uses to communicate with His children. To show how God still guides His children through visions in the night, I will highlight five types of dreams here:
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Thomas Soellner
1. Warning Dreams
The dreams I described at the beginning of this article are textbook warning dreams. Just as the Lord revealed to Joseph Herod’s plot to murder the Messiah in a dream, God will use a warning dream to show us Satan’s plan. He will lift the veil and show us the enemy’s playbook.
You might be tempted to think of a warning dream as a nightmare. Don’t. It is an assignment to pray. There is no reason to fear. God gave you the dream so you could crush the plans of the enemy. Crush them in prayer.
Before my placenta started to tear away, God showed me what the enemy was up to. And because of that warning, my husband, my pastors, and every woman in my Bible study were praying for our safety before the enemy could attack. We pre-empted his strike with prayer. And we were victorious.
But God had led us to this victory by speaking in my dreams all along the way. So what about recurring dreams?
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Koldunova Anna
2. Recurring Dreams
The only reason I was with child at 45 was because I kept having dreams that I was pregnant with a little girl. Over and over. Like Joseph’s dreams and Pharaoh’s dreams, my recurring night visions varied, but the central theme was always the same. God wanted to bless us with a little girl if I had the faith to fight for her.
Smith says that through Joseph’s recurring dreams in Scripture, “God is stressing the point that something is ordained to transpire.” This does not mean that a repetitive dream is “100 percent set in stone to occur, but… such dreams must be taken seriously and committed to prayer.”
If you have a recurring dream, pray about what it might mean, and follow the Lord’s direction.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Aja Koska
3. Waking Dreams
A waking dream is just what it sounds like. It is a dream that lingers fresh in your mind as you wake up for the day. “You cannot shake the feeling that a waking dream is an immediate assignment,” says Smith.
My most memorable waking dream happened in early November of 2015, before we got pregnant with Evangeline Faith (the child I was fighting to deliver safely at the beginning of this article). This waking vision shook me to my core—in it, my husband and I were in a doctor’s office that was bathed in light. I looked down, and in my hand I was holding a tiny embryo.
I woke and immediately thought, “A child that small cannot be alive in my hand.”
Later that month, on Thanksgiving day, I miscarried a tiny baby.
As I grieved the loss of that promised child, who we named Hope, I cried out to God, “I didn’t even get to hold her!”
Then God reminded me that I did. I held our precious child in my dream before I ever knew she was here. That waking dream was an incredible source of comfort to me in the many months that followed, as I fought for the child who would come.
If a dream presses in your mind upon waking, commit to pray. God has put it there for a reason. And sometimes, it’s to help you make decisions:
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Prostock-Studio
4. Decision Dreams
Smith says that this type of dream asks a question or gives a choice between options. Solomon had a decision dream in 1 Kings 3 when he was granted one wish, and he asked for wisdom. God gives us decision dreams as well.
Five days after we lost our sweet Hope, I had a decision dream. In my night vision, I was standing in front of an enemy compound filled with foes aiming weapons at me.
Suddenly—a table appeared before me, and I hid underneath it.
When I woke, I immediately thought of the 23rd Psalm. “You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.” The Lord provided a table to protect me—but the table was empty.
I had yet to receive my feast.
At that moment, I realized that I had a decision to make. I could accept what had happened, or I could fight back and demand redemption. I could demand my feast.
I chose to fight.
I chose to trust that one day, that table I was standing next to would have a feast on it—and my enemy was going to watch me receive it.
If God gives you a decision dream, pray for wisdom and courage to make the right choice. Let’s look at dreams of encouragement:
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Sam Thomas
5. Encouraging Dreams
The week before I suffered a miscarriage, Laura had a dream that I was in our women’s Bible study circle—and I was 8 months pregnant. Before we ever suffered loss, God showed us that we would have another child in my pastor’s dream. How encouraging!
Six weeks later, on January 1st, 2016, my husband had a dream that we were in the labor and delivery room giving birth to our fifth child. This dream was a huge boost of adrenaline in our journey to receive God’s redemption. It fueled our prayer life and was a stamp of approval on what appeared to be a crazy venture. We needed that!
And later that year, we did get pregnant with the child in both of these dreams, the child we fought in prayer to keep. It was a long road, but encouraging dreams peppered our journey, lifting our spirits just when we needed them the most.
If you have an encouraging dream, write it down and refer to it often when you are tempted with discouragement. You will need it. Allow yourself to trust in this amazing truth:
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Tania Mousinho
God Still Speaks to Us in Our Dreams
Warning, recurring, waking, decision, and encouraging dreams were a significant part of our journey to fulfill God’s purpose for our family with the birth of our fifth child. True to my dreams, we had a little girl. True to my dreams, we suffered loss and went to war. And true to my dreams, we were victorious. Our miracle girl, Evangeline Faith Segars, was born on February 25, 2017.
Why not pay closer attention to your dreams?
Ask God in prayer to reveal His plans, protection, or preparation for you. Don’t allow the enemy to label all your disturbing dreams ‘nightmares.’ Give them with an open heart, to God, to define for you. Rely on knowing that God is more powerful than any scheme.
To find out the other types of dreams that God uses to speak to His children and much more, check out Laura’s book. I keep it on my nightstand and refer to it often.
And to hear a riveting, supernatural testimony of how God uses dreams to warn, heal, encourage, and instruct us, check out my video, “8 Steps To Find Redemption After Loss,” In this message, I share our supernatural journey to receive God’s promise of a fifth child, a journey which is peppered throughout with prophetic dreams.
Dreams were powerful avenues of communication throughout Scripture, and God still uses our dreams today.
Consider what He might be whispering in your nighttime hours. It might just change your life.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Romolo Tavani
Catherine Segars is an award-winning actress and playwright—turned stay-at-home-mom—turned author, speaker, blogger, and motherhood apologist. She is matron of the Mere Mother website, which delves into critical issues that marginalize mothers in our culture. This homeschooling mama of five is dedicated to helping mothers see their worth in a season when they often feel overwhelmed and irrelevant. You can find Catherine’s blog, dramatic blogcast, and other writings at www.catherinesegars.com and connect with her on Facebook.