Dreams are known as "the sleep language," and since the time of creation God has brought divine revelation to mortal men and women while they are sleeping. Scripture even calls a prophet a "dreamer of dreams" (see Deut. 13:1; Num. 12:6).
Many Christians hold the mistaken impression that prophetic dream encounters are reserved for a small, elite group of especially sensitive or gifted people. But this simply is not the case.
I can testify personally that God has communicated and ministered to me in amazing ways through dreams.
For example, the Lord has used dreams to heal my emotions and give power to my personal ministry. Through dreams, the Holy Spirit enhanced my ability to open my eyes of faith and see myself as God does. Also through dreams is where I first began to carry the "burden of the Lord" of prophetic intercession in compassion for others.
Many people in our modern Western culture treat dreams as foolish or even demonic. But they don't know what they are missing!
God's authoritative Word has another view on the matter:
"In the last days it shall be,' says God, 'that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even on My menservants and maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy" (Acts 2:15-18).
A Supernatural Dream Encounter
I can trace my own "baptism" in the realm of dreams and revelation to April 7, 1991, when I dreamt that Jim and I were participating in a small church meeting.
One man stood up and said prophetically, "There is a woman here to whom God will give great boldness and speech and proclamation, one who is naturally very quiet and reserved." Jim was sitting next to me, and he said, "I know who that's for—Michal Ann Goll."
Later on in my dream, a woman came up to me and said that a "new life" was in my body, which several other women confirmed that night.
God, by His grace and loving kindness, had overcome me and was continuing to overcome my natural sense of reserve by placing within me a spirit of boldness and proclamation.
When given these prophetic words through my dream, I had a choice to make: I could reject the move of God in my life like my biblical namesake, Michal, or I could receive God's word and let Him flow through me.
From its Hebrew roots, the true meaning of Michal is "rivulet, stream, brook" or a flowing stream of water.
In the Bible, Michal was the first wife of David and the youngest daughter of King Saul. After her father's death, she rejected the move of God that prompted King David to dance without inhibition before his people. She was so concerned about preserving her royal station—and keeping up a pretense of false respectability—that she missed God by despising her anointed husband. As a result, she remained barren and childless for life (see 2 Sam. 6).
I refuse to follow in her footsteps.
From Barrenness to Grace and Favor
Since that day, I saw my name literally fulfilled by the grace of God. He made me into a "flowing stream of grace and favor." (My middle name, Ann, means "grace.")
I set a goal for my life that I did not want to be a mocker of God's presence and, thus, be barren. I wanted to have many "children" in the spirit realm, in whatever way God wanted to bring them into my life.
I tried to be careful and guard my thoughts and attitudes regarding this. I know what it feels like to walk through seven years of barrenness but then experience God's healing power and birth four children into the world—despite the medical world's claims of that being an impossibility.
God took me from a place of barrenness and gave me favor and grace in both the natural and the spiritual realms. After that, He allowed me to become a channel or stream of His glory, and I then imparted to others what He had graciously given to me.
Birthing Prophetic Dreams
Prophetic dreams are much like pregnancy and childbirth. When God speaks to us through a dream—or in one of His many other revelatory ways—it is like carrying a baby.
In the natural, an expectant mother has no idea what her baby will look like until she sees the final product after birth. Although aware that a new life is growing inside her belly, she does not know if the child will have blonde, black, brown or red hair or will be intellectual, athletic or mechanically minded.
What she does know for certain is that God has deposited new life in her, and as a mother she loves that life. Everything inside her is committed to guarding and caring for the new life that God has entrusted to her.
The same is true of prophetic dreams. When God gives us dreams, we have no idea what the end result will be.
We must patiently and carefully carry the dream that God has conceived in us until He brings it to birth. When the fullness of time comes, we also receive a full understanding of the dream's meaning.
Surrender: Let God Bring Dreams to Maturity
What we do need to know is how to respond when a dream comes. Each of us needs to say:
Lord, I just want life. Whatever it looks like, however You decide to bring it into maturity, that's what I want. I deeply desire that this dream come to completion in the way that You have planned. I remove my hands from it and relinquish any effort to control it and figure it all out. Lord, I just want the dream to grow within me and come to full maturity, in Jesus' name.
For me, this sort of "hands-off" surrender attitude has been key to the entire realm of spiritual dreams and revelation.
Who better to interpret and fulfill our dream than the one who gave it to us?
Drawing closer to God should be our heart's cry for any dream experience or supernatural encounter.
If the experience doesn't bring us closer to Jesus, help us understand the work of the cross and become more firmly rooted in God's love, then we need to seriously question its validity and source.
(This article has been adapted from the book God Encounters Today—Chapter 8: "Dream Encounters" by Michal Ann Goll.)
James W. Goll is the president of God Encounters Ministries and has traveled around the world sharing the love of Jesus, imparting the power of intercession, prophetic ministry and life in the Spirit. He has recorded numerous classes with corresponding study guides and is the author of more than forty books, including The Seer, The Lost Art of Intercession, The Coming Israel Awakening and The Lifestyle of a Prophet. James is the father of four wonderful children with a growing number of grandchildren, and makes his home in Franklin, Tennessee.
For the original article, visit godencounters.com.
Dr. James W. Goll is the founder of God Encounters Ministries, an award-winning author and communications trainer and has ministered in over 50 nations. For information on his webinars and online classes, visit godencounters.com. James continues to live in Tennessee and is a joyful father and grandfather today.
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