I grew up in a non-Christian home where I learned that supernatural things originated from evil sources. The problem was I had a lot of weird things happen to me. I had nightmares, heard voices, saw things that weren't there and grew up fascinated by paranormal activity.
But when I was in my 20s, God invaded my life, and everything changed. The darkness and fear that plagued my God-given gift faded away as I pursued freedom and a closer walk with Him. I started hearing Him in my dreams, having visions, just knowing stuff and feeling what other people felt. It was immediate but not instantaneous.
A short time after I met Jesus, John Paul Jackson came to the Vineyard church I attended in Phoenix. He taught about faith and expecting God to move miraculously, but what really caught my attention was the ministry time. He pointed at a young man in the congregation, asked him to stand up and began telling him about his past, present and future. He did this more than 20 times that night with different people.
I was captivated! Wow! My heart cried out, "God, if that is available, I want it!" At the end of the evening, John Paul announced he was going to teach a course called The Art of Hearing God, and I knew I had to go. At that course, I learned God not only gives us dreams, but He also wants us to learn how to interpret them. They have meaning beyond the experience itself. I was hooked.
The Thing About Dreams
John Paul's course started me on a journey of study, and today, almost 20 years later, I know I have only scratched the surface of what God offers in the dream world. I started studying dreams and visions, practicing interpreting them and getting feedback from others: "Does this interpretation make sense to you? Does it seem to fit?" I began writing down my dreams. I pursued understanding, and now my life is marked by dreams—I interpret them, I have them, they guide me and I teach others about them.
By far, the most important thing I have learned about dreams is this: When it comes down to it, studying dreams is not about dreams. They are not the answer by themselves. They are about relationship with God. A dream from God will tell us about Him and help us see Him more clearly. We study dreams so we can know the heart of our Father better. My next article will cover this subject in greater detail.
Your Story Is Incredibly Unique
Your story with God probably doesn't look like mine. And it doesn't have to. All of us are on a journey into deeper relationship with Him, and that journey looks different in each and every case. Some of us have spiritual experiences all our lives, while others can't put their finger on a single time when something spiritual or supernatural happened to them. Some of us have incredible encounters later in life that seem to throw open the door to heavenly realities. All of a sudden—after living fairly normal lives—we're propelled into an adventure that is weird and exciting and mind-boggling, all at the same time.
Maybe the concept of God speaking through dreams is new for you. Whether you're just starting this journey or have been on it for a while, keep going—it is worth the effort. Our God is a God who speaks, and while each of us has a unique story with Him, we are all in relationship with the same God who doesn't change. In His world of dreams, a grand adventure awaits us.
John E. Thomas is the president of Streams Ministries and the co-author of The Art of Praying the Scriptures: A Fresh Look at Lectio Divina with John Paul Jackson. Teaching on prophetic ministry, dream interpretation and the kingdom of God, he travels internationally and works to help restore the awe of God to a world that has lost its wonder. John and his wife, Dawna, live outside of Dallas, Texas.
If you want to learn more about dreams and dream interpretation, check out John's newest resource, Dream Foundations, which will be released July 11 on streamsministries.com.
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