Rabbi Schneider - Discover the Meaning of Your Dreams
This is such an important subject. When we do a survey in scripture, it's amazing to see how often the Lord has spoken to His people through their dreams at night. I really encourage you to go back and watch this entire series. Consider this, if somebody lives to the age of seventy five years of age, twenty five of their seventy five years of life will have been spent sleeping if they sleep an average of eight hours a night. And of those twenty five years in which they slept, six of those twenty five years will have been spent dreaming. Some people don't think dreams are important, but I want you to know dreams affect us; because when we dream it's as actually as if we're living through those experiences, we feel them, they leave an imprint on us. God often times will help shape us through our dreams at night. They're such a mystery. This is something that scientists can't figure out. They can study dreams, but they can't explain where dreams come from.
I mean perhaps some of you have paid close attention to your dreams and you wonder, where in the world did that come from? It can't be explained by something that you read, or something you watched on television. It's just so real and the characters in the dream sometimes have such personality, you wonder, "Where did it come from"? I want you to hear me loud and clear, it's important to pay attention to your dreams. You see as I said in an earlier broadcast, when we're awake we're often times very fixed on our material surroundings. If we're at work for example, we're very engaged with the work at hand. If we're driving an automobile we're very focused on the cars that are in front of us, on stop signs, on the lights, etc. But when we're dreaming, our soul is loose from the material world and it's in that state that Hashem, which is a Hebrew way of saying the Lord, will speak to His people.
Now one of the things that's interesting about the nature of dreams, is that often times the language of dreams is similar to the type of language that Jesus used when He spoke to His disciples in parables. In other words, often times when we dream a dream that's from the Lord, the message that God communicates through the dream will not just be so straight forward that it's right in front of your face. Sometimes the message will come to us in a dream in symbolic form, even as Jesus communicated many revelations to His disciples; not straight on, but through parables. Let's look at an example of how God speaks to us in symbolic dream language from the book of Genesis. The book of Bereshit chapter number 37. Hear the Word of God. "Then Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they hated him even more. He said to them, 'Please listen to this dream which I have had; for behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and lo, my sheaf rose up and also stood erect; and behold, your sheaves gathered around and bowed down to my sheaf'".
And then Joseph continued. In the 9th verse he said, "Now he had still another dream, and related it to his brothers, and said, 'Lo, I have had still another dream; and behold, the sun and the moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me'". Of course we know, because we've read the whole story, that Joseph was prophesying how eventually his parents and brothers would come down and bow down to him. We remember the story, Joseph was sold as a slave into Egypt and then got promoted to being second in the land. And when there was a famine in Canaan, Joseph's brothers and then they brought the dad to Egypt where Joseph was living. They bowed down to Joseph. They didn't realize it was Joseph. They thought it was just an Egyptian, because Joseph was clothed now in Egyptian royalty and when Joseph's brothers arrived Joseph called them in to a room and then revealed who he was to them and they bowed down to him. Joseph dreamed that this was gonna happen, years and years before it did.
So Joseph's dream about the sheaves bowing down to him and the sun and the moon and the stars bowing down to him, was about what would happen years later; when Joseph's brothers left Canaan to go to Egypt to buy grain where Joseph was reigning. And when they met Joseph in Egypt they bowed down before him. Why did God not just show Joseph that eventually his brothers and father would bow down to him? Why did the Lord show Joseph that the sheaves were gonna bow down? Why did God show Joseph the sun and the moon and the stars were gonna bow down? Beloved, one of the reasons that God speaks to us in symbolic language in our dreams and one of the reasons that Jesus communicated so much through parables, is because God desires to engage us with Himself to discover the meaning of the message.
In other words, if God just always communicated straight on, direct language, and we never had any questions as to what He was saying, we would have the answer and we could be tempted just to move on. But when we know God has spoken to us, but we're not quite sure what it is that He's meaning to say, it requires us then to seek Him for understanding. And because it drives us to seek Him, the relationship between the Lord and us is strengthened. God wants to involve us in the discovery. Jesus said, "Seek and ye shall find". And so often times when I have a dream at night and I've said on many of the earlier broadcasts in this series, I absolutely want to state loud and clear that not every dream that we have is from the Lord. In my experience a small minority of my dreams are from the Lord, but yet I know God does speak to me in dreams so I'm always paying attention.
Often times when the Lord speaks to me in a dream the understanding of what He is saying is not instantly clear, but I'll have a strong sense that the dream that I had last night was from the Lord. And it requires me then to write it down and begin, listen now, to pray about it; to begin to say, "Lord I think that was a dream from You last night. Father I really believe that was from you. Help me to understand what it means". And I'll go through all that day and the next day inquiring of the Lord, "For what were you saying? What does it mean"? And because the dream has forced me to become dependent on Hashem, which once again is just a Hebrew way of saying, bless the name, bless the name of the Lord; because the dream forces me to become dependent on Hashem, it actually draws me deeper in to relationship with Him. And that's the point. God wants us to be dependent.
In Judaism one of the primary elements of walking with God is, listen, clinging to Him. God wants you and I to constantly cling to Him and so He'll often times speak to us through dreams in symbolic language, because it forces us to cling to Him, so that we'll understand what it is that He is saying to us. This is the same principle, again, that Yeshua's using when He spoke in parables. Listen to the book of Mark chapter number 4, verse 33 through 34. "And He said, 'How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it?' Then He said, 'It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that are upon the soil, yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and forms large branches; so that the birds of the air can nest under its shade'".
Now listen to what the next verse says. "With many such parables He was speaking the word to them, so far as they were able to hear it; and He did not speak to them without a parable; but He was explaining everything privately to His own disciples". In other words, Yeshua was relying on parables so much, because He was both revealing and concealing truth at the same time. He was revealing truth in a limited way. In order to fully understand the truth that He was revealing, the disciples had to come to Him and inquire, "What did you mean"? Many of us for example, when we hear the parable about the sower and the seed, we instantly know the interpretation. But that's because the disciples inquired as to the meaning of the interpretation and it's recorded for us now in the scriptures. But when the disciples first heard the parable about the mustard seed, or about the seeds being sown, they didn't know the interpretations. They had to go to ask Jesus, the scripture says, privately and then Yeshua would explain it to them.
I want to encourage you, really ask yourself each morning when you rise, when you get up; say, "Did I dream anything last night"? You see don't be offended when I say this, but a lot of the problem that some of us are having is simply that we're lazy. We're not paying attention to our dreams. Remember I quoted for you in one of the earlier episodes in this series, how in the book of Job, Elihu, one of Job's counselors said, "God speaks once, yea twice to save man's soul and to give them instruction". And he said, "And the Lord is doing it while men are fast asleep in their bed. And people," he said, "are not paying attention". You see there's so much more that many of us could be gaining in terms of how to walk in this world, in terms of direction, in terms of strategy, in terms of counsel, in terms of warning. We could be walking in so much more revelation knowledge, beloved one, if we were paying better attention to our dreams at night.
And some of us are not gaining more revelation, the truth is, because we're just lazy. We wake up in the morning. We don't take time to really inquire of the Lord. "Lord did You speak to me last night in my sleep? Lord help me to recall anything that You said to me". And then immediately going and writing down whatever we can remember about our dreams and then taking the time to pray. A lot of people, they just don't want to take the time. It really is spiritual laziness. They don't want to take the time. They don't want to make time. They don't want to put in the effort and so God's speaking to them and they're losing the benefit they could have had, because they're not taking their dreams seriously. But remember what I said beloved one, to disregard your dreams is to disregard God.
I remember sometime back as we think about how God speaks to us in dreams. I remember realizing how God gives even direction and divine strategy for where to move next in life through dreams. We've talked about so many of the ways that God speaks in dreams. And I'm moving on now to another element that the Lord can address in your life in regards to hearing His voice in your sleep and that is, He can give you direction and strategy. Listen to the book of Matthew, chapter number 2 verse 19 and 20. Now this is speaking concerning Joseph and Him knowing what to do with the baby Jesus. "But when Herod died," because Herod was ruling in the land at the time of Yeshua's birth. "But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, and said, 'Get up, take the Child and His mother, and go into the land of Israel; for those who sought the Child's life are dead'".
And so Joseph first of all, through a dream he knew when to take Yeshua into Egypt and then through a dream Joseph learned when to take Yeshua back into Israel. God gave him direction and strategy. And again, the Bible, the Torah, didn't tell Joseph when to take Jesus out of Israel into Egypt. It didn't even tell Joseph the details of what that would look like. But the angel spoke to Joseph in the dream and that's how Joseph knew how to take care of the baby Jesus. The point is, beloved, God speaks to us about details through our dreams, that sometimes we can't find the answer for specific problems in the detailed sense of the word, in the scriptures. That's why we need to be complete, both the written Word of God, that's the foundation for all faith and contact. But we also need the Ruach Hakodesh, the Holy Spirit, that could speak to us about specific details that sometimes the Word of God doesn't address.
And again, I'm in no way minimizing the Word of God. The Word of God, the written Word of God is supreme, it's the foundation. But again, through your dreams the Lord can tell you where to move. I shared with you on an earlier broadcast, I moved to Columbus, Ohio twenty years ago, because God showed me to move there in a dream. God gives strategy for life in our dreams, just like He did Joseph.
Let me give you another example. Years ago I had a dream and in this dream I was in a room. It was about twenty feet long and approximately eight feet wide. There was a couch in the room against one of the walls, sitting on the couch was a middle aged man, next to the man was a middle aged woman and then I was also sitting on the couch and my head was leaning on the shoulder of the woman who was in the middle. It was kind of like David and David said in the Psalms, that he had stilled his soul by leaning against his mother. So in the dream I'm leaning on this woman and there was just a deep sense of security. It symbolized in the Psalms the security a child has in his relationship with his mother. So I have this deep place of security and then I say to the man on the couch, "What do you think of Jesus"?
Then suddenly the dream shifted. I found myself in a very similar room. I was sitting on the couch once again. This time there was a woman about twenty five years old standing also in the room. And I said to this twenty five year old woman, I said the same thing, "What do you think of Jesus"? And she said, "Well I know He said a lot to the world and to the church, but He never said anything to me, like about being boyfriend, girlfriend". Bam! Then the dream was over. And her language was so strange. It was so something I would never thought someone would have said, that I knew right after that dream, that God had just spoken to me. In other words, I was able to be aware of the fact that I just had a dream.
Immediately I got out of my bed, thought about the dream, prayed about the dream, and wrote it down. And here's what I learned, number one, the Lord gave me a specific question to use when sharing the Gospel with somebody. He showed me to use the question, when I want to introduce the Gospel to someone specifically, "What do you think of Jesus"? Because if you say to somebody, "What do you think about Jesus"? They might give you like an intellectual, heady answer; something they read about in a history book. But if you say to somebody, "What do you think of Jesus"? It's a hard question. They're gonna begin to share with you what they really believe.
And I've heard so many types of answers, I can't even begin to tell you the different answers I've heard. But when they answer, it helps you to know where they're at spiritually and hearing their answer you'll be able to know how to move forward in presenting the love of God to them. So, what do you think of Jesus? The first thing I learned from that two phased dream was a specific witnessing question to use. I actually train people how to witness, how to share the Gospel and using that question as a lead in; that specific question, what do you think of Jesus?
But here's the two other things I've discovered, number one in the first phase of the dream when my head was leaning on the woman's shoulder. Again, nothing sexual about it. I didn't even see her face. It was just totally a picture of being secure in a child's relationship with his mother. It was from that place of security that I was able to begin to witness to the man and I believe the Lord was saying to me there, many men do not share their faith, because they're insecure. They're afraid they won't be looked at as macho if they begin to tell another man about Jesus. And the Lord was sharing with me, "I want you to challenge men to be secure and share their faith with other men".
Then the second phase in the dream as I began to inquire what does this mean, the Lord was showing me that a lot of people when they think about Jesus, they just think about the fact that God so loved the world. The girl said, "I know He said a lot like to the world and to the church, but He never said anything to me like about being boyfriend, girlfriend". And what the Lord was showing me there was, when you share My love with people, they need to understand that I love them, listen now, individually, personally, and specifically. And My love for them is so intimate, that I've called them, in Revelation chapter 19, to the marriage supper of the Lamb. I learned from that dream, that when I share the love of Jesus with people, people need to understand it's not just a message for the world, it's a message for them individually, specifically, and personally. Beloved, God loves us so much and He wants to speak to us more. Listen to Him in your dreams. I promise you He's gonna lead you and you'll be blessed.