By Femi Aribisala
A colleague brought a fourteen year-old girl to see me. Apparently, her mother’s prophet had a horrific dream about her portending great danger. His antidote was just as horrific. He told the mother that her daughter would have to bathe naked publicly at Bar Beach, Lagos or she would meet a bad end. Despite her protests, her mother put her foot down: the word of the “man-of-God” must be obeyed.
I managed to convince her mother that this prophecy could not have been from God. Dreams requiring ungodly remedies are devilish, crafted by evil manipulative men. Says God: “Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams and tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies and by their recklessness. Yet I did not send them or command them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all.” (Jeremiah 23:32).
If you are in a church where the so-called pastor or resident prophet specialises in seeing visions and dreaming dreams about everyone else, get out of there. Learn to receive directly from God by yourself. No pastor should mediate between you and God. Christ came that we may have a personal relationship with God. That is why he gave us the Holy Spirit.
Old wives tales
Avoid “old wives tales” about dreams; the church is full of them. These often contradict what is presented in the scriptures. Flying in dreams does not make you a witch. It might simply symbolise victory and reaching new heights. Isaiah says: “They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31).
The fact that you died in a dream does not mean you are going to die. Indeed, it might mean you are going to receive newness of life. Jesus says: “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.” (John 12:24). The fact that you were pregnant in a dream does not mean you are licentious. It might equally mean you are a “God-carrier.” The angel said to Mary: “Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS.” (Luke 1:31).
Having sex in the dream is an index of lack of spiritual fervency.
Never accept an interpretation that goes against the grain of what is revealed in the scriptures. Never accept an interpretation that contradicts your faith. Jesus says: “According to your faith will it be done to you.” (Matthew 9:29). Some mischievous joker tried to convince me the lion that appeared to me in a dream was the devil. I told him where to get off. Jesus is the lion of the tribe of Judah. (Revelation 5:5). But “the devil prowls around like a roaring lion.” (1 Peter 5:8). What appeared to me in my dream was not like a lion. What appeared to me was a lion.
There are also many Christian theories about the implications of eating in dreams. Most of these are highfalutin and not scriptural. Some will tell you what you eat in a dream is poisonous. If so, many Christians should be dead by now. However, sometimes a bodily need such as hunger or thirst can prompt a dream. Sometimes when we are fasting, we dream of great tables of food set before us.
Indeed, Isaiah reveals that eating in dreams come about as a result of natural stimuli: “It shall even be as when a hungry man dreams, and look- he eats; but he awakes, and his soul is still empty; or as when a thirsty man dreams, and look- he drinks; but he awakes, and indeed he is faint, and his soul still craves.” (Isaiah 29:8).
Having sex in dreams is another thing entirely. According to the scriptures, this cannot be a good thing. Moses says: “Avoid anything that would make you ritually unclean. If a man becomes unclean because he has had a wet dream during the night, he is to go outside the camp and stay there.” (Deuteronomy 23:9-10). Some go as far as maintain some people have spiritual husbands and wives. However, there is no scriptural basis for this.
Having sex in the dream is an index of lack of spiritual fervency. This renders us to be a city without walls that the enemy can come into and defile. As a result, God calls us to spiritual revival and renewal: “Awake, awake, put on your strength, O Zion; put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city; for there shall no more come into you the uncircumcised and the unclean. (Isaiah 52:1). We need to be spiritually awake, even when we are physically asleep.
Stephen Johnson came to see me complaining that he was always getting attacked in his dreams. I said to him: “Read fifteen chapters of the bible before you go to bed and see me tomorrow.” When I saw him the next day, he said nobody attacked him that night. Then he asked: “Does it mean I have to be reading the bible every day?” I told him to get out of my office. A man does not question the need to feed his body every day. But tell him to feed his spirit, and he becomes a skeptic.
As a new believer, I was often attacked in my dreams. Sometimes, a dog would try to bite me, or someone would chase me and I would run all night long for dear life. Even more disturbing was the nightmare where someone would come and press me down on the bed; nearly choking me to death.
But as I became more spiritually fervent, I stopped running. I would stand my ground and fight and the fight would go on for the whole night. Later, I would beat up my assailants until they became unconscious. Then it got even more dramatic. I would stretch out my hand, a bazooka would appear mysteriously, and I would blow my assailants away. Today, nobody dares attack me in my dreams anymore.
What am I trying to tell you? If a kettle is hot, nobody presses down on it: he would get burnt.
Some people insist they don’t dream. But I believe this just means their dreams are regularly lost or stolen. Dreams, by nature, are fleeting. (Job 20:8). Since they are sometimes from God, there are evil forces determined to impede us from receiving them. To prevent dream-loss, again we have to be spiritually fervent.
Then there are those who dream but don’t remember their dreams. Such people may want to keep a notebook by their bedside to record their dreams. Dreams occur at the end of our sleep and not at the beginning; therefore we can record them immediately as was Daniel’s practice: “Daniel had a dream and visions of his head while on his bed. Then he wrote down the dream, telling the main facts.” (Daniel 7:1).
Nevertheless, if you still cannot remember your dream, then ask the Holy Spirit. Jesus says: “The Holy Spirit will bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (John 14:26).