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Of dreams and visions:

To follow up on a recent article we carried on this topic, a few more observations, from an expert (if there is such a thing as an expert in this arcane field).

It's true that dreams and images often come from what's in our mind.

But can't God use that -- to send His messages?

Dreams may reveal inner turmoil.

They may demonstrate hidden fears.

They can manifest ways we are still not dead to sin.

They can show how we are still bound to the flesh.

"Dreams often reveal areas of struggle within us -- areas of weakness or imperfections where the enemy may attempt to catch us unaware," says author Jane Hamon of Florida in a general Christian book, Dreams and Visions.

It is in the silence of dreams that God often imprints something in our souls -- something new for the subconscious -- and conscious (when we remember a dream) -- to consider.

Praying to find out what that is can be revealing.

Is every dream full of meaning?

We all know the answer to that.

 When it does have meaning, it should match up with something in Scripture (especially useful: Proverbs).

We must also realize that the devil can use dreams to harass us, scare us, or make someone appear to be what he or she is not -- to vilify a person.

So: caution. "Some nightmares are avenues for tormenting demonic spirits to harass and rob a person of his or her inner peace and joy," writes the author.

On the other hand: "God will occasionally use a dream that startles or frightens to get our attention. In some cases, God may have been trying to deal with the dreamer concerning a certain issue in his or her life for some period of time before the dream."

In certain dramatic cases, a dream can forwarn of danger. Jane says she had a dream of her brother being killed in a car accident, which initiated prayer for him; the next day, he was in a serious crash but survived.

Did God not speak to Pointius Pilot in a dream?

And of course Saint Joseph?

And Abimelech?

There are warnings. But also, notes Hamon: "A dream that encourages, exhorts, or comforts and is in biblical context may be considered a prophetic dream" (see 1 Corinthians 14:3).

[resources: Dreams and Visions]

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