Question from a Site Viewer
Your testimony was encouraging to read! When I was younger, I too dealt with some heavy things similar to your nightmares and when after praying against them, they stopped. I think Satan has a special agenda that targets little children. I’ve had my share of spiritual warfare when I was younger when by being steadfast on the truth, those specific experiences stopped occurring. Oh, the many times and the many different ways I’ve experienced the salvation of our heavenly Father! Talking about dreams though, I never have good dreams anymore. In fact, I don’t like dreaming because they are all bizarre in a negative way and have on occasion been direct spiritual attacks. One dream I would like to share with you and would like your feedback on it in terms of if it means anything and if it does . . . what does it mean?
Here is the dream: I had a dream that me and four or five others were in Hell. It was a dark, red, cavernous type of place and there was this wall in the middle of nowhere and a statue of Satan jutting out of it. I was saying something in my dream, probably speaking against Satan in the name of Jesus Christ (as I so often do when I have dreams like that). But as I was speaking against him, the statue of him was coming to life to the point that he was completely unfettered and he started attacking everyone around me and then he turned on me. I was running away from him and found myself running down a spiral stairwell. He finally caught up with me and began devouring my flesh (the weird and sort of comical thing about this part was that he turned into Mike Tyson with really big fangs when he was devouring me). Anyway, after he was through with me (I was only a spirit at this point since he can’t touch that), he went after this girl, caught her and took her down the spiral stairway into the darkness. I heard her screaming and wanted to save her, so I followed her screams down the staircase and into a hallway that was somewhat lit up. Then I woke up . . .
To this day, I can’t shake that dream out of my head, and it happened a few years ago. I’ve had others. I wake up coming against Satan in the name of Jesus Christ because I’m feeling attacked in my dreams. What are your thoughts on these dreams? Are they specific attacks engineered only for me or are they just byproducts of a fanciful imagination? Maybe both? Do most Christians experience these sorts of dreams/night terrors or am I one of a small percentage that does? And what does that mean? I try not to attach too much significance to dreams especially to what is allowed biblically, but there are those that tend to impact me more than others.
I appreciate your feedback on the whole astrology topic, and find myself in complete agreement.
I do not put great stock in most dreams. But I think it is possible for God to use dreams to communicate to us. He has used them in the past and promises to use them in the future. I do not rule out His use of them in the present. Generally, however, I think dreams are like thoughts during the day that come to our mind. Though most of them are random, occasionally God will plant a thought in our mind that we do well to recognize as from Him.
As for this particular dream, I do not have an answer for you. I am not an interpreter of dreams. But I can address some of the theology of the dream. First, I do not think it is wise for Christians to speak against Satan. Not even Michael the archangel did this, but merely said “the Lord rebuke you” (Jude 9). It is not wise to speak against that which we do not understand (Jude 10; 2 Peter 2:10-12). Thus, I always encourage believers to focus on Jesus, not Satan. Our job is to resist Satan (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9), but not to attack him, nor to flee before him. Rather, I like the image John Bunyon gives us in Pilgrim’s Progress. Satan is like a lion lying besides the path, waiting to devour us. But as long as we stay on the path, we are perfectly safe. Though he roars at us, his chains do not let him reach the path.
I think Satan likes nothing better than to get us to focus on fighting him. Such keeps our minds away from Christ and he can then lead us completely away from the faith as we fight against him. I have seen this happen in other believers, who, like the apostles of old, find it amazing that they have this great power over the demons and begin to revel in that power. As Jesus told his apostles, we should be rejoicing rather that our names are written in heaven. I tell people all of the time to keep the focus there. Every moment we are turned towards Satan, we are turned away from Christ. I never find Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, or John encouraging us to rebuke the devil. The places in Scripture where Satan is said to be rebuked are in Zechariah 3:2 where God Himself calls upon Himself to rebuke Satan and Jude 9 where Michael called upon the Lord to rebuke Satan. Such rebuke of the enemy is not standard fare in the way the New Testament writers teach us how to live our lives. Though Satan is mentioned several times, the answer to his temptations is never said to be to rebuke him, but rather to be aware of his temptations and to turn to Jesus. Satan is a defeated foe. Jesus did that on the cross (Hebrews 2:14-15). Thus, we can proceed boldly in our Christian life and have virtually no thought for the devil, except not to fall into his temptations, even as our Lord taught us.
What I encourage everyone is to think about the things Scripture calls us to think about (Philippians 4:8). As we transform our minds into the mind of Christ, thoughts of evil (including Satan who is the epitome of evil) will recede. It is not good to know much about evil. Adam and Eve were blessed to be created with no knowledge of evil. While we do not want to be naive, we also want to live in the kingdom and focus on the good and on God, and to be innocent as much as possible about evil, as Paul teaches (Romans 16:19).
I suspect you will find that as you mature more in your faith and move further into the light in your thinking, your dark dreams will be replaced by dreams of home, of meeting Jesus, of helping people, and of things pure and true. I understand, of course, that we live in a fallen world and there are a great number of images of evil that we see all of the time. So, our minds will always have pictures of evil present. But as we intentionally shape our minds to think of God, our dreams over time should shift as well to being more pleasant. The big battle for all believers is to win the battle of the mind.
May the Lord use you to bless others this Christmas season and throughout the upcoming years.
a fellow pilgrim,