Q. What are we to make of our dreams? Can God speak to us through them? Can Satan penetrate our minds through them?
A. Without a doubt, God can speak to us through our dreams. This is revealed to us all throughout the Scriptures, beginning in the book of Genesis with Jacob’s dream of the ladder to heaven and his son Joseph’s reputation for being a “dreamer.” We see it also through the book of Daniel – where Daniel himself was given the gift of interpreting dreams – and even in the Gospels where God communicates with Joseph exclusively through dreams. It is a part of our Judeo-Christian tradition to count dreams as one of God’s means of communication with His children.
One potential, psychological reason for this is because in our dream state, we are entirely passive. In other words, it might be the one time of the day when God can actually get a word in edgewise! This does not mean, however, that all dreams are always God speaking to us specifically because there is a purely psychological reason for their occurrence. Because dreams are basically spiritual in nature, in a certain sense, it is conceivable that they are influenced by the spiritual realm.
As a result, evil spirits could also influence us through dreams. It is necessary to clarify that Satan or evil spirits cannot “penetrate our minds.” The mind is the sole meeting place between God and man in his conscience. However, thoughts which we formulate that influence our wills – whether we act on them or not – are then “put out there”, as it were, and can subsequently be influenced by evil. This can equally be applied to dreams.
Should we give them much thought, then? It does us no harm to consider our dreams, or even to record them upon waking, if we can remember them. Discussing them with a spiritual director can be helpful in discerning how God may have been speaking through them. But should we trust every dream to be from God? NO. Sometimes our imaginations just needed a little exercise!