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How do we know what are God given dreams and not our own selfish desires?


Thank you for asking us a question about the nature of dreams. It is our hope that we can answer your question today. Dreams are an everyday part of life, and throughout the world, millions of people will remember their dreams from when they were asleep. As the question suggests, there will be some dreams that are God-given, and there will be some that are not of God. 

Throughout the bible we see dreams mentioned repeatedly, with some people, notably Joseph, having dreams that would later become reality. The bible also contains many other verses about dreams, such as Acts 2:17 which reads "...your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams". We also see books such as Daniel, Ezekiel and Revelation which contain descriptions of visions, which could have been during a dream like state. 

With dreaming being a natural part of life, with both Christians and non-Christians dreaming, it is therefore important to be able to distinguish between dreams that are of God, and dreams that are of our own mind. One powerful verse that may be able to help you is 1 Thessalonians 5:21, which reads test all things; hold fast what is good. When it comes to everything, including times where God may be speaking to us, we need to test them to see if God is really speaking to us.

When it comes to testing, I encourage you to see if the dream and its principles match what the bible says about God. If, for example, it were about committing a sin, this clearly would be our own selfishness, as the bible tells us to "keep my commandments" (John 14:15). We could also ask, 'does it match God's character?'. The bible contains dozens of bible verses telling us of the character of God, what it means to be conformed to the 'mind of God' and therefore if a dream does not match the character of God, then it is of your own mind. 

Clearly, it is important that we read the bible regularly so that we know of God's character and the attributes that he wants us to have. UCB, one of our partners, have a daily bible reading resource called The Word for Today, and reading it regularly can help you to understand God's character and his desires for your life. Please click the following link for more information:

Similarly, we also believe in the importance of prayer when it comes to God revealing his plan for us. Why not spend some time in prayer and ask God if a certain dream is of him? Remember to give God an opportunity to speak to you, just as he spoke to other people throughout the bible. Through him speaking directly, we believe that God can give you confirmation as to whether or not a dream really is from Him. 

In conclusion, as Christians we believe firmly that God is able to speak to us through dreams, as he did through the bible, and he also makes it clear that we will dream. It is therefore clear that we are able to understand the desire of God, so that we know what is of us and what is of God. Through matching our dreams to the scriptures, we have a good indication as to whether or not a dream is of God. Similarly, prayer is also important, as it is a direct two way conversation with God himself, and through it we believe that he can and is willing to tell us the answer to our dreams. 

Here are some more Bible Verses for your further consideration:

  • Amos 3:7
  • James 1:5

I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video

I encourage you to attend a local Bible believing church and speak to the leader about your question. If you want to find a local church, our Church Finder may help you: Find a Church

Please feel free to submit a question to us or to read our answer database: Ask a Question

*Taken From The New King James Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise

*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at

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