Why do dreams seem to help us know God’s will today? (Judges 7, esp. verse 15) -- 13 Gideon arrived just as a man was telling a friend his dream. “I had a dream,” he was saying. “A round loaf of barley bread came tumbling into the Midianite camp. It struck the tent with such force that the tent overturned and collapsed.” 14 His friend responded, “This can be nothing other than the sword of Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite. God has given the Midianites and the whole camp into his hands.” 15 When Gideon heard the dream and its interpretation, he bowed down and worshiped. He returned to the camp of Israel and called out, “Get up! The Lord has given the Midianite camp into your hands.” 16 Dividing the three hundred men into three companies, he placed trumpets and empty jars in the hands of all of them, with torches inside.
ESV - 15 As soon as Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, he worshiped. And he returned to the camp of Israel and said, "Arise, for the Lord has given the host of Midian into your hand.
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I would say that, although God would certainly be capable of speaking to people through dreams or visions today, there might not be as much need for Him to do so as there would have been in biblical times. Unlike ancient times, Christians have had the completed canon of Scripture for almost 2,000 years. The Bible represents God's fullest revelation to humanity of Himself and of His will. Anyone seeking guidance from God can find His counsel on almost any given topic there. Even if a specific concern or subject is not addressed, the Bible provides principles or criteria by which any course of action or set of circumstances can be evaluated to determine whether it would be in accordance with God's will. The Christian also has the ability to communicate directly with God in prayer, in order to be shown through spiritual insights or God's ordering of circumstances what His will is (although such guidance should always be compared to the Bible, to assure that it is not merely from our minds or a deception of Satan).
God does speak in dreams and visions today just as Peter said in Acts 2:16 - 17: 'No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: “‘In the last days, God says, "I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams."" I don't think anyone that knows the Bible would deny that we are living in 'the last days' and the Holy Spirit is being poured out wherever people are willing to accept Him. Having said that, we know Satan is a deceiver and will counterfeit every manifestation of the Holy Spirit, so we need discernment and we need to test whether a dream or vision is from the Lord. Most dreams are from our own minds as we know, but, there are dreams that our spirit recognizes as being different and significant. These are the ones we need to test. We need to pray for discernment and it is good to bring them to a godly pastor or friend for confirmation.
My personal view is that God through the ministry of the Holy Spirit desires to communicate and fellowship with people always. However, as a result of man's preponderance of activities, little time is available for rest and meditation and allied pastime. In God's omnisciency and love, He devises an auspicious occasion to bring His message to whom He wishes to communicate, when the written word would not avail. This is where DREAMS come in. All-through the checkered history of God's people down the centuries, God has been communing with man through this means. The mere fact that the devil counterfeits it does not vitiate its significance, rather is a reinforcement. A very good brother was saved from fuel fire explosion accident in Nigeria last month because he was warned through a dream of fire accident early in the morning. He heeded the warning and rearranged his schedule that day. Almost everyone that went to that point where he would have been either died or had their vehicles summarily consumed. He was saved. "In a dream...when deep sleep falls upon men...God opens the ears of men and seals instruction.." Job 33:15-16. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Let us learn to make use of spiritual codes written around us on every fiber and tissue of creation, even our dreams.
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