My Oneiric Development—and Yours

Where do you think some of the deep-seated undercurrents of confidence, or the lack thereof, spring from? As a child, we believed we could do anything. Obviously the laws of nature helped to temper that boundless confidence, but what about the realm of imagination? Of fantasy and adventure? Of trust and daring and courage? Maybe that confidence has been unshaken throughout your life. And if that's the case, more power to you. What will you do with it? But if you struggle (as I sometimes do) with hopelesness in the face of the unknown and with circumstances that look less than promising, then take a look at your dreams. Without sounding too pop-psychological...

Oneiric is an adjective of or pertaining to dreams. It's one of my favorite words in all of the English language. Dreams have been a big part of my life and my spiritual walk. God gives them to everyone, I believe. Before we continue, let me cite a scripture from Ecclesiastes (5:7): "For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God." (emphasis mine) In other words, as varied and bizarre and otherworldly and...weird as dreams can be, we should be focusing on God as our spiritual lifeline. And as with anything spiritual (there is a spiritual component in dreams), our guidance in these matters should come from the Holy Spirit only.

Referring again to the first paragraph, whenever you have a dream, think about the atmosphere created within. How does it make you feel? This is one of the most practical and pragmatic words of wisdom that my dad ever shared with me. If you're wondering where your dream came from or you're not sure what it means, ask yourself that simple question: how does it make me feel? And with reference to the slow erosion of childlike, childhood confidence, ask yourself this question: Have you ever had a dream where you were so excited over the proposed outcome of whatever was happening only to find out that it was different in a less-than-uplifting way? What about when your dream contains an element of excitement or beauty only to experience loss and sorrow upon waking and realizing it was only a dream? I could be wrong, but I believe neither type comes from God. "With God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26) God's not going to raise your hopes in a superficial way only to dash them when you wake to reality. I don't mean to sound new-agey or weird, but our reality can be changed for the better with our faith.

This is what Solomon was referring to in Ecclesiastes when he spoke of "divers vanities". That word divers has nothing to do with diving or the ocean or the sea or anything. It means numerous. And vanities refers to lies, basically. What I mean here and what I think he's saying is that it's very easy for us to be led astray by some ethereal notion that we receive while we're asleep and helpless. Understand that God watches over us while we sleep. David says in Psalm 4 (verse 8): "I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety." Yet why does God allow dreams that are detrimental? Nightmares even? I believe it has a lot to do with our input during the day. And God does make a "way of escape" as Paul mentioned in his letter to the Corinthians (10:13). His next letter contains an important maxim when dealing with intangible and atmospheric feelings and emotions. Whether from dreams or perceptions or thoughts. "Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;" (2 Corinthians 10:5) If the dream in question has anything that clashes with the way you know God is. Then reject it. Cast it down.

God speaks through dreams. And the more we stay focused on Him, the more we'll have a mirror to reflect what we experience on our insides.

"And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions." Cool! (Joel 2:28)

Sweet dreams.

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