Jesus always used stories and illustrations like these when speaking to the crowds. In fact, He never spoke to them without using such parables. This fulfilled what God had spoken through the prophet: ‘I will speak to you in parables. I will explain things hidden since the creation of the world.’” —Matthew 13:34-35 NLT
I am often asked Why can’t dreams be more literal? Why does God use symbols and pictures and parables? Since these are some of the most common questions people have about dream work, I wanted to share a few of the reasons God fills our dream language with symbols and purposefully permeates our night visions with pictures from heaven.
- For one, pictures are the simplest way to communicate. Go to any library or bookstore, and which section has the picture books? We know it’s the children’s section, of course. Pictures are easy for kids to comprehend. They can look through a book of pictures and follow the whole story without ever reading a word.
Or take silent movies, for example. It is possible to watch an entire film and hear no dialogue whatsoever yet, by the actions of the characters and the feelings they express, have perfect understanding of the meaning and message of the story. That is how well we intuitively connect with pictures.
- Symbols and pictures are also universal. When we travel, we don’t always speak the language of the country we’re visiting. However, if we are driving in Istanbul, we don’t need to know the Turkish word for “airport.” All we need to do is look for a small picture of an airplane on a street sign and we’ll know which road to take.
And let’s not forget technology. Our smartphones and laptop screens are full of little icons. We know the picture of sun and clouds represents a weather app, the globe or compass connects us to our online browser, an envelope indicates email, and so on. Suffice it to say, pictures really are worth a thousand words.
- The most significant reason God speaks symbolically is because pictures are the language of the heart. Pictures move our emotions and God wants very much to engage our feelings and connect intimately with our hearts.
I just received the exciting testimony below and I love how it illustrates this important principle. The dream picture was so simple; its message could have easily been overlooked. But because she honored the dream as revelation from heaven, she received God’s comfort and encouragement through it. Enjoy!
Charity, I just have to tell you how much I appreciated your DVDs on dreams. It was really amazing!! My husband and I watched it together, and it showed us things we had no idea of.
After we watched it, I thought of a young woman at church who I've been walking through spiritual warfare with. Her husband is not saved and her mother-in-law is a Wiccan and does some weird things to her home and children, especially her 3-year-old daughter. I gave this young mother the DVDs to watch, and this is what she sent this morning:
“We had a rough night with our daughter. I was praying, and then I had a dream that our boat was in the water and a little girl was on the very tippy top and fell in the water. Without thinking I ran, threw my purse in the air and jumped in to save her.
“When I got in the water I was confused because her head wasn't going under the water even though it was taking me a while to swim to her. When I grabbed her I was thinking This is easier than I thought! And I stood up, and there was only six inches of water!
“Then the Lord woke me up and prompted me to watch the video. I got through most of the first one and was thinking I wonder if God wanted to use that dream from last night to tell me something? And it was as though He was talking straight to my heart and said, ‘You are trying so hard to save her, but I already have!’ I almost started crying!
“Then I was thinking about the Scripture, we will go through rough waters, but we will not drown… And had you not given me those DVDs to borrow, I would have not even thought twice about my dream other than, Huh, that was a strange one!!
“Thank you SO much! I am so excited for how God is moving and working!!!"
I just needed to share with you how your teaching is being used in far reaching ways!!
Want to learn more?
Praise God for simple symbols infused with profound perspective. To find out more on why He uses pictures in dreams, check out Chapter 5 of our book or Session 4 of the DVD series.
And in case you haven’t heard, we just launched a new ministry Facebook page! We’d love to stay connected and invite you to check it out and Follow me here.
Related Resources:Dream Your Way to Wisdom
Related Blogs:Christian Dream Interpretation
Charity I love how you explained why pictures are so effective in our understanding spiritual things - so clear and simple. The testimony you used as an illustration was perfect and so powerful.
RE: Perfect illustration
by Charity Kayembe
Awesome, Ann! Thanks so much for letting me know it resonated with you. Blessings!!
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