When we try to interpret a dream, it is crucial that we identify the correct dream subject or focus—who or what the dream is really about. We may have some idea regarding meaning of symbols, but if we miss the central focus, we will not arrive at the best interpretation.
Most interpretive approaches center on the dreamer as the only potential subject. However, often God likes to speak to us about considerable concerns, and he may want to reveal something that is not dreamer-oriented.
He spoke to dream interpreters Joseph and Daniel in ancient scriptures regarding important national and historical issues like falling kingdoms and famine strategies.
Establish whether a dream is:
Intrinsic (about the dreamer, internal or heart issues, longings, emotions, opinions, circumstances) or
Extrinsic (outside of the dreamer, cities, businesses, churches, nations, other people)
- If you are the main character in your dream, doing most of the action–your dream is probably about you (intrinsic)
- If you are with others and are participating but are not the main character, your dream may be about a group you are a part of that affects you
- If you are only watching the action in the dream—no one knows you are ‘there’—the dream is probably not about you at all (extrinsic)
Most dreams are indeed about the dreamer, but we cannot always assume.
If you are in leadership of any kind (business owner, board member, pastor, etc.), you will probably experience more extrinsic dreams that give you information regarding situations related to your sphere of authority.
Always consider setting and primary details of the dream, and remember to ask Spirit to tell you who or what the dream is about. Often we think the message is about someone else, when our own core is being probed.
May we each grow in our understanding and ability to responsibly receive creative revelation from the heart of our Maker!