“The Dream I Had in Rehab”
At a recent seminar a mother and her daughter approached me. Angela (not her real name) was a beautiful girl in her early 20’s who had not been to our dream interpretation workshop that weekend because she was currently in rehab. She was able to attend the Sunday morning service at church though and had just had a powerful dream the night before.
DREAM: I was going to Paris and there was wine everywhere. It was strange though, because the wine was in champagne flutes and I knew that wasn’t right. I also kept intending to meet my old drug dealer, but every time I started out I got distracted and forgot about him and ended up doing something else instead.
ACTION: Avoiding alcohol and drugs, even though they were available
EMOTION: A mix of excitement and uncertainty
SETTING: I’m in rehab for cocaine and alcohol addiction and will be getting out this week. I’m nervous about being in the real world again and giving in to the temptations that will be all around me.
INTERPRETATION: That is an amazing dream, Angela! God is showing you an awesome picture of how HE sees it will be when you get out. You’re feeling a mix of excitement about being able to live with your family again but you’re also worried and uncertain. Yes, there’s temptation, as represented by the wine everywhere. But you’re in Paris! That’s pretty exciting, you’d love to go there, right? (She agreed she’d love to travel there.)
Unpacking the Symbols
So you know you definitely want to be in Paris, that is, “The City of Light”. God is showing that as you come out, you are going to be walking in His kingdom of light. Even though there is temptation, it’s still beautiful and safe and bright and light. There is nothing to be scared of.
And He definitely doesn’t judge you about being tempted. Don’t feel bad about it! Jesus Himself was tempted in all ways just like us, so feeling tempted is certainly not a sin. He knows what you’re going through and in the midst of temptation He always provides a way of escape.
The fact that wine was in flutes and you saw that was wrong shows how you have changed. You became a Christian in rehab and now you understand that your body is an “instrument” of righteousness not unlike a champagne “flute” – so wine doesn’t belong inside you anymore. You’re new and different and transformed. And you know that’s true because you’re not even trying to drink all that wine that’s around you in the dream!
This encouraging message from God is confirmed most of all through the last scene of your dream with the drug dealer you never connected with. Your biggest fear is that you’ll crave drugs so much you won’t be able to stand it and will give in to your old ways. God’s showing you that is absolutely not the case. You’re a different person now! The old things have passed away and new things have come.
The Bible says you are a new creation, but what does that mean and how does it feel? Your dream just showed you. It feels like you don’t want drugs anymore. You don’t crave them at all and you keep forgetting to take them! You aren’t addicted, you aren’t wanting them, you have been completely transformed and the old you who craved those things is dead and buried with Christ.
It reminds me of Hillsong United’s “Empires” and how it describes us as…
Empires of light and clay
Images of our Maker…
Beneath our skin, a new creation
You’ve got the DNA of God now, and He’s not addicted to cocaine. He’s not thirsty for alcohol. So neither are you, Angela. His nature is your nature. All the bad stuff is gone and now you get to live into all the good stuff Jesus has, because He’s alive inside you. He loves holiness and purity and He’s already transformed your heart and your body to desire purity too.
It’s just like your dream showed. You thought you might be headed back to the drugs, but your focus was somewhere else. Your focus is on Jesus now and He is your life. He will satisfy every desire you have and He’s already changed your desires and cravings and wants. Now you want what He wants! He’s transforming you more and more into His image so you think and feel just like He does. God is showing that you are going to not only survive, but thrive, in your new life out of rehab and in Him, living in the kingdom of His light.
Result: After listening intently to my translation of God’s dream message, both Angela and her mom were in happy tears, so grateful He cared enough to speak such a timely word to His precious child’s heart. They were blessed and encouraged and Angela was confident now that with the Lord she could face her future in faith, not fear.
The scriptural truth that Angela is a new creation and she is light in the Lord had moved from her head to her heart and now she owned it, because she’d just felt it and lived into it in her dream.
The Best Part
Indeed, that is one of the most beneficial yet least understood blessings of dream work: the ability to experience and truly feel how it feels to live into God’s version of reality. The truth of our new creation miracle is wonderful, but so often we don’t understand what that actually looks like in real life.
Like Paul, we want to “know Christ and the power of His resurrection.” That sounds pretty cool, but what does it mean in our everyday lives, and more importantly how does it feel? Angela knows how it feels because she just lived it in her dream. It feels like liberty from alcohol addiction. It feels like not craving cocaine anymore. It means being distracted by heaven and attracted to holiness, and more than anything, it feels like freedom.
The gift of dreams is that they allow us to experience life as if our prayers have already been answered. We may pray we don’t go back to our old habits, and then our dream shows us what a life free of addiction looks like and how it feels.
The study of epigenetics has shown us that our emotions can radically alter our physical health on a bio-chemical level. Science has demonstrated that emotionally-charged experiences, even ones experienced in our dreams, change our physiology. We can literally re-wire our neural pathways, influencing the cascade of hormones and neurotransmitters released into our system, which then up-regulate and down-regulate gene expression in our cells.
What does that have to do with anything? That’s a scientific glimpse into supernatural transformation. When we become a Christian our spirits are 100% saved, however we also know that we are to work out our salvation together with Holy Spirit Who is working in us (Phil. 2:12-13). Dream work is one powerful way we do that. We experience God’s version of our new creation selves in the spirit realm through our dreams and upon awakening we ponder that night vision. We pray into it and we live out of it.
For Angela, that means that if she gets anxious about returning to drugs, she’ll look at the picture God gave her of her new self in Him. She’s no longer obsessively trying to consume all the alcohol in sight, but just objectively considering the kind of glass it happens to be served in. She’s a different person now, one who isn’t striving and struggling to overcome cocaine; she simply forgets to even meet up with the dealer. It slips her mind and it’s not her focus. She now has the mind of Christ. Her heart is fixed on Jesus and her only addiction is more of His presence.
Through our dreams we are able to live into truth so when we awaken we can fully live out of it. As a result of her dream, Angela felt more than ever before that she is a new creation in Christ. She felt how old desires were gone and what it’s like to walk in newness of life. She now has a heart understanding of what really happened when she was born again from the Spirit. She stepped inside that biblical truth and experienced the revelation for herself, making it her own personal truth.
Truth doesn’t set us free. It’s only when we know it – personally, intimately, experientially.
That’s the kind of truth that sets us free.
That’s the kind of truth that changes everything.
Want to learn more?
You can find more on how to live into God’s truth through dream work in our book, Hearing God Through Your Dreams. We equip you in translating Heaven’s messages to you through your dreams every night so you can feel and know His revelation in your heart. Don’t miss out on His nightly comfort and counsel. God can’t wait to meet you in your dreams!