“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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Today, I am deeply honored and delighted to introduce an amazing young woman and a dear friend and sister in Christ, Dr. Charity Kayembe. Dr. Charity is the author of the newly released book titled Hearing God through Your Dreams. Having had the privilege of serving as one of the editors for this book and having read it a second time, I plan to read it again and again and to keep it at hand as a simple and practical manual for accurate dream interpretation. I am so excited to have Dr. Charity as our guest today. Welcome, Dr. Charity, to Matters of the Heart. It is great to have you with us today! 🙂
It’s wonderful to be here, MaryAnn! Thank you so much for having me. 🙂
Charity, dreaming is certainly a “matter of the heart,” so I am especially delighted to have you with us today on Matters of the Heart. 🙂 Please tell us a little about yourself and how you got started in dream interpretation.
I’ve worked with my parents, Mark and Patti Virkler, in ministry for the past 20 years. Currently, I’m one of the professors of graduate students at Christian Leadership University. I enjoy the company of heaven and writing about my adventures living into the Spirit through seeing visions by day and by night, through my dreams.
My Dad is the one who first introduced me to dream interpretation when I was just a young girl. He was exploring dreams and visions in the Bible and how God communicated through them. Knowing the Lord is the same yesterday, today and forever, Dad understood that since God revealed Himself through dreams in Scripture, then He was still doing that for us in our own lives now. After all, the Bible is meant to be lived!
So our whole family began sharing dreams together around the breakfast table each morning as I was growing up. We discovered how to receive God’s counsel, encouragement and protection through our visions of the night.
After decades of experience, we confidently understand how dreams are one of Heaven’s preferred methods of communication, and we’ve learned to live into the truth of God’s nightly messages to us and upon awakening, act on the revelation and make our dreams come true.
Why do you think our dreams are so important, and why should we honor them and pay close attention to them?
Because in Numbers 12:6 God promised He would speak to us in dreams and reveal Himself to us in visions. The Bible says that God speaks over and over again, but man doesn’t notice. In a dream, in a vision of the night when deep sleep falls on men and they slumber in their beds He opens our ears, seals our instruction, turns us from wrongdoing and enlightens us with the light of life – Job 33:14-18,29-30.
In fact, Song of Solomon 5:2 tells us that when we sleep our heart is awake to commune with our Beloved! So dreams are God’s Contingency Plan ensuring He would always have a way to connect with us.
So, are you suggesting there is a Scriptural foundation for dream work?
Absolutely! Sometimes we don’t realize it, but a lot of very significant scriptural events actually happened while people were asleep, in their dreams. For example, Solomon received his gift of wisdom in a dream (1 Kings 3:5-15), the Abrahamic covenant was established in a dream (Gen. 15:12-18), Jacob received his lucrative business strategy for the striped and specked sheep in a dream (Gen. 31:10-12).
Of course we know Joseph and Daniel were famous for interpreting dreams, and they were actually promoted to powerful second-in-command political positions because of their ability to understand Heaven’s messages through dreams.
And lest we think God communicating through dreams was something confined to the Old Testament, we need look no further than the Gospel of Matthew. In just the first two of the New Testament alone, we see five (!) dreams from God directing and instructing people. Indeed, “God says, ‘In the last days I will pour out My Spirit…your young men will see visions and old men will dream dreams’” (Acts 2:17).
If we add up all the scriptures about dream and vision, all the interpretations of those dreams, and all the actions that resulted from obedience to the messages in those dreams, we come up with one-third of the Bible. That’s the equivalent of the New Testament! So obviously dreams are incredibly important to God. As such, they are incredibly important to us as well.
We often think of these biblical heroes like Joseph and Daniel and assume they had the gift of dream interpretation. What is your opinion?
Dream interpretation is not a gift bestowed on a few favored individuals. Rather, dream interpretation is a skill anyone can learn. It’s a language that anyone can master and become fluent in. If you speak to me in French and I understand you, you wouldn’t say I have the gift of French! No, I studied and learned it through time and practice. And so it is with the picture language of dreams. We can become fluent in the language God speaks at night.
Are all dreams from God? If not, how can one tell which ones are and which ones are not?
I believe the vast majority of dreams are from God. I would consider every single dream I have to be from God, unless He tells me otherwise. Every dream recorded in the Bible was from the Lord. God never once said, “It’s just a dream; it’s not real.” God never once said, “That’s just pizza.” No, He was meeting with people and giving them counsel and wisdom and blessing and protection – even through the “crazy” dreams!
For example, look at Gideon – a loaf of bread wipes out an army? That seems like a pretty weird dream to me. Or Joseph in Genesis, he dreams of stars in the sky bowing down to him. Now that’s a crazy dream! But even though these dreams weren’t literal but instead were full of symbolism, there was still a message from God hidden in the pictures. Once the dreams were decoded and decrypted, the figurative imagery was translated and the message God was speaking became clear. These dreamers received His heart and revelation even through the strange or seemingly silly dreams.
God is always speaking. The only question is, “Are we listening?”
In your outstanding book, you offer specific guidelines for interpreting one’s dreams. Please give us the steps you use to discover the meaning of a dream.
There are three key questions to ask about every dream we have: What is the setting? What is the key action? And what is the key emotion?
I actually have a special method I use for organizing my dream work, and I encourage you to use the same technique. It is very useful in helping us zero in on the key elements without getting distracted by all the details. Once these core aspects are clear, the meaning and interpretation of the dream will shift into focus.
We call this daisy-chain format the DAESI Dream Work Method and we simply record the Dream, Action, Emotion, Setting, and Interpretation. It looks like this.
Dream– Summary (Reader’s Digest version) of the dream.
Action– In the dream, what was I doing? (Running from something? Ministering? Fighting?) That is the key action.
Emotion – In the dream, how was I feeling? (Excited? Disappointed? Loved?) That is the key emotion.
Setting – In waking life, what issues is my heart processing? (What did I do that day? What was I thinking about when I went to bed and praying for as I fell asleep?) That is the setting.
Interpretation – We match up the dream’s action and emotion with similar actions and emotions in our waking life which show us what area of our life the dream is speaking to, and we journal out God’s message to us through the dream.
What about dream symbol dictionaries?
You know, MaryAnn, everyone I talk with is even more confused about their dream after reading those dictionaries! Because symbols are personal to the dreamer. We all have unique histories, different experiences and individual perceptions, so we associate entirely different meanings to the same symbol.
If we want to get the right answer we must be asking the right question. So we never ask “What does this symbol mean?” We only ask “What does this symbol mean to the dreamer?”
This is why you, the dreamer, are the very best person to understand your dreams. You know the setting from your waking world better than anyone, and you know what the symbols mean to you personally, which is why YOU are absolutely the most qualified interpretation expert of your dreams.
You explain in your book that the dreamer is the ultimate arbiter of the meaning of the dream. In other words, the symbolism must bear witness with the dreamer’s spirit. Would you please expound on this a bit?
Absolutely. As I mentioned, symbols are personal to the dreamer so for example, I may dream of a lake. That, to me, would represent peace and relaxation and God’s creation. However, if my grandmother dreamt of the exact same lake, it would speak to fear because she almost drowned in a lake when she was a little girl.
So that is why we never say symbols are universal or one-size-fits-all. Dream symbol dictionaries don’t take into account your personal associations and preferences and perspectives. So you’re right, the understanding of the symbolism and thus the overall message of the dream must resonate in the dreamer’s heart. It should “click” and feel right to the dreamer – then you know you have the right interpretation.
What should one do if she knows she has had a dream but cannot remember it?
That’s a great question. Even though science has proven that we all dream every night, some of us don’t often remember those dreams. There are several things we can do to remedy this. For example, we want to make sure we get enough sleep each night. Studies have shown eight hours of sleep is not only optimal for physical health but also optimal for dream work as well.
Another easy, yet surprisingly helpful way to remember your dreams is to put a pen and journal beside your bed so that you can record your dream immediately upon awakening. Just that simple act is a demonstration of your expectancy for God to meet you in your dreams, and it’s a sign to your heart to wake you up right after you’ve had the dream so you can record and interpret it.
What advice would you give to someone who has never taken his dreams seriously but now wants to? Where should such a person start?
Well, if we have disdained dreams and not honored them in the past, we would first want to repent. That just means we change our mind and now we start thinking the way God is thinking, and living into His perspective and the mind of Christ. Now that we understand how He speaks through dreams and how He promised to meet us in them, we repent for not listening to Him and purpose by His grace to start paying attention and living into our dreams and visions of the night.
We would also want to pray before going to sleep and ask for revelation. We know James 4:2 tells us that we have not because we ask not, so we will ask the Lord to help us remember our dreams and translate the messages He has for us in them.
Lastly, we should do this in faith, because we know that according to our faith it is done unto us (Matthew 9:29). So we want to want to go to sleep expectantly believing that we are going to meet with Jesus and receive His wisdom and heavenly downloads through our dreams. He is the same yesterday, today and forever, and everything God did through dreams in Scripture He is still doing for us today!
Would you be willing to share a dream of yours that was pivotal in guiding you in a major decision?
I’d be happy to! You know, setting is everything when it comes to dream work and we really don’t know anything about the dream until we know the setting (that is, what is happening in the life of the dreamer right before she has the dream). So I’ll start by sharing the setting of my waking world:
One thing I never used to be a big fan of was responsibility. I was happy to be a follower, as there seemed to be much less pressure in that position. God turned all this around for me one night through a dream when He explained that I can be a follower and a leader at the same time.
He showed me how He is the leader and I am always following Him, and then if anyone else wants to follow behind us, great. There’s no pressure on me, though, because even if it may seem like I am leading, I’m really not. People just might not see Who it is I am following.
DREAM: I was a firefighter living at a firehouse.
ACTION: Our job was to put out fires; we were the first responders who saved lives.
EMOTION: Huge sense of responsibility, but it did not weigh on me because I knew I was in the safest place.
INTERPRETATION: The safest place is the place of most responsibility. Firefighters have tremendous responsibility, but you do not often hear of their fire stations burning down. They have everything they need to fight the fires. Likewise, I have been equipped for every good work through Christ so I can be confident in any situation (see Heb. 13:20-21).
God said, “So Char Bear, about that mantle of responsibility…here’s the deal: It’s not yours to wear because it is too big and heavy for your little girly shoulders. It’s for Me. The mantle hangs perfectly on My shoulders. It’s MY size. Leadership, responsibility—they’re My mantles, My cloaks, My armor, Mine to wear. You don’t have to. You just have to find yourself hidden in Me. And you can be littler, and you can be the follower (which is all I’ve ever asked you to be—a follower of Jesus).
“Your life is hidden in Mine. So you are the littler one inside of Me, the Big One. And it’s Me who is wearing the big cloak and mantle, and you’re being covered by it because you are inside of Me. But you are not feeling the pressure or stress or weight of that mantle because you’re hidden inside of Me.
“I got you. I got this. There’s no pressure on you, no stress. I am the Mantle Holder, the Responsibility Carrier, the Leadership Wearer…”
This ended up being a slightly prophetic dream that prepared me for what was going to happen the very next day. I awoke, went to work, and was offered a new job position, which, as you can imagine, involved a great deal more responsibility.
Normally I would have been hesitant, but because of the message God gave me through the dream the night before I accepted the promotion and found once again that the safest place to be is in the center of God’s will. It just may also happen to be the place of greatest responsibility.
How can readers learn more about your ministry and stay connected with you?
Feel free to visit me on my website GloryWaves.org. You’re welcome to watch the free video teachings, explore my articles on the sacred supernatural, or subscribe to my blog. I do travel and teach dream interpretation workshops around the world, so check out my itinerary to see if I’ll be ministering at a church near you. I would love to meet you in person!
Charity, it has been a great joy and a great blessing to have you with us today. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your expertise on dream interpretation.
It was my pleasure, MaryAnn! I had a wonderful time. Thank you so much for having me!
Thanks to all of you who participated in our interview. I strongly encourage you to get yourself a copy of Dr. Charity’s book. And not only for yourself, but for your family and friends. It is a book that will radically impact your life for good and deepen your intimacy with Holy Spirit. Not to mention it would make a wonderful Christmas gift!
Also, Dr. Charity and her father, Dr. Mark Virkler, co-author of Hearing God through Your Dreams, recently appeared on the Sid Roth program, It’s Supernatural. You can view their inspiring and informative interview here.
Now, it’s YOUR turn: Has God spoken to you in dreams? Have you learned something new and life-changing from this blog post? Please leave a comment in the box below.
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