How do you Know When God is Speaking to You in a Dream?

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The Lord God Speaks to Christians in Diverse Ways

The following question is a point of concern for many people, how do you know when God is speaking to you in a dream?

But the Lord God speaks to Christians in diverse ways.

So, dreams are not the only way He communicates with Believers. God speaks via His Word, the Holy Bible. And He speaks through people.

However, today, I shall focus on, how do you know when God is speaking to you in a dream?

Where the water gets murky is when we utilize our own opinions to explain this. Nevertheless, it’s not all that difficult, if we allow the Bible to explain this to us.

As a result, I will utilize three incidents from the Bible to inform that God is speaking to us.

However, before we dive into how to know when God is speaking to you in a dream, let’s establish something.

In many instances, in the Bible, the Lord God uses “visions”, or “vision” to mean “dreams” or “dream” respectively.

Therefore, most times in the Holy Bible, a “night vision” by definition and context is a dream.

How did Jacob Know that God was Speaking to him in a Dream?

First, let’s see what we could learn from Jacob’s experience with this. Jacob, whom later, the Lord renamed as Israel, had one of the first experiences in the Bible concerning this.

God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I” (Genesis 46:2).

The Bible explicitly tells us that God spoke to Jacob. So, there’s no doubt that He spoke. We also know that he recognized that God was speaking to him for he answered.

Note too that he was sleeping. And for that reason, the Lord describes this experience as “visions of the night”.

Job also explains that in the context of the Word of God, dreams and visions of the night are synonymous, Job 4:13; 33:15.

He informs:

When I say, My bed shall comfort me, my couch shall ease my complaints” (Job 7:13).

Then thou scarest me with dreams, and terrifiest me through visions” (Job 7:14).

So that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than my life” (Job 7:15).

Above, see how he equates “dreams” with “visions”? They are one and the same.

How did Abram Know that God was Speaking to him in a Dream?

Second, now let’s turn our attention to another person, even Abram. Similar to Jacob, the Lord God appeared and communicated with him in a dream.

“After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward” (Genesis 15:1).

As before, both we and him knew that the other “being” in his dream was the Lord God. First, the Bible tells us and second, he acknowledged Him by name.

For, “Abram said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?

” (Genesis 15:2).

Consequently, we realize that both Jacob and Abram recognize the Lord God in their dreams.

This brings us to our Book of Acts Bible Study and Apostle Paul’s experience.  Similar to the other two men before him, he too recognized that the Lord spoke to him through his night vision.

How did Paul Know that God was Speaking to him in a Dream?

“And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us

” (Acts 16:9).

Observe, below that Paul wasn’t guessing or doubting whether or not the Lord God spoke to him through the night vision. He knew!

And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them” (Acts 16:10).

Paul, like Jacob and Abram, knew that the Lord God had spoken to him. So, “immediately” he began making plans to go “into Macedonia” to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ there.

Additionally, note Paul’s manner. There is no doubt in his mind that the Lord God had spoken to him through his night vision, because, he “assuredly gathering that the Lord had called” them to preach in that country.

This describes his confidence! He was beyond doubts. He was certain!

Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis” (Acts 16:11).

He Was Very Confident

Therefore, he confidently set off on his journey to go into Macedonia to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days” (Acts 16:12).

“And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither

” (Acts 16:13).

“And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul” (Acts 16:14).

And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us” (Acts 16:15).


There is no great secret in knowing when God is speaking to you in a dream. However, one element is absolutely essential, relationship.

As we observe through Abram’s, Jacob’s, and Paul’s experiences, we must enjoy a very close relationship with the Lord God to know when He speaks to us in a dream or otherwise.

None of them had any doubts that the Lord spoke to them, for all recognized His voice and all identified him by name.

A very popular Scripture-verse comes to mind:

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27).

Spending time in devotion is important. If we never internalize the Word of God, we cannot discern the voice of the Lord God.

Similarly, if we never spend time in prayer to Him we cannot hear when He speaks.

Bible Reading and Prayers Are Not Enough

However, bible reading and praying by themselves are not enough to recognize the voice of the Lord. They are mere components of the relationship we create and maintain with Him through obedience to Him.

Finally, when we obey the Lord God concerning our new birth, salvation, and how to study and dissect His Word, it produces clarity and confidence in recognizing His voice.

Just as we know our parents’ voice through relationship, we learn to recognize God’s voice similarly. If we don’t know Him we can’t recognize His voice. But, if we know Him and are known of Him when He speaks we will have no problem knowing it.

Knowing when the Lord our God is speaking, whether in dreams or Word or person, requires spiritual maturity.

Mainly, because an immature or spiritual-child cannot discern when He speaks. This is similar to Moses’ and Samuel’s first encounter with Him.

In closing, knowing when God is speaking is a spiritually-mature feature of Christians who have had their senses sharpen through reason of use.

Leroy A. Daley

Leroy A. Daley is an author, blogger, YouTuber, and Bible teacher. Globally, he's helped hundreds of Christians understand the Bible better. He has been studying and teaching the Bible for more than forty years. He is passionate about the Lord and spends quality time with the Word of God every day. His Books are available for purchase wherever books are sold.

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