For some reason this was on my mind this evening, so I thought I'd share some thoughts. Not that people don't already know this, but if anyone has had a dream and thought it has been from God but wasn't sure, here are a few ways you can test to see whether it is:
1) Because God is not the author of confusion, Godly dreams often follow a logical progression and a logical narrative, that is, they make sense because there is an overall message to be gleaned from it. The events in the dream will also usually link up with each other and will be able to be understood in connection with each other (although sometimes dreams may have multiple components to them, but even those components will make sense standing by themselves).
2) Godly dreams can often be remembered very clearly and very precisely. This is again because God is not the author of confusion, and if God is wanting to make His will known, He will not make it impossible to remember and recall once we are awake.
3) Godly dreams ALWAYS have a foundation in scripture. If the supposed message coming from a dream cannot be based on scripture, it isn't from God.
4) Dreams from God usually always speak to us personally, about family or friends, about the world, the state of the Church, or the future (all the things the Lord is concerned with speaking about)
5) No matter what, they will always spur us on to love others and Himself more.
6) Dreams from the Lord will always have some kind of relevance for us as followers of Him.
7) Dreams from the Lord usually always have literal and metaphorical elements and interpretations to them, just like the parables Jesus told.
8) They will ALWAYS have a spiritual message to them, no matter how many parts of the dream may be speaking about literal events and occurrences.
9) God has often confirmed that certain dreams He has given me were of Him by confirming them to me by biblical numbers, the most common of these being the number 3, which, as we know, is the number of the trinity. God confirmed to the Apostle Peter that a vision was from Him by giving him the vision 3 times (Acts 10v16 This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.. Also, the Word says that in the presence of two or three witnesses let every word be confirmed (2 Cor 13v1). If anyone is wondering how this usually happens, it happens in a very humble way, usually even by being woken up after the dream at exactly 3:30am or 3:33am.
9) Dreams often come as pictures or parables, because a picture speaks 1000 words!
10) Dreams from the Lord often appear as riddles, and that is often why many people don't have time for them or want anything to do with them. They think that if it comes as a riddle (mystery) it can't be from the Lord, because He always speaks plainly. But this isn't the case. The disciples even said to Him at one point that to them He had been speaking in riddles to them (John 16v29). God often speaks in mysteries and riddles so that He can test who truly wants and desires the truth, over those that couldn't care either way. Also, the Word says that it is the glory of men to search out a matter that God has hidden:
-Prov 25v2: It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.
(seek and you shall find!)
“When there is a prophet among you,
I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions,
I speak to them in dreams.
7 But this is not true of my servant Moses;
he is faithful in all my house.
8 With him I speak face to face,
clearly and not in riddles;
One of the greatest, if not the greatest prophetic revelation of all time that was given to the Apostle John was nearly all one big parable and one big riddle that is only opened by the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit.
11) Sometimes we won't be able to necessarily understand the whole revelation of the dream or vision straight away, but will need to wait for a revelation from the Lord to understand it (just like with the Revelation given to the Apostle John). Sometimes the understanding comes later when the needed time comes along. Sometimes the Word reveals it, sometimes the Lord gives Holy Spirit enlightenment to the mind and sometimes He uses natural circumstances in our lives to reveal what the dream or vision meant.
12) If you've ever received a vision, there is usually absolutely no doubt that it has come from the Lord, as either an image or a video like sequence will be presented before you that is crystal clear (though obviously you must test it by the Word of God to know for sure)