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Dirty Dreams
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I’ve been a Christian for a few years, and a lot of things have changed for me. For one, I’ve cleaned up my speech. But sometimes when I sleep I have dirty dreams that wake me up. Do you think this is from Satan or from the way I used to live? I’ve been praying about this and asking God for help.

Pastor Steve Answers:

When we have habit patterns that need a complete change, God is the one who can bring change about. According to 2 Corinthians 5:17, "if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come."

Your question brings two points to my mind–actually a question and a statement. The first is "Why hasn’t this changed–the dirty dreams?" The second is "You’ve already changed in so many ways, including your speech, that the text of Scripture mentioned above has already come true for you!"

I say praise God for the changes that have happened already, but ask God to complete His good work in you (see Philippians 1:6).

It sounds as though you’re regretting the time you spent living apart from God. But each day that you’re living with God, you’re exchanging your backlog of trash for things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable (see Philippians 4:8). Keep doing that!

In Bible times people occasionally received messages from God through dreams. Both Joseph and Daniel had dreams and interpreted dreams (see Genesis 37:5-11; 40:1— 41:36; Daniel 2, 4, 7-9). In the New Testament, Joseph and the Wise Men dreamed of Jesus’ birth (see Matthew 1:20; 2:12-14). The entire book of Revelation contains a record of numerous and unusual dreams. But your dreams don’t seem to be of the God-message variety.

More recently, psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud popularized the idea that dreams tell what’s going on inside your mind, and most of what goes on there is sexually motivated. Sexual ideas certainly occur in one’s mind, but they aren’t an explanation for everything.

You asked if this comes from Satan or your previous lifestyle. I’d say it comes from your previous lifestyle if the content of your "dirty dreams" was part of the way you used to live. Some pathways in your mind have deep grooves in them. Thank God you’re deepening new pathways. Keep it up!

The Evil One Devours

I believe Satan is also part of this problem. The Bible informs us in 1 Peter 5:8, 9, "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings."

When you became a Christian, you put yourself on the winning side. But there’s still a battle going on–Satan continues to attack. But God’s righteousness covers your body, faith shields you, and God’s Word is an attack weapon. Just keep communicating with the general (see Ephesians 6:10-18).

I think you’re already doing the right thing by praying about this and asking God for help. When you wake up after having a dirty dream, repeat your true desires to God. Ask Him to flood your mind with His messages rather than messages from your past life. If you’re awake enough, browse through your favorite parts of your Bible, sections you highlighted.

If you’re not that awake, fall back to sleep thinking about some of the stories you’ve heard or read about Jesus. Put yourself into the story and give yourself a jump start on a new dream life. Thank God for your new, conscious life!

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By Steve Case. Reprinted with permission from Insight Magazine. Copyright © 2006 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the New International Version ®.


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