Hearing the voice of God or seeing Him in a dream is a unique and memorable experience. At the same time, it’s less uncommon than many would think, particularly for people who lean toward a particular religion or are just generally spiritual.
But what does it mean when you dream about God? Is He really speaking to you or is this your subconscious? And, most importantly, what should you make of it regardless of which is it? Here are 8 common interpretations to consider.
What does it mean when you dream about God?
The first thing to note here would be that we won’t be delving in-depth into any particular piece of scripture nor would we talk about a specific God or religion. Obviously, if we do that, we’d be able to arrive at much more than 8 dream interpretations that’d also be much more specific than the ones below.
So, if you think your dream had something to do with a specific part of a particular Holy Text, that’s a perfectly valid interpretation but it’s also a bit too exact and individual to your personal religion and life for us to point it out in a list of common interpretations.
Instead, we’ll be focusing on the broader points and meanings associated with most religions and gods – be it Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, or Hinduism, be it Yahweh, Jesus, the Prophet Mohammad, the Holy Spirit, or Shakyamuni Buddha. These are meanings such as forgiveness, benevolence, compassion, empathy, and other such qualities and dreams gods would often be associated with.
1. You’ve been feeling guilty about something
We usually don’t like it when people’s first association with our religion is that of guilt and regret but it’s also undeniable that most religions deal with these concepts quite extensively. The three Abrahamic religions, for example, all revolve around the concepts of guilt and regret, alongside other concepts, albeit in slightly different ways.
What does this mean for our dream, however? It means that if we’ve recently had worries about something we’ve done, dreaming of God-like imagery is quite likely. This could be because we want to ask God for forgiveness, because we’re afraid He’ll judge us harshly, or for another similar reason.
2. You’ve recently made decisions you weren’t sure were correct and you needed some reassurance
Another, potentially anxiety-inducing interpretation would be that you’ve been feeling at a bit of a loss and you’ve been hoping for some Divine guidance. This could be because you’ve recently made a specific decision you’re not sure was appropriate or because you’re currently at a crossroads and you don’t know in which direction to go.
From there, the rest of the dream’s context may give you some clues as to what God thinks – or what you think God thinks – or, it may leave you even more clueless and worried – which is it will usually depend on your emotional state, whether you’ve been feeling guilty about something or not, and other such factors. Needless to say, this interpretation is not necessarily independent from the one above.
3. You feel God’s helped you before and you need help now
There are also those cases in which we feel held down by a specific burden and we feel that we need not just guidance but direct help too, if possible. In cases like that, we also find ourselves praying even more than usual and we feel ready for greater personal sacrifices than ever before.
Naturally, most religions have a word or two to say about people who are “serious” above them only when they need help. Because of that, we often also feel guilty when we pray for God’s help in our time of need. Such guilt isn’t usually necessary, however.
Take the famous phrase “God helps those who help themselves”, for example, also often cited as “Help yourself first and then God will help you.” Most people think this is a literal Biblical quote but it isn’t.
Many others attribute it to Benjamin Franklin. In reality, the origins of the phrase go back to Ancient Greece and it was officially penned in English by Algernon Sydney in his Discourses Concerning Government.
Why do we point that out? Because, while making sure your own house and life are in order is definitely good, there is no need for guilt if you sometimes feel like you need help from a higher power. And it’s also perfectly normal if your dreams reflect this impulse.
4. You’ve been feeling good about your life as of late
For a feel-good interpretation, let’s point out that having a dream about God is also very possible when we think we’ve achieved a certain dose of inner peace in our lives. While most religions presuppose that no level of perfection is ever “God-like”, there’s certainly nothing wrong with feeling good about yourself from time to time, especially when you’ve been doing some positive changes of late.
In such cases, you can easily be visited by good-feeling dreams about God’s light or voice that you can easily interpret as God’s approval. Is this really God approving of your recent life’s choices or are you a bit too full of yourself? We can’t know for sure, that’s between you and God.
5. You are being introspective about your life so far
A much simpler and neutral interpretation is that you’ve just been doing some self-reflection recently and the dream about God is a side-effect of that. Again, we can really know if you’re seeing the literal God or if that is just your subconscious telling you you’re on the right track. Either way, however, the dream is still caused by the same thing.
A dream like that should be easy to recognize by certain context clues having to do with your recent soul-searching. The tone of it can be either positive, worrisome, or neutral, depending on what you’ve found so far.
6. You are trying – or feel like you’ve managed – to get closer to God
As you’d expect, dreams about God get more and more common, the more fervently one believes in God. This is partly why using dreams to “prove” God’s existence is often decried as a faulty argument but it also makes one of the explanations of those dreams very simple and clear – we believe in God, think about God, and feel we’re getting closer to God, hence why we dream about God.
So, while we can’t really derive much more than that from such a dream, it at least makes its meaning less puzzling – if God is always on your mind, you can expect Him to be in your dreams too.
7. You feel you’ve been doing good recently
A similar dream interpretation to some of the above would be that you feel you’ve been doing some good in recent times. This doesn’t have so much with whether you feel bliss or negativity, but it more implies that you just feel you’ve been on the right Path as of late.
This interpretation is usually the correct one when your dream had a distinct note of both happiness and humility – for this interpretation to be true, you wouldn’t be “full of yourself” nor would you necessarily think you deserve a reward from God or anything similar. Instead, you simply feel you’ve been doing good in God’s eyes.
8. You are trying to better live your life in accordance with the scriptures
A more specific interpretation doesn’t have as much to do with how you feel or with our subjective interpretations of good or bad, but it simply has to do with our devotion to God and his scripture. If you’ve recently started making the effort to follow God’s scripture to the letter, you can very well expect to start seeing the image of God in your dreams and to hear God’s voice too.
Does this mean that you’ve really reached Enlightenment and higher levels of wisdom and spirituality? Are you hearing the word of God or do you just see mirror images of him because you’ve been re-reading the Bible, the Quran, or any other holy book, and you’re trying to live up to every word of the Old Testament, the New Testament, and any other piece of scripture?
We can’t know, but we can certainly expect to start seeing the image of God in our dreams once we reach such levels of devotion.
A dream about God is often a reminder that we are just mere humans and that most things we do in life ought to be judged through the prism of the Divine. The more exact interpretation of dreams including a vision of God or the voice of God, however, is dependent on context clues we should derive both from the dream itself and from our everyday life.
For example, did the dream feel good and fulfilling or was it steeped in anxiety and guilt? How about your personal life – would you say you’ve been living the life you want and should be living or do you have certain recent regrets that might be connected to a dream about God?
Only you can answer these questions but, hopefully, the 8 suggestions above will help you along the way.