In my last post, I shared what the positive side of the color red typically means in dreams. Today, I’d like to look at a particular dream in which red was used to give the dreamer a warning.
Whenever we’re interpreting what colors mean in dreams, we must consider the overall context of the dream. I dive into this in more detail in my upcoming eStudy, “The Language of Dreams“. But for now, suffice it to say that the same color can have either a negative or a positive connotation, depending on what the dream is communicating overall.
Red is one of the most common colors to dream in. When used in a positive sense, it is the color of anointing, wisdom and/or power. But there are times when red can be used to warn us of anger, war, or conflict that may be headed in our direction.
Here’s a great example of a dream I recently interpreted in which red was used to give the dreamer a heads up:
I was in a dark, red hallway separated from my boyfriend. He was outside and I tried screaming for him. There was an enemy present who was attacking me physically. I was gasping for breath and shaking uncontrollably. I couldn’t speak words but I started screaming JESUS as best as I could. I walked back and forth and just kept screaming JESUS and speaking in tongues. Finally the grip of the enemy released and I could breathe. I was sobbing and kept repeating JESUS over and over. Then my boyfriend entered the room and I ran to his arms. I don’t remember much else. Except the feeling of the attack from the enemy. It was very real and terrifying.
Chances are, you’ve had a dream that in similar fashion left you feeling afraid and terrified. I think it’s safe to say we all have. Those dreams sure do get our attention, don’t they? But these dreams, while they can seem so paralyzing, are not meant to leave us in a place of fear. Like a single scene in a movie, they’re not the end of the story, they’re just one part of the narrative. Warning dreams, like this one, are meant to give us a heads up that while something may be looming, God is fully aware. He’s not caught off guard, and doesn’t want us to be caught off guard either.
In this dream, the dreamer was going through a dark, red hallway. Hallways are not permanent. They are places of transition. They are temporary pass-throughs that have a defined start and a set end. Secondly, we know that darkness is not of God because God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). And so by the dark hue of red used in this dream, we know the dream is meant to say, “Be alert, be vigilant!” Because the enemy who goes around as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour is up to his usual tactics (1 Peter 5:8).
Right from the the opening scene of this dream, we can already see that God is making the dreamer aware that some turbulence is up ahead. Not turbulence that originated with God, but turbulence that God is aware of and that He has already made a way for the dreamer to overcome. In fact, big-picture, that is the primary purpose God gave the dreamer this dream.
Next, we see that this will be a battle that will require the dreamer to learn how to lean on God and God alone. Of course, He is not advocating isolation. But notice the dreamer first called for her boyfriend, but he couldn’t hear her. They are both devoted followers of Christ, and it’s normal and healthy to reach out to those in our circle to help us in times of trouble. But God is saying to the dreamer that she’ll need to lean on Him more than anyone else, for this one.
Next, notice how God made the dreamer aware of what this conflict will attempt to do: 1.) seize her with anxiety, and 2.) fill her with fear. And if that should happen, notice how God already provided her with the answer of how she is to overcome that: 1.) pray in the Spirit, and 2.) call upon the name of Jesus. As soon as she did that, the grip released and she experienced God’s freedom again.
So, while this dream may have been scary to experience and wake up from – can you see how wonderful it is once we understand how to interpret it properly? There’s something so empowering about knowing how the fight is going to end that gives us great courage and confidence to confront those things that would try to intimidate us! The dreamer ended up so much stronger on the other end of this fight than she was going in.
God does not give us warning dreams so that we’ll be afraid and pull back, or start letting fear of what is to come set the agenda for our lives. He gives us these dreams so that we won’t be caught off guard, so that we won’t panic, and so that we won’t spend more energy than necessary fighting them. When we know what’s coming, we can be alert, but we can also remain focused on what we’ve been called to do – not get easily distracted or start thinking God has forsaken us. This is really what warning dreams are all about.
So next time you have a dream that leaves you feeling a little shaken, just remember – it’s not the end of the story, it’s only one scene in the narrative. God is still in control, He is obviously aware of what’s going on and He will never leave you or forsake you. And He always – always – sets us up to win.
Until next time, keep dreaming, because God is speaking,
Linda G. Riddle