Can Satan create your dreams at night to distract you the next day or next few days?
2 Corinthians 2:11 (NIV)
“…in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.”
The short answer to this is, sure. The key here is, will he be effective?
Another version of this scripture says, “We are not ignorant of his devices.” In other words, disciples of Christ should not be unaware of the fact that the enemy would attack them, and do so in various ways. The devil is a liar. He is also out to rob peace from the world because he traded peace for his pride. When we understand that sleep was meant for rest, then we can see that it is certainly something the devil would like to rob. But here’s a question. Is the problem found just in the night, while we sleep, or is there a part that we play?
When I worked in a factory, they had a system that was called preventative maintenance. These were times of scheduled downtime for all the machines. Though down time doesn’t seem to be producing much, the knowledge is that a little maintenance on the front end would go along way toward the over all production. It also allowed smaller problems to be revealed before bigger ones were created. It is a common thing in our society to bandaid an issue instead of fixing the problem. I see this a lot in the lives of believers. We have the greatest book of wisdom, these things should not be so!
I said that because we often see the effects of an attack from the enemy, but we don’t always look to the why. The devil is an opportunist. I’m sure he randomly attacks but honestly that takes effort that he doesn’t always have. He looks for opportunity to get us, often when we don’t expect it. Look at what 1 Peter 5:8 (NIV) says. “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” He’s looking for opportunity to get us and unfortunately we give it to him too often.
I’m not blaming everyone for every time the devil attacks them. What I’m suggesting is that we spend some time on preventative maintenance. In this case, how we go to bed matters and it matters a great deal. I find when I go right to bed after watching tv or random videos, my sleep is never like it is when I go to sleep mindful of God. This doesn’t just affect my nights, but when I focus on God as I wake up, my days are usually different as well. Taking that time in a busy schedule is preventative maintenance and doesn’t give the devil a lot in my life to use. Now for sure, I don’t do this perfectly, but I’m reminded of it when I don’t!
The devil is always looking to upset our days and he will use just about anything to do it. Which leads into the next point. What do we do when he does? 2 Timothy 1:6-7 (NIV) says, “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” The principle is that as faithful believers we have something on the inside of us that is greater and so we need to access it! Hebrews 4:16 (NIV) tells us, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Our placement with God negates the devil’s place in our lives.
We should know what things are God and what things are not. And if we don’t, we need to seek them out, whether this is through our own study or submitting it to someone else, someone who we trust knows. Once I had a dream that I believe was of spiritual nature. Although it was alarming, I really believed that God was in it. The problem is that I could easily think wrong about it because my mind was not in the right place. This is why we have to renew our mind in the word so that we don’t get confused or deceived. If the devil brings us something, but we know by the Word that it’s not good, then we can easily throw it out. If God brings us something heavy, we know by the Word it’s good and can accept it.
The most important thing in a believer’s life is to be renewed, mentally and spiritually by his truth, which is His word. This is how we deal with the devils devices, his traps. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NIV) says, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” You fight lies with the truth and the only thing the devil has is lies. Refuse to let demonic thoughts or dreams to be an influence in your life. And do not invite those thoughts in by filling your mind with the wrong things.