Changing One's ways by Prayer
and Analysing One's Dreams
As a background, I'd like to reveal some less than appealing information
about myself. My great great grandfather was some mad tyrannical albino genius
who terrorized his family and brought his wife to early death by his behaviour.
I've learned that this tyrannical streak continued down the generations, with
various fathers in my lineage abusing their children and spouse. I myself grew
up tyranising my mother and sister, since for a long while I was the only male
in the house. Anyway, at some point I came to Christ, and since then I have made
a concerted effort to control my behaviour, especially to women. But I am
consumed by feelings of rage on a daily basis. I might be walking pleasantly
down the street, when a thought appears in my head that angers me, and within
seconds overwhelming thoughts fill my head of brutally beating some male,
teaching them justice, so to speak. But this certainly is not the way of Christ,
who commands that we offer the other cheek when slapped, or give our coat when
our scarf is taken. Well, I have often wondered how I would react in such a
situation and cannot imagine reacting as I should. I pray regularly to quell the
feelings of rage which constantly surface within me, or the ability to let go
when someone steals my possession.
PS 16:7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart
PS 17:3 Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me
The bible says that God hovers over us at
tests us through our dreams.
Based on most of the dreams I have, I certainly feel I am being tested, and acknowledge I am failing
miserably. But lately I have started dwelling on my failures in dreams and have
actually managed some progress. The feeling is so real in my dreams, and my
instant reaction understandable, but if I can change my instant reaction in my
dreams, which is based on my own instinct and nature, I feel I should be able to
apply this in real life when confronted with it. One is not aware they are
dreaming when confronted with such scenarios, so one can analyse their reaction
and behaviour as a true reflection of their nature.
I have worked on my dreams in other ways in the past. I used to have a
recurring dream of a big bear pawing after me. I'd crawl up a tree, then crawl
out on a limb, or the edge of a cliff, and each time the bear would inch its way
towards me, pawing at me, until I either fell off the cliff and woke up, or the
thinning end of the tree branch broke, I began to fall, and then woke up. One
day this angered me enough that I decided next time I will stand up against that
bear and not back away from fear. I did that, it worked, and the bear never
bothered me again. Actually, it got to the point that the bear would come back,
but it would be more like a friend.
I also overcame my fear of falling, and now I fly regularly in my dreams.
Several times I was even aware I was dreaming, yet managed to let go of my fears
to continue flying. It was a resolution of the mind. Many times I'd be flying,
but fear would grip me, and slowly I'd be descending towards the surface of the
earth, where there would be crowds of people, arms raised in the air, so they
could grab me, pull me down, and who knows what would happen next. As I
descended towards them, I would flap my wings more frantically, but my frantic
fear would only increase the rate of my descent. Until I learned to let go of
that fear, focus instead on my own confidence, and from now on, just by focusing
on my confidence and a peace of mind, I would continue to fly.
Now I'm not sure how overcoming this will effect my real life, but I can
imagine it has helped me in my confidence, and to overcome fears in social
But lately, after being resolute in my mind, I've been pleasantly surprised
that my reactions were not inappropriate like they used to be concerning more
violent scenarios. For example, last night I had a dream that a very strong male
was hassling a woman. There were many of us in the room, I felt fear, but I
became resolved to do what was right, so I stood up, gently grabbed the male's
wrist, and tried to defend the woman in some ideal way. I believe I accepted a
punch in the jaw, without getting angry, and then I woke up. Over the past few
months I've been having similar dreams where I was being provoked, but I managed
to contain my anger and subsequent reactions as I would want them to be.
We might tell ourselves how we would want to behave in certain situations,
but when those situations do arise, we can often find ourselves frozen in fear
and behaving entirely different. Like when Peter disowned Jesus three times,
hurling curses at him before he was hauled off to the cross. In the face of
crowds and potential prosecution, our instinct for self preservation might kick
in and we behave in a manner we are ashamed of later. Fortunately, such
incidents do not occur in my daily life, but I feel that overcoming them in my
dreams is like practice, and I am more confident that I will behave better if
they ever do occur to me in real life. When they happen to me in dreams, they
feel so real, but if I learn to respond better in my dreams, I feel this could
have an affect on how I would respond instinctively or automatically when
confronted by similar situations in real life (although I'd rather not be put in
Anyway, there are many ways we can change our behaviour. If we want to
dedicate more of our time to charity, this is a methodical decision and what one
can simply change with a little bit of willpower. But how we react when
confronted in times of danger we cannot necessarily control, because we do not
have experience with it. We are gripped with fear, and the body and mind can
often go into instinctive/self preservation mode. In the least, if these dream
exercises will not help my behaviour if I'll ever be confronted with such
predicaments in real life, I can feel assured that I am better passing God's
tests, and only hope that they will stay as dreams. But I feel that they are
helping. That God is testing my nature, testing my words, prayers and
desires to behave better, and I feel that my nature is being worked on,
for the better.
Perhaps an unbelievable analogy, but I love the game of squash. Because it is
such a physically active sport, we'd play with such numbers and such number of
courts so that one person could always sit out and rest every few games. I'd
watch how the others play and I'd learn a lot: from their mistakes, or from how
they played differently than I do. Something I cannot really notice so well when
actually playing. I'd meditate on the better ways of playing, tell myself I will
try to play that way, but once I'm on the court, instinct would kick in and I'd
go back to my old bad habits. After all, squash is not like chess, and there
simply is no time to think about things and strategise properly. But I found
that, by coming to the courts at least half an hour earlier and practice certain
routines and moves, I'd be ingraining the strategy into my instinct. By
preparing a certain scenario for myself, responding to it according to my
strategy, and practicing the same move over and over again until it became
instinctive, THEN it truly would become more instinctive once I actually started
And so I feel it is the same with these dreams. When we are confronted with
such predicaments in real life, there really isn?t time to think and ponder
about the situation, and we are often taken over by fear and respond
instinctively. Many times in my dreams I wake up the second after I responded
wrongly. I don't believe it is because of some shock, or because I am no longer
tired, but 100% because God woke me up and wanted to show me the failure in my
nature. This may seem far fetched to you, but if you believe in God, in what is
written in the bible, and actually analyse your dreams, you should be convinced
enough to at least start experimenting with your dreams. Take them seriously and
consider yourself being tested by God, and try working on your nature to please
him. Although we live a relatively short life, chances are good that we will
find ourselves, at one point or another, in such real life predicaments, so
might as well practice and prepare for them in the "virtual world". After all,
we are judged by what we have done. God can arrange for us to end up in such
predicaments as surely as he can subject us to these crazy dreams.
With prayer, sincere desire, and practice, I hope I will overcome my bad
instinct. And be better prepared when the real test comes. These are some of the
things we are judged by, and it is good to meditate and work on them, to improve
Then again, another idea occurred to me the next morning after I wrote this.
After all, I believe God puts ideas into my (our) head(s), and it is important
to try and be fully honest with oneself when striving for the ideal.
RO 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your
bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual
act of worship.  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but
be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and
approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.
2CO 3:18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being
transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the
Lord, who is the Spirit.
PHP 3:19 the Lord Jesus Christ,  who, by the power that enables him to bring
everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will
be like his glorious body.
One reason why I may be struggling with occasional feelings of anger is
because I have not fully given myself over to Jesus, as is required, and hence
have not benefited from the transformation accompanied by such a
surrender of the soul and the subsequent showering/flooding of the Holy Spirit.
I did feel the transformation when I first received Christ, but because I refused to profess the gospel as the Spirit within me
yearned to do,
REV 2:4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. 
Remember the height from which you have fallen!
I fell from my first love and thus was not fully transformed. I fell from my first
grace, like a dog returning to its
2PE 2:19 They themselves are slaves of depravity--for a man is a slave to
whatever has mastered him.  If they have escaped the corruption of the world
by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and
overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.  It
would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than
to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was
passed on to them.  Of them the proverbs are true: "A dog returns to its
vomit," and, "A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud."
vomit. I cannot let go of all my
possessions and personal ambitions, and hence remains within me that remnant of
my pride which I cannot/refuse to let go. And as the good book, a little bit of
sin (yeast) goes through the whole
1CO 5:6 Don't you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of
dough?  Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without
yeast--as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.
 Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of
malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and
(dough), and hence I continue
to struggle with this.
I have been pondering this issue for years, thinking that I just need to
succeed something in business first, but this approach is not looked on with the
LK 9:61 Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back
and say good-by to my family."
LK 9:62 Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is
fit for service in the kingdom of God."
Anyway, this still remains a goal of mine, and because of my sweat experience
with the Spirit within me (although faded over the years), I will continue to
strive towards this direction, and do what I can to serve God in ever greater
At least by reading this the unbeliever will see that following Christ is not
a simple and easy path. It is a daily struggle, and I pray I will be able to
take the necessary steps to follow him fully, and have the strength to overcome
all prosecution and suffering in the name of the gospel, which God might be
preparing me for. I truly hope I will achieve the full ten yards on this.