There is a spectrum between space and time where the human mind, spirit and soul become one, which causes the person to enter into that sphere better known as R.E.M sleep. It is during this time of deep sleep that a person is most vulnerable to the dark forces around them, it is also during this time, especially for the believer, that God also works with his people which allows him to communicate directly to his perfect will, guidance and sometimes warnings of things to come. We see this clearly with Joseph, when he was told (in a dream) to flee with his wife and child (Jesus). Yet it is during this particular time where, for both believer as well as sinner, that things can take a strange turn toward a more dark demonic turn, where Satan can, at times, have access to a persons mind during this particular dream state. And sadly, it happens more often than we might realize.
The common question many have is, can Satan either enter into our dreams, or, in some measure, cause specific dreams to occur which leave the person fighting a spiritual battle within their mind (i.e., dreams)? I believe the answer is an astounding YES!
The apostle Paul stated very clearly in Ephesians 6:12 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Paul was making it very clear that this fight that we face daily in this world is not against flesh and blood (other human beings) but against demonic forces, such as fallen angels and demons. It is in this spirit realm that every human being enters when they fall asleep that the battles truly begin. For it is these malicious beings who, being sent by the evil one, wage a warfare unlike anything our natural man could battle in our own strength. I believe this is part of the meaning of Zechariah’s declaration when he stated that it’s “Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord.” (Zechariah 4:6)
When the believer falls asleep, he/she becomes vulnerable, it is this aspect of R.E.M. sleep that the Christian will face a subconscious attack in the spirit realm. This is why that many times evil, wicked and sinister dreams will come to the believer, and it is in these moments that they find themselves fighting, even within their own nightmares the supernatural, as well as cosmic battles – in the mind. This is why every believer needs to put on the whole armor of God, not just a physical armor, but their spiritual armor. Simply because when we are asleep, we are unable to contend fully with the enemy.
So why then is Satan allowed to enter into our dreams? Or can he? I believe that the answer, to some extent, lies within the framework of our spiritual DNA. Every person born on this planet is made up of three parts, spirit, soul and body. This is why we are the most perfect representation of God’s image, because he has filled every man, woman and child with these things, contained in the framework of the human body. Even science proves that there are aspects of man that we simply do not fully understand. Why can a person know, miles away, that a loved one has died and not be told, yet they knew death had come? Why does a twin know almost immediately that their counter twin has passed almost at the very same moment, yet they never told until hours later of the event? It is because each person is endowed by their creator with a gift that can only be measured by the supernatural part of our spiritual makeup, it is our spiritual DNA at work.
Yes, demons, and Satan himself can, and does (at times) enter into our dreams. We see several accounts in the word proving this, but Job is by far the best glimpse of Satan, as well as demons entering into the dreams of a Christian. In Job 4:13-19 we read of an account of Eliphaz, who was trying to deceive Job who encountered a demon in his dream, here are his own words recorded by Job; “Amid thoughts from visions of the night, when deep sleep falls on men, fear and trembling seized me and made all my bones shake. A spirit glided past my face; the hair of my flesh stood up. It stood still, but I could not discern its appearance; A form was before my eyes; There was silence, then I heard a voice: ‘Can mortal man be in the right before God? Can a man be pure before his Maker? He puts no trust even in His servants; And against His angels He charges error. How much more those who dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, who are crushed like the moth.” The truth was, this demon spirit was lying, and Eliphaz believed it.
This does not mean that every person is serving and living for Christ, far from it. Millions of people on this planet do not serve the Lord, yet that same spiritual makeup is part of their life which not only follows them in this life, but in the next life, either in heaven if they have repented, or in hell for rejecting Christ and his finished work on the cross. Yet I believe this explains to some extent as to why people, especially believers, have supernatural encounters within their dreams, because Satan is our enemy, and for whatever reason and purpose, he has been given, for God’s own design, special permission to contend with us even in our sleep. This does not, however, suggest that every single person who calls on the name of the Lord is visited by the enemy in every situation, for that’s impossible because Satan is not able to be at every place at once, for he is still very limited in power and authority, yet his power and abilities far outweigh everything we can understand concerning this being, and why we must continually be on guard, even when we prepare for bed.
There have been many times where I have went to sleep, only to wake up within a dream and found myself battling a spirit of deception. It was only by the power of God through the working of the Holy Spirit that I was able to not only contend with the enemy (while asleep) but also rebuke him, by the word. This is why Satan hates it when we engage ourselves continually in a life of prayer, as well as staying in the word. Because by staying in the word, staying on our knees by having a consistent prayer life, we are then able to contend with the enemy by any form he attempts to deceive us in. Many times I’ve met people who’ve told me (even preachers) that they have had dreams where they found themselves committing adultery, or other worse forms of sexual sins, yet they wake up defeated because they feel guilt and remorse by what occurred during the previous night before. When in reality, they never committed a sin, nor was their dream caused by any deep desire to commit such betrayal. It was simply Satan, either personally, or through those beings (demons) those images and ideas were invoked. This is the spiritual realm in which I refer to.
To be clear, for whatever reason, Satan has been given access to our dreams, and while I do not believe he can literally (by physical means) come into our dreams, he can, for that specific purpose by his own design, cause images of his own desire, to be put into our spirit while we are asleep, and this is why Satan can enter into our dreams at night, because we ourselves are entering into a place where the spirit and soul become open, and if we are not grounded and settled in Christ, this spiritual nakedness can have dangerous affects upon the person, and in some cases cause great distress.
So how can we contend against the enemy when he comes at our most vulnerable time? We do this by simply understanding one thing, it is by faith that we can contend, even in our sleep, the attacks of the enemy. I believe, because of the word, that we can at least ask the Lord to give us strength before we lay down at night, this is why sometimes I pray just before I go to bed at night, because I understand that when I fall asleep, my mind and spirit as well as soul become very open to not only for God who might speak to me, but also for the enemy to come and attack me. The word says, “My son, let them not depart from your eyes – keep sound wisdom and discretion; so they will be life to your soul and grace to your neck. Then you will walk safely in your way, and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet. (Proverbs 3:21-24)
Paul goes further in his words in Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” It is clear that Satan can, and does enter into our dreams, but it is also clear that he is defeated, all because of the cross. It is during this time that we must fight the good fight of faith, even in those times which we might not be able to by our own physical strength because we are not able to, but we can do things to protect us and guard our minds when we lay down, and even though we are not solely responsible for those actions which come to us caused by the enemy, we are reminded in God’s word that we must not allow the enemy to defeat us for any reason, and know that we are saved by faith, and that faith is what will help us overcome, even during the most crucial times when we are the most vulnerable.