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|Agape Life Ministries, Inc
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The Christian's Imagination
- Junior DeSouza
Imagination is the mind's ability to create, specifically, to create images that form the basis of eventual experience. With our
imagination we imagine, envision, daydream, ponder, visualize, and create. Everything in existence was birthed through an
imagination, whether God's, man's, or the enemy's. Imagination is the womb of life. A baby is born because a man and
woman imagined sexual union. A skyscraper is erected because an architect imagined a magnificent structure. A touchdown
pass is caught because a coach imagined a certain play and called it. The imagination has astonishing potential.
Every aspect of our Christian life is affected by imagination. If we see it enough in our mind, we'll become it in our life.
Something we're seeing is determining what we're experiencing! Whatever channel our mental TV is on daily will determine
our life's ratings. Proverbs 23:7 (NKJV): As a man thinks in his heart so is he.
Imagination & Adoration (worship/prayer)
Imagination is the mind's ability to create, and adoration is our intimate relationship with God most directly expressed through
worship and prayer. Here's how they interface.
I am truly amazed, and puzzled, at how God uses His imagination. Look at creation, specifically the animal kingdom. When I
watch a stick-like preying mantis walking suspiciously on my glass door...when I'm intrigued by a hummingbird hovering
anxiously at my birdfeeder...when I'm warmed by the playfulness and joy of a dolphin...when I laugh at silly dogs chasing their
tail...when I think about a leviathan, who God formed simply to frolic and play (Ps 104:26), I am amazed at my God whose
imagination is more overactive than any of ours will ever be.
When I read in Scripture of God using elaborate and just-plain-cool methods to express Himself to us, I'm slightly
embarrassed at how our prayers are sometimes so very bland and un-illustrative, and consequently, unconvincing.
Imagination implies interest--intense interest. When I think of creation, I think of a Creator so intensely interested in his
project that He went the extra mile to exercise remarkable creativity. When I think of a man so in love with a woman, I see him
going the extra mile to discover brilliant romantic ideas. And, when I think of imagination in our worship/prayer life, I
understand some things.
God is not a mathematical equation or scientific formula. He is a Divine Person, possessing a heart and mind that can be
stirred, moved, and won over by the faith-filled use of our imagination (Mt 8:8-13, 15:22-28). The Lord loves our creativity
concerning Him! It shows Him our faith, interest, and passion. Consequently, it romances Him. And in response, He reveals
Himself and His endless imagination toward us (Ps 139:17,18).
How can you be more creative in your love for the Lord? Write Him a poem of love, or a letter. Worship and pray in creative
places, in creative ways, at creative times, for creative reasons. Start a collection of objects that have divine significance to
you; put them on a shelf or display case. One time I put $20 in an unsold Bible at a bookstore on Numbers chapter 20,
wanting to give God a gift and whoever would eventually buy that Bible. The very next week someone gave me an unexpected
love gift of $700! There are no limits to using your imagination to substantiate your adoration.
Imagination & Illumination (God's voice)
Imagination is the mind's ability to create, and illumination is God speaking to us. Every Christian is in need of continuously
winnowing these two realities.
Imagination typically reflects personality and environment, and therefore, contains such overtones and undercurrents. We
must rigorously address and monitor our emotional life to ensure such psychosocial issues do not overstimulate our
imagination. When overstimulated by emotional compulsions, our imagination can trick us with pseudo-revelations.
Imaginatory flow often seems like and sounds like the imaginator and his surroundings, while revelatory flow often has a
distinctly foreign quality.
Illumination/revelation, typically, is foreign to our personal thought-patterns. It contains divine spins, angles, wordings, or
moods that are slightly different than ours. At times, it may even be totally opposite our personality, circumstances, good
advice, or common sense.
Even with such differences, the two phenomena can sometimes still be confused. For, at times, the Holy Spirit will inject His
luminations into our consciousness with incredible subtlety. When unsure, the wise route is to wait/look for subsequent
confirmations from other sources. Job 33:14(NIV) is one of the best scriptures pertaining to this: For God does speak--now
one way, now another--though man may not perceive it. He will authenticate Himself by sending the same message in
Imagination & Expectation (faith)
Imagination is the mind's ability to create, and expectation is our gut belief that a certain outcome will happen. Here's how
In general, we do not attract to our life what we desire or need, we attract what we expect, and we expect what we imagine.
This is why many people find themselves in the same jacked up situations over and over, though they recognize and abhor it,
though they try and do different. Up high in their mind they imagine it, deep down in their gut they expect it. The habitual visions
of our mind can persuade our heart what to believe and expect.
Change the mind's favorite TV channel and you can change the heart's assumptions, and what you keep subconsciously
inviting into your life. Daydream about God things and God outcomes, as Philippians 4:8 says, and your heart's
faith-expectations will become God-ward. The imagination must be corralled and given a new focus to produce new
expectations and outcomes.
Imagination & Conversation (speaking habits)
Imagination is the mind's ability to create, and conversation is our speaking habits. It's simple math friends: we talk about
what we think about. Wanna peep into someone's thought life? Observe what they say and how they say it habitually,
especially when their social precaution is down. The mouth always betrays the soul, for better or for worse (Mt 12:34).
Since life or death piggyback on our words, and since we will eat the fruit of those very words, we need to slow down and
enslave our tongues (Pr 18:21, Jas 3:2,3). But speech-servitude alone is superficial, we need to change what our imagination
keeps seeing, and therefore, cut off the negative supply line from mind to mouth. Are your speaking habits negative, tense,
anxious, worried, angry, antagonistic, destructive, argumentative, degrading, doubtful, cynical, pessimistic, compulsive?
Desire speech that is positive, confident, kind, peace-loving, empowering, inspiring, believing, childlike, optimistic, joyful?
Change the TV channel and you change the sound coming out of it.
Imagination and Destination (calling)
Imagination is the mind's ability to create, and destination is our personal, God-given calling. Imagination and destiny have an
interesting relationship. Destiny is the unique contribution God designed and assigned us to make to the kingdom. Scripture
says this is preordained and even prewritten (Ps 139:14,16, Eph 2:10). Imagination, though, is the latitude and creative
potential within destiny. It allows us to be unique within our unction. For example, part of my calling is to teach--this is
destination. However, I can use my imaginative juices to stylize my teaching with innovation and drawing power--this is
imagination. Destiny is what we are called to do, imagination is how we will do it. Destiny contains God's fingerprints,
imagination adds ours.