Imagination

A few months ago I read an excerpt on imagination and it has been rumbling around in my heart and spirit ever since.  The statement that really caught my attention was this, “…read on imagination and about what a great gift from God our imagination is.  She said, ‘But the world has assaulted it, through all the dark movies and images that fill our culture.  I think we need to be careful what we take in so that we can have a holy imagination.” (Walking with God by John Eldridge; Winter:  Snare of Speculation.  See www.ransomedheart.com)  Huh?  A holy imagination?  Really.  Before I get to much further, let me just state that I know that our imaginations can take us to places that we do not need to even be entertaining.  But in this blog I am going to focus on our holy imagination.  First of all, I had never thought about our imaginations being a gift from God.  Take a moment and think about the imagination it took for God to create the world that we live in and the animals that inhabit this earth.  There is an imagination for you!  If we go further into Scripture, do you not think that Abraham sat around at night imagining what it would mean to be the father of many nations or David imagining what it would be like to be a godly king for the nation Israel.  So there is definitely something here that I had not considered before and I think I can safely say, have been deceived about.  I do not know about you but ever time I start dreaming about what God can do in my life or through me to others, the enemy tries to tell me that I am being prideful and to take it one step further, my imagining great things from God and for God is prideful and I should stop.  Up to this point in my life, I have believed him and put the brakes on those imaginations every time they start.  As all of this has been rumbling around, I have been asking God why He gave us imagination, what are we to use it for on this journey and how is it valuable to the Kingdom of God.  The answer finally came the other evening. 

“One of the most poisonous of all Satan’s whispers is simply, ‘Things will never change.’  That lie kills expectation, trapping our heart forever in the present.  To keep desire alive and flourishing, we must renew our vision for what lies ahead.  Things will not always be like this.  Jesus has promised to ‘make all things new.’  Eye has not seen, ear has not heard all that God has in store for His lovers, which does not mean ‘we have no clue so don’t even try to imagine,’ but rather, you cannot outdream God.  Desire is kept alive by imagination, the antidote to resignation.  We will need imagination, which is to say, we will need hope.”  (The Sacred Romance by John Eldridge; Chapter 10, On the Road.  See www.ransomedheart.com)

Now things are starting to become clear.  Resignation has been a big part of the lies that I have believed especially in relation to my worth and value in the Kingdom and my work in the Kingdom.  The big picture is becoming clearer, what God was after in my heart and what the enemy was trying to stop.   The more sobering fact is that now that I know what is at stake here, it is that much more important to take everything captive before it enters my mind and affects my imagination. 

“Summing it all up, friends.  I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on these things:  true, noble, reputable, authentic , compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst, the beautiful not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.”  Phil 4:7 (Message)

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It does not always add up

Why do I think that following God should follow a precise, laid out pattern and always make sense?  Where in the world did I get that idea?  It seems that the more I grow in my relationship with God and in following harder after Him, the more things do not make sense or add up.  It gets very confusing after all.  There are days when I wonder if I have lost my mind!  Then I take a look at Scripture and I find that I am not alone.  Which is very reassuring right now, trust me.  Build an ark?  Your kidding, right?!?  I have too many soldiers?  Did I hear you right? Put torches in jars and break them?  What kind of battle strategy is that?  Go to Rome?  You do understand that they are out to kill me, right?!  All through the Bible God told people to do things that did not make sense or add up in any way.  Why do I think that my life should be different?  Should not the life of a God chaser be one that mystifies the world and in doing so draws men unto Him.  So I guess that I am realizing that I need to be okay with people, even Christians, looking at me funny.  People not understanding what I am doing, I barely understand what God is asking me to do half the time.  The only hope I have left is this…I am not alone, many have gone before on the same path and they are some of the people who did the most for God and His Kingdom during their lifetime. In the end, I guess I would rather have that said about me then that I understood God and everything He asked me to do.