We have been given a very powerful imagination. God designed us that way. He gave us a mind that can imagine possibilities, scenes and even the corresponding emotions. God also warns us not to use our imagination to create fear, worry or anxiety because that is not from Him.
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control]. 2 Timothy 1:7 AMP
Pause for a moment and imagine this “sea” in heaven that God speaks about in Rev. 4:6 AMP “and in front of the throne there was something like a sea or large expanse of glass, like [the clearest] crystal…” Do you see it? A sea so crystal clear that it appears like glass!
Our minds our so powerful, and as believers we have been given the mind of Christ! It is possible for us to have thoughts like Christ Himself would think. (1 Cor. 2:13)
I was recently reminded of how powerful our imagination can be when I was talking with a friend who regularly entertains and imagines her future in ways that amplify her worry and create a large amount of anxiety. She imagines her future self; poor, alone and miserable. With these imaginations she even “sees” the small, empty space she would call home, the feelings of loneliness that she expects to feel and so on. During these times of negative imaginations worry, confusion and disappointment over a “possible” end of life scenario consumes her thinking, feelings and leads to negative talk and actions. If you can imagine anything, why imagine things that are of no benefit to you or others around you?
I too have caught myself on occasion imagining the worst possible scenario. It’s easy to do when you have teenage drivers in the house! I began to notice such a huge difference in my own peace depending on what I imagined when one of my children leaves the house to drive somewhere. I can imagine a car wreck, police coming to the door, the lights and sirens at the scene, and if I let it go further, I have even imagined the funeral and the people who would attend. Yeah, I’ve traveled this mind trail a time or two before I catch myself and intentionally redirect my thoughts.
Over time I’ve conditioned myself instead to imagine Jesus sitting with them in the car. I imagine what He would talk to them about and how much He loves them. I remind myself that I am not in control, and my kids’ lives are not a “story” that I get to write. I am not the author of their life. I regularly imagine God writing out the story of my childrens’ lives as if He’s writing in a book, recognizing that He calls Himself the Author and Perfecter of faith for a reason! While our imaginations seem to come only from our thoughts, I found it interesting when studying this out in Scripture to learn that God defines imaginations as beginning in our hearts. Luke 1:51 NKJV says, “He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.” This makes sense because God has also told us that out of the overflow of our hearts, our mouth speaks and if we are regularly imagining catastrophe, our mouths will give words to those thoughts, so both our imaginations and words originate in our hearts.
Imagine a life where your imaginations are filled with the truth of Who God is in the midst of your circumstance, where you imagine Him fighting against your enemies, to give you the victory (Deut. 20:4) or God delivering you out of all your troubles (Psalm 34:17), or having life abundantly (John 10:10). James 4:7 says “submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Do you ever imagine the devil fleeing from you?
God has set before us life and death and wants us to choose life, not only for our eternal salvation, but as we live moment by moment too. We chose life every time we imagine His faithfulness, goodness, loving kindness and favor in and on our lives both now and for eternity.
My prayer for you comes today from 2 Corinthians 10:5. Lord, please help us to demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and help us to take captive every thought or imagination and make it obedient to Christ, and it’s in His name I pray.
Your sister in Christ- Jamie