The Power Of Your Imagination
Articles - Christian Growth
by Lyn Packer
God has an Imagination! How do I know that? Because we all have one and we have been created in God's image. I believe when God created everything, He envisaged what He wanted to create and then spoke that into being (envisage means - to contemplate or conceive a possibility or a desirable future event, to form a mental picture of something not yet existing or known – to imagine).
God created us in his image. He gave us an imagination and He means for us to use it. I believe that our imagination is one of our most underutilized gifts from God.
Your imagination can and often does have a direct effect on your reality. In fact…
Your imagination is the initiator of all you do - of your behavior, your thought life, and your actions. Everything you do starts first in your imagination; your mind then gets hold of it and plans how you can achieve it. Sometimes the imagination part of the process happens in a split second so we don't always recognize the pattern when it's happening, but it does happen.
In the past the church has downplayed the role of the imagination and we have tended to relegate it to simply being the place where we fantasize and make things up, or at best, where we get creative ideas. Your imagination is not just where you dream and fantasize, though, as we'll see soon, although the aspect of dreaming in our imagination is actually a crucial part of getting anything done in life.
What does scripture say?…
At first glance in scripture you won't see much written about your imagination that is positive - most of what you see talks about vain or wicked imaginations etc. (Gen 6:5; Jer 7:24; 9:14; 11:8; Luke 1:51; Rom 1:21).
Gen 11:6 tells us that with imagination and unity nothing is impossible. "Look the people are one, they have all one language and this they begin to do, now nothing will be restrained from them which they have imagined to do."
In Matt 5:28 Jesus says "whoever looks on a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart". He tells us plainly that sin is conceived first in the imagination. We see ourselves doing something and then begin to think about how to fulfill that, and then we either follow through on it or abandon it.
So before we know Christ our imagination is in an un-regenerated state and needs to be cleansed and sanctified for it to ever fully realize its original potential.
As I said earlier, most visible references to the imagination in scripture talk about vain or wicked imaginations. Why is that? It's because in most instances where the word 'imagination' is used for good it has been translated as other things - mind, understanding, meditate, heart. It's as if the translators didn't recognize that the imagination could be good, cleansed or sanctified, so they used other words instead to describe it.
'Mind', 'understanding', 'meditate', 'heart' - these words used in many scriptures actually mean the same thing - imagination. In the New Testament there are two words used for mind - one means the logical reasoning mind and the other means the imagination. The word that means imagination is the Greek word dianoya. It's important to note what Bible commentators say about the word dianoya…
Col 1:21 tells us our imagination has been sanctified (set apart) and reconciled to God "And you who were once alienated and enemies in your mind (imagination) by wicked works, yet he has now reconciled… (made right with him)"
As we walk submitted to Holy Spirit this should be what it looks like…
Eph 4:17 – 27 So this I say and affirm together with the Lord that you walk no longer as the gentiles also walk in the futility of their mind (logical reasoning mind) being darkened in their understanding (imagination) excluded from the life of God…. But you did not learn Christ this way… Put on the new self which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
It's interesting to note in that verse that our imagination can exclude us from knowing and walking in the life of God. It is that powerful!
How do we put on the new self and walk in our sanctified imagination?
You are no longer excluded from the life of God, you have full access to it, and one of those ways is through your imagination. Your imagination is not just where you fantasize and make things up, it has a huge effect on the reality you walk in.
I said earlier that there are a lot of references in scripture about your imagination – here are some of them…
But that's not all there is to your imagination - there's more…
Internal vision receiver
Your imagination is your internal vision center and, as such, is not just where you dream and fantasize - it's where you see all internal visual revelation from the Lord. It's a gateway between your soul and your spirit and between your spirit and the spiritual realms. It's a frequency receiver (like a TV is) that can be tuned to pick up the frequencies of heaven – it has a direct link with the spirit realm.
All internally seen vision from the spiritual realms is received in your spirit then brought into the imagination so you can see it; this is called seeing in the Spirit. Seeing with your natural eyes into that realm is called an 'open eye vision'. Moses actually saw God both ways - with his natural eyes and his spiritual eyes; Jesus did too, and so can you.
Part of the imagination's function is to allow you to see the reality of the invisible realm and to see things that are not yet in this realm, and in seeing them, to begin the creation process that brings them into this realm. It is also given to you so that you may dream with God. (All self-focused, self-initiated dreaming or vision originates there as well).
In Eph 1:18 Amp - Paul prays - I pray the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of glory, that he may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation (of insight into mysteries and secrets) in the (deep and intimate) knowledge of him, (HOW?) by having the eyes of your heart (imagination) flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which he has called you etc.
So Paul is praying that you would see into the Kingdom of Heaven and know what is the hope of your calling (your destiny) and the incredible riches of the glory of Christ's inheritance in the saints.
To get your imagination functioning correctly –
Alister McGrath said this "Your imagination is the God given human capacity to construct and enter into mental pictures of divine reality. We are able to inhabit the mental pictures we create and thence anticipate the delight of finally entering the greater reality to which they correspond."
In other words you can see pictures of divine reality in your imagination and enter them and begin interacting with that divine reality. How can that be? Because your imagination is a gateway into the Kingdom realm!
Initiate new realities
In fact, even the very act of seeing can begin to initiate exchange of an invisible reality from that Kingdom realm to this one, as is explained in the following segment from an article by David van Koevering.
Live from your imagination – your dreams and God's
Our imagination is far more powerful than we have been led to believe and what we imagine is able to end up as our reality. To activate your imagination - ask Holy Spirit to show you the realities of the Kingdom realm, those things God has stored up for you and for our world. Allow yourself to dream with God. Let those dreams fill your vision center, your imagination. Allow them to grow and blossom within you until you simply must bring them to pass. Then live those dreams, letting those dreams change your world as you and the Lord bring them into this realm, co-creating new realities for you and for others to live in.
Your imagination – it's far more powerful than you ever thought possible; that's for real!