Is your ability to really see God being blinded by something? Is something blurring your minds eye? Imagination is a good thing for a believer in Christ if it is from God! It is the ability to form mental images of things that are not present to the senses or to confront and deal with reality by using the creative power of the mind. I love Isa. 26:3, it is one of my favorite verses, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace (shalom-shalom) whose mind (#3336) is stayed on thee.” Whose mind/imagination, this word (yetser) is translated one time mind and five times imagination in the Hebrew scriptures. So if your imagination is stayed upon Yehovah, He will give you perfect peace. Peace on the inside and peace on the outside.
Isaiah chapter forty is one of the most powerful chapters in Isaiah and we are all familiar with it. However, in v.26 God says, “Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who has created these things, who bringeth out their host by number; He calleth them all by name by the greatness of His might; for He is strong in Power. Not one faileth.” However, today we find our eyes locked in on television, cell-phones, iPads, Kindles, and a host of other electronic devices.
Chambers said, “The people of God in Isaiah’s day had starved their imagination by looking on the face of idols, and Isaiah made them look up at the heavens, that is, he made them begin to use their imaginations aright.” You see nature, God’s creation to a born-again believer is almost sacramental. If you are truly born-again you have a tremendous treasure in God’s creation. As Ozzie puts it, “In every wind that blows, in every night and day of the year, in every sign of the sky, in every blossoming and withering of the earth there is a real coming of God to us, if we will simply use our starved imagination to realize it.”
Just take the time to examine the snow flakes, every one of them is different. How does He do that? Because He is omnificent! Phil. 4:8 tells us to think on these things, “true, honest, just, pure, lovely, good report, virtue, praise” but do we? Or are we tuned into Fox News or Disney or Hulu? I think it is time to re-calibrate our minds.
Ozzie says, “The test of spiritual concentration is bringing the imagination into captivity.” Sounds like II Cor. 10:5, “bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” He goes on to say, “Is your imagination looking on the face of an idol? Is the idol yourself? Your work? Your conception of what a worker should be? Your experience of salvation and sanctification?” Today’s main idol is money! Or maybe your idol is just being idle! You need to get off the couch you potato and do something with God. Maybe you just don’t know (Yada) God like you should? Hos. 6:3. Jesus said in Luke 19:13, “Occupy until I come!” And He did not mean space or a pew or a couch; the word occupy is the word (pragma) do something practical for God! But do it for Him!
As Chambers says, “If your imagination of God is starved, when you come up against severe difficulties you will have no power, and you can only endure in darkness. If your imagination is starved, do not look back to your own experience; it is God whom you need. Go right out of yourself, away from the face of your idols, away from everything that has been starving your imagination. Rouse yourself, take the derisive remark that Isaiah gave the people, and deliberately turn your imagination unto God.” I love Charles Spurgeon and I am constantly buying his books, but the verse that brought him to Christ was Isa. 45:22, “Look unto me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth/ for I am God, and there is none else.” So we are to focus our attention, interest, and imagination on God!
Ozzie goes on to say, “One of the reasons for impairment or deadening in prayer is that there is no imagination, no power of putting ourselves deliberately before God.” Meditate on Isa. 6 or Rev. 4 as you go into prayer and imagine His throne, then begin to pray. Ozzie says, “We have to learn how to be ‘broken bread and poured out wine’ on the line of intercession more than on the line of personal contact, Imagination is the power God gives to a saint to situate himself out of himself into relationships he never was in.”
Take some time today to smell the roses, or watch a butterfly; pick a flower; feed a bird; touch the snow; eat an apple; walk on a beach or a path; lay in the grass or sand; read a book; talk to God; focus on Jesus; just meditate on creation! Imagination is a great thing for a saint if it is truly from God. Now use your imagination, its a gift from God, one we don’t think of often. In fact all of nature, all of creation is a treasure to a saint, enjoy it, all of it. I hope your imagination of God is not on a diet, or being starved! Feed it, exercise it, go for a walk or a drive, talk to God, read the psalms, pick a flower, smile, eat an apple, count the seeds. The imagination of your mind is a powerful thing created by God. Feed it, develop it, expand it, exercise it, it is a gift from the Creator. 1Chron. 28:9-10 says, “God understands all the imaginations of the thoughts.” So have fun with it, God is listening to your thoughts, every one of them.
One of the reasons for our sense of futility in prayer is that we have lost our power to visualize! Can you see the throne when you pray? Can you see Jesus sitting on it? As I said, “Visualize Isa. 6 and Rev. 4 before you enter into prayer and meditate on them, memorize them, they will revolutionize your prayer life.” Look unto Me and be saved” said the Lord;” Isa. 45:22; “Look unto Jesus;” Heb. 12:2; “Looking for that blessed hope;” Tit. 2:13; Look at God, what do you see? Close your eyes, be very still! Now envision God- What do you see? Heb. 4:16- Can you see the throne of Grace? Can you see Jesus on it? Or do you just see clouds or fog or water vapor? I hope you don’t see an old man with white hair, a beard and a robe. I hope nothing comes to your mind because He is Spirit! John 4:24. Let me close with Chamber’s title- “Is Your Imagination of God Starved?” Then fix it!
…Till next time – we’ll see you between the lines…
Is Your Imagination of God Starved 3/10/2020
Salt Ministry est. 1989