Saturday, September 5, 2009

Vision and Imagination

by Donna L. Watkins

We can surround ourselves with the presence of God with vision. Using our imagination to picture things He's told us.

© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - July Sunrise at Bluebird Cove
Life and death are closer than we think. Don't put your dreams on the shelf.

Similar to children's Sunday School where you use those felt boards to "paint the picture" for the children. We are all to be like children, so vision and imagination is an important part of our walk with God.

Sometimes Christians get nervous about vision and imagination, but if you read the Bible, God uses pictures everywhere. Jesus said He only did what He SAW the Father doing (John 5:19). Jesus is our example, but God gives a multitude of examples throughout the Bible that He works through vision and imagination. It just needs to line up with the Word of God.

Habakkuk 2:1 - "I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint. Then the LORD replied: 'Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.'"

God paints pictures when He speaks to us throughout the Old Testament. "Though your sins be like scarlet, they shall be like snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool" (Isaiah 1:18). Jesus spoke to us in parables. Don't we picture all of this? We use our imaginations to "SEE" what God is telling us.

We give too much credit to our minds and our own thoughts. Part of Paul's prayer in Ephesians 1:18 was for the eyes of our understanding to be enlightened, so we might know what is the hope of his calling. We sing a song at church with lyrics of "Open the eyes of my heart, Lord." The Bible says that "Mary pondered these things in her heart." She didn't think about them with her mind.

God wants our hearts, not our minds. Man puts too much value into the mind. We can have lots of head knowledge and memorized Scripture, but our hearts can still be cold Not that we do not need to memorize Scripture, but that task is done by meditating on it over and over ... mulling on it and pondering it in our hearts. We need to know The Word so we can test all against it.

Ezekiel 11:19-20 says, "And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them, And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them; Then they will be My people, and I shall be their God." We keep our faith, belief, hope and love for God in our hearts, not our minds. We can make faith statements and quote Scripture from the mind, but if it's not in our hearts, we simply don't possess it.

As you read through your Bible, look for vision and seek God for what He wants you to SEE. Close your eyes and walk by the shores of Galilee with Jesus. Sit with him on the Mount of Olives and seek His face. The Bible says "who can know the mind of God" (Romans 11:34), but it says in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face ...”

Don't be afraid of vision. Vision and imagination are misused and always has been, but that doesn't mean Christians ban it from their theology when the Bible has so much of it. The world uses books for evil things, but does that mean we don't read the Bible? Satan can't create anything, so all he can do is distort it and scare us away from the things that God has given us for wisdom.

In vision, and even dreams (Joseph, Daniel, Paul and others had those too), God leads us and shows us the way. The error is made when we try to assign timelines to vision. Let God be God. Accept what He shows you, but also allow Him to determine the progress of the painting. He will complete things in His own time.

Mark and Patti Virkler's book, ""How To Hear God's Voice" has a lot to say about tuning into God's vision for your daily life. It has and is giving me much insight into the questions I've been asking God for years. You can read or listen to the four keys to hearing God's voice on the Virkler's ministry website.

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