When our imagination is holy and sanctified, we can choose to set our thoughts on God and use this creative process in worship. Our creative nature (we were made in the image of God who created all there is), when coupled with our imagination, can jump-start us into a place where all things are possible.
I encourage you to read this post carefully and prayerfully. Some have taken this topic to extremes and my hope is to bring a Godly perspective to it.
A Godly and sanctified imagination can definitely help to position us to enter into Heavenly realms. The Biblical definition of ‘sanctify’ is to make clean, purify, dedicate or consecrate. I am in no way suggesting that we just imagine what Heaven might be like and then say that we’ve been there. That’s a devaluation of our spiritual currency. We also cannot just imagine what God might be saying and then attach “thus saith the Lord” to it. Not at all.
There are many levels of revelation and all are precious and vital to us. Any time God speaks to us; whether it’s in the thought realm, in dreams or actually picking us up and setting us down in another place entirely, it is supernatural. (The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit. They are foolishness to him and he is not able to discern them. 1 Cor. 2:14) But we need to understand that on the lower levels of thoughts and impressions there can be more mixture. By contrast, the open visions like those that John received in the book of Revelation are so far beyond our imagination that we literally have no grid for them and we struggle to put Heavenly things into earthly language. There is no comparison. Of those times we can confidently say “I was there and this is what I saw.” Even then, we must carefully search the scriptures and pray for understanding in the interpretation of what we saw. Some things we will be permitted to speak of right away while others are to remain private and “sealed up”. (Dan. 12:9) We will gain confidence and understanding in these areas as we practice. Heb. 5:14 tells us that solid food is for those who are full grown and who “by reason of use” or “practice” have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
However, we were created in the image of God and the scriptures tell us that His imagination is fixed on us. He uses His imagination to meditate on His love for us. Psa. 40:5 says that His thoughts toward us cannot be numbered. The Hebrew word “thought” in that passage can also be translated “imagination”. Psa. 139:17,18 “How precious are your thoughts to me oh God. How great is the sum of them. If I should count them, they are more than the sand; when I awake, I am still with You.”
If His thoughts toward us are innumerable, all we have to do is align our thoughts with His and we’ll come into a river of revelation. In the same way God’s thoughts are fixed on us, when we fix our thoughts on Him, it opens our spirits to an increasing knowledge of Him and of prophetic knowledge for ourselves and others.
Heb. 4:12 says that the Word of God is able to judge the thoughts and intents of our hearts. Our imagination can also be defined as what our hearts think and meditate on. The dictionary says that imagination is to form a mental image of something not actually present to the senses. 2 Cor. 4:18 tells us that we “look not at things that are seen but at things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal (temporary) but the things which are not seen are eternal (everlasting reality).” How do we look at things we can’t see? By faith. One way is to take scriptural accounts of those who have gone into Heavenly realms and fill our “image ceter” with these images. There are 2 realms – visible and invisible. God wants us to see and be able to operate in both realms.
This will be the first of at least 2 posts on this subject. This time I simply wanted to lay a scriptural foundation and introduce the subject. In the next post we will look at practical ways our imagination can become an on-ramp into Heavenly realms.
Are you aware that you can open the Word of God to the beginning verses of Revelation chapter 4 and actually end up in the Throne Room? Or stand with Moses as his staff comes down over the Red Sea and feel the wind whipping the sea spray on your face as the waters roll back. Step with your own feet onto the dry ground beneath the sea and walk across with the multitude of astounded Israelites to the other side. Experiences like this are so real I almost expect to return to this realm with dirt between my toes!
Heb. 4:12 tells us that the Word of God is living and powerfully active. The King James version puts it like this: “For the Word of God is quick (Greek = alive) and powerful (Greek = active, effective, operative and powerful)…” Oh what a glorious understatement! Let’s focus on that word ‘alive’ for a bit.
Using earthly language to describe Heavenly things always leaves us lacking for words. But for lack of better terms, look at it something like this. Eternity does not move in a straight line. It is circular and its Creator stands in the center. For Him there really is no past, present or future. He sees it all as one. He makes reference in scripture to Jesus being slain and of us being chosen in Him “from the foundation of the world.” (This may also help to explain why a day is as a thousand years to Him and also why He says things like “soon” which end up to be a hundred years of earthly time. For the sake of illustration, C.S. Lewis seemed to have some revelation about this and used it effectively in the Chronicles of Narnia.)
God uses earthly language with us on our level to help us understand. As He stands in the center of that circle of time He can take someone from this realm and show them anything He wants. There was no-one for Moses to interview about the times preceeding Adam. He must have been taken back into the days of creation or at least shown these things in vision in order to write about them in such detail in Genesis. God took Ezekiel (Ez. chap. 8) to Jerusalem to show him hidden abominations being commited by the elders there in that present time. And John was taken into the future as well as into the very throne room of God.
Now with these things in mind, let’s go back to that word ‘alive’ in Heb. 4:12. The Word of God is alive and living. It’s not just something that was written long ago. The stories and experiences recorded there really happened and they still live. God said that the blood of Able, who was killed by his brother, cried out from the ground after his death. (Gen. 4:10) Paul also said that though Able is dead he still speaks as a witness to us. (Heb.11:4) It is as though the places and events in the Word of God are still in existence and can be entered into again. In recent posts we have learned that our own dreams and visions can be re-entered and even used as a launch into the Spirit realm. We have also seen how listening to or reading experiences of others can be entered into as an on-ramp. They are invitations from the Spirit of prophecy. Nothing is ever lost. In the same way, the Word of God is so alive that you may enter it and experience it as it happened, with all the sights, sounds, smells and emotions!
When you open the Bible, try to ‘see’ what you are reading. Ask the Holy Spirit to open the eyes of your understanding and give you revelation. This is easier with accounts of events or stories of peoples lives. This is not just using your imagination although at times you may start out that way. But at some point the Spirit of God will transport you into what you are reading and it will so far surpass your own imagination that there’s no question it’s Him and not you. Be careful to recognize the difference. We may try to imagine the throne room but we can’t say we’ve really been there unless He takes us there. When He does, it may be a long time before we can articulate that because of the strong emotion that goes along with it.
There are many levels of revelation, from small impressions all the way to being transported into Heaven and seeing the Lord face to face. All are valid and all are important in that they bring revelation and draw us closer to Him. But many have devalued the spiritual currency by saying they have “been to Heaven” when they were more in the imagination realm and perhaps seeing faint impressions. We will deal with the imagination in another post. Our sanctified imaginations are God given and are intended to be linked with His as we dream His dreams. For our purposes in this post I am only citing the difference between our imagination and His reality. This difference will become amazingly clear to you as you gain more experience.
The times I have been taken into the Word of God have been few. I have not yet been that successful at opening the Word and frequently going into the passage I am reading. But I know it’s possible (and completely awesome) because of the times it has happened. And I believe that as we seek Him for these revelations it pleases Him to give them to us. Sometimes there is a training process. And besides that, the Lord told me once that as I taught the little I know He would teach me more. This has proved to be true also.
So ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes and make you very sensitive to the way He speaks. Then open your Bible to a familiar story and start by trying to see it instead of just reading the words. Read it like a movie script. Read about the disciples in the boat with Jesus during the storm. See the darkness, feel the wind and the tossing of the boat, sense the fear about to overtake you. Then see Jesus standing in the bow with the rain beating down on Him. Hear Him shouting “Peace, be still” to the wind. Feel the shock when everything suddenly stops and becomes unnaturally quiet. Experience the overwhelming peace.
Even just trying to see things in this way will increase your sensitivity and bring revelation. But keep trying, keep going and see what happens. There can be more … much more.
* A word of explanation: Once again, this is my way of trying to describe the experiences I’ve had with my limited earthly language. If you have heard teaching or seen things that seem to conflict with this, it could be both of us trying to describe similar things using different language. Also keep in mind that ‘we know in part and prophesy in part’ (1 Cor. 13:9) which is why we need each other to put our puzzle pieces together.