Archive for the ‘imagination’ Tag

Using your spiritual zoom lenses   2 comments

Our lives are often cyclic or seasonal. There are times when it is natural and easy to enter into the presence of God, and there are other times when it is not. This can be influenced by outside circumstances, internal turmoil, or any number of different things. That’s one of the great things about Heaven. There is no sin there to hinder the flow of the Holy Spirit. There is no enemy to withstand us. But here in this realm … ah yes, here we must often press through in order to get there.

Recently I encountered one of those times, and the Lord reminded me of my own teachings. He invited me to remember, or even to imagine, being with Him in a very beautiful place. I closed my eyes and began to build a picture of us together. We were in a garden, and I could see Him putting His arm around me and drawing me close to Him. I was viewing this from a distance, watching the scene unfold.

Then Jesus encouraged me to use my zoom lenses, the spiritual ones He has equipped us with. Suddenly, I had stepped into the picture and was viewing it from there in His arms! I could see the weave of the threads in the fine linen garment He was wearing. I could see His beard and the pores in His skin. I could smell His fragrance. Tears ran down my face as His presence now flooded my heart and overflowed into the earth realm.

“This is real”, He smiled. “More real than the earth realm. And I am always available to you, My love.”

I have taught this many times. But it’s always worth repeating.  If you will just imagine that He is right there with you, one day you will realize it’s not just your imagination.  It is reality.

 

* See the archives from Jan. to May 2012 in this blog for more on Intimacy With the Lord. Also check the category called On-ramps Into Heavenly Realms, especially #5 and #5 cont. – A Godly Imagination. (Mar.19 and April 1, 2013)

Obstacles to Entering Heavenly Realms – #4 and 5   3 comments

In the list of on-ramps into Heavenly realms, #4 was “going into the Word” (see March 6 and Feb.11 postings).  The Word of God is so alive that we may enter into its experiences and receive the revelation He intends to give us.  On the other hand – if we don’t read it, we will forfeit that on-ramp.

It is also important to know the Word and have a solid foundation there.  Any experiences we have must be founded in scripture.    There may be many prophetic experiences you have which cannot be found “specifically” in scripture, but they must fit into the themes of scripture … the character of God and of His angels … the foundational truths of the Word.   There must be no conflict between the Word of God and your dreams and visions.  For example – Jesus will never tell you to do anything that violates His Word.

#5 on the list of on-ramps into Heavenly Realms was a “Godly imagination.” (see March 18 and April 1 postings)   Reading these once again will be very helpful to see our imagination in a positive light.  On the other hand, entertaining a carnal imagination will empower negative things.  If focusing our thoughts and imaginations on God and His plans for us empowers those plans, then allowing our imagination to be used in negative ways will empower things like fear and anxiety.   It can also empower those fears to become reality, like prophesying over yourself for good or for evil.   We do have that power.   Our imaginations must be guarded and practiced.   Heb. 5:14 tells us that “solid food is for those who are full grown, who by reason of use or practice have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”

In the posting of March 19,  I said that “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.”  Conversely, our creative nature and imagination can be used for great evil.  Just before the flood in Gen. 6:5 God declared that every imagination of the thoughts of mans heart was only evil continually.  Man, apart from God, has always chosen to use his God given imagination for evil.   When this happens, great evil is loosed in the earth.

Since man was given stewardship over this earth (Gen.1:28,29,  Psa. 115:16) we have the authority to cooperate with God and see great blessing here – or to submit to the enemy and see destruction and evil overtake us.  This is why our intercession is important.   We still have the ability to change the balance here.   Even the earth itself is crying out with us (Rom.8:19,22) for the sons of God to come into their full authority so that we may participate with the Lord in His restoration process.   Practice speaking restoration and blessing into the atmosphere when you are out in nature.   You can speak to your own land and garden or to places that need restoring.   Lay your hands on news articles and photos of places where storms have done great destruction.   Speak blessing and restoration to the land, the water, the animals and the people.  Pray for His Kingdom to come … as it is in Heaven, as He taught us. (Matt.6:10)

Ask the Lord to give you creative ideas and inventions.   There is a great release of this among God’s people now.  I recently read of some young men with a dream and an idea for water purification systems.   Now they travel into war torn areas to provide clean water in conflict zones and for those in refugee camps  (http://ilovearc.org/)  God has no shortage of ideas and answers and He loves to use His people to implement them and bring hope.  That’s why we are here.

If you realize you have been using your imagination in a wrong way, if it has been compromised to the enemy in any way, simply repent and return to the Lord.   Ask Him to sanctify your imagination, to set it apart as holy unto Him.   Then guard your heart and mind.   Do not entertain the enemy’s thoughts but fill your mind with God’s word and His thoughts about you.  Ask Him to dream with you and show you what He imagines for your life.   It will change everything and jump-start your creativity once again.

On-Ramps Into Heavenly Realms #5 – A Godly Imagination (cont.)   1 comment

Much of the prophetic happens in the thought realm.  It is not just “all in your mind”.   But it happens to be the area of your mind and thoughts where the Holy  Spirit often chooses to visit you.  Recognizing this and making it a holy place can bring your awareness of Him to new levels.

I would encourage you to read the last post of Mar.19  as a pre-requisite to this one.  Since I have already laid a scriptural foundation there I will simply build on that.  However, let me emphasize once more the importance of having a sanctified imagination.

Eph. 1:18 – Paul prays for us that the “eyes of our understanding would be enlightened (made to see).”   That word ‘understanding’ also means ‘mind’ and ‘imagination’.  We need our imaginations to be enlightened and sanctified (made holy).  Don’t entertain a carnal imagination which defiles our thoughts and dreams.

Many Chirstians are afraid of thier own imaginations, assuming that they are evil or of the flesh.  But they are God given to help us dream with Him and enter into His realm.  Exercise your spiritual senses and keep your heart and attitudes pure.  Repent of all sin and bind up your own thoughts and carnal nature so that you can truly hear and receive from the Lord.  We must learn to trust our Father’s ability to bless us more than we fear the enemy’s ability to deceive us.

Ask the Lord to make you more aware of His Presence with you all the time.  This pleases Him so much that as you turn your thoughts to Him, He will respond by coming closer.  When our hearts and thoughts are pure, there are many times that we can actually start out in our imagination and end up in the Spirit.

As an example of this, let me share a recent experience with you.  One day I was just longing to be with the Lord and I felt a nudge to call for the white horse He had given me.  This is a supernatural horse which was a gift from the Lord.  Her main purpose is to take me to Him and many times as I ride her, she mounts up into the sky and on into Heavenly realms.  So, remembering that she could help me, I “imagined myself” on a windswept beach with the tide coming in.  On my right were the waves, on my left was a long stand of brown sea grass and up ahead was the end of a point where the land turned.  As I lifted my voice and called for my horse, she came running to me from around the point ahead with the wind blowing her mane.  She tossed her head, enjoying the smell of the sea, and came and nuzzled me with her nose.  Then I got on her back and began to ride.  By now I could feel the wind and smell the salty air.

(Although my horse is a real supernatural animal, I was using my imagination to create this scene.  However, as is often the case, at some point the Lord came and took up the story line Himself.  Things began to overlap and then suddenly it took a turn I did not expect.  At that point I understood that it was no longer just my imagination but now He was leading me into a supernatural experience with Him.)

So off I went, riding down the beach.  But soon I was surprised to see that the horse was walking into the sea grass on my left.  I would have imagined that she would keep running down the beach or turn up into the heavens.  I wondered about this for a second until the scene began to change.  The sea grass grew taller until it reached her withers.  Suddenly it was no longer grass but a field of golden wheat, ready for harvest.  (By this time I knew He was leading and I was only along for the ride.)

Now my eyes were opened to see Jesus walking quietly beside me with the reins in His hand.  His eyes met mine and He smiled as He said, “I wanted to be the one to lead you into the harvest fields, my love.”

As a spiritual discipline, use your imagiation to fix your thoughts on God.  Do it every night before you fall asleep and the first thing when you awake.  Don’t fix your thoughts on problems and worry.  That uses your imagination to empower fear and anxiety.  Use it instead to empower and magnify the bigness of God in your mind.  Begin to imagine all that God will do in your life.  Take the scriptures and prophetic words He has given you and dream with them.  See yourself healing the sick, raising the dead, preaching in stadiums or starting orphanages – whatever He has put in your heart.  Daydream with God.

Pretend to walk along the beach with Him or sit beside Him by a campfire watching His stars come out.  All through the day, whenever your mind is free even for a moment, imagine that He is with you.   As you do this something wonderful will happen.  Suddenly you’ll discover that it’s not just your imagination … He IS with you!

On-Ramps Into Heavenly Realms #5 – A Godly Imagination   Leave a comment

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.