Jules Verne once imagined a machine that could take people into space. Not only has that vision become a reality, but today plans are being made for robotic spacecraft to land on Mars and 3D print concrete dwellings (using existing materials on that planet) that would be ready and waiting for human beings when they arrive. New approaches to solving problems and achieving great things are birthed out of human imagination. The human imagination has tremendous potential for good. A few years ago one of our friends imagined helping victims of human trafficking using a food truck. Today Steph’s vision—Stories Foundation— is a reality, and her ministry is helping free people from the scourge of human sex trafficking.
The human imagination also has the potential for evil. When we hear about a terrorist attack or other heinous acts toward fellow humans we call it “unimaginable evil”. As horrific and ugly as these things are, they came out of someone’s depraved imagination, so in fact, the evil was not unimaginable. We see the fallen, broken nature of people in acts that flow out of an imagination that is estranged from God and his perfect, loving way.
Yes, God has blessed us with imagination: It is His creative gift to us. What we choose to do with it can either be a gift and a blessing to Him, ourselves, and others—or a curse that hurts and even destroys. This truth is clearly stated in a profound verse from the Bible:
“I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.”
In his book “Walking With God” John Eldredge warns that left to our nature unrestrained imagination can be as reckless as a wild horse and cause damage and distress to our soul. He reminds us that our only hope is to engage with God through prayer, asking Him to sanctify (cleanse) our imagination and then consecrate it (yield and set apart as a holy thing) to Him.
A significant act of worship for Christ-followers is yielding our imagination to God. Even as Paul advised us to “take every thought captive to God” (see 2 Corinthians 10:5) it’s important to include our imagination in this important act of surrender to and empowerment by God.
The Bible clearly states that we will reap what we sow (see Galatians 6:7). Simply put Junk in—junk out, healthy in—healthy out. Consecrating our imagination to God means that making the daily choice to feed our mind with healthy food— God’s Word— and not the junky input the world offers. Rather than relying on our willpower to do this, we need to ask for God’s Power and appropriate His word in times of temptations and choices in our imagination.
Philippians 4:8 is a great Scripture to pray regarding imagination. Here is a prayer adaptation of that verse that I offer:
Jesus Christ, I yield my mind and imagination to Your cleansing and consecrating power. Holy Spirit, please equip and empower me to fix my mind on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, excellent, and praiseworthy. Be the overseer and guard of my mind and help me imagine only great things for the Father’s kingdom. Amen.
A life of worship includes a healthy imagination through which God can speak and birth great things for His Kingdom.
God bless you!