Is it My Imagination or am I doing God's Will?

Saturday, 26 September 2009 10:00
Our mind is one of 4 core parts of ourselves God wants us to love him with 100%. 

One key part of our mind is our imagination. God's word says a lot about it!

"All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people... pursuing their own imaginations... " Isaiah 65:2

As a dad of four, I often wrestle with getting my children to think for themselves. In my daily walk, I sometimes pray, "Why can't they just think more like me, Lord?"

Of course, my next thought is "Bad idea! Why can't I think more like God?"

After some personal reflection on how God thinks, I realized I would benefit from some Bible knowledge on the topic of IMAGINATION.

Certainly, one aspect of God's thoughts being higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55) is his imagination! From the microscope to the telescope the GREAT I AM certainly has created a lot of imaginative stuff for us to enjoy and marvel at.

All of it is a constant influence to inspire our hearts and minds to worship God. Imagine that!


I Corinthians 2:1 -10

Comprehending incomprehensible truth in our imagination...Man and God connected by the Holy Spirit.


This following passage shows the connection between imagination and knowledge. God's realm stretches our understanding of reality.


1CO 2:6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 However, as it is written:


"No eye has seen,

no ear has heard,

no mind has conceived

what God has prepared for those who love him" --10 but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit."




We find in this passage that God reveals WISDOM to us. That wisdom is actually Christ himself. Under the old covenant it was hidden. Waiting - since before time began - to be revealed by the Spirit to us – to those who share in God’s glory through Christ!

Verse 7... "We speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began."


Verse 8 – The world missed it and actually tried to eliminate the Lord of glory…

Verse 9 - However, as it is written:

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him" Sounds like we need some of our imagination to kick in to grasp what God has in store for us! No eye has seen. No ear has heard. NO MIND HAS CONCEIVED THE BREADTH AND GLORY OF GOD'S PLANS FOR US! The truth is “YES!” We need to kick in our imagination to grasp this incomprehensible stuff! And yet, the truth also includes verse 10 - "but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit" This is a great example of how our imaginations can be touched by God's Spirit to comprehend the incomprehensible. This connection inspires our faith and fills our minds with glorious knowledge and our hearts with exuberant joy! It is all done to us and for us by God's Spirit.

God stirs our imagination with glorious knowledge and allows us to understand it by his Spirit! All this is from digging deeper into the word, reflecting on what God says there and letting out imagination be sanctified by the truths we take into our minds and hearts. God has prepared things that no eye has seen or hear has heard or mind has conceived! And we can experience the understanding of that when examine the scriptures. First, we have to use our imagination. And secondly, God helps us by showing us by the Spirit what we should be thinking about in our imagination!

Jesus taught from the law that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord, your God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul and with all your strength. Think about your imagination. It covers both your mind and your heart… Do you love God with ALL your heart? All your mind? Your imagination shares boundaries with both and truly can influence them both for the good or the bad! Our imagination can bridge the mind and heart together like no other faculty we possess.

Next time you need to get head knowledge moved to heart experience, try imagining what your life and actions and feelings would be like if you DID make that connection. An exercise later in this article will help.

Isaiah 65:1-2

I want you to see what God’s perspective is in this section regarding our imagination…


ISA 65:2 All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations--


3 a people who continually provoke me to my very face, offering sacrifices in gardens and burning incense on altars of brick;




Are we walking according to

our own imagination or according to

God's imagination?




In Hebrew, the word imagination is used several places. I ventured into other translations and actually saw the word translated in the King James version regularly... Here are some familiar verses noted at key points in the history of mankind. Genesis 6:5

The Lord saw how great man's wickedness had become and how every inclination of his imagination was only evil all the time”



I Chronicles 29:16-18

O LORD our God, as for all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name, it comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you. I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things have I given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you. O LORD, God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel, keep this desire in the imagination of your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to you...

Isaiah 65:2 is actually quoted in Romans 10:21 and shows once again, as in Genesis 6:5, God's displeasure in us when we pursue our own imagination and not God's!





Our imagination causes a lot of problems…




  • Lust is called FANTASIZING – James 1:13-15… Imagination is where sin is entertained and we are enticed by our own evil desire.


One man described it like this when reading Micah 7:19 “God takes our sin far away from us to the bottom of deepest ocean, and we paddle out there in a little boat with the longest fishing line we can to try and get it back.”


That happens in our imagination!



  • Worry is 99.5% imagination. It is our imagination gone astray without faith in God! Mild paranoia.

Instead of trust and peace – fretting and unrest! Instead of prayer it is despair! Look at the birds...

Do they let their imagination plunge them into immobilizing worry?



  • Pride is our imagination taking our self image out of perspective to who we are before God.


Luke records this in Mary’s song of Praise… (again see King James version)


LK 1:51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their imaginations (inmost thoughts).

Instead of humility and grace, there’s conceit, arrogance and prideful malice.


  • Fear is our imagination shrinking God down and distorting our obstacles into Goliaths! Who had God's imagination when the spies came back from exploring the promised land? Who pursued their own imaginations?

"We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes and we looked the same to them!" Numbers 13:33 Wasn't that imaginative of them?!

God is VERY imaginative too...



On the other hand, God is VERY imaginative in a holy, sanctified way - and the way he gets things done really takes quite the imagination. What was so imaginative about the accounts below? Reflect awhile...

Birth of Isaac –


Birth of Christ –


Parting of the Red Sea -


Parting of the Jordan river -

Other accounts? - (Please e-mail me your thoughts This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Just think of Nature… Flowers that look like parrots, or is it parrots that look like flowers?


Star clusters that look like rose buds. Giraffes. A species of whale with one tooth - that is four feet long.








Condors with a 9 foot wing span. A Hummingbird at full growth that is as small as a dime. God has quite the imagination! Are you lined up with it?

Do you take time to meditate and reflect on him and connect with HIS imagination? Or do you pursue your own imagination?

The duties, tasks and activities you did yesterday or today - Were they based on YOUR IMAGINATION or did you do GOD'S WILL?


Hopefully it was both! That's the goal.

Is it my imagination, or am I doing God's will?


Think about Tomorrow .Think about the rest of the month and then the rest of the year ...


What is going on in God’s imagination for YOU? Think of Jeremiah 29:11...

"I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord… "




Imagination Exercise


Read through this slowly, taking time to meditate on God's will.

God gave you an imagination.

Use it as you reflect, pray and try to connect with his will for you...

Imagine that if 8 weeks from now, you were standing near the water with someone you studied the Bible with and are asking those two questions that are the rock foundation of membership to the church of Jesus Christ.

Imagine yourself asking:

"Do you believe Jesus is the son of God and that he died for your sins, was buried and raised to life on the third day?"

Imagine the person saying "Yes."


Imagine yourself saying:

"And what is your good confession?"


Imagine the person LOUDLY proclaiming to everybody "JESUS IS LORD!”


How would you be feeling at that moment?


Imagine your self saying:

"Because of your good confession, I am now able to baptize you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of God's Holy Spirit."


Imagine them going under the water being buried with Christ and coming up smiling and the church cheering!


Imagine how you would you be feeling!

Imagine if were one of your parents, or one of your children.


Back up a bit in time. Imagine tomorrow morning you have an incredible time reading the word by yourself with God, taking notes and praying that you could connect with him and his heart, mind and imagination.


You go to work, Come home and on the way you go to the store and there’s a family in the same aisle as you.


Your fear level sky rockets as your imagination pursues its own worrisome way.


But then you realize your imagination is not lined up with God’s and you take it captive to glorify Christ.


Imagine you reach out to them and you humbly invite them to church.


Time stops as you finish the reaching out waiting for their response.


The couple looks at each other – and you can’t tell what they’re thinking.


Then the person you reached out to says – We just prayed last night that we could find a church home for ourselves. We’d love to visit!

How would be feeling?


You get the point. Imagine what could happen. And, remember Ephesians 3:20-21 God can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine!





Let’s align with God’s imagination and see God work through us because of that!!!


Imagine if 25% of everyone in your congregation met someone who became a Christian in the next year!

"You are the Light of the World"


The experience of sanctifying our imagination is a participatory act of God done after our initiative! It is not a spectator event. Imagine God working, and imagine God working through you!

As it relates to connecting with God's mind and purpose, Paul said it this way... "continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God works in you both to WILL and ACT according to his purpose." Philippians 2:12-13

Our imagination needs to see beyond the ordinary church pew lifestyle to an extraordinary daily walk with God. We cannot follow God in neutral. When our imaginations kick in - aligned with God's will - we become passionate instead of passive. We are the lamp. God is the flame. Our imagination can connect us to the flame and the fuel of faith from God's word. That sets us on fire for the Lord.

Ephesians 3:20 ends with these words ... "according to his power that is at work within us."

Paul also said I Thessalonians 2:13"you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe."

"God works in you." Imagine that for a few minutes and let your imagination be sanctified! A willing disciple is God's chief way to change the world for good. And incidentally, this is all "Romans 12 Worship!" Bringing God glory by living with a renewed mind! If you are willing to act upon his will, God's blessings to others will be boundary less. Jesus said it this way:

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden" Matthew 5:14

"This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples" John 15:8

"My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working." John 5:17

It is impossible to connect with God's heart and do nothing! Imagine God using you to complete his work on earth. Follow Jesus. Dream his dreams. Believe his word. Let the Spirit of God fill you like the winds over the ocean fill the sails of a ship driving to its predetermined goal.


Imagine yourself drawing close to him, connecting to his heart and living out HIS dream for the world… THAT HE GAVE UP EVERYTHING FOR!


Even himself dying on the cross!


He wants it!


He envisioned it!

He planned it!

And he CHOSE YOU! Imagine that!!!


He chose me! Imagine that!

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Jerry Maday

Worcester County Church of Christ

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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