Excerpt from Hardwired for Creativity: Art Supplies for the Mind to be published later this year by Jana Rawling with contributing writers Sharon Luzzi and Amanda McKinley.
First things first, ask God to show you how you’ve misused your imagination and fantasy thinking. Repent, forgive and pray for a sanctified and righteous imagination to serve the Lord. We must surrender our imagination to Jesus just like everything else in life. We are to pick up our cross and follow Him, daily, and this is crucial to our walk of salvation.
The unsanctified imagination serves Satan. Period. Remember, there’s no lukewarm in Christian living. We are either for Jesus or against Him. We can engage our imagination in unholy blatant rebellion or in faint worrying, both are sin. Worry is sinful, because we are not fully trusting in the Lord’s provision in our lives. Instead, we are believing lies from the enemy. We can be entertaining pornography or fantasizing about a relationship, again both are sin. We can get lost in an ungodly movie or book, sin. The key is recognizing these behaviors and doing something to change them. God wants our full attention with honor and respect as His children.
Enough of that, let’s talk about godly imagination and fantasy.
The imagination is sparked by the “what ifs?” And when we are connected to and hearing from the Lord, we can trust that the “what ifs” are placed inside our hearts by God to begin with. The “what ifs” are our desires and they lead to more of them until we begin to get answers, find solutions and experience new life. This is how the Creative Spirit co-labors with us. He plants the seeds of imagination and we water them to bear fruit.
We use our righteous and sanctified imaginations to fuel our creativity, visions and dreams. When we are connected to God and trust our discernment, we can trust what we imagine. We can always ask God for more discernment. We can envision our life as positive, healthy, and serving the Kingdom of God. We can fantasize about heaven and imagine bringing all that’s there to earth. We can reimagine our future careers, ministries, health, finances, families and communities. We can meditate and see ourselves as functioning productively in the Body of Christ.
Our imagination and fantasy become tangible supernaturally. There’s power in the thoughts and words we use. Second Corinthians 10:5 (TPT) says, “We can demolish every deceptive fantasy that opposes God and break through every arrogant attitude that is raised up in defiance of the true knowledge of God. We capture, like prisoners of war, every thought and insist that it bow in obedience to the Anointed One.” We must take care with our thought life.
Imagination increases our faith as we read the Word of God and wonder at its secret treasures. It builds our relationships with Holy Spirit, Jesus and the Father. It tackles our problems, feeds our desires, and gives us holy encounters. If we are faithful believers, we already depend on our imagination. We believe in what we cannot see.
Hebrews 11:1–3, says “Now faith brings our hopes into reality and becomes the foundation needed to acquire the things we long for. It is all the evidence required to prove what is still unseen. This testimony of faith is what previous generations were commended for. Faith empowers us to see that the universe was created and beautifully coordinated by the power of God’s words! He spoke and the invisible realm gave birth to all that is seen.” This book, the one you’re are reading now, is evidence of the unseen. Its contents come from co-creating with God. And it gives me more faith in His trusted Word and in the creative imagination.
Imagination is a cornerstone of creativity. When we imagine we are seeing the unseen, hoping for possibility, and daring to make something new. We can imagine from the Creative Spirit, from the heart, mind, our spirit, soul and from the flesh. We use a combination of them all when we partner with Holy Spirit.
It’s important to know ourselves enough to know where our imagination is coming from and how it will affect our life and those around us. Is it coming from our soul? Our spirit, our flesh? Or from Creative Spirit? It might matter if you suspect any unholiness in a thought or idea, or when you’ve neglected to consult with Holy Spirit. When you are not sure of where your imagination is coming from, ask Jesus to reveal it to you. When we imagine we need to remember that words are powerful. Thoughts are powerful, so we must keep them in alignment with God’s will and purpose for our life.
Our flesh has its own latent power that can accomplish wonderful things even though we can make mistakes using it. We can learn amazing things through failure and mistakes that often come from our flesh, mind, spirit and/or soul—each of which can become corrupt or broken. We are made of these parts and we cannot discount or ignore the integral synergy of them all in our lives. We can’t pick and choose which to exhort without neglecting the other parts. People who focus on a spiritual life may neglect the body, and vice versa. Our body is our temple and it holds memories, illnesses and trauma that need to be healed.
We cannot overlook that from our fleshly body we sense and feel. We have emotions from our mind and soul. And our spirit is always interacting with the spiritual realm and Holy Spirit. All from whom we are, we imagine, and we create in wholeness.
When you are developing a mission statement, vision statement or manifesto you are imagining a state of being. We can imagine making that touchdown, frosting the perfect cake, and writing that compelling letter to create something physically tangible. We create a state of being or something physically tangible when we dream about our future, when we want something to change in our life, and when we envision accomplishing something.
You are essentially creating by imagining in the spiritual realm and when you put energy into it, it begins to manifest on earth. You conceive it in your heart and birth it into existence. A couple of powerful ways to create is to make “I imagine…” statements and do “visioning” exercises. First, pray and spend time with God worshiping. This way, you can better ensure that what you imagine is from Him more than from you and He will guide you. He will tell you and show you what He would like for you to create, birth or make manifest.