As dreamers and readers and story-weavers, we possess vivid imaginations, well accustomed to enlivening unfamiliar settings and characters and worlds. Yet even those who seem the most prosaic and down-to-earth, still have imagination, because God instilled in all humans the unique capacity to imagine. We’re not constrained to experiencing only what we have touched with our hands or seen with our eyes–we can envision things we’ve never before witnessed, and our imagination serves many purposes, crafting dreams and visions for the future, creating all manner of art and invention, enriching our capacity to empathize with others, and so forth.
- the act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before wholly perceived in reality
- creative ability
- the ability to form a picture, story, or idea in your mind
Albert Einstein once said, “Imagination is everything. It is a preview of life’s coming attractions.” I would venture a step further. Imagination does not not only offer a preview of the coming attractions of life, but of eternity and the kingdom of God, and we can gain holy vision by engaging our imagination with the truths of Scripture.
Using our imagination in this way is often overlooked, but it has great value in drawing us closer to God and immersing our hearts more fully in His truth. While Scripture doesn’t often use the words imagination and imagine, many of the Greek and Hebrew words that in some places are translated imagination or imagine are elsewhere translated as meditate, think, plan, esteem, regard, or reckon. Regardless of how they’re translated to English, these words center on how we’re filling our thoughts. And Scripture has plenty to say about that, instructing us to meditate on the Word of God, on His precepts, and on His character, among other things.
It doesn’t mean never think of anything else or never engage creatively in the many ways God has given us, but it does mean allow your daydreams and imaginings, the thoughts and intents of your heart to turn toward God throughout the day, so that everything else flows out of your connection with Him. There’s remarkable life that comes from this. More than that, instruction to do so comes from the Word of God, so it’s clearly wisdom.
To further our relationship with Him is one of the many reasons God gave us imagination, so why not use it?
Agree? Disagree? Feel free to share your thoughts.