Filling Your Imagination with Good Things (18 minutes)
Updated: Oct 26
You have likely heard teachings about renewing the mind and setting your mind on the things above. Most of the teachings I have heard seem to focus on what NOT to think about, what not to expose yourself to, what not to pursue. Suggestions for what you SHOULD think about are focused on reading the Bible, praying often, going to church, reading Christian books, etc.
Let’s look at ways of renewing your mind that combine your faith, your imagination, and your will.
Faith starts with the end result
God imagined you in his heart before the world ever was.[i] He was already seeing the end result of you being with Him in heaven. He is not limited by time. He calls us holy and blameless because he is seeing the end result of your union with Christ. The Bible is full of examples where things are declared long before they manifest into reality.[ii]
Faith is evidence of something you are hoping for and a firm conviction or something not seen.[iii] The way we see these things that are not seen in the natural is by our imagination. We begin by imagining God’s presence and intervention in whatever circumstance, relationship, problem, possibility, etc. that we are in presently. That is our starting point. If we see ourselves as being weak in faith and hopeless, then we need to imagine our starting point as believing God loves us and wants to help us. We imagine the person of Christ dwelling right there in our situation and offering us his faith, his character, his resources.
Your imagination is the eyes of your heart.
The truth is our imagination is meant to play an important role in both the renewing of the mind and in our ability to set our minds on things that are in heaven (above).[iv] Imagination bridges the gap between what you know to be true and what you are actually experiencing. [v][iv] Imagination bridges the gap between what you know to be true and what you are actually experiencing.[v]
“I pray that the light of God will illuminate the eyes of your imagination, flooding you with light, until you experience the full revelation of the hope of his calling”[vi]
Our imagination can create a space to receive something new and wonderful. Our imagination is like a house waiting to be filled with furnishings. If it has been filled with nasty, negative things like worry, resentment, bitterness, unforgiveness, hopelessness, etc. then those things will have to be thrown out. The Holy Spirit is more than happy to help with that. He is your joyful interior decorator and handyman. He will engage your imagination to go back over each episode where you didn’t feel God’s presence and intervention and give you a different perspective. This time, you will see him providing you with hope and restoration in that part of your soul.
Over time, you will begin to practice imagining and declaring positive things instead of negative. This is where you use your will. Here is an example of using the imagination to engage with the Jesus using the first few verses of Psalm 23: "The Lord is my shepherd. I will lack no good thing. He makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul." Click here to listen. See also Seated in the Heavenly Places in Christ.
We choose what to highlight and focus on in life
The world’s way is to focus on the negative and highlight all that is wrong. This is opposite of God’s kingdom where we are encouraged to focus on what is right and worthy of praise.[vii] The reason we do that isn’t just to pretend. Our positive declarations and expectations are creating an atmosphere for God’s presence to come in and have his way. Persistent and consistent imagination nurtures and nourishes the seed [of God’s word] until it is birthed. [viii] [vii] The reason we do that isn’t just to pretend. Our positive declarations and expectations are creating an atmosphere for God’s presence to come in and have his way. Persistent and consistent imagination nurtures and nourishes the seed [of God’s word] until it is birthed. [viii]
Pay attention to your thinking and your words. Are they constantly referring to God’s ability to be present and figure things out? Are they focused on how God sees a person or situation? Spending time with God and asking him to show you what is going on in the heavenly dimension will open your eyes to the deeper reality of each circumstance, of every person. This will take practice and the Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth.
We are not describing an instant fix. Go to the post of resources and choose one of the recommended books and study it. Use it to give your thinking some renewal as you apply the concepts presented in the book. No matter where you start, the Holy Spirit will honor your effort and guide you through a transformation adventure. Don’t sit and wait for God to step in and do something. Be proactive and put effort into doing things differently. Your subconscious mind can only recirculate what has already been placed in it. To renew our minds, we need a new infusion of perspective, truth, hope, pictures. Use the word of God to give you scenarios to feed your imagination with hopeful and faith filled expectations.
A prayer to cleanse the imagination[ix]
Thank you, Heavenly Father, for creating me in your image and giving me an imagination. I repent for any misuse of my imagination: for trying to escape reality, for negativity, for worrying, for bitterness and resentment. I forgive others who have defiled my imagination by negativity, abuse, or neglect. I bring my imagination under your supervision. I reject unbelief and skepticism. My regular mind can’t understand things of the spirit. I want my spirit to inform my mind. I renounce any ways I have cursed myself by making limiting and unbelieving statements about my life and possibilities. And I forgive anyone who has shut down my imagination, stole my dreams or clipped my spiritual wings. I receive the cleansing by the blood of Jesus Christ over my imagination. I submit myself and my imagination to you, my God. I am one with you and I now want to use my imagination with wisdom and intent to manifest your kingdom here and create an atmosphere where you are welcome.
“The Lord gave us an imagination to be used to encounter him.”[x]
Every child has a great capacity to see things with their imagination. Adults assume none of what they see is real. Unfortunately, the monster under the bed or in the closet might be a demon! I have spoken to many people who have seen angels as a child. When I was about 8 years old, I woke up in the middle of the night and there was an angel standing beside my bed praying for me. My husband, Gary, remembers crying in his room at 3 years old when Jesus walked into the room to comfort him. I don’t think these stories are unusual. God placed the innate quality of imagination which is so heightened in children as a link between this dimension and the heavenly dimension.
When my grandchildren were younger I would have them close their eyes and imagine Jesus ministering to them. I would have them ask him to help them feel his presence and hear his voice. We can take a Scripture such as “the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction”[xi]. We can use our imagination to engage with God. Picture a father who is loving and full of mercy. Mercy means he is compassionate instead of wanting to harm you. What is the look on his face as he gazes at you? Imagine his accepting smile as he welcomes you into his arms. Feel him with your imagination holding you and comforting you. You can see yourself as a small child sitting on his lap and resting your head on his chest.[xii] Or you may have a whole different set of pictures.
You are not making up something that isn’t true. You are calling forth the reality of heaven into your earthly existence, are you not? The more we utilize our imaginations to connect to the reality of heaven, the stronger we will become in creating an atmosphere and being a portal where heaven can come to earth through us.
Read Revelation 4 and imagine you are interacting with everybody in the throne room. One of the wonderful things about heaven is that everyone there carries God’s attitude about us. They love us and want to help us. They pray for us and long for us to come into our full potential. Just imagining that you have such an amazing family in heaven can lift your mood on the worst day.
The imagination is a fantastic resource to us. It may need some cleansing and retraining but the basic facility is still powerful and capable of great good. The resources listed at the end of this article will give you more help in retraining your imagination.
“What you see in your imagination will become your reality. What you see in your mind has the power to shape what you do. It shapes your actions. The more you see it in your mind, the greater the power that image has over you”[xiii]
My common practice in prayer is to discern what is God’s will and then declare[xiv] that it be so. I then imagine that answer coming about. I use my imagination together with the faith God has given me to expect and welcome God’s intervention. Years ago, I needed to learn how to use Quick Books Pro for our ministry. I had no training in accounting at all. I began thanking God and imagining a person who would help me with it. I searched online for information. After a couple of months, I stumbled on a website about QBP for ministries. The man behind this website was more than willing to answer my questions and offered to set up my books and teach me how to use the program! When I asked him what he used to do, he said he was a retired CPA who specialized in helping ministries use Quick Books Pro!
Our imaginations have great power to shape our reality. Scripture is full of encouragement to imagine good and not evil. Worry and negativity are destructive uses of the imagination. “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”[xv]
We can use all of the amazing stories in the Bible as gateways to spiritual encounters. I have read the chapter on the transfiguration of Jesus and imagined I was there with Peter, James and John experiencing the light coming off of Jesus and Moses and Elijah. As I soak up that heavenly atmosphere, it rejuvenates me. Another example is the story in 1 Samuel 19. The anointing from Samuel and his group of prophets in Naioth at Ramah was so strong that it overcame King Saul as well as several soldiers sent to hunt David. I have imagined myself getting to hang out with Samuel and his group of prophets. I ask God to put some of their anointing on me for prophecy.
Once we step out of this dimension, time is no longer a factor. Quantum physics affirms this. We will be so much better off allowing our childlike imagination to steer us into heavenly encounters rather than allowing our negative adult mind to anticipate worry and harm. We need to have childlike faith in the heavenly dimension. We must believe it exists and welcomes us. Jesus did say that unless we become like a little child, we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.[xvi] Your childlike nature is buried somewhere inside yourself. Ask God to bring it forward and help you reconnect to that vital part of yourself.
A prayer to activate your imagination
“Heavenly Father, I want to encounter you. I want to see you with my imagination. Cleanse my imagination of any and all destructive patterns and memories. Rejuvenate my childlike character. Help me to be imaginative, trusting, open to intimacy and comfortable with being dependent on you. Give me many moments with you, Father… and with Jesus… and with the Holy Spirit. Teach me how to do this and lead me to the right resources. In Jesus name.”
Resources to move you forward
I want to refer you to some authors who give us some positive ways to use our imaginations in bringing every thought captive to Christ.[x] Steve Backlund encourages us to declare the reality we want to see in our lives rather than complain about our lives as if we had no ability to change them. “Declarations” is one of his books which I found particularly helpful. Wendy Backlund has a great book on the imagination called “Living from the Unseen Realm”. The other author is Micah Turnbo. This author not just sees into the heavenlies but visits there regularly. His book, “The Invitation: Encounters to Help You Enter Christ’s Inner Sanctum”, has an excellent chapter on the imagination (Chapter 6). The book is full of visualizations of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and their interactions with him. This book gives more accurate pictures of God’s feelings and intent towards us than anything else I have ever read. I have quoted in this article from Virginia Killingsworth’s “Miracles are Normal: Co-creating Through Oneness with Christ.” This is a wonderful book but will take some effort to apply in your life. I am reading it for the third time and still finding new ways to incorporate it into my spiritual practices. Have fun and remember the Holy Spirit wanting to dance with you all the way!
[i] See Ephesians 1. [ii] See Abraham’s story, Gideon’s story, David’s story, Jeremiahs prophecies about Jerusalem, prophecies about Jesus, etc. [iii] See Hebrews 11:1. [iv] Colossians 3:2. [v] Miracles are Normal: Co-creating Through Oneness with God by Virginia Killingsworth, pg. 119. [vi] Ephesians 1:18 TPT [vii] Philippians 4:8. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” [viii]Miracles are Normal: Co-creating Through Oneness with God by Virginia Killingsworth, pg. 144. [ix]This prayer is a paraphrase of one from this book. Miracles are Normal: Co-creating Through Oneness with God by Virginia Killingsworth, pg. 149-150. [x] Ibid. [xi] 2 Corinthians 1:3b-4a [xii] See the post Sitting in the Heavenly Realms with Christ. [xiii] From Week 4, Micah Turnbo’s School of Prophetic Ministry [xiv] See resources by Steve Backlund at end of article. [xv] Philippians 4:8, NIV. [xvi] See Matthew 18.