Using your imagination
By Josh Hunt
Hopefully, after this series, you have a correct perception of God. Well, let me ask you; do you see God correctly? I hope you do because it’s a matter of life and death. Not necessarily in terms of spiritual life and Salvation, but certainly in terms of you enjoying and appropriating your inheritance. How you see God will affect every area of your life! So, I implore you, see God correctly, see him as love, as the Abba of Jesus, as YOUR Daddy. Have a foundation, let the eternal truths of heaven be the foundation on what you build your understanding of God on; foundations such as the Trinity (the family of God, three in one), the atonement, the indwelling Spirit etc. Don’t reason according to your human perception, or even through religious interpretation of scripture. Reason according to the fundamentals. All of these foundations bear witness to the true and glorious nature of God. The Trinity bears witness that God lives and has always lived in mutual affection and love, it reveals his nature as one who gives. The atonement bears witness to God’s passion, his unwillingness to live without you, his grace in giving you all that he is and has. The Spirit bears witness in our Spirit that we are children, adopted into and filled by the Trinity.
After you have your foundation of who God is and see him correctly, do you believe it? Do you believe that God is this good? Then receive it! First you must perceive it, then believe it, then receive it! Most Christians stop at perceiving it; they give up at this part because the concede in their heart that God can’t be this good or loving to them. Please be different. Dare to believe God is who he says he is, dare to believe he loves you the way he loves Jesus, accept his invitation to exaggerate his love and goodness – you can’t actually do it(!), but trying will give you a better idea of the measurements of his love;
“I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” – Ephesians 3:18
Perceive the love of God through the right foundations, believe the love of God, and then receive it! Live in it! In this post I want to give you examples of how to receive Papa’s love and live in its glorious reality!
Understanding the extent of God’s love will revolutionise every area of your life! It is in understanding how God feels about you – the way the looks at you, his intense desire to serve you and put you first, his romance and the way he dotes on you – that will enable you to; 1) live confidently, and 2) experience the spiritual realm. You see, the Kingdom of God is in the spiritual realm, it is in the Holy Spirit (see Romans 14:17). Engaging with the Papa’s love is one of the best ways of engaging with the Kingdom, and when you engage with the Kingdom, stuff manifests! Enjoy him. Enjoy his love.
One of the most obvious ways to engage your imagination in the love of God is to talk to him! Relationship includes communication. Talk to him. Not as a distant deity, but as your loving Papa, talk to him about your life, about the way you appreciate his always-doting presence, about how you love what is included in your birthright! Talk to him. I keep repeating it because although obvious, because of its straightforward nature, is often overlooked. So, talk to him! Not to get something that you are lacking, because you’re not lacking. You don’t talk to God to present your lacking state, no, you have a no-lack salvation (see Colossians 2:9-10). Talk to him because he is your Daddy who loves to hear your voice. Talk to him as a little child. Believe that God sees you as cute! Talk to him in such a way. “Shouldn’t we speak to God reverently”, someone may say. To which my answer is; “yes”. However, we must understand what reverence is. Reverence is so highly regarding the one you approach that you do what he would have you do. Well, what would God have us do? He’s already seated us with him (Eph. 2:6). He would have us call him Abba (Rom. 8:15). Do you believe it? Then receive it! Live it! Act as though it’s true, because it is!
Another way to enjoy the love of God is through prophecy. “Pursue love and desire spiritual gifts, and above all that you may prophesy” – 1 Corinthians 14:1 The Greek word for pursue is διώκω (diōkō), which in this context means ‘to run towards’, and of course the Greek word for love is ἀγάπη (agapē), which often speaks of the divine love, benevolence, in fact the previous chapter (1 Cor. 13) explains how the divine love operates, because of course God IS love (1 John 4:8). I believe this verse is saying; ‘run towards the love of God, want the gifts he has given you in the spiritual realm’. God wants us to do this because it increases the level of intimacy we experience. Prophecy is a wonderful gift our Papa has given us to help us flow from and in his outrageous love. Every one of us can prophecy, we don’t have to feel anything or climb some mystical ladder, we have the fullness of God inside of us, and we simply rest in faith and speak forth his loving words, into our own lives and into the lives of others. Ever one of us can operate in the gifts of the Spirit every single day and prophecy is the best one for personally receiving the love of God. The Greek word for prophesy is προφητεύω (prophēteuō) and simply means ‘to utter forth, declare, a thing which can only be known by divine revelation’. You can do this on your own, in your head, out load, creatively, whenever! It takes a little faith to believe the words you are speaking is prophecy, however relax and trust God. As long as it is in line with the glorious foundations listed above, you can’t go wrong. Trust the Spirit. Every day, prophesy God’s word to you in your own life, as though it were God speaking, loving speak into our life.
The final way I want to describe is an imaginative practice labeled through the ages as ‘practicing the presence of God’. This is a wonderful way to make yourself aware of all the heavenly goodies that are yours in Jesus. This way of using your imagination is simply one way to, as Colossians 3 says, ‘set your mind on things above’. Throughout the day be conscious of your heavenly Daddy. When you would like to, be aware of his presence; in you, around you. Imagine him holding you, his arms around your waist, his hand in our hand. Imagine yourself sitting on his knee receiving his kisses of love, walking through the day being kissed by your heavenly Daddy. This will cause your hope levels to rocket. Imagine living aware of this great reality!
Relax. Enjoy your heavenly Daddy’s great love. Choose to use your imagination to engage with and in Daddy’s love. This is by no means an extensive list, there are in fact many diverse ways to engage your imagination in God’s love, however, hopefully these few will help. Develop your receiving capabilities; choose to consistently frolic and bathe in God’s radical, exuberant love. As you do, you will find yourself; happier, healthier, and (as a by-product) holier.