I live in Missouri, “the Show-Me State.” I was not consulted about this slogan because I was not alive when they made it up. Had I been asked, I would not have voted for it. It doesn’t resonate with me because it reflects a lack of imagination. Demanding proof up front is the best way to stop imagination in its tracks. It’s also the best way to kill faith. Even so, it’s an inherent part of our human nature to want to see something before we accept it. This is why faith is so difficult. We want to see before we believe, but the Bible shows us that we must believe before we can see.
God honors faith and faith always positions believing before seeing. God loves it when we combine imagination with faith. Faith and imagination are inseparable forces. You cannot possess one without the other. This imagination/faith combo enables us to believe Him before we experience the focus of our faith. Faith is ultimately a God-given ability to imagine something different, something better. Anyone can believe what is right before their eyes. It doesn’t require faith or imagination.
The writer of the letter to the Hebrews had a faith-filled imagination when he defined faith for us. In a moment of divine inspiration, he wrote,
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1 NKJV)
Faith hopes (imagines better) and sees what cannot be seen. By definition, faith is imaginative. Faith asks us to place our spirit-inspired imaginations above and beyond what we can see. We might not think to use words like substance or evidence to conclusively and convincingly explain faith, but these are the terms the writer to the Hebrews used.
Our faith is supposed to be a weighty thing, something of substance. It should be strong enough that it provides evidence of our belief and proves the validity of what God says about us. No matter what our eyes are telling us, we choose to believe what God has said.
There’s just one requirement if you wish to discover God’s divine intentions for you and the life He desires for you: you must choose to have faith. If you cannot, by faith, imagine you as the person God has envisioned, then this book will be of little value to you. If you cannot see it, you will not have the courage to be it. The writer to the Hebrews said,
It is impossible to please God without faith. (Hebrews 11:6 NLT)
God demands our faith. It brings pleasure to Him. If by faith, you choose to imagine and believe what God has said about you, there is no limit to the transformation that will take place in your life.
Don’t you wonder, What has God imagined about me? It’s humbling to think that the Creator of the universe has imagined anything about us as individuals—and yet He has. I think this is what David was feeling when he wrote,
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! (Psalm 139:17–18 NLT)
Our God—infinitely knowledgeable, creative, loving, powerful, and forgiving—has precious thoughts about you. His thoughts about you are so vast, they “cannot be numbered!” God is thoughtfully obsessed with you!
I wonder what God finds so interesting about you and me? I just don’t get it. I’m not interesting enough for anyone to have innumerable thoughts about me! But according to God, I am that intriguing—and so are you. His thoughts concerning us are priceless because they are divine. You are on His mind all the time and I pray that you will become highly curious about what God is imagining about you.
God wants you to know what He is thinking. He wants to connect you to His thoughts through His Holy Spirit. Maybe Paul was contemplating this when he wrote these words to the church at Corinth:
As it is written, “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”—the things God has prepared for those who love him—these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
(1 Corinthians 2:9–10 NIV)
You cannot possibly comprehend all that God is tenderly conceiving for you, but you can get a glimpse. Showing you what God thinks is a work of His Holy Spirit, who “searches all things.” The very next verse, 2 Corinthians 2:11, tells us that the Holy Spirit fully knows God’s thoughts and our thoughts. The Spirit of God is always present in the realm of our imaginations. Since it is His job to help connect us with God, the Holy Spirit is the one who reveals to us what God is thinking. He is the one who gives us imaginative faith. Right now, at this very moment, the Holy Spirit wants to bond your thoughts with the thoughts of the God who loves you. What is God thinking? We can know His thoughts if we will allow the Holy Spirit to be at work in us.
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