May 7, 2006
Craig Kinsley: "Sanctifying the
do you think of when you hear the word “imagination?” Most of us think of our
childhood. Maybe you had an imaginary friend, or you might remember imagining
situations while playing. My wife, for instance, can tell me about detailed
imaginary instances she remembers from her childhood.
Although children love the whole realm of the imagination, and they are easily engaged there,
I want us to begin to appreciate that imagination isn’t just for children.
Actually, it is a powerful path to prophetic revelation and meditation.
Our Imagination is God's Idea
Whether you realize it or not, you use your imagination everyday. Let’s look at
it this way--scripture speaks of “The thoughts and
intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12b). This would be what your heart
thinks and meditates on--this is the imagination.
In God’s infinite wisdom, He created the imagination, and He desires us to use
it. However, many times when God wants to speak to us through our imagination,
we either regard it as foolishness, or our imagination clouds with unholy images
and experiences, which hinders us from hearing God properly.
In fact, those unholy images in our mind must be dismissed, and we need to
surrender our minds to Jesus Christ. That’s essentially what "sanctify" means.
In the dictionary, sanctify is: "To set apart as holy; consecrate; to make free
from sin," (Webster’s New World Dictionary).
With this in mind, I actually heard the Lord say to me,
“Son, I want to root up and pull out the evil in the hearts of My people.”
Therefore, through this teaching, we are going to learn how to sanctify
the imagination for God’s purposes.
We're Made to be Like Him
The Lord has specific plans and definite purposes for our lives. After all, we
aren’t a haphazard creation! It ravishes my heart with the love of God to think
about how we are created in His image. God said: “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our
likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the
air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that
creeps on the earth” (Genesis1:26).
Also, God’s thoughts toward us cannot be numbered! He thinks about you all the
time. In the same way that we have an imagination, God has an imagination, and
it’s fixed on you! The Father uses His imagination to meditate on His love for
you. David had a revelation about this and so he wrote: “Many, O LORD my God, are Your wonderful works which
You have done; and Your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to You in order;
if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered” (Psalm
One day when I was praying, the Holy Spirit used this particular
verse to heighten my sensitivity to the prophetic realm. Here’s what I heard the
Holy Spirit say, “If My thoughts towards My people are
innumerable, all you have to do is align your thoughts with Mine. If you do
this, you will come into a river of prophetic revelation.”
In the same way that God's thoughts are fixed on us when we have our thoughts
fixed on God, it opens our spirits to an increasing knowledge of Him and prophetic
knowledge for ourselves and others.
Also, since we are created in the image of God, we are made to be creative as He
is. Our creative nature and imagination sets us apart from the rest of creation.
This is where true worship comes from--the creative imagination. When our
imagination is sanctified and holy, we can choose to set our thoughts on God and
use the creative process of our thoughts in worship.
Our creative nature, when used with our imagination, actually has the power to
transform our lives and bring the reality of God’s will into our present
There is a saying among Christian teachers, “What you behold, you become.” I
believe this to be biblically accurate because when we set our thoughts on the
Lord, we become more like Him. Paul the apostle spoke to the Corinthian church
about this. Here’s what he said, “But we all, with
unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being
transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of
the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
In fact, as we use our imaginations to mediate on the will of God and what His
Word says, it brings the power of His will into our lives. This revelation was
on the heart of King Solomon when he wrote, "Commit
your works to the LORD, and your thoughts will be established" (Proverbs 16:3).
Consequently, as we become committed to the Lord, the desires of our heart
actually become a reality out of a sanctified imagination. The Father is
interested in what is on our heart. Most of us have prayed a prayer like this
before, “Father, make my will Your will.” Actually, God’s heart is that out of a
sanctified imagination, we would share our heart's desires with Him. He has always
desired to preserve our will as “co-laborers with Christ.”
When we commit ourselves to God, our thoughts will be established. This point is
illustrated through King Solomon’s statement, "But the
LORD said to my father David, ‘Whereas it was in your heart to build a temple
for My name, you did well in that it was in your heart'" (2 Chronicles 6:8).
It was in David’s heart to build a temple for the Lord, and he received the
pattern, or plans, in writing when God’s hand came upon him
(1 Chronicles 28:19). I believe God inspired
David’s sanctified imagination, and he received the temple model in his heart
before it became a reality. (Solomon actually built God’s temple.)
A Heart Fixed on God
David’s heart was fixed on God, and I believe that deep in the heart of every
person there is a desire to know God. Let’s read the words of God that Paul repeated
to the Israelites, “I have found David the son of
Jesse, a man after My own heart…” (Acts 13:22).
The Bible promises that if we seek Him, He will be found
(Matthew 7:7). People often ask me, "Why is it that some seem to
hear the voice of God and encounter Him more often than most people?" I believe
a key answer is that we need to have a loyal heart, a willing mind, and be like
David--a man or woman after God’s own heart (1 Samuel
13:14). A loyal heart requires an imagination, or “thoughts of the heart” that are
totally fixed on God. When our heart is loyally fixed on God alone, we can be
sure that we will not only encounter Heaven, but the priorities of our life will
fall into place.
However, I’ve noticed that many believers have a hard time encountering God
because their heart is pulled in so many directions. I have made it a spiritual
discipline to use my imagination to fix my thoughts on God. Every night while I
wait to fall asleep, I discipline myself to fix my thoughts on God instead of
worrying about the day and about what tomorrow will bring.
Unfortunately, many Christians think about the problems surrounding their day.
When this happens, they actually use their imagination to empower fear and
anxiety. Instead of focusing on the problems with a Kingdom mindset that says,
"God can fix that; He’s a big God," they focus on the problem and actually make
it out to be bigger than God. Let us resist this temptation and remember, "What
we behold we become."
What We Behold We Become
I remember at 19 years of age, God first exploded into my life, and I began to
behold some great and awesome revelations about my destiny. Without any effort
on my part, I began to receive visions and revelations about what He was going
to do with my life. I received revelation about coming moves of God before
reading prophetic words surrounding events.
I was amazed because all I had from past experience was
a Southern Baptist upbringing with a cold devotion to God. But my past didn’t
stop God. During that time, I would lie on my bed and imagine all that God would
do with my life. I would think about thousands of souls rushing to an altar and
falling on their faces. I would see people jumping out of wheelchairs and women
screaming that they could now see for the first time. I would imagine angels of
God descending into meetings bringing revelations and the presence of God.
I received these revelations before I had experienced anything even remotely
like this! It's also a wonder to me to think that I imagined all this would come
to pass when I was about 40 years old. But instead, these meditations and
thoughts at 19 years of age have already begun to happen in my life now. Today,
I am dreaming bigger!
However, back then, if I had wanted to simply dwell on my present circumstances
and all the problems, I could have easily done that. I was living with my
parents. I had just been delivered from a life of drugs and alcohol, leaving all
of my friends behind. I had all but dropped out of college, and I didn’t have a
single dime of income to my name. But none of that seemed to matter when I fixed
my gaze on Jesus with great inner devotion.
Perhaps some of you are facing temporary circumstances that are painful and
hard, but if you will just set your heart on God, you will always be full of
God. Remember, what you behold you become. So what is your heart set on?
David advised his son Solomon to know God; in other words to behold his God,
“and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing
mind…” (1 Chronicles 28:9a). We discussed the importance of having a
loyal heart and a willing mind earlier, and this bears repeating. A willing mind
is a mind, or imagination, that is totally open to the leading of the Holy
Spirit. This is a crucial key to the prophetic ministry because being open to
the leading of the Holy Spirit is integral to possessing an intimate
relationship with the Holy Spirit, and walking in prophetic ministry.
Since the Holy Spirit will use our thoughts to express His will for a given
situation, we need to seek God. Moses told the people,
“But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you
seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 4:29).
Seeking God with all our heart and soul certainly catches God’s eye. When Samuel
came to Jesse to anoint the next king of Israel, which would turn out to be
David, God reminded Samuel of that principle, “For the
Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the
LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7b). Seeking and following God
begins in the heart and leads to actions.
How God Uses and Inspires the Imagination
When we set our sanctified imagination on God, His will is made known to us
because the imagination is the place where God most often speaks to us. We often
call our sanctified imagination "the eyes of our understanding," or "the eyes of
our heart." Paul spoke about this to the Ephesians when he said,
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened,
so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of
the glory of His inheritance in the saints,” (Ephesians 1:18) and
when the eyes of our heart are enlightened, it leads to other realms of
Did you know that "the eyes of your understanding" (the eyes of your heart),
actually means the mind, will, intellect and imagination? Our spiritual eye, the
place where we begin to see into the realm of the Spirit, is our imagination!
This is the same place that we daydream. So we need to learn to quiet our minds,
and let God speak to us in our imagination. Much of the time, Christians seem
to have trouble coming into visions of God because they do not know where their
spiritual eye is. They simply close their eyes and wait for a vision to appear.
All the while, they are just staring at the closed eyelids.
But it works in this way--I can ask you to picture a red fire truck right
now--go ahead and picture it. Now, in your mind you saw a red fire truck. This
is how God brings images to your spirit, except it isn’t you just thinking of
the image, but it is God who initiates it. We can quiet our minds and focus our
heart on Jesus, and expect Him to use and to inspire our imagination or “the
eyes of our heart.”
We Have Natural Senses and Spiritual Senses
Did you know that in the same way we have natural senses, we have spiritual
senses? The imagination is part of our spiritual senses. The more we learn to
exercise this sense through soaking and contemplative prayer, the more we learn
to access that realm at will. God always desires to speak to us. Remember, His
thoughts toward us are innumerable. If we will sanctify our imagination and
quiet our own thoughts, God can insert His!
When we get this revelation, it opens the doors of revelation in our
imagination. I learned this principle while lying on my bed before sleep--God
would give me His thoughts. I would allow God to insert images and pictures into
my mind. Soon I found myself having internal visions and eventually, I would
fall into a trance and actually have heavenly encounters.
Dreams work in the same way. God has always spoken to His children through
dreams, and He continues to do so today. We’ve had countless testimonies recently
of dramatic changes in people's lives because of dream interpretation. I actually
had times when I encountered angels and even the Lord Himself through dreams.
But having said that, I am also aware that the Lord wants to alert us to the
danger of entertaining a carnal imagination, because carnality will not only
defile and tarnish our dreams, it will affect our ability to maintain a pure
stream of God’s prophetic revelation.
Craig Kinsley's Upcoming
June 30 - July
Fields of Fire
July 5 - 8, 2006
Fresh Fire Ministries - Joel's Army
Abbotsford, BC, Canada
Contact: (604-853-9041) or email: email@example.com
July 12 - 15, 2006
California Revival Meetings
Contact: (604-853-9041) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org