Subscribe to the ElijahList
Subscribe to Breaking Christian News
Share This Article

To receive daily, prophetic emails from The Elijah List to your inbox CLICK HERE

"Sanctifying the Imagination"

By Craig Kinsley
May 7, 2006

May 7, 2006

Craig Kinsley: "Sanctifying the Imagination"
 

What 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 40:5).

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 circumstances.

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 prophetic revelation.

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
www.awakeintl.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~
Craig Kinsley's Upcoming Itinerary:

June 30 - July 2, 2006
Fields of Fire
Lloydminster, Alberta
Contact: www.fieldsoffire.ca    

July 5 - 8, 2006
Fresh Fire Ministries - Joel's Army
Abbotsford, BC, Canada
Contact: (604-853-9041) or email: info@freshfire.ca 

July 12 - 15, 2006
California Revival Meetings
Contact: (604-853-9041) or email:
info@freshfire.ca


 


"The Throne Room Company"
Keeping Company with Heaven

 by Shawn Bolz
 
$12.00
Book

 

"...invites us to a Dynamic Encounter with
our Heavenly Father...." - Mike Bickle

 

Thought provoking and profoundly perceptive, The Throne Room Company has the power to revolutionize your understanding of God. This book reveals a fascinating message from Heaven that will penetrate the deep places of your heart.

"... a Riveting, Revelatory Book!"
- Jim Goll
 

1-866-354-5245
1-541-926-3250
 
To order, call: 1-866-354-5245 -- Outside of the US? Call: 1-541-926-3250


"Trusting the Angels"

by Jason Upton

$15.99
Music CD

For he will give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. (Psalm 91:11)

"I believe there is angelic activity on the earth today, but when Jesus walked the streets and hillsides and wanted to show us an example of His Father's Kingdom, He never pointed to an angelic being, though that might have received a bit more attention and reaction from the crowds. Rather, He pointed to children, lilies, and birds, and by doing so challenged both super-spirituality and worldly idolatry (education, success, etc.) by offering models of simple trust. Trusting the Angels is all about learning to trust God's sovereign rule over our lives...."

Tracks Include: Introduction, Emma, One of these Days, When it Thunders, Face of Time, Where Fools Turn to Gold, Cloud by Day, Hannah (a Child is Born), Trusting the Angels, and Is There Room?

 

To order, call: 1-866-354-5245 -- Outside of the US? Call: 1-541-926-3250


"Transported by the Lion
of Judah"
by Anne Elmer

$8.00
Audio Book on 2 CDs

The Apostle Paul was caught up and shown things so spectacular, he wasn't even allowed to speak of them. Philip was transported in the Spirit from the baptism of the Ethiopian Eunuch to another city. John, the Revelator, was told to "come up here" so that God could show him things to come.

And still today, hundreds, if not thousands, of God's people are continuing to have "caught up" experiences where God shows them marvelous revelation for the Church. Anne Elmer never saw it coming. But before she knew it, the Lord was transporting her all over the earth, in multiple experiences, to see God's people from many different groups, and in many countries--but no longer from her perspective.
 


                      866-354-5245     1-541-926-3250

 

Also available as a book (order below):
 



                      866-354-5245     1-541-926-3250
 

To order, call: 1-866-354-5245 -- Outside of the US? Call: 1-541-926-3250


SUBSCRIBE TO
NEWSLETTER

or unsubscribe
(please allow 2-3 business days to process, you only need to submit an unsubscribe once)

Permission is granted (and you are also encouraged)to reprint these articles in hard copy form, as
well as sending themto your own email lists and posting them on your own websites. We ask only
that you keep Elijah List website, email contact info, and author contact information intact.

Donate tax-free to Support Elijah List Ministries including Our Conferences and Prophetic.TV!



If you donate $16 or more to Elijah List Ministries, we will send you (if you request it)
our current Main Message of the Month
at NO CHARGE, as a token of our appreciation. Any amount over $16 will be tax deductible.

Thank you and blessings, Steve Shultz, Publisher, The Elijah List http://www.elijahlist.com

Subscribe to the Elijah List Here:



or unsubscribe
(please allow 2-3 business days to process, you only need to submit an unsubscribe once)

French: Cliquez ici pour souscrire à la liste d'Élie en Français ElijahElie@qwest.com
Spanish: Puede suscribirse a La lista de Elias lalistadeelias@gmail.com
German:
Klicken Sie hier, um die Elijah Liste auf deutsch zu abonnieren. elijahlist_de@qwest.net


ElijahList Prophetic Resources

An ElijahList Paid Advertisement
Do you want to know what God is saying to you today? - Subscribe to our email list
An ElijahList Paid Advertisement
An ElijahList Paid Advertisement
An ElijahList Paid Advertisement
An ElijahList Paid Advertisement
An ElijahList Paid Advertisement
An ElijahList Paid Advertisement
Shop Our Store! - Free Shipping for all USA orders over $75!
Are You Praying for Our Government Leaders?
Make the Elijah List Your Homepage
Do you want to know what God is saying to you today? - Subscribe to our email list
An ElijahList Paid Advertisement