Imaginations on Fire
There is no parallel to God's word in its ability to fan the flames of our imaginations.
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17
If we want to fan the flames of our imaginations - to conceive of the supernatural realm and the miraculous possibilities of God - then we must find ourselves in the stories He told. Last week, I shared about God’s heart to restore imaginations, and “illuminate the eyes of your imagination, flooding you with light, until you experience the full revelation of the hope of his calling” (Eph. 1:18). This week let’s dive into how our imaginations can catch fire. Just as a fire needs oxygen to burn, our imaginations need story to spark.
We find ourselves in stories all the time. We find meaning and understanding in story, whether a true personal account or a fictional tale. Father God wired us this way because he is a story-telling Father. Integrating testimony and parable, God penned his holy word in a fashion that would spark our imaginations to conceive possibilities beyond our current realm of experiences and natural limitations.
Literary critic and theorist Northrup Frye wrote in 1963, “The art of listening to stories is a basic training for the imagination.” In her book Living from the Unseen, Wendy Backlund reminds us about the divine purpose of our imaginations, “Your imagination was created… so you could have a place to cultivate your faith.” Listening and storytelling are essential components in fanning the flame of our imaginations.
Romans 10:17 says, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Our imaginations can be the greatest cultivator of faith when we listen to stories from God’s word. We can find ourselves in accounts of people who needed God, trusted God, and followed God. We can imagine a life of healing from the story of the lame man walking or the lady with the issue of blood who found healing from merely touching Christ’s garment. We can hope for destiny and purpose when we imagine being one of the fishermen that Jesus called to follow him as a disciple. All the sudden possibilities, invitations, callings, healings, provision, and rescue become possible in the place of our imagination because we found ourselves in the stories of God’s word.
We cannot expect to grow our faith, expand our imaginations, or walk in the supernatural realm of Christ on this earth without God’s word. He intentionally crafted our instruction manual - the Bible - in a way that would fan the flames of our imagination. He wants us to immerse our thoughts in the narratives found in this precious text and conceive of ways He could personally heal, save, protect, promote, or favor each one of us. Our miraculous experience is on the other side of our limitless imagination, envisioning and believing God can be and do all He says within the pages of His word. No cute Instagram post, or well-organized sermon, or compelling podcast can compare to the power of hearing God’s word, immersing in His stories to breed faith and possibility in the place of your imagination.
Lord, lead me into your word in a profound way this week. Spark my imagination as I read the stories of your kindness on display. Allow my mind to expand past natural limitations as I imagine what life could be like if you showed up for me the way you did in the stories of your word. You are the same God today, as you were yesterday. I believe you can do it again for me. Teach me to enjoy your word and allow my mind to wander into limitless possibilities. Let faith foster in my heart as I lean in. Your words are my life and my hope.