Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. Genesis 2:19
Most Christians starve their God-given imaginative gifts and believe that sacred dreaming is reckless and might border on witchcraft? Does it?
God formed the dust of the ground and made cows, cats, dogs, monkeys, and antelope. After he completed each, he nudged each one to go to Adam so Adam could name them. I love how Genesis describes this part of history. “God brought them to the man to see what he would call them.” There was a bit of suspense as God saw Adam tap into his creativity. “What shall I call something soft, furry, with a tail?” God enjoyed seeing Adam use his mind in a creative way.
I am made in the image of God. He, the one who imagined the earth before He made it, has infused me with the same desire to dream and create. How can I know if my imagination is safe to use? I take Isaiah’s advice. “Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things.” Isaiah 40:26 If my imagination is brought captive to prayer and scripture, then it is a gifting like all others.
I believe one of the reasons our prayer meetings and personal prayer times are so dull is that we fail to use our imagination in prayer. What happens when we take a scriptural principle and develop how it might look in the desert of human need? The possibilities are endless.
- I can see God kissing a heart of stone and transforming it into a heart of flesh when I pray Ezekiel 36:26 creatively.
- As I pray from Isaiah 49, I can see God turning my speech into sharp arrows of truth as I ask Him to give me words like Jesus.
- I can see God standing on the waves of my personal storm, saying, “Peace! Be still!” as I pray from Mark 4:39
Just as God brought the animals to Adam to name, he brings opportunities my way to engage my mind in ways that more resemble play than work. Adam wasn’t a child when he thought up all the names yet I picture him having the time of his life as each animal emerged from behind a tree. He laughed, pointed, exclaimed over God’s playful and creative side, and then conjured up a name. I know a sense of his joy. Most days, writing with God in the morning is like playtime.
Because Adam walked with you, his imagination was holy. Help me use my creative gifts with more confidence. Amen
Originally published Friday, 15 March 2019.