Mastering Your Imagination
Attracting The Favour Of God
Every Christian is called by God to influence his or her world. We called to change the culture around us more than the culture changes us.
To become people of influence, we must learn to live under the favour of God.
The favour of God is visible blessing which cannot be explained by virtue of our hard work, creativity or ingenuity alone.
Chronicles tells us that: ‘The eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.’ (2 Chronicles 16:9)
The original phrase translated here as ‘to strengthen’ has two major meanings: ‘to seize or fasten upon’ someone and ‘to make a show of strength’ for someone.
When God finds people whose lives are completely aligned with his will, he grabs hold of them, he seizes the opportunity to show what he can do, through his favour upon their lives.
You can live a life which attracts the favour of God, which draws God's smile.
We’re not talking about controlling divine favour, or manipulating God, but about taking responsibility for God's favour; positioning our lives so that God can do in us what he originally intended.
To attract God's favour, we must first master our imagination.
Genesis records that after the serpent spoke to Eve she saw that the tree was good for food. Eve had seen that tree before – perhaps many times over weeks, months or even years.
Yet on this particular day something was different. The tree had not changed, but her image of it had undergone a powerful transformation.
The fall of the entire human race began not in human action but in human imagination, in the place where images are formed and perceptions are created.
The human imagination is a powerful thing, which is why Paul tells us that we use the weaponry God has given us to bring down every ‘false imagination’, so that every thought is made subject to Christ.(2 Corinthians 10:5)
Psychologists speak about ‘gestalt’, which refers to the brain's habit of creating order from the complexity of our world. The brain likes to associate what we see with patterns it already recognises, bringing order to an often disordered environment.
We need to speak the God's promises using present tense words. If you declare your future goal as a present reality, you create a new gestalt, a new pattern or order by which your brain interprets your world. That, in turn, affects all of your attitudes, choices and actions.
Abram was instructed by God to change his gestalt, by declaring a future promise as if it were a present reality. That was the purpose of his change of name from Abram, ‘exalted father’, to Abraham, ‘father of a multitude’.
Whenever he introduced himself by that new name he was training his imagination. ‘Hi,’ he would say, ‘I’m Abraham. I’m the father of a multitude.’
Abraham brought his thoughts and attitudes into subjection to the future rather than the past or the present.
This training helped Abraham to pass the toughest test of his life – offering his son Isaac as a sacrifice. Abraham told himself that God would still keep his promise even if he had to raise Isaac from the dead. (Hebrews 11:17-19)
Years of reinforcing God's promise, by saying his own name, had given Abraham and new framework for reality. He had trained his imagination well. As a result, he attracted the favour of God and became a figure of world influence.
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