Be strong and very courageous…Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful (Joshua 1:6a,7).
If someone could look inside your mind, what would they find? Would they find a storehouse of healthy thoughts and sane imaginations from God, the Dream Maker? Or would they find your mind consumed with vain imaginations from Satan, the Dream Taker?
Psychologists say that we think 60,000 words per day and 98% of them are repeat offenders. We spend the majority of our thought life thinking about the same thing over and over and over. No wonder it’s important to cast out vain imaginations. When our mind is on auto pilot it’s even harder to take notice of unhealthy thoughts. If your mind is full of habitual thoughts, how do you tell the difference between sane imaginations and vain imaginations?
One of the easiest ways you can tell the difference between sane and vain imaginations is to take a step back and examine how your thoughts and imaginations make you feel. Take notice if your thoughts make you feel:
Negative emotions are good indicators that your thoughts are not from God. If your imaginations are filling you with hope for the future, encouragement or motivation to go further in life, chances are your imaginations are surrendered to the obedience of Christ.
Positive emotions are good indicators that your thoughts are from God, however, just because a thought makes you feel good does not mean it is a righteous imagination. Any thought that makes you feel good, fills you with hope and produces the fruit of confidence, but does not honor scripture is a vain imagination.
For example, you meet someone on Match.com or E-Harmony. Before you know much about him, you allow your mind to fill in the blanks. Soon your mind is obsessed with romantic thoughts at the anticipation of a relationship. The imagination makes you feel good and fills you with hope and confidence, but until you know whether or not this man has character and integrity, your hope and confidence are based on assumptions. They are merely based on a weak platform of illusion.
Another way to tell the difference between vain and sane imaginations is to judge the fruit of your dreams. What is your imagination producing? Any farmer will tell you that a tree is known by the fruit it produces. The Bible agrees. So what is your imagination producing? Do the things you imagine fuel your purpose? Do they line up with scripture? These are great clues to help you discover the origin of your imagination.
Give your imaginations the Philippians 4:8 test. Measure your thoughts against this standard: Are your thoughts:
If your thoughts meet the test—think on such things! Strengthening your imagination begins by getting in alignment with God’s vision and keeping your focus on that vision. Take notice of your thoughts and cast out the ones that don’t belong.
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How to Develop a Godly Imagination