Faith Requires Imagination
By Rick Warren
— January 7, 2016
“We fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” (2 Corinthians 4:18 NLT, second edition)
When you can’t see something physically, you have to imagine it in your mind. Imagination is essential to living by faith.
Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see” (NLT, second edition).
Faith is when we hope for something, and we know it’s going to happen. In order to hope for something, you have to picture it in your mind.
Hebrews 11 is God’s Hall of Fame. When you read through the heroes of faith, you realize that every one of them became heroes of faith because they used their imagination.
For instance, God said to Abraham, “You’re 90 years old, and you have no kids. But I’m going to change your name from Abram to Abraham, which means ‘father of a great nation.’”
He told Abraham to go outside at night and count the stars — that’s how many grandchildren and great grandchildren he would have in his family tree — the nation of Israel! What is God doing when he tells Abraham to go count stars? He is activating his imagination. He’s saying, “I want you to visualize what I’m going to do in your life.”
The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 4:18, “We fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”
You can’t see the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, but they’re going to last for eternity. You can’t see your own soul, but it’s going to last for eternity.
The Bible says you need to focus on the things that will last — the things you can’t actually see with your eyes. So how do you focus on things you can’t see? You use your imagination.
Imagination shapes your life because it is essential to living by faith.
PLAY today’s audio teaching from Pastor Rick >>
Talk It Over
- How does your imagination help you understand and remember Scripture?
- Is it difficult for you to use your imagination when it comes to faith? Why do you think this is so?
- Describe some of the pictures in your mind of elements of your faith, like the Holy Spirit, Heaven, or God’s will. What shapes the pictures we create?
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