Imagination under wraps

If you go to the British museum today, you will find an exhibit there with an old mariners chart of the east coast of North America and the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. This old chart was designed in the year 1525, and it has some interesting markings on it. Areas of the map that had not yet been explored have inscriptions that say “here be giants.” And in other areas, where explorers had never ventured, the inscriptions say “here be dragons” or even “here be fiery scorpions.” Now the map-maker didn’t know for a fact that there were giants, dragons or scorpions in these areas, but when it came to these unknown places, his imagination went into overdrive! Mentally he could probably see huge giants, fire-breathing dragons and dangerous scorpions, but in reality these things did not exist.

There is also some other writing on this old map. At some point in history, this chart became the possession of the scientist, Sir John Franklin. He scratched out the markings that said, “Here be giants, here be dragons and here be fiery scorpions.” Instead he wrote, “Here be God.”

Satan loves to work through the vehicle of our imaginations, because nothing will sap our strength and quench the fire of our faith like our imaginations. The imagination is a vehicle which requires no props, no people, no planning, no expense and no set-up. The evil one simply plants a tiny seed in the mind, and if it finds fertile ground, that seed grows faster than the weeds in your garden. God says that because of our carnal natures, “the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth...” (Genesis 8:21) And “...he has scattered the proud and haughty by the imagination of their hearts.” (Luke 1:51)

Yet an imagination can be a wonderful gift when it’s in the right hands...Almighty hands, to be specific. I have been blessed with a very colorful imagination, and it’s undoubtedly a blessing from God. It is a great tool when I am writing brochures for Esperanza, or writing the outlines for new TV programs or when I am writing new songs. But let me tell you, if I don’t keep a handle on my imagination, I can say “here be giants” and “here be scorpions” with the best of them!

That’s why we need to have the Word of God in our hearts and minds. So when our minds start thinking this could happen, or this or that, then we say, “God is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 62:7) And we say, “No weapon that is formed against me shall prosper,” (Isaiah 54:17) and “The Lord is my light and my salvation; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)

In the book of Numbers there’s a story recorded where the children of Israel said, “There be giants.” Moses sent ten spies to check out the promised land for 40 days. It was incredible! They came back with huge clusters of grapes and pomegranates and figs and stories of the fruitful and beautiful the land! But they also came back with the report of giants in the land. They said, in Numbers 13:33, “And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers and so we were in their sight.” Here the Israelites had a choice. They could believe God and be blessed, or they could believe man and lose everything. In essence, God said, “Here you go, here’s the promised land, go and possess it.” But man said “but we can’t because of the giants.” This was a “God said,” “man said” problem. And I have found in my own life that every problem and fear and struggle that we have is a “God said” or “man said” problem. Are we going to do what God said, or are we going to do what man says? This story about the Israelites and the promised land gives us a clue of which way not to go, for this story concluded as probably the biggest spiritual disaster in the Bible with the entire population of Israel (over twenty years old) dying without entering the promised land. They lost everything! That’s why if we want to be a happy, blessed, joyful people, we need to know what God says and we need to do what God says. Undoubtedly it takes push, it takes perseverance and it takes prayer, but the results are worth it! 2 Corinthians 10:5 talks about this victory where it says we will reach the place where“our every thought and purpose will be led away captive into the obedience of Jesus Christ.” And that’s where I want to be. So folks, don’t give up, keep the faith, keep looking up, and keep your imaginations under wraps...wrapped in the promises of God!

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