Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Gift of a Creative Imagination by Richard Spillman

The most dangerous question in the history of mankind is “I wonder what it would be like if . . .” On the other hand, the most uplifting, promising question in the history of mankind is “I wonder what it would be like if . . .” When we ask that question, when we begin to imagine possibilities, things change. But our imagination is a key that fits two doors. One leads to beauty, the other leads to darkness. 

This key was given to mankind at the beginning of time when God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness ... (Genesis 1:26).” Only man was created in His image but what does that mean? It certainly does not mean that we look like God. God is a spirit; He does not have a physical body. Clearly “created in the image of God” has nothing to do with our physical appearance. 

The “image and likeness of God” must be based on who we are not on how we appear. It must be related to how God revealed His image in the first chapter of Genesis. So, what do we know about the “likeness” of God from those verses? What are the most prominent characteristics of God displayed just before He created us? 

I believe the answer is clear. The picture of God in these verses is one of creative power, of using His imagination to make all that we see. If life was His first gift to us, His second had to be the gift of creativity, of imagination, of wonder. After all, man is the only living thing that creates beauty for the sake of beauty.

Not only can we be creative, we are driven to be creative. Our imagination is constantly at work as we look in amazement at the world and wonder what we can contribute to it. It may be working with our hands, teaching, drawing or, as it is for me, writing. We all find fulfillment in our creative efforts. No matter what our skill, we gain immense enjoyment from using it. A life of pure leisure with nothing to do might sound attractive; but the truth is we have to be doing something to feel fulfilled. We are lost if we don’t have a purpose. In some way we have to be creative.

That creative gift always begins with our imagination. When we imagine something, we say to ourselves, “I wonder what it would be like if . . .”, and then we proceed to make it real in some way. When we use our imagination God’s way we create something beautiful just as He did.

This is one reason why Paul cautioned the church at Corinth in 2 Corinthians 10:5, “… we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Our imagination is a gift from God.  Yet, in a fallen world we can use that gift to create beauty or to create filth. Unfortunately, mankind does an excellent job at both. If we are to honor God and thank Him for the skills He gave us, we need to take every thought captive and direct all our creative abilities towards what will please Him. For authors that means we need to write stories that glorify Him. And we do that by creating beauty. In short we must use the gift of our imagination to honor the giver.

 This does not require us, as authors, to directly mention God in everything we write. It does require us to give any glory from our writing to Him. It does not require us to write only feel-good stories. It does require us to write what affirms the values Christ taught. It does not require us to write only “religious” material. It does require us to understand that what we write has an impact and we want that impact to be positive.

So, the next time you search for a new project and ask the question “I wonder what it would be like if …” allow the Spirit to capture your thoughts, your imagination, your wonder and direct you down a path that will ultimately glorify God.

How about you? Have you ever asked “I wonder what it would be like if …” and found an answer that clearly was from God, glorified God, and surprised you?

The Awakened 
Everyone dies once. But what if a chosen few were raised from the dead?
Two thousand years ago Jesus resurrected his friend, Lazarus, who founded a secret organization: SOAR. Since then Jesus has added to the resurrected—The Awakened—to aid Lazarus in SOAR's battle against Satan's slaves, the UnVeilers. The threat is escalating. The UnVeilers have stepped up their attacks on mankind through a charming leader and a devastating series of bombings in Dubai and Tel Aviv.
But the invasion doesn't stop with international terrorism. The UnVeilers are searching for a secret that Jesus embedded in Lazarus’ journal that not even Lazarus knows—and it will determine the fate of mankind. After a failed cyber-attack against SOAR's computers, Lazarus and his team of experts must find the secret before the UnVeilers do. What clue is he overlooking that could turn the tide of this ageless conflict?
The souls fighting with Lazarus are weary, but the war against evil is far from won. Can Lazarus and his team set aside their longing for heaven and put a stop to these satanic attacks before it's too late?
Dr Richard Spillman founded the Kingdom is Near Ministries (KIN). Through KIN he has supported an orphanage in Uganda as well as a church/school for kids from conflict zones in the Philippines. He has small teams on short term missions into slums and jungles around the world. He has also taught in DTS for YWAM in Mali, South Korea, India and the Philippines.
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