Imaginings. Ponderings. Feedback, Please.

Imagine That!

Imagination supersedes intellect.  A mentor of mine (Dr. Richard Crane) reminded me recently that without imagination, intellect alone leaves us perpetually stuck on cow paths and simply becoming more adept at following them even if they lead to a cliff.  Imagination left on its own is just daydreaming.Imagination without action is…well…nothing.  And imagination is dangerous stuff, too. Scripture tells us in Genesis that even after the flood, humanity’s imagination…left to its own devices and desires…is “evil from its youth”.  But an imagination that is surrendered to God and that leads to action has power…not our power…but the power of the One who inspired the imagination to begin with.  Does imagination require discernment and accountability? You bet.  Hitler imagined a world, too, after all. And he horrifyingly acted to bring that world about. Over simplified? Yes. Messy? Yes. But I am a simple man stuck in a messy existence.  If you have a moment, though, please bear with me.

Imagine a world where God really is in charge.  What are the implications of that? If God is here and God is in charge what is my role?  Three ideas: 1) “God”, 2) “really is”, and 3) “in charge”.

God.  Incomprehensible. Beyond our capacities. All-seeing.  All-knowing. All-powerful.  Not necessarily safe, but certainly good. Not swayed by our rants and whines and foot-stomping. At work with a plan to redeem every lost thing and person. Creator of all things…from nothing.  The final word. Imagine.

Really is.  In reality. Truth of the matter.  Substantial. The ground we stand on. With gravity. Not a figment of our imagining, nor what we decide God is, nor here at our convenience.  God is what really is.  No pretenses. Able to be counted on. Present. Imagine.

In charge. Leading the way.  Answering for outcomes. Calling the shots. God’s plan is THE plan. Casting the vision. Responsible. Having full authority. Liable.  Taking the risks and paying the price. Where the buck stops. Making corrections and removing obstacles.  God commands, everyone and everything follows those commands. Imagine.

Imagine the implications of those three terms for what it means to be involved in God’s mission…or living for God’s Kingdom. When we set out to connect our lives to the Missio Dei…the Mission of God…how do these converging ideas impact our priorities, attitudes, and behaviors? How do they impact our speech? If God is what is…really…and what is is that God is in charge…and God is commanding us to go and to be the body of God’s Son so that God’s Son can inhabit our very being, what does that mean for us?  God…really is…in charge. What does that mean to you? For you? What is our role?

I am looking for feedback.  Please, if you have a moment, let me know what you think…even if what you think is that I don’t think very well.  In truth, that fact has already been well-established. So fire away.

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2 Comments »

  1. Dan Miller Said:

    Well, I don’t know how much smarter I am than anyone, but I will throw a few thoughts out there. Imagine for a moment what “God’s mission” (your own term), would be like like if we truly did take God at His word. We read God is the all knowing, all powerful, all present God, but most times our faith in mission does not reflect that. Imagine if we truly believed that God can provide every needed resource to accomplish what He calls us to be a part of. Imagine if we moved forward without fear, truly believing Jesus when He said, “and I will be with you always.” Imagine if we took God at his word when he says to leave everything behind, and go with nothing. Well, the reality for me,is that I can’t even imagine what it would look like if we lived and responded accoring to what we read in His word and what we say we believe.

    I think a big problem is that we use our imaginations to create things or events based on outcomes that we hope to see. We need to use our intellect and imagination in the mission with no preconceived notions of what God will do. We sell God short when we do that. When we have preconceived outcomes, our actions always lead us in the direction to make those outcomes a reality. In other words, we take control, and manipulate the direction. Rather, we ought to allow God to be in control, and alow His spirit to move us in a direction to accomplish the outcomes He has purposed us for.

    All that probably sounded like a lot babble, simply because at the end of the day, I can’t really wrap my mind around or imagine what God’s mission would look like if we really made it His mission rather than our own. If we would quit trying to create a mission that honors God, and just join God in His own mission, wow, I can’t imagine. I have however seen glimpses of what it can be like, and indeed it’s a beautiful and chatoic mess where people are rescued from darkness.

    • Dan, right on, as usual. Thanks for helping me think this thing through…or imagine it through.

      “Can’t really wrap my mind around” is kind of wrapped up in the whole God thing, right? If we could wrap our minds around it, it wouldn’t really be God. And us trying to control things is kind of a statement of belief…we take control because we don’t REALLY believe that God is real or in charge (Abram did it, too.).

      Like you, I have seen glimpses…flashes…where heaven comes to earth and people are pulled out of hell. And it’s almost always messy and on the edge of “out of control”. I wonder if we don’t lose our way in the very moment that we start imagining outcomes that we hope to see…if that, in and of itself, isn’t taking charge on some level.

      Great thoughts,brother! Thanks for sharing!


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