Cleansing the Imagination
24 August 2008
· 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 - “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God”.
· There is no escape from warfare; Jesus came to empower us for warfare.
· God has designed us to be creative: (1) Sexual (2) Imagination – to imagine something not yet into being to come into being.
· Imaginations have a voice – they speak to us and we can follow them. Talking all the time – called ‘self talk’ in the secular world.
· Vain imaginations are mental pictures/images that oppose God’s will and purpose and always lead us away from God.
· Imaginations are prophetic – they can give birth to realities, form a future.
· When God speaks a picture come up in our imagination.
· Fantasy – a world you can control and get hooked in it. E.g. TV/movies – lock self into someone else’s life/imaginary world so much so that when real life tragedies happen a person is desensitized to it.
2. Sources of Imaginations:
i) The Holy Spirit = Freedom to operate effectively and prophetically:
· Acts 2:17 - “I will pout out My Spirit on all flesh, your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams”.
· The Holy Spirit inspires prophetic pictures and images in our imaginations.
· The Holy Spirit inspired images to unlock potentials, possibilities, and destiny.
· Our imagination should be open and yielded to Holy Spirit inspired pictures and possibilities.
· Jeremiah 29:11 - “I know the thoughts I have towards you says the Lord – thoughts of peace not evil, to give you an expected end” - hope – something to look forward too.
· Open yourself for prophetic flow from heaven that comes into us. Listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit to change and influence the future.
· Break out of current thinking and come into greater thinking. A vision of greatness where some think it’s ‘too hard’, push past it and think of other possibilities to break through.
ii) Demonic Spirits = Bondage:
· Genesis 3:1-6 - “You will not surely die …you will be like God”.
· The devil out an imagination into Eve’s mind (that opposed God). He challenges the truth.
· Plants into your thought life images that invade fill your mind with feelings and pictures that oppose God.
· Note the process: Imaginations = pondered it = entered it = conceived sin.
· This is the pattern people follow when an image comes:
i) They look ii) They take it iii) They eat it iv) They give it to someone else
· Sin is always first conceived in the imagination.
· Ephesians 4:17 - “… do not walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk in the imagination of their minds, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God”
· Uncontrolled imaginations lead to fear, anxiety, lust, gossip and pride. The mind become corrupt to not see God’s vision clear.
iii) The Human Heart:
· Proverbs 4:23 - ‘Keep your heart with all diligence for out of it flow the issues of life”. What you belief truly in your heart will show.
a) Dreams, desires, possibilities, aspirations:
· The dreams of our heart give rise to images of our possible failure.
· We need to connect with desires and dreams of our heart and foster them.
· Philippians 2:13 - “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good pleasure”.
· God wrote dreams and desires in your heart, things that’s there to please God. Dream them, get them into practical steps.
· Children sometimes live out what their parents dream; children should be raised in what God has planned for them.
b) Defiling Imaginations:
· Mark 7:21 - “For from within out of the heart of men proceed evil thoughts ...’
· Some imaginations arise from areas out of our own life that need cleansing, if not dealt with people can get stirred up, buttons pushed = unresolved issues.
E.g. i) Undisciplined thoughts – fear, anxiety, rejections
ii) Fantasy Escape – Comfort
iii) Memories of past hurts and wounds, painful experiences.
iv) Ungodly beliefs, attitudes, expectations developed through life.
· If you have a mind that’s run away from you, you need to come back, confront thoughts, bring the Word of God, and discipline it. It’s a daily battle.
3. Our Warfare is in the Mind – 2 Corinthians 10:
· Your mind is the battlefield – a place of conflict to control your life.
· You cannot serve god effectively unless you know how to conquer vain imaginations.
· Your thoughts are subject to the Word of God or controlled by vain imaginations.
· Vain imaginations must be conquered with spiritual weapons.
a) Engage in Warfare:
· 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 - “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God”.
· “Pull down” = 2506 = to demolish, pull down with violence.
· “Bring captivity” = 163 = to lead away, capture, make a prisoner of war, to bring under control, exercise dominion over and subdue. Shut them down and stop them ruining your mind.
b) Renew the Mind:
· Romans 12:2 - ‘Be not conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind …”.
· Conformed = 4904 = to press into a mould so conformed externally. Dare to live life boldly, own what God says about your life.
· Transformed = 3339 = total transformation, metamorphosis.
4. How to War against Vain Imaginations:
· It is our warfare – you need to learn how to fight. The only good war is the one you win.
1) Recognize the thought. It happens to everyone, memory, imagination, pictures.
e.g. during raise and worship imaginations comes up, people feel condemned, then go to front for prayer – No, deal with the mind issues.
2) Respond immediately to confront it.
Our Weapons – Mighty Through God – There is a Faith Element to apply:
i) Apply the blood of Jesus to the Image:
· Hebrews 12:24 - mentally roll over until the picture is overcome with the Blood of Jesus until the picture is gone, paint the Blood over it, demolish it by faith. The picture will vanish.
· Revelations 12:11
ii) Speak and Declare the Word of God:
· Declare the truth – Ephesians 6:17 – the sward of the Spirit is the Word of God – “Speak God’s Word”. Declare what God says. Develop this pattern of prayer. You have to choose to speak the Word of God. Speak to the spirit behind the imagination, use your authority, take dominion, and cancel operation.
· Exercise dominion over the spirit behind the image.
iii) Praise the Lord:
· Psalm 8:2 - “You have ordained praise to still the enemy and the avenger”.
· Still = 7673 = to come to cease exertion, to bring some activity to an end. To come to fail.
· It is impossible for demonic things to come around you. Be aggressive and assertive in praising the Lord.
iv) Pray in the Spirit:
· 1 Corinthians 14:3
v) Redirect your Focus:
· Matthew 6:22 - “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light”.
· Refocus and direct your thoughts somewhere else. Do something; don’t be dragged away from temptation and vain Imaginations. Tear it down, speak the Word of God into it, break through self-pity, poverty, fear, inferiority etc.
“Don’t be afraid of what’s in this world, we are not of this world, the Father has sent you to make a difference in this world”