Visualize and Imagine what you want to become.
In business, specific planning is key to success, whether this visualizing is for long or short term goals. In high school I was on the diving team. I would stand on the board prior to beginning my approach and I would imagine my steps, my bounce, my movement in the air, and finally my entry into the water. This was invaluable in performing the dive to my best. The same applies to golf, though not for me. I go out onto the course just to enjoy nature and friends. I really did not care about my score as much as just relaxing and having fun. It showed, I was a mid 90s stroker. I am sure I would have dropped 15-20 strokes if I had cared about how I played. Our lives are the same.
Imagination and visualization are concepts that people in the church often seem to avoid. Oh a church leader may have a 5 year plan but the words visualize and imagine can cause a disconnect with many Christians. Visualization can seem on the edge of appropriate Christian action. I planned college and seminary to get me into ministry, but that was not overly specific. As I look around, I do not see very many, who think of themselves as Christians, with any long or short term plans related to their life in Christ. I see even fewer Christians imagining or visualizing how their individual actions should look.
A couple weeks ago a dear brother in Christ made me think of just this concept. He was thinking of visualizing what you wanted to be in Christ. He was seeing this as acting in faith. As I look back, this visualization is how I have developed. I have to confess my image was general, pastor of this or that, teacher of this or that and so on. But it was not the actions, fruit, or gifts of the Spirit specifically.
Now am I seeing visualization not only as an act of faith but a goal for my faith. First, ask God, what do you want me to be like. Then, imagine what that would look like in your life. Maybe it would help to think of a person who exemplifies that office, fruit, gift, or trait. Then I think of how that would look in your life. The key is the specifics, for specifics can be appropriated by faith, while general desires can be blurred like watercolor.
You could start with prayer. You can think of yourself praying daily, praying hourly, even living in the presence of God. With this picture in your mind you can ask God to make that activity real in your life. In a real way you would have something to apply a real faith. You can, in that area, gain an assurance of what is hoped for even a conviction of what is not yet practically seen.
I have two areas, in my life, I am currently imagining.
- Encouragement – This is the main thing I want to see further developed in my life. I want to encourage others in their walk with Christ. How will I do this. So far there are two ways I am doing this. The most profitable is like my diving. I think in the situation I find myself. I consider what I could do in that situation to encourage one or more of the people around me. Then I encourage. I can find something in most all situations. Now when my emotions and thoughts are not under control I usually miss even thinking about what I might do to encourage those around me. In these missed opportunities I can then think about the situation I was in and what I could have done to succeed at encouraging. This gives me a way to act in faith the next time I am around those people. It can also send me toward that goal in that moment and I can send them a note, instant message them etc.
- Speaking the Word – This has been a long time desire for me. Even as I grow in this area there is alway further to go. I want my words to be, as it were, the words Christ would speak. Here knowing the scriptures is a start but not enough. I need to know scriptures enough that the voice of God can come through my lips in each situation. Here hind site finds more value. Speaking the words of God is not comfortable in the moment, it just seems weird and out of place. To trust that any scripture I might say would be what Jesus might say is a test of faith in the highest degree. It is easy to miss an opportunity in these situations. Acting in faith is clearly acting in trust that what is said is what God wants to say. Here hind sight gives what should have been said … I can then choose to act on what God shows me in hind site.
What small or large thing can you imagine. What from the life of Christ or admonition in the Bible can you imagine into your life. See and life by faith.
God gives us the grace we need to be what He wants us to be.