Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. Genesis 2:19 ESV
It is far too easy to starve our God-given imaginative gifts, believing that sacred dreaming is reckless. A few might believe that it even borders on witchcraft. Does it? I draw in my breath at the mere suggestion.
God formed the dust of the ground and made cows, cats, dogs, monkeys, and antelope. Then he nudged each one to go to Adam so they could be named. I love how Genesis describes this part of history. “God brought them to the man to see what he would call them.” God enjoyed watching as Adam tapped into his creativity. “What shall I call something soft, furry, with a tail?”
I am made in the image of God. He, the one who imagined the earth before He made it, infused me (and everyone else) with the same desire to dream and create. How can I know if my imagination is safe to use? I take Isaiah’s advice. “Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these?” Isaiah 40:26 If my imagination is brought captive to prayer and scripture, then it is a gift. A Spirit-filled life is a canvas just waiting for vibrant paint colors.
I believe one of the reasons our prayer meetings and personal prayer times are so dull is that we fail to use our imagination in prayer. What happens when we take a scriptural principle and develop how it might look in the desert of human need? The possibilities are endless.
- Perhaps God would kiss a heart of stone and transform it into a heart of flesh when I pray Ezekiel 36:26 creatively.
- Perhaps God would turn my speech into sharp arrows of truth as I ask Him to give me words like Jesus, from the prophetic words of Isaiah 49.
- Perhaps God would stand on the waves of my personal storm and say, “Peace! Be still!” as I pray from Mark 4:39
Just as God brought the animals to Adam to name, he brings opportunities my way to engage my mind in ways that more resemble play than work. Adam wasn’t a child when he thought up names yet I picture him having the time of his life as each animal came into view. He pointed, perhaps laughed, and then exclaimed in amazement over God’s creativity before imagining a name for each one. I’ve lived long enough to know a sense of his joy because many days, writing in the morning is like playtime.
Because Adam walked with you, his imagination was holy. Help me use my creative gifts with more confidence. Amen