There are some things in the world where a healthy respect is appropriate. That’s not the issue here.
We as a species have the ability to imagine what might come about, and, if we want to, to fear that. The fear that begins with, “But what if….” is real.
That’s what Father brought to my attention this morning: the process of imagining what might happen, what things could maybe turn out like, even what surely will happen except for something trustworthy intervening.
The picture he showed me a picture of a very high, transparent bridge. A man on the bridge had suddenly looked down and saw nothing between him and the river hundreds of feet below. He freaked out.
That fearful man didn’t have all the data, but he was responding at least an approximation of reasonably, based on the limited data that he had.
Then Father took a left turn.
“That man on the bridge was imagining what would happen if there really was nothing beneath him.”
I scratched my head and thought about it. We walked in silence for a while.
After a while, Father reminded me of my (not insubstantial) skills at imagining what may happen and responding to those imaginations with fear or regret. There are maybe a lot of us that are pretty good at that.
He kept turning left. “These people who imagine what might happen and respond with fear, these people have a powerful imagination. That’s a powerful gift.”
I confess that I haven’t had much patience for myself or for others when one or the other of us imagines a “what if” and responds in fear. That process has really irritated me, and sometimes I’ve responded in anger or frustration or legalism or some such.
But today, Father showed me the other side of that situation.
I’m going to have to reflect on this a fair bit. Now it’s time to learn to use that powerful tool for the kingdom.
Imagination is a tool. Use the tool for good.
Odd thought just crossed my mind. Romans 5 is happening, or
something like it.
We’re sure seeing a lot of the works of darkness revealed over the past several months: riots in the streets, bad people, bad plans and bad actions are caught. (Keep praying along that they’d be revealed, of course. And brought to justice.)
But then there’s Romans 5:
• Romans 5:10: For if, while we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
• Romans 5:15: But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!
• Romans 5:17: For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!
• Romans 5:20b: But where sin increased, grace increased all the more.
The principle that I think I might be hearing is this: if we’re seeing the works of dark spirits, how much more will the Holy Spirit be accessible to us in that time and place?
I think we’ll find him willing to share his heart with us. And I’ll bet you a shiny new nickel that it’s kind of a whole lot more encouraging than the sewage the spirits of darkness are spreading around.
Note: I believe that the revelation will come in unfamiliar form, perhaps in hard-to-recognize form. It may be in unusual coincidences, or stray thoughts in your imagination, or casual conversation. I was overwhelmed by Holy Spirit speaking about our days in a Marvel movie the other night. Keep your eyes open.
Where sin abounds (and isn’t it abounding now?), Grace (God’s power, God’s direction) much more abounds.