Casting down imaginations is the first major key for spiritual victory. The devil wants to use your imagination to birth and magnify fear. Mountains are best built within a corrupted imagination. God knows you can wander into the stormy sea of vain imaginations. He provided in His Word, however, ways to calm every storm. Scripture says the weapons of your warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to pull down corrupted thoughts that would rise against His Word, will and ways in your life.
Pulling down negative thoughts is something that you have to do. It’s like taking down and replacing old pictures of loved ones for new ones. Others can’t do that for you. “So how often do you pull those thoughts down,” you ask? The answer is every time you have one. God will not take those thoughts captive for you. You have to do it. “How do you pull down a corrupted thought or imagination,” you inquire? You pull them down by first recognizing that you are having an imagination.
You need to be able to see the imagination coming alive within your soul. Imaginations are pictures within your mind of thoughts, events or conversations that are only in the unseen world within you. They are not real. The devil offers you corrupted thoughts hoping you will take the bait and image them as possible.
Rogue imaginations encourage you to do things you shouldn’t by releasing fear or playing on rejection. We cannot be driven by dread, insecurity or wandering minds. You can have the abundant life that Christ said you could have. scripture says, “And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled” (2 Corinthians 10:6). To “revenge disobedience” means stopping carnal imaginations that are non-compliant to the Word of God. Notice the Word tells you to be ready to cast them down through obedience because imaginations have no power over those that obey “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.”
When vain imaginations blather on, they always conflict with God’s Word. That’s how you know if your imagination is good or bad. When a thought conflicts with the Word of God you must submit yourself to God’s Word and not the imagination. You can always seek safety by running into Christ’s covering and away from corrupted thoughts and imaginations.
LIVING WITH THIEVES
Many Christians are influenced by carnal imaginations. Vain imaginations are thieves. Don’t live with them. You never know what family treasure they will pluck from your cupboards. When you linger on one the triumph of God’s Word is stolen from you. Don’t flake out and wander into vain imaginations. Take hold of your mind. Like traversing a minefield there is danger when walking out a corrupted imagination.
When you form, in the spirit of your mind, a picture or an image of something that might happen and act on that image you give sunshine to it. Acting on an imagination moves your life in that direction. To guard yourself you must not ponder on the thought. If you act out the thought you cross the threshold of safety and leave the path of life abundant.
Every one of us has done this. We’ve been manipulated, influenced and controlled by corrupted imaginations or by something we thought would happen that wasn’t even real until we made it real.
There are truths that God speaks into our lives that are genuine and there are other thoughts the spirit of this world speaks that are not real. Most the images that randomly come into your mind are vain imaginations. You can, however, like the wooden rudder on a mighty ship, direct your imaginations toward the positive by using your will. Until you learn how to cast down corrupted imaginations you cannot cultivate the positive ones. The devil wants to use your imagination to make mountains out of molehills to discourage. Mountains are best built within a corrupted imagination. They only offer discouragement, fear, confusion, anger and defeat. The good news is that you can do something about them. You can take control of your thought life.
WHEN IMAGINATIONS ENTER
Imaginations make believers with mighty potential spiritually weak and emotionally immature. Some get carried away by their own imaginations. Relationships, for example, split because of vain imaginations.
Vain imaginations can be so serious that some even leave good churches because of imaginary offenses. Somebody imagined that somebody thought something about them. Before they know it, they’re giving life to corrupted thoughts, changing churches and abandoning life-long friends. They find themselves out of the plan of God and wondering what happened. Left unchecked this is the power of vain imaginations.
When an imagination enters your life, you have to ask yourself if the thoughts line up with God’s Word. If they don’t then you need to place them in a polyethylene trash bag for pickup. Don’t be afraid to call an imagination what it is. You need to say to yourself, “That’s a corrupted imagination and I’m not walking in it.” When vain imaginations enter the spirit of your mind don’t dwell on them, bind them up. Lingering on hollow thoughts and imaginations only empowers them.
Let’s make this more personal. Let’s say, for example, that you can’t pay your bills. The devil will try to get into your emotions and torment you with thoughts that say, “They’re going to take your car away from you, for example, or they’re going to put a lien on your home, or they’re going to file a lawsuit against you.” Before you know it, you are tormented by an imagination, a mental picture of things that are not true.
Imaginations are suggestive and always rise against the knowledge of God that says, all of your needs shall be met. So what happens if you dwell on a corrupted imagination? Spiritual warfare and you will be mentally troubled and prodded to act out the imagination. Do you see it? Imaginations are destroying lives but you can stop every one by subjecting them to God’s written Word.
Imagination is a good thing. As mentioned already it is a gift from God given to you to, “See all things as possible to him that believeth” (Mark 9:23). Before you can operate in that seeing gift, however, you need to discern corrupted thoughts and vain imaginations. You can do it. This week try writing them down and practice identifying every positive and negative thought, voice and imagination that enters your mind. The first step to winning the war, like Agatha Christie’s fictional detective Miss Marple, will be your ability to rightly discern the thoughts that attack your soul.
MEDITATION AND REFLECTION
Acting on an imagination moves your life in that direction. You can direct your imaginations toward the positive by using your will. This short essay is out of my book, “Imaginations: Dare to win the battle against your mind.” In the book we discuss:
- Why God gave you a prophetic imagination.
- How to defeat the fearful whispers in your mind.
- How to unravel Satan’s best spiritual warfare strategies.
- How to stop invisible opponents.
- How to see all things as possible.
- How to win imaginary conversations.
- How to walk where dreams live.
(c) Apostle Jonas Clark