This past summer, on holiday I spent some time going back through a favourite book of mine, Meditations on Mysteries by David Storer. As I have mentioned before I really do love this book and highly recommend it. I have read it cover to cover on multiple occasions and take it on holiday to read more as a devotional type thing. I pray and see which chapter I feel most drawn too and then spend the holiday reading and thinking and taking notes on that specific chapter, letting its words and truths sink into my heart and mind.
My thoughts below are intertwined with actual content from a chapter in this book called Images of the Heart. The premise is that we all have images in the inner most parts of us that determine how we see ourselves, how we see others, how we think others see us, and therefore determine not only our interactions with ourselves and others, but also our beliefs about God and ourselves. (If that makes sense!) These images are things we have let (most often subconsciously) become our 'truths' on the inside of us, or our 'beliefs' about us and the world and can come from the way we were brought up, to major life experiences, to the media messages that we engage with on a regular basis. We then formulate an image and live out of that image based on what we have absorbed over time.
The ideas in this chapter are that God has images HE wants written on our hearts, images of health, truth, wholeness and love and how we can partner with him to rewrite the images that we currently have of ourselves into those He desires and designed for us. We can partner with Him once we learn to SEE these images on the inside of us and then learn to SEE what He wants us to see based on truths found in Scripture.
IMAGES OF THE HEART
Well Before God spoke this physical world into being it existed in His imagination. When God spoke the world into being, He already had a clear picture in His imagination of what He wanted to create. The words He spoke were merely releasing the images to move from the realm of the spirit to the realm of solid matter. 'Let there be' in Hebrew is actually more similar to 'become visible'. (Genesis 1:1-6).
It is therefore this idea that God first held an image in His imagination and then spoke it into being with His words that gives us the empowerment to do the same in our own lives.
Later in Scripture when God promises prosperity of soul to those who meditate on His word (Psalm , what is he really telling us to do? He is saying "SEE what my word is saying".
God speaks His Word over us with the intention of establishing the images of His truth inside of us and thereby dislodging the false, lying images inside of us that have built up over time. And God wants to do this because He knows until the images inside of us change, nothing is going to change.
How do we receive these images that God wants us to receive and live out of into our hearts? By Bible reading, and listening to preaching and teaching and through this God writes the images of his 'law' onto our hearts. And it is the hearing, and hearing, and hearing (repeatedly) of the Word that we get the faith to believe and engage with these images. It is the same for images that we repeatedly see from other sources too, what we look at, listen too and think about regularly is what forms images on the inside of us and then we begin to live out of them.
We also then behave the way we do because we hold certain beliefs about ourselves in our hearts and all of our internal beliefs have internal images attached to them. What we believe about ourselves is really the image we have of ourselves on the inside.
The images in our imagination are therefore the seeds (or hopes) from which we grow our future. What we can see in our imagination about our life is what we will ultimately manifest into reality because we will think from this space, speak and act from this space too.
Now in formulating beliefs, we don't form a belief by repeating something over and over but by imagining something over and over and allowing our emotions to get involved in what we are seeing in our imagination. Through that process, neurone pathways are established in the brain and impulses are formed. From those impulses we have habits and from those habits we have a pattern of behaviour. So until the images inside of us change, nothing is going to change. We will always live out of what we see on the inside of us (or in our imagination).
The Bible says that faith is like the eyes of our imagination...therefore when Jesus says "according to your faith let it be unto you" (Matt 9:29) he is really saying that if you can SEE it in your imagination it will be yours, or you will receive it and create it!
Therefore the images that we hold in our heart can draw experiences and events to our lives that will match our internal images and so they form the reality of our experience. If we believe what Jesus says to be true, then what we SEE in our imagination will become our reality.
THIS IS HOW GOD SEES US:
1 Timothy 1:7 says that God has "not given you a spirit of fear, but one of love, power and of a sound mind". God therefore sees us: as not being controlled by fear, which means not acting out of inferiority, a defensive spirit, anger, or suffering from fear of rejection or being easily controlled by others. He sees us having a spirit of love, power and of a sound mind! What a powerful image to engage with and allow to become an inner belief. How much better would life be to live out of a belief that I have a spirit (or an inner being) made up and acting out of love, power, and sound mind?!
Let our image of our self agree with God's image of our self.
1 John 10:10 says that "may you prosper in ALL things, just as your soul prospers".
God created us for success and wholeness so ultimately anything we believe on the inside that is other than that is a false image and needs to be rewritten.
AN END THOUGHT
Many people follow this idea of positive thinking, or manifesting good things to themselves, but these are simply principles already established in the Bible, meditating on God's promises and goodness in your life is what brings the change from the inside out and re writes the images of the heart to be in line with God's good plans for us, and therefore what brings about good and healthy things to our lives! Like this chapter said, it is God's plan that we use our God given imagination to SEE the good things He has for us and then use our thoughts and words to manifest them into being, just as he thought and spoke the entire created world into being. We being made in His image have this capability to create with our thoughts and words-what a powerful gift it is!