On the Power of Visualization [Noval]

03F Stairway to Almost Heaven

Sheryl, 2011


Jehovah Shalom, my Peace.  My shelter.  There’s a chilly rain falling outside but it’s warm and dry here in my study.  I’ve got some nice music playing softly. 

In the same way, You have been a Shield and Protector to me.  I’m amazed at Your generosity and faithfulness, the abundance of Your goodness, mercy and provision. 

Teach me the discipline of simplicity.  Teach me to hold all of my material comforts with a loose hand.  Deliver me from the curse of making earthly treasure a refuge and an idol. 

I see the cabin in the woods- one of my favorite place to meet with You.  It’s sort of dark inside except for a single candle burning on a long wooden table, flickering and throwing shadows on the walls.  Two mugs of steaming coffee, a loaf of bread, a block of cheese and a knife.  Nothing fancy, but a veritable feast.  An invitation to intimacy. 

I’m sure the appeal of this vision has something to do with what I read last evening in Richard Foster’s book (Celebration of Discipline).   The world bombards us with information, sensory overload, competing demands on our time and attention.  The modern heart aches with longing for simplicity, quiet, solitude. 

I’m so grateful for the things I’ve learned from Dr. Mark Virkler http://www.cwgministries.org/Four-Keys-to-Hearing-Gods-Voice about the power of vision- how we can use our faculties of imagination to find rest, peace, quiet and intimate communication with God. 

I’ll admit my left-brained, analytical engineering mindset struggled a bit with this at first.  Is this safe?  Will I wind up deceived, merely dialoguing with my own thoughts, my own desires and wishes or-even worse- some spirit not from God? 

But as I’ve kept at it I’ve become more confident in the process.  For one thing, the voice of the Father is the same voice I hear when I read the scriptures- same themes, same content, same counsel.  But there’s also a growing awareness that it’s not just my own thoughts  I’m hearing.  This has become particularly and abundantly clear in receiving the interpretation of my dreams through journaling.   So often, I will bring a dream that’s weird, puzzling, seemingly senseless as so many dreams are.  But as I lay it before the Lord, I begin to “hear” in my spirit what the dream’s all about (like the recent one about hell-

https://lifeintheriver.wordpress.com/2016/02/05/i-dreamed-i-went-to-hell-sort-of-noval/  – and it’s coherent, it makes sense, it’s consistent with what I know from scripture and it leaves me challenged, convicted, comforted, encouraged or all of the above.  Put another way, my two-way journaling has come to serve the same four functions that Paul says the scriptures serve in II Timothy 3:16-17:

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

And even when there’s correction, rebuke or discipline, it’s never harsh or discouraging. It builds me up, encourages me, motivates me to change.  It puts fresh wind in my sails.  Thank You, Father, for this wonderful tool for connecting with You!




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