Monday, April 12, 2010

I Can Only Imagine


Some stories are true
that never happened.
~ Elie Weisel

Vision, or imagination?

Imagination, or vision?


In all seriousness, how do we know (with any accuracy) what is the difference?

Some among us are vividly imaginative. It's what gives rise to creativity, and it's both a blessing and a curse.

Why?

Because (as I'm sure you know) it allows us to envision heretofore unseen beauty & people & lands & events & meanings. On the blessing side, they are interpreted one way; while on the cursing side they are interpreted another as we ascribe to them some mis-directed notion (which almost always gets us in trouble).

So what about those glimpses into the unseen that aren't born of imagination, but of something other-worldly; of vision? How are they different, and/or how are they the same? What makes one a great story or painting, and the other a compelling spiritual revelation?

How do we know if you're hearing from God or from our own imaginings?

How do we distinguish? How do you distinguish?

I saw an angel in the marble
and I carved until I set him free.
~ Michelangelo

15 comments:

Andrea said...

I distinguish by whether it lines up to GODS word or not!

Great post! This post stands out to me, b/c we take our therapy dogs regularly into Central State Psychiatric Hospital, Petersburg, Va. Many of the patients see things they deem real and they are NOT! I always wonder what link is missing to keep them from realizing the truth of each situation! We do not know how blessed we are until we see those who suffer from psychotic episodes. We take our mental health for granted.

Blessings, hugs, and prayers,
andrea

Tammy@If Meadows Speak... said...

For me, God is faithful to reveal it, more than once. At first it may start as a strong impression in my heart, with key words about something. Then I'll hear the exact same key words from someone else. Then I'll be reading in scripture during the same time and it'll be there in scripture. My heart soars and I feel something stir deep down. Revelation. He brings it through many means. And, for me, He's faithful (like Gideon) to be patient in showing us as many times as we need to trust and do it.

Tammy@If Meadows Speak... said...

Ps. As for visions, like ones Paul had, those are a different thing altogether. It's like you are there in person, vivid like a movie playing before your eyes. Not foggy, fuzzy or disjointed like a natural dream. And usually have something to do with His Spirit moving or at work. That's my take. :)

Shirl said...

A thinker this morning! And I love that quote!

RCUBEs said...

The quote and the picture are both powerful! I always pray for His gift of discernment and He grants it to those who earnestly seeks it. But may the Lord help me to learn to LISTEN first!

"When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future." - John 16:13

Great post as always...Blessings to you and have a great week!

Rose said...

Kathleen, In my opinion, when it's God we don't have to wonder. I think God speaks to us in such a way that we KNOW it is Him. God removes guess work. Love the Michelangelo quote!

~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...

Very interesting Kathleen. I haven't completely wrapped my head around that kind of thinking... so, I don't have a response.

Happy Monday.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Kathleen -

Andrea knocked the ball out of the park with her answer. The Word of God is our standard.

The Lord also confirms His direction to you. As you trust Him, He'll give you encouragement along the way.

John the Baptist declared Jesus, "the lamb of God..." but later needed confirmation as the storms of life hit him.

Blessings,
Susan :)

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Great question... one that Christians are famous for wrestling with as they seek to endeavor the voice of God over human inclination and desire. I think we've gone too far in trying to explain away the "interior voice" within...

If we're in the Word, on our knees, and doing what we need to do to keep in step with the Spirit of the living God, then we should pay closer attention to those inner promptings... I think he's speaking more than we realize.

For what it's worth.

peace~elaine

Heart2Heart said...

I have to agree with Andrea, and test all things to see whether they come from God or not, according to God's word.

Too often we can be easily swayed in this world and thus the need to be cautious and using the Bible as our measuring tool!

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Karen Lange said...

You always making me think - this is a good thing! I test things by how they measure up with God's word, and how my spirit bears witness with things. I haven't gotten it down to an exact science, but I'm probably never supposed to, or I'd not have to stay in tune with Him.
Blessings,
Karen :)

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

hmmm... serious food for thought here today. Need to go back and read it slower so I can take it all in!

in Him,
Beth

They call me "Deb" said...

There are some who swear any and all emotion or imagination or revelations are 'of God'. But God reminds us in Ezekiel 13 that He is against those who prophesy out of their own imaginations. And obviously our emotions can and do persuade us into wrong directions and what we might 'feel' is of God may not be.
We can't distinguish what is our own imagining and what's truly "of God" if we don't have God's Spirit who leads us into all Truth. And having the leading of the Holy Spirit, it's still sometimes difficult to distinguish emotion from true Spiritual Revelation. Only by knowing that Truth will never EVER go against God's Word can we have anything to 'weigh' what we feel is 'spiritual'. Cuz not everything that's 'spiritual' is Divine. ;)

Beth E. said...

If what I'm hearing is from God, I get confirmation from His word. Sometimes, I get it through someone else. I've had times when people would call me and say, "I've been praying for you. I don't know why, but I feel God leading me to pray for you (in this particular way)..."

I love it when He does that! :-)

Terri Tiffany said...

I have enjoyed reading the comments today because I'll be honest. I have had situations where I am positive the direction is from God, I prayed, I read the Bible, I consulted other Christians and then it seems I may have been wrong. Then I start doubting if I really know and understand God's plan for my life.
So I guess I proceed with caution to be sure Satan isn't directing me and I pray pray a lot!