Apr 24, 2013

Out of Your Mind and Into His: The Power of a Free Imagination

My guest blogger today is my friend Joel Adifon. This is an extraordinary message on supernatural ministry. It is long, but well worth digesting and seeking greater revelation on. The original message (with comments) can be found here
While learning to play with a supernatural God in the midst of super normal, everyday life, Holy Spirit has been showing me something.

The imagination has become the most atrophied muscle in the Church’s body.

We’ve traded fresh bread from Heaven and the meat of personal encounter for stale routine and milky, chewed up revelation.

The fact of the matter is: we were never meant to live off another person’s relationship with God or expression of faith.

When we become overly dependent on institutional structure for sustenance, we risk modeling ourselves after those who seem to have ‘gotten it’.

We risk taking our eyes off Christ-in-us, the unique way that Jesus wants to express the creativity of Heaven through you and me.

Oftentimes, if the way someone’s expressing Jesus looks different from how we’ve done it or outside our comfort zone, we tend to be quick to label it ‘worldly’ or ‘carnal’.

I remember seeing a video on facebook a while ago where an amazing singer was performing at a church and he took some love songs by Alicia Keys, R-Kelly, and other famous ‘secular’ artists and sang them to Jesus.

I thought it was amazing and a great way to really challenge the sacred/secular divide (the concept that God can alone be encountered in overtly ‘sacred’ spaces or experiences and the ‘secular’ is devoid of His presence) that so many of us believers have in our minds.

Of course, not everybody saw it this way. A lady commented on it and said that, because the author had uses ‘secular’ songs, his worship to Jesus was ‘carnal’.

- _______________ -

I cringed in disgust at her comment, reminded of the fact that I, myself, once thought that way.
Blake Healy, author of The Veil (an awesome book which I suggest you get) says,
Unfortunately, it is our tendency as Christians to see everything that is in the world as being of the world. The truth is that people are complicated. They are not simply bad or simply good. Art carries the same spiritual complexity as its creators. I believe it is spiritually immature to say any creative work that doesn’t perfectly comply with our belief system is to be rejected and avoided. It would be equally immature to ignore our own personal convictions and just absorb everything… …The problem comes when we only look skin deep, both spiritually and physically. When it comes to the things that enter through our eyes and ears, I believe that real maturity happens when we can learn to eat the meat and spit out the bones, or to put it in biblical terms, separate the tares from the wheat. In this way we will not make the mistake of the Pharisees and be offended by Jesus when he comes in an unexpected way.

Just because a product of someone’s imagination has been abused or has been associated with negativity does not mean that the Father can’t express Himself through it.

“The crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, slavery, and the subjugation of women are just a few of thehorrible things that have been done in the name of the Bible. Should you throw away your Bible? No. The point is that you need the voice of the Holy Spirit in your life for everything, without it anything can be twisted, but with it anything can be redeemed.” – Blake Healy, The Veil

What if we’ve been wrong to ban people from reading ‘Harry Potter’?

What if the way we disempower the lies of the fallen angel is not by fleeing from secular culture or trying to make Christian copies of its products, but by embracing it with the full brunt of the Father’s love?

So where am I going with all this?

Well, week and a half ago, I was talking to my friend ‘Omar’ (if you don’t know already, Omar is a spiritual big brother of mine who sees Jesus face to face on an almost daily basis, yet has a really good grasp on being normal at the same time) and, as usual, he shared his heart and many of my religious boxes were getting broken.

During the conversation, Omar shared with me that the word ‘cherubim’ is actually symbolic of imagination.

As is customary whenever Holy Spirit is trying to teach me a new idea, I was instantly bombarded with verses on God and cherubim and found myself getting hammered on His presence.

I decided to check out what Omar had told me.

According to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, the word cherubim comes from the Hebrew keruwb, and means "a cherub or imaginary figure." The Hebrew Lexicon repeats this and adds the following: "A figure compounded of that of a man, an ox, a lion, and an eagle (three animals which come together with man, symbolized power and wisdom. See Ezekiel 1 and 10)." 

Once I read that Dad began to bring some verses to remembrance.

O Lord of All, the God of Israel, Who sits on the throne above the cherubim, You are the God, You alone, of all the nations of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.” - Isaiah 37:16 

“He mounted the cherubim and flew;he soared on the wings of the wind.” - Psalm 18:10

“Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.” - Psalm 22:3

Okay, so you’re probably thinking: these verses are nice, but what does God riding on a cherubim or being enthroned on the praises of Israel have to do with anything?

Hee-hee! Fasten your seat belts! Holy Spirit is about to do His thangy thang!!!

Check this out.

We’ve already determined that the word ‘cherubim’ is symbolic for the imagination.

Isaiah 37:16 talks about the Lord being enthroned on the Cherubim.

Psalm 22:3 talks about God being enthroned on the praises of His people.

Okay, so let’s take this a little further.

If Matthew 12:34 and Luke 6:45 are right, if our mouths really speak out of the overflow of our hearts, then our praises reveal what we believe about God.

In other words, our praises reveal the picture of God our imaginations are connecting to in that moment.


God is seated on the praises of His people.

God is seated above the realm of our imaginations.

You following me? This thing gets so much better.

Ephesians 2:6 says we’ve been seated in Heavenly places with Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 3:20 says God “can do exceedingly above whatever we ask, think or imagine.

Here’s something to think about.

God is seated above what we can ask, think, or imagine Him to be.

He’s seated far above how good we think He is, how compassionate He is,  how loving He is, how merciful He is, how gracious He is, and how powerful and willing to move He is!

Guess what, we’re seated in that place right there with Him.

1 Corinthians 6:17 says that, “whoever is joined with the Lord is one spirit with Him.

According to Jesus, in John 17:22, we have inherited the glory the Father gave Him before the foundation of the world.

Think about it.

If God is exceedingly above whatever we can ask think or imagine, than we are too.

Our potential in Christ as offspring of God is exceedingly above whatever we can ask, think, or imagine.

Say wuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut?

Let’s keep going!

Psalm 18:10 says God “mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind.”

So check this out.

Cherubim = symbolic for imagination.

God is seated above the imagination.

He is seated far above whatever we could ask, think, or imagine about Him.

We are seated with Him.

God is flying on the cherubim.
So if God is soaring on our imagination, if He is moving, then His power for, with, and through us, is moving exceedingly above whatever we could ask, think, or imagine.

We literally have access to a limitless, matchless supply of power.

So, if this is true, why is the average believer not seeing creative miracles pop like it’s nobody’s business?

Why are not we experiencing the completely victorious, uninhibited, and free lives Jesus paid for us to have?

I remember hearing Bill Johnson say one time, “The only closed Heaven is between our ears”.

Our minds, our imaginations, have been completely freed through what Jesus accomplished on the cross, but after being under the dominion of the inhibiting reign of sin, they need to be programmed to think with their full God-like capacity.

In Romans 12:2, Paul calls us to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. 

In this case, since we’re focusing specifically on our imaginations, we need to allow our imaginations to be free to stretch and move in the way that God designed them.

How do our imaginations get set free?

By experiencing Truth.

Look at it this way: having access to an unlimited supply of powerful rockets does nothing for you if you don’t have the launch codes.

I remember one time, Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “Truth alone doesn’t change you. Knowing the Truth does. You have the fullness of God, yes? Well, My son, you are transformed by what you experience.” 

When we begin to experience the Truth that we have the Mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16), then our imagination is freed to move accordingly and become a unique expression of God’s creativity.

For instance, at the end of the phone convo I had with Omar a week and a half ago, Holy Spirit told Omar, "Your prayers become your reality."

When our minds are inhibited by an orphan spirit, or the belief that we are not Sons and Daughters of a God whose good pleasure it is to give us the Kingdom (Luke 12:32), but rather beggars who need to strive for His Love, then what we pray will be a reflection of that.

Our imagination will not be free to ask God for things that actually reflect our belief that He can do exceedingly above whatever we ask or think.

If we’re not praying this way, then we definitely won’t be living this way.

We will not be taking risks in the Kingdom or setting out to do things that will require the power of God to accomplish. We will ‘be safe’ in an effort to protect ourselves from disappointment. 

Our imagination cannot flourish in this environment.

So, this brings us back to a point I raised earlier.

The imagination has become the most atrophied muscle in the Church’s body.

Assuming this is true, who or what is responsible for this?

Let’s take a look.

Ephesians 6:11 says, 

“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” 

The word 'wiles' in the Greek is methodeia which means "cunning arts, deceit, craft, or trickery", basically all perversions of the imaginations for evil. 

Ah, spiritual warfare.

A lot of sermons and sermons in the Charismatic church focus heavily on this very topic.

Binding Principalites. Toppling Territorial spirits. Breaking Strongholds.

Sound familiar?

As a kid growing up with an African Charismatic extended family, I remember hearing about the various and elaborate ways people used to try to combat principalities and demonic powers.

Since those days, Dad has really been teaching me about the simplicity of the Gospel and, as a result, my whole approach to spiritual warfare has shifted.

If we want to see ‘revival’ break out (whatever that means), then we have to begin to dream with the full creativity of God. 

Keep in mind that we’re seated with Jesus in heavenly places in Christ, in a realm that’s above whatever we can ask think or imagine.

We have the upperhand here. But, if we don’t realize that we’ll tie ourselves up and burn ourselves in dead works, things that are unnecessary when we realize who we are.

Let’s take a look at a passage that a lot of spiritual warfare is based off of: Ephesians 6:12

Ephesians 6:12 says, 

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Now, before you pop a hernia getting out your sword and your salt and start chopping down these spiritual entities, I’ve got a  better idea.

Let’s take a look at 2 Corinthians 10:5,

casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ”


“Wait a minute?”

“So, Joel, are you telling me that most of what spiritual warfare is, is freeing our imagination from outside imaginations that try to hijack it?”


Whenever the fallen angel tries to plant thoughts in your head and get you to start dwelling on them, he’s trying to project the fruit of his wiles or perverted and twisted imagination onto you.

We have the mind of Christ, so as we begin to take every thought captive by submitting to this reality from a place of rest, our ability to imagine and dream with the creativity of God increases.

In my opinion, the spirit of religion is the most dangerous principality or twisted imagination that tries to rise up against the knowledge of God.


Because it inhibits our mind’s ability to conceive God (and as a result, ourselves) as being exceedingly above whatever we can ask think or imagine.

Religion is a box that says ‘God can’t be better or crazier than what He’s already shown me to be’ or ‘I’ve arrived, there’s no way God’s much more than who He’s already revealed Himself to be.’

The spirit of religion leads to unbelief.

Dad has been showing me that unbelief has to do with the mind, faith is in the heart.

Unbelief happens when the imagination is so constricted by the mind’s perception of the current natural circumstances that it can’t access the power of a God who is exceedingly above whatever we can ask, think, or imagine.

Romans 8:7 says, “the carnal mind is at war with God.”

Now, a lot of people have come to associate carnality with sin because Paul often uses that word in that context, but the real definition of being ‘carnal’ lies in being dominated by your five senses.
We see this play out in Matthew 17:14-20 when nine of the disciples try to cast a demon out of an epileptic boy and were not successful. 

“And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying,15 “Lord,have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.”
17 Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon,and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. 19Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief;[b] for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”

There are some things I want to highlight here really quickly.

The disciples had seen countless miracles before this point, so them praying for the boy and having nothing seem to change, probably came as a shock to them.

When they prayed for the boy and his ordeal wasn’t improving, their imagination became perverted (hence Jesus’ ‘perverse generation’ comment) into only focusing on a reality in which  the boy’s seizures were stronger than a God who could work exceedingly above whatever they could ask, think, or imagine.

Because the gate of their imaginations was not completely open, they were not able to access the full power of the God whose fullness of power dwelled in the realm above their imagination.

There are two key things to remember here.
  1. The disciples had enough faith. Jesus said faith the size of a mustard seed would have gotten the job done.
  2. The discples' faith wasn’t the problem. Their unbelief was.

Unbelief has to do with being carnally minded or having an imagination that has been twisted into focusing on how a negative situation appears to the five senses.

An imagination in this state cannot access the power the One who dwells in the realm above its conception of His ability.

Faith calls one to look higher at the One who can do exceedingly above whatever we can ask, think, or imagine and see ourselves seated in this realm with Him.

But, when the imagination is boxed in by unbelief, it is easy to be overwhelmed by situations that require the creativity of God.

So how can unbelief produced by the spirit of religion dwell in a place that belongs to the Spirit of the One who produces faith in workings above what we can ask think or imagine?

Principalities can only stay where they have a place to land. While casting down a principality will remove it from its place, it is much more profitable and powerful to change the spiritual ecosystem that attracted it in the first place. If there is a spirit of poverty over your city, be generous. If there is a spirit of anger, release peace… …If there is a spirit of fear, release love. It is possible to cast down a principality through prayer, but it is impossible for a principality to remain in a culture that has made no room for it.” – Blake Healy, The Veil

Okay, so let’s recap.
  1. We’ve talked about the current situation that has occurred as a result of the imagination’s inhibition.
  2. We’ve gone over the imagination’s potential to unlock a realm above what we can ask, think, or imagine when partnered with God.
  3. We’ve looked at how the advances of hostile imaginations or demonic oppression can present a hindrance to our ability to dream and imagine freely.

Now that we’ve talked about all that, let me share about a tool God gave us to free our imaginations.


At the beginning of John 4:19-24, Jesus has an encounter with a Samaritan woman where He shows her unconditional love in spite of her many mistakes and faults.

While the discourse between Jesus and the Samaritan woman is awesome, as a whole, I want to focus in on one part of the conversation.

19 The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”
21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Okay, so it’d probably be a good idea to pause this thing real quick and tell you that this passage is, in my opinion, one of the most quoted passages when it comes to the concept of worship.

I have heard my fair share of worship leaders and bands talk about their own personal revelations on this passage, things that Dad has shown them in their personal histories with Him.

I guess you could I say Dad started opening up my mind to see this scripture in a new way.

A lot of times, people making worshipping in ‘spirit and truth’ a method.

It’s not.

This sort of worship represents the intersection of two different realms. 

In the same way that we discovered the imagination is an actual realm that exists in the Heavenlies between what is seen as ‘natural’ existence and the infinite ‘supernatural’ (I like to call it supernormal) Presence of God, worshipping God in spirit and truth means dwelling in a place where Heaven and Earth have literally kissed as seamlessly joined lovers.
The Realm of the Spirit has to do with the heart.

In this place, the inexpressible depths of my heart reach out to God and touch the inexpressible depths of His heart.

Check out these verses.

Deep calls to deep in the roar of Your waterfalls; all Your waves and breakers have swept over me.”  - Psalm 42:7

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.” - 1 Corinthians 2:10-11

“We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” - Romans 8:26-27

Now, that you’ve seen what the Realm of the Spirit looks like, let’s talk about the Realm of Truth.

The Realm of Truth has to do with a renewed mind.

When the Spirit is set free to move through a liberated imagination, the fullness of worship, a life fully manifesting the glory of God is displayed.

Spirit has to do with transcendence, the inexpressible. 

When God wants to speak, He often touches our hearts with revelation that usually can't be expressed. But, we don't just live in the Spirit in heavenly places, we live on earth.

Because of this reality, there is a desire in every person to express the inexpressible into tangible language.

So check this out.

The realm of the Spirit is an invisible reality (Heavenly places).

The realm of Truth is a visible and perceived reality (Earth-Realm).

When the Realm of the Spirit (Heaven) meets the Realm of Truth (Earth), the result is manifestation.

The part of the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:10 that says, “Thy Kingdom Come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.’  Is a calling for a tangible manifestation of the invisible realm into the visible.

His power (in the invisible) wants to be revealed (shown in the visible).

Our imaginations are the gateways that allow Him to do this. 

God modeled us after Himself. He had a vision and a purpose for how He wanted the world to look in His mind, He saw it and then moved to create by speaking it forth (tangibly agreeing with what He had seen).

We have been given this same potential.

Unfortunately, so many of us have been told ‘no’ and ‘be careful’ too often, frequently reprimanded for thinking outside the box, that our imaginations are afraid to stretch and go places beyond the confines of religion.

I have so many stories of people I know who were having genuine experiences with God, only to have people tell them it was ‘all in their head’, ‘from the devil’, or the product of an ‘overactive imagination.’

I recently remembered a scene (shout out to my big sis Emma Wallace ;D ) from Harry Potter (GASP! He’s talking about Harry Potter in this note?!? Relax guys, didn’t you read what came before this?) where Harry Potter dies after facing Voldemort, ends up in a limbo-like state in between life and death, and sees his old headmaster Dumbledore.

He was so happy to see his former mentor and protector, but asks Dumbledore if what he is experiencing is actually real.

Dumbledore snappily replies, “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

Regardless of how you feel about Harry Potter, these words are so appropriate for our journey as super normal people learning to play with a Supernatural God in everyday life.

Who cares if you’re the only one seeing what God is showing you or you’re seeing it in your ‘mind’s eye’ and not with your natural eyes?

It doesn’t make it any less real.

My friend Matt Nali said something really profound the other day, “Everything that is, once only existed in the realm of imagination!”

Every invention. Every painting. Every song.

All of these things once only existed in someone’s head.

Think about it.

What would it be like to live like God’s power really was exceedingly above whatever you could ask, think, or imagine?

What would you do if you were completely free from the limitations of religion?

What would you create?

What if you came up with new ways of setting people free or seeing someone healed?

What if you tossed a basketball for someone to catch and they got out of a wheelchair?

What if you made some banging food, prayed over it, gave it to someone to eat, and they were healed of cancer?

What if you rapped and someone got set free of years of demonic torment.

The truth is, the possibilities are endless.

There’s only rule: there ARE NONE if you’re being moved by love and relationship.

I want to leave you with a story from my dude Matt Nali about a breakthrough he had this past weekend with seeing in the Spirit.

Take it away, Matt!

I remember having really vivid dreams as a kid.  I remember waking up from a hellish nightmare, only to see the same kind of thing in my bedroom. I remember seeing good as well. I remember not understanding what I was seeing.

But, what I remember most clearly is that it all stopped.

For the majority of my life, I've been the kid with the overactive imagination. I've been the kid lost in a world of dinosaurs and power rangers as real to me as my own family. Creating a world around me, and interacting with that world was (and still is) as easy for me as putting on a jacket when it's cold out. However, I didn't realize until recent years how important it is to imagine.

This idea that you can see into the spirit realm with your natural eyes was what drove me. I remember starting to pursue it when I was twelve, (having forgotten entirely about the dreams and sights I saw when I was young). For the next six years, anybody I mentioned this idea to either shot it down as not possible, something that God didn't allow anymore, or (in the more charismatic circles) a gift you could have, but only in your mind's eye.

Then I met Omar.

Obviously, for the sake of his privacy and consistency with Joel's other notes ,"Omar"is an alias. There is a really real person behind the name though, someone who is worth knowing just for who he is. Enough said.

When I met Omar he talked about seeing in the spirit, I immediately prepared myself for disappointment when I asked him my question, "do you mean with your eyes, or just in your mind’s eye?" He gave me a look and basically told me he sees angels just like he sees me.

This little spark of hope caused me to go after this again with renewed energy (and probably caused me to be more than a little annoying to Omar). However I didn't see things in the natural like Omar, not for a couple of years.

Good news! That was all backstory!

Recently Dad has been talking about imagination.

One thing that I've always remembered from my studies is that, in some cultures, the word for perception didn't differentiate between seeing with your natural eyes and your mind’s eye. 

Basically that what you imagine and what you see are each as valid as the other.

I can see all sorts of things for people in my imagination, but I could only count a few times where I had an "open" vision.

I only recently began experiencing this truth about perception though, when one day Holy Spirit said to me about seeing in the spirit "see in your imagination, then let that seep into your natural vision until it overtakes it.

I had been invited to minister at a prophetic conference with some friends so I decided to do that, instead of just practicing prophecy.

At first I saw things in my imagination, but the more I stayed in that I began to see in the natural as well until, it didn’t matter to me whether I was seeing in the natural or with my imagination, it all just blended together.

I started seeing people's first and middle names, business strategies and finances next to people, angels, family members etc.

It was the next morning when I was processing through it with Holy Spirit that I realized that it took just as much faith for me NOT to see in that realm, as it took for me TO see in that realm. It wasn't a matter of unbelief, but even though I was unaware, I was by faith keeping myself from seeing.

Just like a light switch, your faith keeps (this realm) on, and also keeps it off.

This is your inheritance.

Nothing's holding you back.


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