When I was young, there was a time when I thought I would like to be an artist. In pursuit of this, I enrolled in and attended one of the nation’s premier art institutes. On the first day of my oil painting class, the instructor gave what he felt was his most important guideline and principle for being an artist. He said before your brush touches the canvas, you must be able to see your completed work. He went on to say when you look at the blank canvas, you must be able to visualize what you are going to paint.
While this may be a basic principle for an artist, it also reveals a spiritual truth. When God promises freedom from the bondage of hopelessness, we must be able to look at the canvas of our hope that has not yet been painted and see it as a finished work. Without a vision, the paint will go on the canvas randomly resulting in confusion (Proverbs 29:18 KJV).
Recently, I was talking with a lady in my church about her husband who needed healing. When I asked her if she could imagine him being well and returning to normal life, I could see a look of astonishment on her face. She was having a new thought. She said, “My goodness! I just realized I could not see him healed. I’ve been trying to do everything I thought I was supposed to do, but in my mind, all I could see was him dying or staying in the condition he is in. When it really came down to it, I could not imagine him being well. I just couldn’t imagine it! I didn’t even realize that I couldn’t imagine it until you asked me.”
This lady realized she was not using her God‑given ability to imagine or visualize victory. Although we are created with the capacity to visualize victory and success, the enemy tempts us to visualize defeat and failure and he uses the physical senses to do this. If you will observe children playing, you will see that they have been born with the amazing ability to pretend and to make‑believe. They imagine themselves flying and being superheroes, or pretend they are a princess living in a castle. They have extremely creative thoughts and ideas. This ability is God‑given.
When we are young, we have so many dreams, plans, and possibilities of what can take place in our life. But for many, the ability to dream, or to even imagine something, doesn’t seem to exist anymore. Because of the continual disappointment of not seeing dreams fulfilled or watching other people step on their dreams, the ability is hidden. The truth is, we are never beyond hope. God has placed within us the ability to dream for victories as well as success in life.
If you believe you no longer have the ability to dream, the truth is that ability is still there, but it is just covered up or weighed down and hidden by all of the hurts and disappointments of the past. As you learn to forgive and forget those things that lie behind and press forward, you will uncover and release your ability to dream. Then it simply becomes a decision. Will you dream about victory, imagine victory, visualize it in your mind, and allow the joy of hope to flow through you? Or will you decide to not think on these things, but rather dwell on the possibility of defeat, which only brings worry and discouragement that further covers up your ability to imagine?
A true confession from the heart is not possible without the imagination and visualization of the victory that is promised in the Word.