Divine Imagination: A Cure For Bitterness
We can easily steal a moment at work to daydreaming about how we will tell off our boss one day. As we drift into sleep a few hours later, we imagine how we would get even with our aunt. And the next morning during our commute, we scheme about how we will settle the score with our spouse. Bitterness, anger, and resentment readily feed the human imagination, pushing its owners further into the murky and foreboding cloud of sin.
When we allow our bitterness to proceed unchecked, we will inevitable awake one day to discover that the secret fleeting thoughts which promised only to take a minute or two of time have now devoured years if not whole lime times. And despite their promises of salvation, all those dreams of revenge fail to resolve the angst buried deep within out souls. We need another antidote for our bitterness. We need a divinely inspired imagination.
To escape the cancer of anger, we must place our trust in the power and goodness of God. In Samuel 26:9, David has the opportunity to go beyond dreaming. He has the chance the kill Saul, the man who has driven him from his home, his family, and even his house of worship. As Abishai tells David, “Let me pin him to the earth with one stroke of the spear, and I will not strike him twice.” David can redeem his pound of flesh to borrow from Shakespeare’s Shylock. But the future king refuses to get even with Saul. David says, “The Lord forbid that I should put out my hand against the Lord’s anointed (1 Sam. 26:11a).”
David will not disobey God’s Word and exact his own vengeance upon Saul. David walks away from Saul because the future king trusts the Lord. The antidote for hateful day dreams of revenge is divine imagination.
David spares Saul’s life because he knows God reigns and will make all things right. David tell Abishai,
And David said, “As the Lord lives, the Lord will strike him, or his day will come to die, or he will go down into battle and perish (1 Sam 26:10).”
David imagines all the ways God could make things right. Instead of fearing his enemies, David trusts the God who rules over his enemies. David knows God cannot be thwarted by power dynamics, money, race, gender, or prestige. Even the cruelest men and women of the universe can only wake up each morning by the grace of God. David knows that the God of the universe watches over David. Instead of speculating about all the ways he could get revenge. David speculates about all the ways God can save him. As David told Saul, may the Lord “deliver me out of all my tribulation (1 Sam 26:24).
David trusted God knowing the Messiah was coming. Now that Jesus has come, New Testament believers have more reason to trust Jesus. Paul reminds us that Jesus “is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think according to the power at work within us (Eph 3:20b).” Friends since the power that raised Jesus from the dead brings transformation to our hearts and to our world, we should daydream about the goodness, power, mercy, justice, and love of God. We should imagine an unlimited all powerful God who delights in recusing his people. Our God is indeed that and more. Pastor Dale Ralph Davis helpful notes,
Faith needs imagination to pull out all the stops if it is even to begin to grasp the grandeur, majesty, and ability of Yahweh…imagination will not lead us beyond but will help us arrive at the truth of God.
Divine imagination guided by the Holy Spirit sustains the Christian as he or she walks through the storms of life.
What do your hearts dream about? Do we trust the God who rescued David? Or do we fear the bullies, the cruel spouses, and the troublesome coworkers? Do we find salvation in plotting revenge or in imagining how God could save us? What do you imagine?