The Power of Imagination: Finding Revival in Worship

  • Written By 
  • Jordan Holt

What do you picture in your mind throughout the day?

More often than we should, we imagine the worst case scenario…bills not being paid…people not approving of us…botching the riff from Lion and the Lamb…

What if childlike imagination was the starting point for faith? What if it was what we needed to see breakthrough in our worship? What if the question “what if?” was the first step to seeing the impossible happen?

Keep running.

Imagination is why we wake up and stay motivated. It is an important aspect of hope to be able to imagine a positive future. I believe that a lack of imagination is one of the reasons why we do not have revival in the church and in our worship.

So much of the outcome of a church meeting is based on expectation. If we are not dreaming big about what God can do when we meet, or anytime really, odds are that we will stay complacent and have little growth.

If we enter our services expecting (imagining) our worship to break chains, God’s presence to move in the room, and ultimately lives to be changed, we will begin to see breakthrough in our churches.

Complacency kills imagination.

Our city of Nashville has been known as the heart of the Bible Belt – having a church on every street corner and acting as a hub for the Christian music industry. Odds are that if you ask a stranger on the street, they would say they are a Christian.

With this kind of widely accepted culture, people tend to have a more comfortable, settled mindset about approaching God. When that goes on for too long, I think people can’t help but realize that there’s something more to fulfill us.

I have been incredibly thankful to be a part of a church in Nashville that many would say is a source of revival for the city. It was a church naturally birthed out of hunger. There wasn’t a plan other than to find an authentic connection with the living God by opening the doors of a house for 20 people to worship together. It has rapidly grown to several thousand in just a few years. When people ask me about it and how it’s grown so fast, I always come back to the same thing – expectation.

We have to be hungry – want more, expect more, imagine more – for there to be revival

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Matthew 5:6 NAS

We talk a lot about the power of words, but what about the power of what we picture?

There is something about dreams, pictures, stories, and imagination that brings the not-yet into reality for us. I believe one of the reasons why Jesus spoke in parables so much was to help give us pictures – not just words and concepts. It helps us imagine the reality of what He’s talking about and bring the concepts into existence.

In a similar light, this is why our testimonies are so powerful. When we see the miraculous manifestation of God in someone’s life, we can more easily imagine it happening for us and others as well.

The battle is in the mind. Your eye is your lamp for that battleground.

Where does your mind go when you face a challenge? Do you picture the worst case scenario or the impossible happening?

When we imagine scenarios with negative outcomes…of us messing up on stage…of us being rejected…of us not being able to succeed or sustain…of our cities and world getting darker and darker…we many times end up seeing it.

So often we let media and the news give us realities of a bleak world falling apart. We become hopeless and default to assuming the end times are happening rather than choosing to see what God is doing and could do. We will never be motivated if we focus on the negative. Surround yourself with images, people and words that give hope, not fear.

“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.”  Matthew 6:22 NIV

Imagine like a child.

I believe that childlike faith is founded in imagination. So many children do not have words to express and communicate because of the lack of language. However, since their earliest days they were able to imagine, and are known for having more profound imaginations than adults. Maybe Jesus was pointing to this in Matthew 18.

There’s something about the experience of life as we get older that makes it difficult for us to have childlike imagination. Imagination that simply trusts and doesn’t limit a good Father.

Start dreaming. Let God show you what He wants to accomplish in your worship.

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