When God blessed man and woman in Genesis 1:28, He commanded them to be fruitful, multiply, replenish, subdue and have dominion over the earth. The instruction was clear: ‘Don’t stay in one place; spread, explore, conquer the earth, bring it completely under your dominion.’ It was therefore odd to see all of the earth’s population gather in one place in order to build a tower whose top will reach into the heavens. They decided to inhabit a tiny portion of the earth in total disregard to divine instruction and there they built a magnificent monument: the Tower of Babel.
And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do:and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth:and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth:and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
The bible said nothing could be restrained from them which they had imagined to do. Their faculty of imagination was used to conceive a tower which they built. But when God looked at that tower all He saw was rebellion against his plan, purpose and will for their lives.
That tower was an accursed building that came with confusion, pain and misery. Babel means confusion. Their imagination conceived and birthed confusion. When God doesn’t initiate or birth a project, a pursuit, a dream or an idea, it ends up becoming a Tower of Babel, a monument of confusion and waste.
Preachers have used this text to teach the power of imagination. They tell us that if we can only put our imagination to work nothing will be impossible for us to accomplish. Truly our imagination is a powerful tool. It can lift us to great heights if put to proper use. If you look around you everything you see was first conceived in the imagination of somebody before it was birthed into reality. Man has accomplished amazing feats through the power of imagination. Technology is driven by the power of the imagination. The gadget you are using to read this post was birthed by the power of someone’s imagination. Human development and progress would be impossible without the use of our imagination.
However the very first time the word imagination was used in the bible, it was used in connection with an act of rebellion that ended in disaster. We should therefore pay careful attention to this story.
God told man to be ‘fruitful, multiply, replenish the earth, subdue it and have dominion’, but man decided to stay in one location and use the power of his imagination to build a magnificent monument. This was in complete rebellion to divine purpose and plan. Man’s unregenerate imagination that is not subject to the will of God will come up with ideas that will stand in direct opposition to God. The unregenerate imagination will come up with lofty ideas which seem good but which are contrary to divine purpose. We must understand that until our imagination is brought under the influence of the word of God and the Holy Spirit it remains a powerful weapon we can use to create a life contrary to God’s will for us. 2Conrinthians 10:5 tells us that we should cast down imaginations and every high or lofty idea that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. We should learn to bring our mind and imagination under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
Some believers think that ‘if something is not the will of God it will not work or it won’t be successful.’ This is not true. There are many projects that are not the will of God but they look good and work out quite well. When a determined man or woman sets their imagination to work, nothing can stop them from accomplishing their purpose except the mercy of God. Some preachers tell us that ‘their big buildings and ministry is a mark of divine approval on their lives.’ But nothing could be further from the truth. Spiritual things are tested and measured by spiritual parameters, not by human indices of measurement. It is because of this kind of faulty thinking that some believers fall prey to wolves in sheep clothing. They believe that any preacher who has surrounded himself with material things must be from God. How foolish. Money and material things are not a sign of spirituality nor are they a sign of divine approval in any way. If they were then Mexican drug lords, crooked politicians and Wall Street criminals would be the most approved among men because of their material and financial possessions.
Imagination that is not yielded and submitted to God can be a dangerous weapon in the hands of the devil. Imagination that is not under the redemptive power of the Holy Spirit will wrought destruction instead of bringing life. We may have great ideas, to do and accomplish amazing things for the kingdom but if these ideas are not birthed from the heart of God they will be a waste of our time and resources and ultimately a waste of our lives. If we allow our lives to be ruled by our unregenerate imagination, we may accomplish many things but they won’t align with God’s plan and purpose for our lives. The purpose of life is not just to accomplish great things. It is to pursue and accomplish what the Father has assigned us to do with our lives. An unregenerate imagination can deceive us to think we are accomplishing great things for God while it is just our selfish ambition and pride driving us in the wrong direction.
We can birth many things with our imagination and impress the people around us but without obedience to the will of God all our effort would be a complete waste. Not every good idea that comes to your mind is from God. Some good ideas are given to us by the devil to distract us from our true calling and lead us in a path of seeming success and achievement. There are good ideas that the Father has planned for someone else to pursue and accomplish with their lives. When we pursue ideas that God has not assigned to us to accomplish we end up building Towers of Babel all across the land. They may look good but they are monuments of confusion, pain and disaster.
There are many people pursuing projects, dreams, desires that have not been thoroughly examined, sifted, and vetted in the place of prayer. They are too busy and possibly too arrogant to go on their knees and ask the Father if this is His will for their lives. They pursue these projects without the Father’s consent or approval and wrongly assume that they are ‘working for God.’
The worse thing that could happen to you as a believer is to spend your time, energy, giftings and resources to pursue, sponsor, birth and accomplish a dream, project or idea which was never part of God’s plan, purpose or agenda for your life.
Some believers have invested their resources in the pursuit of projects that are driven by their unregenerate imagination, pride and flesh-driven ambition but they thought they were doing this for God and the kingdom. Many famous ministers of the gospel have come and gone and at one point in their lives they built a monument which they said would glorify Christ and the kingdom but they deceived their followers and congregations who poured millions of dollars into projects which turned out to be a total waste decades later.
The fact that someone put up a massive church, school or business building doesn’t mean that they were sent by God to do it. God is not behind every big project, ministry or business we see in the body of Christ. Many of these impressive accomplishments are driven by human ambition, competition, pride and an imagination which is not yielded to God’s will.
People have a tendency to whitewash themselves with big projects to make themselves look good. The more withdrawn we are from the will of God, the more monuments we build to make ourselves look good in the eyes of men. Many ministers who have lost their way struggle really hard to remain relevant in the eyes of men by erecting bigger and better structures. These massive projects may impress the gullible but the spiritually discerning among us can see through this facade. The bible never says by their buildings you will know them. No. It says by their fruit we will recognise the true ministers of The Lord Jesus Christ among us. Forget their titles, buildings, private jets and flashy lifestyles and examine their fruit. Do they encourage believers to live for Christ or to live selfish lives dedicated to themselves alone?
The new age movement tells us to use our imagination to conceive and pursue absolutely anything we want. Many people follow this advice and accomplish many things with their lives. But following the Lord Jesus is not about how much, how great and how phenomenal we achieve. It is simply about pursuing God’s will and birthing His kingdom on the earth.
God wants us to bring our imagination into subjection to His will and allow the Holy Spirit to use our imagination to glorify Christ. In the kingdom we are to yield our members to Jesus to use as He pleases. In the kingdom what we accomplish is not as important as our obedience to do the Father’s will. We should seek to serve The Lord in an acceptable manner and not try to please Him with our own efforts. Anything that is not birthed and born of God will result in the creation of a Tower of Babel in our lives.
May we yield our minds, thought processes and imagination to the Holy Spirit to use as He pleases.
May God birth His own will on the earth through the Holy Spirit inspired use of our imagination.
May God deliver us in His mercy from good projects, pursuits and desires that are contrary to His plan for our lives.
May our imagination be used to effect positive change and progress in our nations and glorify The Lord Jesus Christ.
©Praise George 2016.