Seeing the Father more clearly (baptizing our imagining of The Father)-that’s what this little piece is spinning on….so here we go!:: let’s run with this until we know!
What does it mean to have a clear and accurate picture of The Father? How do we clarify our spiritual imagination’s image of The One in whom we are in the image of? They relate. As we come to see Him in His True identity, we are shown our own. Who do you say I am? Jesus asked Peter–blessed are you because you have seen Me through The Father who revealed this to you; now, I will tell you who you are, I will name you! This is the principle of true identity in Him. We see Him accurately, and He shows us ourselves accurately.
We come into focus as He comes into true focus. Jesus taught that there were typically three areas of obstacles that keep us from having a mature image of the Father–worry (unconsecrated suffering, things we do not take to Him in prayer–unsupplicated stress), getting lost in wealth and placing worth in it (materialism), and desire for pleasures above Him (hedonism, narcissism). We are called to press on into maturity in every area including how we picture God Himself. Our imagination, our visual center is meant to be seeing Him ever more accurately. Jesus said, I only do what I SEE the Father doing. He could see the Father, and therefore knew what to do on earth daily.
Prayer clarifies vision. For in prayer we are gazing with Him, through His Spirit in His Way of seeing. This is one of the benefits of prayer, it clarifies our image of God Himself. Prayer is therefore our central practice of cleansing the imagination of false images of fatherhood and authority, and bringing it into alignment with Jesus Sight or way of seeing!
The imagination is often overlooked as a place of healing. But if we get our imagination “into” Christ, we start to see who The Father is, and this vision changes every other area of our lives. We start to see the disparities between what we have experienced, and who He truly is.
I think one step towards this is to recognize our false images of Father based on our experiences of authority on earth. We have to go back to early experiences to see how we see Father, authority–forgive, confess thank God He is different than what we have known. All of us are broken here, but we can get healing from the disparities between how our father’s were, and how God The Father is. Not only, can we then forgive our earthly “fathers”, more importantly we can get a better picture of who Father God actually is. To know and love God was our commandment. Imagination is part of knowing. It is part of our epistemology. When we see accurately, we know more.
We are living in a time of crisis in authority and identity, and they are related. We rebel against authority and we don’t even know what our nature is-what it is to be human, much less our eternal names written on that white stone above! But also this is a crisis of how we view authority. Yet, God is the Author, the Authority over us–the one who wrote us into being. Fortunately, He is a loving and caring authority. But we need an accurate and cleared/cleansed image of what His True Authority looks like. When we get that, we are happy to come beneath His Authority directly, and through the authority He has placed in others who are our spiritual parents in certain areas. I know there has been much spiritual abuse in the church, but we cannot let that keep us from seeing what true authority is. We need it, to grow in Christ.
I think many really struggle now to come under any type of authority. There is this anti-law, or lawlessness increasing, as predicted. Some of this has to do with a fear of God’s authority. Will we really submit ourselves to God. Only if we overcome this anti-parental authority lodged in the strongholds of our earthly experiences. We fear what we do not understand. If we understood how loving His Authority truly is, we would gladly bow low beneath it, and grow up.
Clarifying our image of Father, is really a matter of life and death down here. This is part of the use of the spiritual imagination, to be able to picture God in a truer way–ie in the Way that He is. As we heal our image of God, breaking off the strongholds of experience of father or authority, we come to experience God as Loving Father. Caring protecting, intimately involved father. To heal our image of Father into this loving caring protective always present, with us always, One, is to come home to ourselves. When we see Him, we will see ourselves.
Spiritual growth really is our way on earth, to be becoming more “in Christ” and His Life. To trust the Father enough to complete the formation of His Son’s Life within us–this is our basic orientation. Our growth moves and is paced according to our seeing God accurately. When we do, we trust Him to form the next aspect of His Son’s Life in us. Yes, we need to hold on mentally to the facts–God is good, loving, kind etc; but also to see Him like that! Our sight, informs our beliefs. They work in tandem. Seeing is believing, and belief can lead into true sight. They inform one another. The imagination and the mind of Christ work as one, they compliment and augment one another.
Many stop growing spiritually because of one of the three areas Jesus spoke of–worry, wealth, false desires or love of pleasure. I think we must begin with a clearer image of The Father. If we saw Him as He is, we would have to worship and adore Him. He is that Great. But depending on our level of false authority image, we shy away from gazing at the Father as He truly is. This is an area, where a healed or sanctified imagination can really help us. One day we will see face to Face. For now, we are moving towards this. We are coming into focus. Spiritual perception is key.
The things of the spirit are known and revealed by His Spirit. Even our image of God is a gift of Grace. The Holy Spirit starts to form an image outside of our natural experience of fatherhood. We need to see the Father as Jesus did and does. In fact, we come to start seeing the Father through His Son! And we see the fruits in daily experience, of less distrust, and more of a desire to bless and heal those who carry aspects of His Authority on earth. We come to love our parents in short. To honor them, because we recognize the parts of them in Him. And we honor Him in them. To do so, we must start to seeing God more as He truly is!
We pray for a baptism of our imaginations to see The Father as He truly is. So we can begin to perceive ourselves and what is around us to tend and love more accurately! To have imparted a more accurate picture of who we are. If You say, we are this, then we are–help us receive our true names Father God–and thank you that you desire to reveal us to ourselves. And that You are able to complete what You have begun in us in this area of identity! And help us to see one another as we are, so we can love one another with Your Grand Heart in true sight! That the windows of our spiritual perception would be cleansed to gaze upon Our Creator more as He is. To see His true identity, is to begin to see ourselves as we really are. The better we see The Father, the more we see and are seen even as we are known. And the better we see others around us, and our world. Accurate sight allows us to act then in Wisdom and Love towards all. If we cannot see one another accurately, we distort His images. And then we can hate one another-move in racism or hatred of other cultures or genders. There are very practical implications to seeing The Father accurately. Let us seek to see, and therefore know and love Him and one another as we truly are!