The Lord has many names because He is so vast and magnificent, and one of them is Jehovah Raphe – “the God of Healing”. He loves His people and is ready to heal and bring them into the state of abundance that He always intended for them to possess, from the very beginning. For this to occur, however, we must enter into a state of confession and repentance (1 John 1:9). As long as we habitually live a lifestyle of sin, He cannot heal and bless. He continues to love us perfectly in our wretched state, and salvation remains assured as long as we believe in the redemptive offering of our Lord Jesus, but healing and abundance remain elusive until we get honest with Him, with ourselves, and then turn away from our habitual sin.
As Mary proclaims the Word of God in Luke 1: 51 – “He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted the lowly”. We all tend to live in denial – in our “imaginations” - when it comes to the true condition of our hearts and the reality of our spiritual condition. God knows it perfectly at all times, as He knows our hearts ( 1 Samuel 16:7), but we often do not. We “imagine” that we are far better off spiritually than we are. Amazingly, the Lord loves us just the same!
While His love does not change, nor is our salvation as believers threatened, the quality of our life here on planet earth is directly affected by our ability to take true stock of our spiritual condition – to the condition of our hearts – and turn away from our sins in repentant response. This exercise, done with sincerity and humility, will bring healing and eventually abundance (although we need to be careful to use God’s definition of this, not ours). God promises this in His Word, and He is always faithful to keep His promises.
With this important discipline in mind, an “imagination inventory” has been provided below. It is recommended that it be used on a daily basis for a season of time and that each day the son or daughter of God would sit quietly at the end of their day and reflect of these questions. You might keep your answers each evening in a journal that is between you and the Lord. With prayer and honest reflection – at times being brutally honest with yourself and God – come to Him in a humble state of confession and repentance. Pray that His Holy Spirit would reveal to you what you are normally too blind or prideful to see about yourself. Pray that He would reveal to you what He already knows about you, and loves you regardless.
If this practice of examination, confession and repentance is done with earnestness and sincerity, the Lord assures us that healing and abundant life will come because He remains Jehovah Raphe - the wonderful and faithful God of Healing!
How might I have been proud (self-focused) in my inmost thoughts, or “imagination”, today? How did I focus on myself and my selfish desires instead of the needs and desires of others?
As I pray and quietly reflect on my day, how might I have blamed or been judgmental of others?
As I went about my day, did I get frustrated or even angry because people did not behave exactly the way I wanted them to, such as drive the same speed I wanted to or behave just as I would have chosen to behave in a certain situation? Do I “imagine” that I am so important and powerful that people and the world should be just as I desire?
How much of my day did I spend day-dreaming or fantasizing about a life different than the one I have? Did I live this day in a state of real contentment, accepting and being grateful for what the Lord has appointed my life to be out of His perfect Sovereignty and Goodness, or did I pridefully construct and covet a different life for myself that I think is better than the one He has provided for me?
Where do I remain in denial about myself? If Jesus were sitting here with me (which He is!), what could He tell me about the true condition of my heart? If He were to take my inventory, what would He gently but truthfully say to me about what needs to be dealt with in my heart?
Where am I “digging in my heels” through pride, insisting that “I am right” about something at the cost of relationship and good will between me and my spouse, or my teenager, or a co-worker, or a friend?...
Is God’s Holy Spirit convicting me about this while my flesh and pride push back insisting “I’m justified” in my stance and my resentment/anger about the issue?
Is God gently “haunting me” about something that I will not admit or agree with Him is a problem?
Is Jesus calling me to humble myself with someone, to settle and conflict or a difference, but my pride pushes back and says “no, I will not!”
Have I been offended by someone that I will not forgive - really forgive – or am I holding onto resentment, anger, bitterness towards this person? Do I replay the offense over and over again in my mind and justifying the “fruit of the flesh” emotions (anger/strife/conflict/hatred) I feel in the name of “yes, but look at what they did to me!”
Have I set up idols in my life – things or people that I give more power and influence to than the Lord Himself? This can be very subtle – is there anything in my life that bears more weight with me than what Jesus says about it?
Do I care more about the approval I get from people in the flesh than I do about pleasing God Almighty in the Spirit? Is there anything I care more about than pleasing God in secret obedience?
Do I have a secret – something I am spending mental, emotional and spiritual energy to keep someone else from knowing – that I am hesitant to confess to God and to others, or even flat-out refusing God’s conviction to bring into the light?
In the imaginary world of my own thoughts today, how have I assigned to myself more importance than I should have? Where have I “over-valued” the importance of my role, contributions or opinion?
In comparing myself to the Eternal and Almighty God I serve, how have I not been humble or “right-sized” today?
Inventory Prayer in Closing this day: “Lord, You search me and know me (Psalm 139:1). You know my every thought and motive of my heart. Nothing in Your creation is hidden from You. Before a word is spoken on my tongue, You know it completely (Psalm 139:4). Now, Lord, knowing everything about me, reveal to me what You know is still wrong with my heart. Show me where I am prideful and continue to worship false gods, and convict me of my sin – which so easily entangles (Hebrews 12:1). Lord, I love how You love me in spite of my countless failures and I want to walk in the light of Your fellowship each and every day. Show me where my heart needs to be humble so I might confess, repent, and be restored to fellowship, healing and abundance with You again this day…
The Imagination Inventory
Lifeline Christian Counseling Center