The Power of Imagination…

Desiring God’s Desires

The soul is the place where
God’s desires and my desires intersect.

     I thought today’s post would conclude the three-part series I’ve been writing about the imagination, but alas, I realized I must write one more. In the first, I introduced you to the 16th Century saint, Ignatius of Loyola, who during a season of convalescence, experienced how imagination was a powerful spiritual tool that drew him into a deeper knowledge of and love for God.

     My second post explored the importance of disciplining our imagination so unchecked thoughts don’t take us to places that can rob us of the joy and abundant life our loving, good God desires for us. I’ve not only experienced this first-hand, but I’ve observed it countless times while conducting pastoral counseling with wonderful Christians who find themselves in distressing situations, which most likely, would have been averted if they had done what the Apostle Paul suggested in 2 Corinthians 2:5.

     In today’s post we will explore our desires aligning with God’s desires.

The psalmist David said,

     I don’t know about you, but I want the entirety of my soul to desire God’s desires. When I began working with a Spiritual Director, Dr. Debbie Gill sensed my desire, and it was she who introduced me to Ignatius and a book, God’s Voice Within…The Ignatian Way to Discover God’s Will by Mark Thibodeaux, SJ. The quotes, including the introductory quote, in today’s post are all taken from this book. I invite you to consider the following:

  • The foundation for a Christian desiring God’s desires must be the unshakable belief that:
    • God is good, and God’s desires for me are good;
    • God has given me free will and will not violate my free will;
    • God wants to partner with me, and God’s Spirit is anxious to guide me to the place where my desires are in alignment with God’s.
  • Next, I agree with Thibodeaux, “It’s not enough simply to believe that God exists and that God is good. Deep in the soul, we have experienced God’s presence and God’s personal love for us. This is an intimacy in which God seems to be gazing at us directly and specifically. “By name I have called you,” says God through the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 43:1)
  • God is imaginative, and because we have been created in God’s very image, we carry strands of Divine-Imagination DNA.
  • In the Garden the night before His crucifixion, Jesus prayed, …nevertheless, not my will but yours be done. (Luke 22:42) I must be willing to do the same with my desires—whatever they are. Ignatius called this relinquishment of the outcome of my desires, Magis: Dreaming of the greater glory of God. The desire to choose that which gives God more glory.

     ‘Praydreaming’ is a concept my Spiritual Director introduced to me, and I find it a very life-giving exercise to use in trying to decide (discern) when making an important decision about what God’s best direction is for me. Although I still have much to learn, I will unpack this concept to the best of my ability next Monday, July 8th.

Until then, my prayer is that your desires and God’s desires will intersect…

Sue Reeve

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