Wilding Ponds – Photo by Robert Mock
Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things." Isaiah 40:26
The eyes of the people of G-d in Isaiah's day had blinded their minds and imaginations so that their minds were not able to see G-d because they kept looking on the face of their idols. The Prophet Isaiah made them look up at the heavens, that is, he made them begin to use their imagination, their power to think and to visualize from the perspective of the Almighty’s mind. If we are children of G-d, we have a tremendous treasure in nature and will realize that it is holy and sacred, for its Creator is holy and sacred. We will comprehend that G-d is reaching out to us in every wind that blows, every sunrise and sunset, every cloud in the sky, every flower that blooms, and every leaf that fades, if we will only begin to use our blinded thinking to visualize it.
The test of spiritual concentration is bringing the imagination, your mind and thought, under control into the captivity of G-d. Is your mind and imaginations looking on the faces of your idol? Is that idol yourself? Your work? Is it your conception of what a servant of G-d should be? Is it your experience of what salvation and sanctification should be? If so, then your sight and imagination of G-d is blinded by your idol. When you are facing your own personal difficulties you have no power and force to endure them in spiritual darkness. If your power to see has been blinded, don’t look back on your own experience, but reach up and look upon the Eternal One. It is G-d Whom you need. Look beyond yourself, away from the faces of your idols you serve, and away from everything that has been starving and blinding your imagination. Wake up and accept the ridicule that Isaiah gave the people, and deliberately return your thoughts and imaginations to G-d.
One of the reasons for the sense of futility in prayer is that we have lost our power to visualize and to imagination. We have lost our power of putting ourselves deliberately before Almighty. It is truly more important to be broken bread and poured out wine on the arena of intercession than in our personal contacts with others. The power of spiritual visualization is what G-d gives the saint or the tzaddik (righteous one), so that he can go beyond himself into be firmly placed into relationships he never before experience with G-d and those G-d places by divine circumstances in his pathway.
“Utmost for His Highest” – Oswald Chambers in Modern Jewish Messianic Verse