I remember when everyone seemed to own the old Polaroid instant cameras that allowed you to take a picture, extract the film, and then watch as the picture gradually developed in front of your eyes. Over the years my family collected hundreds of these instant photos of holiday celebrations and family milestone events (you know those embarrassing pictures where your mom dressed you in onesies). Eventually, despite the convenience and real-time photography, the photos would fade, losing both their sharpness and color. All the pictures looked naturally worn and dated over time, no longer representing accurately the people or subjects photographed.
The human heart was designed by God to serve as the canvas for an image or picture on the inside of us that would ultimately guide and direct our lives. Our lives head in the direction of the most dominant image in our hearts. Our consistent and dominant inputs in life determine what develops on the inside of us, good or bad, positive or negative. The Holy Spirit, using the paint of the Word of God, fashions an image in our hearts of what we can be in God, what we can have, and what we can do. The key to the full development of that inner image is to stay consistent in inputting the Word of God. Like the Polaroid picture, the image will fade over time, no matter how vivid it was originally, if we stop putting the Word of God in our hearts.
Another word for the dominant image in the heart of a human being is a thing called hope. Hope is actually an inner image of an eager expectation. The concept is simple. When the inner image is so well-developed that we become eager with faith and anticipation for the thing we see to come to pass, the expectation begins to produce and manifest that very image in our lives. The problem is many people, due to life’s challenges and hardships, have had the Bible image of a great future and hope (Jeremiah 29:11) literally squashed in their hearts. Too many believers are walking around with an inner image fading like the old Polaroid photos.
The key to turning the fading image around is to once again begin to apply the Word to your heart daily so that your inner image is restored to its former vibrant and crisp condition. The clearer the image the more likely the manifestation of what is seen. Begin again putting the Word of God into your heart in abundance by spending quality time every day reading, studying, meditating, and memorizing the Scriptures. Before long, the old image of defeat and discouragement will be replaced by an image of victory and success.