Kingdom imagination combines a few key things to create an outlook based on God’s supernatural involvement. First it takes into account the past, where God has been present in past circumstances. Kingdom imagination first considers specific places and situations where God did something miraculous. He may have healed a sick person, provided finances, diminished or deleted an obstacle. Whatever the case, it is a time or place where we know it was God. What has he done before that can be counted on in the present? Some call this a testimony or praise report.
That instance for Joshua and Caleb could have been the manna falling from heaven or the fire leading them by night on the exodus from Egypt. Either of these (or various other experiences of God’s care and concern) could serve as proof that God was indeed able to do something amazing. Whatever it was for Caleb and Joshua, the other spies left that level of praise out of their report.
Kingdom imagination also sees past present circumstances. Kingdom imagination is able to see possibility in the midst of present obstacles, hope through despair. It relies on the vast resources of God and speaks boldly of future reality as if it were present. The kingdom imagination is not arrogant but bold—bold enough to speak openly about things that haven’t happened yet. Caleb quiets the crowd and declares, “We can take this land.” Caleb is just not a crazy or naïve person here; he is, rather, a bold follower of God, and his kingdom imagination gives him the courage to speak out about what he believes God can do. He speaks it, and he stands by it—even though he is in the minority. He doesn’t hold merely a minority opinion, however; Caleb isn’t debating the readiness of the Israelites but rather acknowledging the power of God. Kingdom imagination isn’t a matter of debate; it’s a point of view.