I’ve been having insatiable creative urges lately and it’s coming out in everything I do: the way I’m journaling, to my clothes choices, to my photography, my Instagram and this blog. Even in areas of life I don’t normally enjoy such as doing my hair, nails and cooking, I’m now taking on challenges like multi-layered fishtail braids, painting my own teal nails, and creating healthy zucchini banana chocolate chip muffins.
It may have something to do with the fact that I was volunteering at the Bethel School of Creativity last month and I picked up a creativity virus that was in the atmosphere. Or it could just be the result of all the time I have on my hands in this season of waiting to find out what God says we’re supposed to do this Fall (sound familiar?). However, this new onslaught of artistic drive has had me reflecting on the nature of creativity and how we sometimes stifle it, minimize it or even vilify it, calling it shallow or temporal. I caught myself, as I was staging my Instagram pics for We His Beloved this week, thinking, “God, how shallow is this, really?” He replied, “Beauty and creativity draw people into me.”
I was reminded that as Christians, our world cannot be categorized into “spiritual” and “secular.” For the believer, everything becomes spiritual and “worldly” or “secular” should only be used to mean “sinful” because it means you’re doing something outside of God. So therefore all of your art and creative genius as a person in right relationship with God becomes Kingdom, or Christian art. It doesn’t have to have a direct Christian theme. Any creation made by you, whether it’s an oil paining or a cupcake, is going to reflect it’s creator. And since you reflect your Creator, and you’ve been sanctified and washed clean in the blood of Jesus, guess what? That means each and every one of your creative works also reflects the Creator!
Romans 8:5-9 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit [empahsis added]
This verse should give you some freedom to realize that if you’re walking with Jesus, your desires, your passions, your creative itches, however small or trifiling cannot be “worldly,” but are from what the Spirit desires. Sin is willful disobedience against God, not something you do on accident. Sin is no longer in your nature as a believer. You are a new creation! (See 2 Cor 5:16-17)
If it’s hard for you to believe that little creative projects would be part of the Spirit’s desire for you, take a look at Genesis. Genesis 1:1 says “in the beginning God created.” God’s creativity is the first thing He lets us know about himself! Then shortly after in Genesis 1:27 He says, “Let us make man in our image.” He made us creative like Him! Then we see that Adam’s first assignment is to name the animals. Could God have done it? Of course! But as He shows us time and time again in the Bible, He loves to work with us and through us, and one of the ways He does that is through our creativity.
So what creative things are you holding back from doing because they seem too “worldly”? Listen to those little passions in your heart. Perhaps those are the very areas you’re meant to bring the kingdom! Romans 8:19 says, “For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.” I release you to shine – to be and do and be everything God created you to be through your creativity! All of creation is waiting!