So last week we looked at why we as Believers should create. We looked throughout Scripture and pulled specific passages providing us with information about creativity and our purpose in having and utilizing it for God’s glory.
But… what we failed to discuss is where our creativity comes from.
When God created the world, he created man and woman in his own image. God was the first creator. He told His human creation to be fruitful and multiply and to rule over all that he had created. God also allowed Adam to name the animals. These acts, though often overlooked, are some of the first recorded creative acts of mankind.
We all know what takes place in Genesis 3… but even though both Adam and Eve fell from the perfection in which they had been created we find that mankind’s creativity continued on.
You may be asking… “Tanner, how can you know this?”
My answer to that is historically man had to advance. In the early chapters of Genesis we see the rise of agriculture, the building of cities, the forging of tools and even the beginning of music.
In the middle of the genealogies in Genesis 4 we come across a man named Jubal. Genesis 4:21 says,
Jubal; he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe.
Even after the fall man began to put into practice the creative gifts that God had given him to fulfill his task of ruling over creation. And so God, the creator, is the source of all creativity. And in creating man in His own image, God gave man gifts of creativity also.
Let’s discuss some important principles for us to consider while thinking about God’s gift of creativity.
- God chooses the recipient.
We know that creativity comes from God. Most people attribute the works of the Holy Spirit with happenings in the New Testament… but a shock to most is that the first person to receive the Spirit of God was a “creative” in the Old Testament. We see this specifically in Exodus 31:1-5 where it says,
The Lord said to Moses, “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft.
This passage in Exodus takes place immediately after the giving of the Ten Commandments. Moses has ascended to the top of Mount Sinai where God has just given him detailed instructions concerning the tabernacle. And then in our passage God tells Moses how the building of the tabernacle is to be accomplished. Through a creative… that He has given the Spirit to in order to create exactly what God had commanded.
In the beginning of that passage we see that God chooses the recipients of His gifts… including the gift of creativity or artistry. God said to Moses, “See, I have called by name Bezalel…”
We can’t make it happen on our own. God chooses each specific gift and ability that each of us has been blessed with.
I like the continuation of that story in Exodus 40 when the “creatives” have finished the Lord’s work. Exodus 40:24-28 says,
Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys.
The Spirit of God was so thick in and on the tabernacle that Moses couldn’t even get in! Now that is thick! Miraculous things happen when we respect and utilize the Lord’s gifts and selections. Let us use the gifts of God for His glory!
- There are a variety of gifts.
Another important thing for us to consider and remember is that God gives a wide variety of creative gifts. We even see in the above passages about Bezalel, found in Exodus, a variety of gifts mentioned.
Exodus 31:4-5 says,
To make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship.
Bezalel wasn’t just given one gift. Instead God gave Bezalel a wide variety of gifts to accomplish His purposes at that time.
Romans 12:6-8 tells us that we will have gifts that “differ” and goes on to mention some gifts. That passage says,
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
So… it is important to note that even though we are specifically talking about creative gifts in this blog everything pointed out applies to other gifts of the Spirit as well! I would argue though that all that we do involves some level of creative ability, from the simple setting of a table for dinner to inventing the wheel or writing the next CCLI top hit for the church. Even simple problem solving requires some level of creativity!
So when you think about creativity, don’t just think about the arts! God gives a wide variety of creative gifts, and He has given creative gifts to you, too. And there is a reason God gave you the specific gifts that make you who you are. No single gift is greater than another and we are called to use the ones we have been given for the glory of God and the furtherance of the Kingdom.
- Every gift has a purpose.
Why did God give Bezalel his specific skills? God had a specific purpose in mind for them. Now… I am sure that he used those skills for many other things as well, but the primary purpose is portrayed in Exodus.
God gave Bezalel all the particular skills that he needed in order to build the tabernacle, and not just to build it, but to build it according to God’s exact specifications!
God gives creative gifts for a purpose.
Christianity is all about being human, God’s creation, to the glory of God the Creator. And so that means taking all that God has created in this world, all of human culture, and all of our creativity and returning it to God in praise. 1 Timothy 4:4 Paul says,
Everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.
Ephesians 2:10 says,
We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Just as Bezalel’s gifts had a purpose God has also prepared specific works for each of us to do. Not only did He set us aside for these works… but he also created us with the specific gifts necessary to do those good works.
God’s gifts have a purpose, and God has a purpose for the creative gifts he has given you.