I often hear the whisper, ‘You are not good enough!’ or ‘You don’t have anything worthwhile to bring to this!’ I wonder if you have similar experiences. I know, of course that these whispers are a tactic of the enemy to take me out and make me hide.
If Bible journaling has taught me anything, it is that GOD loves creativity. I know this because GOD always shows up when I am creating inside my Bible. Why would He do that if He didn’t love what I was doing??! He gets excited when I pull my Bible out of my journaling bag, open up to the latest page and start to read. He begins to speak when I ponder on certain verses, words or storylines. But He also rejoices when I grab my pencils, paints and pens.
I have had a battle with creativity for a while. When I was studying on my art foundation course, my tutor said that I shouldn’t go into fine art painting. He said that I didn’t have the emotional capacity to be any good, at which point I broke down in tears thus ‘proving his point’. I didn’t paint again for about 20 years … I abandoned what gift GOD had put inside me because of the words of a teacher. The whisper of not being good enough ruled.
This page speaks something so different over all creatives. This is why I love this page. This page surprised me.
30 Then Moses said to the Israelites, ‘See, the Lord has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 31 and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills – 32 to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, 33 to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic crafts. 34 And he has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others. 35 He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers – all of them skilled workers and designers. Exodus 35:30-35
Just a couple of pages ago the people are punished for creating the golden calf, but here they are commissioned to create the Tabernacle (an image of Jesus – The Tabernacle Portrait). Not only does GOD want it done but He fills them with His Spirit so that they can do it. He puts a seal of approval on them in their gifting, anoints it and enables it to go even further. GOD has always been a creator and He loves our expression of creativity because it images Him.
GOD does not punish creativity. He gave the ten commandments so that His people would know not to fall into the trap of acting like slaves and creating a manageable and manipulatable sized god.
3 ‘You shall have no other gods before me.
4 ‘You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. Exodus 20:3-4
He was not stamping out creativity, He was directing it. He is, after all the very best artist.
2 Then Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord had given ability and who was willing to come and do the work. 3 They received from Moses all the offerings the Israelites had brought to carry out the work of constructing the sanctuary. And the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning. 4 So all the skilled workers who were doing all the work on the sanctuary left what they were doing 5 and said to Moses, ‘The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the Lord commanded to be done.’ Exodus 36:2-4
It all started with GOD. He gave the ability to be creative and these men honed the skill, they then offered their expertise to the creation of the tabernacle. What better way to worship? They gave out of all that was within them. Worship isn’t just about singing, dancing and playing the ‘lyre’. This worship was celebrated, blessed and embraced by GOD.
This was a directive of GOD because of the extravagance of the people. They kept on giving freewill offerings. No one forced them, begged them or requested more, yet they didn’t want to stop. The becoming skilled was abundantly blessed by GOD. The becoming skilled was just as much an act of worship as offering their skills to GOD.
GOD is the GOD of more than enough and not of just enough. He is our more than enough but He also does more than enough and provides more than enough. He is the embodiment of generosity. Even in seasons when we feel like we have nothing, if GOD is with us, we have more than enough. I think that we can also learn from the givers. It is a challenge to think of the areas where I give just enough rather than more than enough. I don’t think that it pleases GOD when I scrimp with the abilities He has lavished on me. It isn’t very honouring of His generosity toward me.
This page isn’t just for the creative types. Perhaps now is the time to consider what abilities GOD has given you. You don’t need to be artistic to apply this to your life. You could sit with GOD for a moment and ask Him what abilities He has given you. You could then think about and consider honing those skills through practice, training or just using them – don’t let them sit dormant any longer. There might just be a whole new way of worshipping GOD that you didn’t know existed already inside of you. Go for it!