For a good bit of my teenage and young adult life I’ve been on a “Creative Team”. There has been a small thread of creativity in all that I’ve done for as long as I can remember: 30 day art challenges, creative writing classes, being in a band and writing music, writing words and trying to make them sound good, arts and crafts at miscellaneous classes growing up and trying to paint when I’m bored. What is funny is that the thread I have found is not any bit of matter that I can find in the make up of me. The creative stitch in my life is simply the Creator showing off in me. Being on a creative team scares the hell out of me (metaphorically, ironically and a little bit literally) because making something out of nothing seems impossible – much less creating something out of my thought process.
But, I keep being placed on these teams which grounds me back into my roots, calling on G-d daily in this process of trying to create. I am not creative because I am but because HE IS. I can create because I was made in the Creators image (Genesis 1:27). I can come up with ideas because He is good and shares and has placed them in me to give. I am wrong sometimes, and this might be one of those times but I believe in a G-d who gives to His people when they have a willing heart to give to His people. Does He give more than we need? Absolutely! Abundantly! Is it given when we are stingy with our gifts? Eh, why would it be?
Lets break this down:
Construction of the Tabernacle
30Then Moses said to the people of Israel, “See, the LORD has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hus, of the tribe of Judah; 31and he has filled him with the Spirit of G-d, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, 32to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze, 33in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, for work in every skilled craft. 34And he has inspired him to teach, both him and Oholiab the son of Ahisamach of the tribe of Dan. 35He has filled them with skill to do every sort of work done by an engraver or by a designer or by an embroiderer in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twinned linen, or by a weaver – by any sort of workman or skilled designer. Bezalel and Oholiab and every craftsman in whom the LORD has put skill and intelligence to know how to do any work in the contraction of the sanctuary shall work in accordance with all that the LORD has commanded.”
Exodus 35:30-35; Exodus 36:1 ESV ((wait, read that again))
Lets take a look at some very important things:
I can ALMOST pronounce every name in this passage of scripture
I use Exodus in an example
I am proud of both of those things
I don’t see how I could add to the depth of this scripture so I’m going to point out a few things I believe you all have already seen. Because this is my blog and you are reading it so we get to act like I’m teaching something.
Onward from that, this passage is Moses (clearly) telling the story of the construction of a tabernacle; G-ds dwelling place. G-d chose and called by name a man and filled him with the Spirit of G-d. There was, again, nothing inside of this man apart from G-d that was creative.
It was the Spirit of G-d IN HIM
Not only did the LORD fill him with creativity but also with skill to put that creativity from brain to paper to gold. The LORD gave him intelligence not only to know how to create but to know how to finish, also I believe the LORD gave him intelligence for respect among his people to be a leader who can carry out this calling. G-d gave him knowledge… this is cool. He didn’t have to go rent and read “Holy Dwellings for Dummies” the LORD supernaturally and superSpiritually imparted him with KNOWLEDGE to know what he was doing. And lastly to Bezalel he gave ALL CRAFTSMANSHIP not some craftsmanship (skill in a particular craft), not even a fine amount of craftsmanship (being really good at a particular craft), but the LORD gave him ALL (He is abundantly, overwhelmingly more than we can ask or think). I have been to a decent amount of cathedrals and FAAAAANCY churches and I can only think about this story and what a dwelling place of the most high G-d would look like with such heavenly disclosure of creativity. Mmm, glory.
And this is where it gets really exciting for me. G-d has placed me in the creative stream here at Hillsong College and I’m in love. But, I’m also broken because my heart longs for the pastoral side of life. I love caring for people’s hearts and believing in their dreams, I love writing, teaching, preaching and speaking. I love sharing my heart and you can’t always do that in a 4-minute song. “And He (G-d) has inspired him (Bezalel) to TEACH…” Bezalel was given the opportunity to mix the intelligence and knowledge that came alongside the creativity in the Spirit of G-d to GIVE all that he knew to two more men, and they too were given G-d’s Spirit and creativity.
Lord, you are the one I’m seeking. I’ve been placed in positions that I cannot do without you and I never would want to try. I want your Spirit to not only live in me but also live through me. I want to be obedient in the little things, sensitive in the creative callings and teachable so that I may teach. I can’t apologize for wanting it all because it was You that knit these desires into my heart in the first place. Bring it on G-d; the challenges, the obstacles and the opportunities to learn a little more about listening. Lord, let me teach and see more in them than they do. Let someone else grow through my life being a blessing to them and a cultivating personality for their gifts. May I work in accordance with what You command.
“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”
Psalms 139:14 ESV