The Combination

Posted: June 22, 2021 in Uncategorized

Author of Limitless: God’s Creative Mandate for His Church, Charity Bowman Webb, (Speaking to the creation of the tabernacle and the subsequent tabernacle) looked at the pattern for some of these Biblical creative projects and isolated what she calls the “Creative Combination.” These steps are, “Blueprints Ideas from Heaven) + Wisdom + Creativity + Spirit + Existing skill/ability + More skill/ability added by God, joined with Character, Obedience and Perseverance.” 

I believe this really is the basis for all Christian creativity. We begin with a God inspired idea. This is crucial and it is why prayer is an essential element in Christian creativity. Bezalel was filled with the Spirit and given all kinds of “creative skills,” but he didn’t just go off and do whatever He wanted. He followed the Lord’s leading. Of course wisdom and creativity figure into every project as well. While God’s plans in these biblical projects are fairly exacting, there is still room for God inspired creativity. Bezalel had to determine how to do what Gos was calling him to do. This is a key component for all Christian creatives. Some artists act as if boundaries are crushing to creativity, but I maintain that boundaries are a huge benefit to creativity, especially within the church. We will go into this in greater detail later, but for now, imagine the chances for “getting it wrong” that come with having no idea of the parameters of the project. Creativity and wisdom will help with this of course, but having a blueprint to follow, especially if that “blueprint” comes from God is huge.

After creativity comes Spirit, but of course some of this is commutative. Like a mathematical addition problem the order of the factors have some flexibility. As part of the God-head, when the Father is involved so is the Spirit, and the Spirit’s involvement in Christian creativity is of the utmost importance. Next comes existing ability. It goes without saying that all good gifts come from God and this includes our gifts, talents and abilities. If you have a talent, it was given to you by God. I once heard a saying attributed to Michael Jackson. I’m not sure he actually said it, and I realize he may not be the world’s greatest source for wise theology, but still the statement is valid. Jackson allegedly said, “My talent is God’s gift to me, how I use it and the development of it are my gift to Him.” No matter who said it, there is tremendous wisdom in that statement. When we come to God, especially in matters of creativity, it is urgent that we bring our whole self and all of our abilities to the table. 

Bowman Webb’s creative combination then adds “more skill/ability added by God.” I have seen this manifested in my own work. When I was trying to be a professional artist, I had a certain level ability. When I offered my gift back to the Lord to be used to His purpose and His glory, my skills improved dramatically. I often say now that I am no longer striving to be a “famous artist” I am doing the best work of my life. Finally Bowman Webb joins all of the above to “Character, Obedience and Perseverance.” The importance of all of these cannot be overstated. Character in ministry is one of the most important things there is. Without obedience we will go astray, and the long road these creative pursuits can be at times demands perseverance.   

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