Browsing Tag

Humility

Meditation

10 Keys to Spiritual Creativity

Many of us think that being a ‘creative’ is about self-expression. I’m here to ruffle a few feathers and challenge that long held view. Over the years I’ve come to believe that living a truly creative life isn’t at all about us. Unless we’re willing to take our ‘selves’ out of the equation, the path of pure creativity cannot flow through us.

Creativity is a spiritual process. Thoughts, inspirations, and dreams find their way into our inner being. But how do they get there? I believe creative ideas come from one of two places in the spiritual realm. The source and motive behind them is what distinguishes life-giving creativity from corrupting creativity.

God is the first and unsurpassed ‘creative.’ Our creative pursuits should always spring from Him not ourselves or other sources. We are spiritual vessels to be used by God for His purposes. If God has a purpose for each of our lives, He also has a unique and creative plan tailored just for us. He alone knows how our life journey will also weave into someone else’s path.

The creativity given us should uplift humanity in some way; build it up, not tear it down. It should cause us to seek higher spiritual pursuits and not temporal pleasures. If what we create causes another to live an ordinary or shackled life, then our contribution is of no value. Freeing the human soul from the clutches of carnality should be our highest creative aim. And we have to trust that God has a storehouse of imaginative ways to reach each individual.

When I was in art school some of the exercises we did entailed drawing or painting whatever came to us. We used our hands and brushes as physical tools of deliberate expression. Writers do it too with free writing. God wants to use us the same way, special tools in His hand to create majestic works of art that transform the human spirit for eternity. But we have to be willing to let go and allow the Spirit of creativity to direct us.

We have to let go of what we think we know in order to be filled with what we don’t know. We have to drain our soul of our ‘selves’ and ‘our’ ideas about God to be filled with deeper revelations of God’s heart and His desires for us.

Some years ago God questioned the motivation behind what I did. Why do you do what you do? If we want our creative pursuits to matter, we have to be willing to question our motives. We have to be willing to lay down our desire for self-expression just for the sake of expression, the desire for fame or validation, and the desire for fortune. Those motives stain the purity of spiritual creativity.

Revelation 3:8 contains a message to the church in Philadelphia, which in Greek means ‘brotherly love’.

‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”: “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.

 

Over the years I’ve thought about creativity, God, and our unique purposes while living our one life on this earth. I’ve collected a few spiritual keys to a creative life that honor God and uplift our fellow sojourners.

 

  1. FAITH: It all starts with believing in God’s majestic grandeur – His omnipresence, omnipotence, and omniscience. His infinite creative power and imagination is beyond our comprehension. God’s thoughts are higher than our wildest dreams. If he deposits an idea in us and we try to flesh it out without His help, it’ll probably remain stagnant. If we put our trust in His dynamic ability to reveal His deep reservoir of creativity, He’ll gift us with unique ways of expressing His truths.
  2. FOLLOW: When we consistently follow the Word of God, our life will be created. We are to be followers of Jesus – the Word of God. Without Him we can do nothing and with Him all things are possible. Jesus created us and everything we see and everything we don’t. When we truly follow Jesus as our Lord and Savior, He offers us the gifts of His divine fullness. He is everything we need and even more than we could ever imagine.
  3. FELLOWSHIP: Who but the Spirit of God is able to reveal the secret things of God? Let us fully surrender to the leading and teaching of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a person, not some energy or force. He is our ally, our teacher, and our comforter. Let us become one in spirit and the shadow of the Holy Spirit. Say what He says and do what He tells us to do. But we have to take the time to fellowship with the Spirit and listen to that still small voice that searches the deep things of God and reveals them to those who are in pursuit.
  4. LOVE: Putting others first is the essence of love. When we die to self it opens the door to creativity because we’re willing to lose in order to gain. You can only fill an empty container. When our hearts are aligned with God’s, then our life’s purpose will undoubtedly include serving others. Our creative endeavors should always lean toward depositing life into another and always naming that life ‘God.’
  5. GRATITUDE: Being thankful opens the heart and hand of God to His endless bounty. God so loves it when we are grateful for all that He is and all He has done for us. Greed just fills us with corruptible things, leaving no room for the eternal. When we loose our grip on earthly things, we open our hearts and minds to receive God’s treasures.
  6. INTEGRITY: We must be the same person when we’re around others and when no one is looking. That’s the mark of a person of integrity. God needs to be able to trust us with the gems of His heart and to carry through to completion the purpose He’s planned for us.
  7. HUMILITY: Having a teachable spirit opens us up to God’s endless imaginings. If you think you know it all then you’re not being receptive to the enchanting thoughts of God. Acknowledge your weakness before God and His strength and He will send dreams, stories, songs, paintings and all sorts of goodies to your heart.
  8. PURSUE: Being a truth-seeker will lead you to God’s wisdom. Those who seek do find. Those who ask are given. And to those who knock, doors will be opened. Wisdom is saying or doing or not saying and not doing the best thing at the right time. Without God’s wisdom creativity loses its strength to transform.
  9. FORGIVE: Without letting go and forgiving those that have wronged us, we cannot plant seeds of inspiration in our spirits. We need to be a garden ready for God’s perfect ponderings not a field of bitter roots. Forgiveness is at the heart of God’s ways. It’s not enough to be like-minded, we must be like-hearted to be co-creators.
  10. RECYCLE: Surrendered souls have stories that God can use. We must be willing for God to use our suffering for the benefit of another. God can recycle our pain and birth a purpose out of it. Nothing we have experienced in our lives is wasted with God. He heals our wounds, comforts our hearts, and strengthens us to be a soothing balm for others. We must tell the story together, sing the song together, and display His goodness and loving-kindness together.

 

It is my desire that our creative journey will take us straight to the chamber of God’s heart. It is there that we will find the unique ways of expressing His love for the world. It was His love that created us for good works and I know He longs to embrace us and release His dreams into our spirit like a breath of life for us all.

Meditation

Deep is the Mystery of Intimacy

There is an endless cacophony of noise and voices entering our minds and hearts on a daily basis influencing us. Much of that is out of our control. But what if we deliberately chose to sit and hear from God himself.

My spirit has been yearning to enter into an even deeper intimacy with Jesus. I want to hear more of what His Spirit wants to share. But I know I’ll need to do some specific things for our relationship to flourish. It’s going to take time, focus and surrender. And I know I will have to sacrifice some things but what I expect to get in return will be worth the sacrifice.

When our spirit is silent and expectant our hearts are shaken to life. Sometimes I stretch forth my physical hands and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I get on my knees and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I pace around the room and sometimes I just stand still. It’s more a posture of the heart that God notices. He’s looking for someone that’s humbled in His presence, ready to listen and receive rather than quick to speak.

This intimacy is still such a mystery to me. And I believe it’s hard for some because it requires us to let go and trust.

But I truly believe the Spirit of God wants to whisper secrets from the heart of Jesus. On New Year’s Eve I received a gentle whisper that had my heart fluttering and my imagination dancing. It gave me a sneak peek of what we can expect from a deeper relationship with Jesus.

 

A Midnight Whisper from the Spirit

 

Wedding bells are ringing, wooing the bride of Christ.

At the midnight hour her heart is being prepared.

She will meet Him at dawn to begin a divine romance.

He will sweep her off her feet into the heavenlies.

Her first dance of true love with the Father will have the angels in awe.

The Son will then take His bride and show her His mansions.

Each day they will discover a hidden treasure together.

They will open new doors together;

enter into deeper rooms of revelations.

His heart will unlock rooms holding mysteries so deep,

her breath will be taken away.

There will be a library of books filled with words of love for His bride.

They will eat fruit baskets of grace and truth.

And He will take her to the throne room of mercy – a room of never-ending love and intimacy.

 

These are a couple of books I recommend that aided my intimacy journey with Jesus:

Secrets of the Secret Place by Bob Sorge

Desperately Deep by Lana Vawser

 

 

Meditation

Breaches

Abandoned HouseAbandoned homes are a sore sight – boarded windows, overgrown grass, missing doors. And when a home is abandoned it becomes susceptible to breaches. Obviously this happens because the house is not maintained and looked after. Certain areas become weak over time and simply fall apart, forming entryways for unwanted guests and pests. The damage can be costly and devastating.

Sometimes the damage can be repaired and sometimes it can’t and the only option is to tear down and rebuild. If only someone had taken the time for maintenance. Most likely the damage could have been prevented.

This can be the case with our lives and our relationships.

According to good ole’ Webster, a breach is …

  1. infraction or violation of a law, obligation, tie, or standard
  2. (a) a broken, ruptured, or torn condition or area; (b) a gap (as in a wall) made by battering
  3. (a) a break in accustomed friendly relations; (b) a temporary gap in continuity : hiatus
  4. a leap especially of a whale out of water

I believe that we are walking temples that need constant care in body, soul, and spirit. And all to often we experience signs of spiritual dehydration due to our wanton wandering. We’ve walked away from truth, from God, from covenants, from our callings, and from the destiny of our true selves.

If we fail to pause, reflect, and choose new thoughts and behaviors, not only will we suffer but those around us will as well. Taking care of our temple, what’s inside, and what it surrounds itself with is not only our right but our duty.

Breaches affect our identities, our spiritual, physical and mental health, our relationships, our churches, our cities, and our nations. Whether we’re trying to avoid or repair a breach the following four power points can help put some focus on the areas to work on.

To avoid breaches we need upkeep.

Good maintenance demands nutrition, rest, and prayer. The first two can be understood from a physical and a spiritual perspective. If we don’t take care of ourselves physically through diet, exercise, and sleep, we will not function at our optimal best and at worst, can become ill. And if we don’t take care of ourselves spiritually through an intimate relationship with God we’re setting ourselves up for a breakdown that can affect the soul (mind, will, and emotions) and the body.

To avoid breaches we need integrity.

God requires truth in the inward parts. Embracing truth keeps you sound. Lies cause division and confusion. Without truth it’s impossible to have integrity. Our integrity is guided by moral principles. And for integrity to take root we need to be consistent in godly thoughts and behaviors when we are around people and when we are by ourselves. Being a man or woman of integrity gains trust and builds and maintains solid relationships.

To avoid breaches we need security.

Someone or something is constantly influencing our minds and hearts. Either we take charge or we’ll be taking in whatever the world throws at us. Choosing what are five senses will be allowed to entertain is crucial. What we focus on will form us. Knowing what we stand for and what we want our life to be about is key. If it doesn’t line up with our principles and life goals let’s shut the door. If we are not proactive with the life we want to live, others will most definitely determine it for us. That includes our beliefs, our for-life partners, our friendships, and our callings.

To avoid breaches we need humility.

Humble hearts have followed their Master, leaned their head against His shoulder, and washed His feet with their tears. We need to humble ourselves before God and each other in a spirit of peace and forgiveness. This is the doozy because it goes straight against the human ego to be right, to be in control of our lives, and to feel a sense of superiority. Having a teachable spirit is a major key to receiving God’s wisdom.

Abandoned dwellings are a waste. But if they’re still standing there’s always hope for repair, for rebuilding, for disposing and replacing. There’s also hope for those who have breaches in their personal lives and relationships. Isaiah 61:4 says, And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations and they shall repair the former cities, desolations of many generations.

It’s time to repair the breaches and rebuild our lives!