Creating With God
Allowing God to use art and creativity for His Glory
Have you ever stopped to consider how creative our God is? Think about how he created you, being made in His image. God is incredibly creative and we have access to his creativity always, we can see it and display it everyday.
Words: Jeremy Veenstra Read: 0 - 5 mins Published: 16 August 2022
“In the beginning, God Created…” You know the rest, but have you ever read just that one statement? The first thing that God did was create. Sometimes I love to stop, look around me and think deeply about how this world was created. God started with the natural world, everything has been put in its place to work perfectly, the way God originally designed it to be. Take the colours of the rainbow for example, and the feelings those colours give us. Looking at a beautiful sunrise, admiring the warmth of the colours and how peaceful you feel when you stop to take it all in – that’s one example of the power and beauty of creativity. All that God created is designed to point back to Him. Think about the way God is glorified through a humble tree; they are beautiful and can grow quite big, but they are also purposed to produce oxygen, which in turn, sustains life.
Then He created you, “You formed my inward parts; you knitted me in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:13-14a ESV. Stopping to think about that statement from David blows my mind. The beautiful picture of God knitting and forming our bodies in the womb, designing our personality, wiring our brain together and counting the number of hairs that we’ll have on our head shows how wonderfully creative and intimate our God is. You are a creation of God! He’s so masterful in fact, He made each person totally unique; there is no one else that God has made that is like you. Consider your DNA; every single person has their own unique set of chemical bases which make up who they are. Or even something as small as your fingerprint – no one who has ever lived has the same fingerprint as you. Nobody could ever match the creative nature of our God.
In Exodus, there’s a person that usually gets missed, but was filled with creativity to carry out God’s work. His name was Bezalel. The Bible notes that he was gifted, “with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftmanship, to devise artistic design…” (Exodus 31:3-4). This was a person chosen by God, to use their craft to partner with Him to create pieces of art that bought people into the presence of God. If you’ve read the chapters on the design and creation of the temple, you can really see the importance of creativity in building the tabernacle (Ex. 35:4-39:43). God had a picture in mind, full of vibrant colour, precious jewels and materials. It wasn’t just a tent, it was a piece of art.
Throughout the whole Bible there is evidence of creativity within the worship and praises of God’s people. David wrote songs and poems that were designed for worship and allowed him to express his feelings to God. Solomon also wrote poems about the wisdom he learnt from God and today we still are doing the same. I’m learning that the books of the Bible, which were originally written without chapters and verses, have patterns and repetition to help the reader understand the themes and the context of that story. Within the very pages of His word, God demonstrates the value of art and creativity.
However, I believe this isn’t something that we should leave in the Word, because we know that we were meant to live out the Word of God. How do we use creativity as worship to display God’s majesty? And beyond that, can we use it to prophesy and bring heaven to earth? Let me be clear, when I’m talking about creativity in art, and I don’t just mean paint on a canvas. An artist can be defined as a musician, cake decorator, filmmaker, florist, writer, graphic designer, architect, dancer and there are so many more! Art has many flavours, and we can use them all to worship God. In the same way, the product of creativity doesn’t have to be art, we’re all creative and it’s something we practice every day. If you’re an accountant, lawyer, scientist, roadworker, you’re creative. Let God show you how he can use those gifts in a unique way.
When it comes to creating there are so many avenues for inspiration for a piece of art, and in today’s world it can become overwhelming. We have endless amounts of online information at our fingertips. There is so much out there, and in my opinion, we’ve become saturated to the point that it’s stalling our creativity. Balanced amounts are great, but limits are even better. For me, watching a film and a quick scroll through Instagram for photos can be helpful, but I’m careful where I look and have to control how much content I consume. But as Christians, Pinterest shouldn’t be our first port of call for inspiration, the first place is obvious.
We’ve seen how much creativity the Bible holds, naturally, it should be our first avenue of inspiration. Flick through the pages and allow Holy Spirit’s presence to flood your imagination. Read it as though God is speaking directly to you and use that to inspire the next piece of art you create. If you’re not getting anything, stop. Slow your mind, and let God guide you. Head to the Psalms, read a parable and be patient.
When you create, think about creating in partnership with God. He’s always with you and wants to speak to you, are you listening?
When we work with God we’re allowing His power to take control. Paul encourages the church in Ephesus at the end of his letters to do this, “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us”, (Ephesians 3:20, ESV). God has given us His power, I believe this can look like finding inspiration to create things beyond anything that we could ever think of on our own. Spend some time praying, settling you’re mind and heart on Him and see what he can do through you.
Let’s revisit Bezalel in Exodus, he was filled with the Holy Spirit and was guided to bring to life God’s design of the Tabernacle. It was God who gave him the artistic ability and vision to create a place that would host the presence of God. Bezalel could not have crafted this without God’s Holy Spirit working in and through him. We have free access to Holy Spirt to guide our creativity into something that will bring God glory as an act of worship to Him. “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Cor. 10:31). Just as Paul said to the Romans, our whole life should be an act of worship to God, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” (Romans 12:1).
A few years ago before I started working at Riverlife, I was in a filmmaking elective at a creative conference in Sydney. I was so inspired by what the speakers were talking about, they were amazing filmmakers and clearly loved the work they were creating. But I’ll never forget what one of them said, “all of you in here are prophetic people.” I understood at that moment that God had given me a prophetic gift, to see through God’s eyes and capture it through film or a photograph.
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20, ESV).
Let what you create speak of God’s love and grace that is for everyone! You never know who might be led to the Lord through a canvas you paint, a letter you write or a film you make, let God use it to lead those who aren’t yet saved into a relationship with him. Let it prophesy and voice what Holy Spirit is saying to those who see or hear it. Pray that God would use your gift for His Kingdom. Worship the Lord with your gifts, submit to His power and watch as beauty, majesty and glory come to life.