“For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So, they are without excuse.” -Romans 1:20 ESV
Every morning my husband and I wake up in our new home, a peaceful condo in the Rochester Hills section of Michigan, with a quaint patio that positions us to witness unbelievable sunrises. What captures my heart and attention the most is when my awe of this orange, purple, and golden hued canvas deepens my appreciation for the Master Painter, God, the Creator of the universe.
The Word of God declares, “the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those that dwell therein, for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.” Psalm 24:1-2 ESV
The author of creation is the founder of creativity. God Himself established the arts for the purpose of worship and adoration unto Himself. He is the catalyst that initiates and drives every expression of the arts we see demonstrated through artists, media professionals, and entertainers of our day. As His image bearers, God has empowered believers to function as co-creators with God, and co-laborers with one another. It’s His image in the world’s creatives that allows us to experience an awe and reverence for their greatness, whether the vessel using their gifts attributes his/her skill to the God who endowed them or not. God strategically crafts and fashions creation for the purpose of the supernatural empowerment of his sons and daughters to show forth His glory in the earth.
Too often in our daily Christian formation, we miss the miracle of God working through creatives, when our theology disconnects from our psychology.
This can happen when we speak curses over the Hollywood writers who create TV shows, reporters who cover uncomfortable stories or musicians who do not produce worship music. It is easy to slip into an ‘us vs. them’ mindset and group the courageous Christians working in these spaces into the ‘them’ category. These bold brothers and sisters are lights in very dark places—they are in the writers’ rooms pressing to see the Lord’s name is not taken in vain, they are choreographers who want to create exciting shows while honoring God in movement, and they are producers who help musicians craft meaningful lyrics that uplift rather than tear down. They are working in full-time ministry in their jobs because a Christian’s commitment to Christ is full-time. On the Pray for Media and Entertainment bus tour, NDP intercessors learned we must pray blessing over the Christians in these areas and ask God to bless them with opportunities to honor the Lord in their creative efforts and share their faith with open hearts.
Another way we miss the miracle of God at work is when our sinful human nature shifts from applause to idolatry. Notable public figures, talented multi-award-winning celebrities often receive the adoration that rightfully belongs to God. The greatness in man is none other than the glory of God at work. Admiration is acceptable, idol worship is not. In the church, celebrity culture has fueled a twisted admiration of man, making a person’s influence and voice greater than God’s. It’s critical to boldly intercede over the nation and its creatives and expose the spirit of idolatry according to the truth of God’s Word. While the world around them praises the gift, the Christian’s primary concern is the welfare of the soul.
Mark 8:36 says, “for what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?”
When we allow a performance driven, consumer culture to infiltrate kingdom culture, a greater precedent is placed on temporary gain, even if it means eternal loss. The body of Christ must discourage a faith-in-action that contradicts the very nature of Christian discipleship, which is a crucified life, forsaking the cares of the world for a coming kingdom.
David was a divinely skilled psalmist and musician in Scripture who used his gifting to comfort the disquieted soul of King Solomon. In his life, successes, leadership and failures, David’s plethora of creative ability and entrepreneurial savvy did not supersede his need for the living God.
Last week, we prayed over the societal mountain of arts, media, and entertainment during the Pray For America call, and we must continue to intercede more intentionally than ever before. Creatives flee to the world when the church has rendered itself ill-equipped to effectively understand, love, lead, and disciple them. May we see kingdom transformation from this generation’s movie executives, news reporters, recording artists, and social media influencers when we declare the power of God over their lives, and lead them to the One who can transform their hearts forever; granting them impact that will advance the kingdom agenda over and above their personal influence. May we no longer look on creatives at a distance, as though they are superhuman or sub-par to our standards. May we see them in their humanity and pray for an unleashing of creative potential that points our nation to heaven.
Our Father and our God, we thank You that You are the Creator of all things. You said that in the last days You would pour out Your Spirit on all people, and that our sons and daughters will prophesy, our young men would see visions, and our old men will dream dreams. We pray that the divine creativity of You, our Master would penetrate this nation with truth and transformation. We pray that we would see through to the heart of creative vessels, introducing them to your Son Jesus, and releasing them through careful stewardship to the greatness that expands Your kingdom and glorifies Your Name. Forgive us for joining in the chorus of culture, idolizing man when You have total rule over our souls. May we see an uprising of truth tellers and surrendered hearts that will saturate this sphere of society. We pray this in the Mighty Name of Jesus, Amen.
Director of Intercultural Prayer and Missions