A few weeks ago, I was having a conversation with a good friend that had recently quit her job as a teacher to pursue her true passions. For the last few months, she has been praying and trying to figure out exactly what direction she should go in while also trying to deprogram all of what she’s “learned” about who she is. She shared that she would love to pursue her dreams of event coordinating, fashion, and authoring, among other things. Her issue thus far, has been those voices from others that have told her that they believe she’s a missionary and that those dreams weren’t ministry related. Hearing that statement almost angered me. Sometimes those of us that have been surrounded by certain believers and church people are often discouraged to do and be exactly what God intends.
I read a book called Dreaming with God by Bill Johnson some time ago, the book encourages us not only to dream, but to dream with God. Taking those desires that HE put within us and making them come to pass. God inspires us to be creative. He doesn’t care about the church politics or the church walls. HE doesn’t care if our appearance doesn’t match that of the church’s preference. He isn’t caught up in every believer being a missionary or ministry leader in the church. He wants us to do what He created within us; much of which is fueled by the creativity that He gave us. Our creativity isn’t just for us to enjoy, its for us to use in the various places of our lives to eventually transform the world that we live in. In the book, Bill Johnson says “you were created to be a “design star” by using your unique imagination, creativity, wisdom, dreams.”
I’m so tired of seeing people holding back their true potential because they aren’t sure if what they are dreaming up is God ordained. I understand the dilemma of being unsure and confused. But I also know that those dreams that just won’t go away; the ones that continue to knock on your heart, the ones that play in your head all day while you’re doing things that you’d rather NOT be doing; those are most likely the dreams that God has placed within you to help, inspire, and change others.
I remember the night that I decided to stop living a completely lifeless life, and I told God that i wanted to live His way. I had no idea what living His way really looked like. So I began to change myself based on what I had observed. I stopped wearing crazy colors and clothes, I let go of my dreams of having a nose ring, I stopped dying my hair crazy colors; basically, I turned into the most boring version of myself. Because for some reason, that’s what I believed that God’s way looked like. The straight and narrow Christian girl that went to church and then went home. Over the last five years, I’ve been taught by God and various kingdom teachings that THAT is not what God is concerned about. Of course, we will all have different restrictions based on the convictions and how they feel in their heart that they should live. But I’ve seen so many people dull down their internal beliefs just as I decided to dull down my physical appearance. I know that my friend isn’t the only person that believes that her dreams aren’t kingdom simply because she does not desire to do them within the church. A message from Christine Caine reminded me that God calls us to be IN the world,just not OF it. And for a while, that scripture was just a cliche saying for me. What it means, however, is that we are to be believers, Christians, kingdom minded citizens who are partnering with God to change the world that we live in. But we can’t change a world, that we are not in. We can’t discredit and dull down our creativity because we think that the only places that we are needed are within the church walls or what the church has defined as ministry.
There is no way, that we can look at the creativity around us and somehow conclude that God does not call us to be just as creative. And creativity also means that what we produce and think up, will be different than anything else that we’ve seen. God is all knowing, and constant; but He, being the God that created Earth, pregnancy, and the way of life that we know, is not a God that will only produce, what He’s already produced. He is not only creating new things through us, He is calling us to use those new ideas and individually unique perspectives to change what we know as normal. That doesn’t discredit tradition or the function of the church building; it simply empowers those of us who have ever felt as if we have to be “normal” or defined by church lingo. Ministry can be done anywhere. And a minister, is one that serves God and his people though the avenues and tools that He has given the individual.
We can’t be afraid to be creative. We can’t be afraid to be new and different from what we’ve always known OR from what others have said we should be. There are thousands of people that have caught on to what God is doing in the world. And my prayer is that we would open our eyes to Him and denounce all of the lies and non biblical, traditional crap that we’ve heard and been taught. We have to step out as the leaders that we are called to be and realize that not only is our creativity necessary for a dying and thirsty world; our creativity is divine.
15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.