In his book, Quitter, Jon Acuff said he heard creativity defined as: “a wild mind with a disciplined eye.”
I like that definition, because nobody has a wilder mild with a more focused and disciplined eye—and the capability to see it all come together to form a gorgeous masterpiece—than God.
And he offers us the same creative genius through his Holy Spirit.
I recently spoke to a group of women at our church about this very topic, the creativity of God at work in our lives, and I’m convinced that the message wasn’t just for them, but it’s for you too. The God of unlimited creativity wants to unleash his power in your life. To breathe fresh life into your dry, barren places, and spark hope where it vanished long ago.
So, what comes to mind when you hear the word “original”?
Do you consider yourself to be an original? A creative soul?
Or do you think originality/creativity is reserved for a select group of people? The mad musical genius or the tortured artist?
Merriam Webster defines “original” this way:
a person who is different from other people in an interesting or appealing way
the source from which something arises
a person of fresh initiative or inventive capacity
not secondary, derivative, or imitative
In Isaiah 43:18-19 (NLT) Isaiah is speaking to the Israelite people, prophesying for God, and he says:
“But forget all that—it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. (emphasis added)
In those verses we see a Creator at work. In the lives of people.
But hang on. What is he telling them to forget? Because the verse begins by saying “Forget all that.” When we look at the verses leading up to that passage it says (verses 16-18—The Message):
“This is what God says, the God who builds a road right though the ocean, who carves a path through pounding waves, The God who summons horses and chariots and armies—they lie down and then can’t get up; they’re snuffed out like so many candles.”
He’s reminding them of the miracles they’ve seen him do in their past. How he delivered them from slavery in Egypt. How he led them by a pillar of fire by night and cloud by day to the edge of the sea, where they were surrounded by Pharaoh and his army. He brought them to a place where things looked impossible, hemmed in on one side by people determined to drag them back to slavery and on the other by the immovable waters of the sea. But God led them there to put his “glory on display.” (You can read the whole story in Exodus 13-14). And he came through in grand fashion. He cut a path through the water and waves, and they walked through on dry ground.
But in verse 18, he says “Forget all of that—I’m about to do something new.” I’m going to create rivers out of places that were deserts before. I’m going to create refreshing in the midst of doubt, call life from barren places, make something out of nothing, craft something new from what you thought was worn out and old.
Essentially, he’s saying, “Just wait. You haven’t seen anything yet.”
The God who carves a path through the ocean, that creative wonder says, “Forget that, look what I’m doing now. You’re not gonna believe it! Where I caused water that was already in existence to stand at attention before; now I’m going to call water from dry land. I’m going to create something completely new and different from the original material.”
We have a saying at our church, when we see God do something amazing, that God is just showing off, and in this verse that’s what he’s promising to do. To show off in the lives of the Israelites. He’s saying, “If you think that was incredible, just wait till you see what I do next.”
I believe God is still speaking those words over us today. His creativity and desire to move in our midst is not tapped out. I believe he longs to put his glory on display in our lives—in our most impossible circumstances. He is speaking refreshing streams into your desert wastelands, he wants to take what you believe to be your original material—your problems, your struggles, your doubt and fear—and blow you away with what he can do when you place them in his hands and allow his creativity to breathe fresh perspective into them.
The God who is the source from which everything arose, who created everything we’ve ever seen, and everything we can’t even comprehend, who created something from nothing—wants to do that in your life.
~Gut-Check and Action Steps~
- Where could you use a gust of creativity? In your parenting, in your job, in your friendships, with your marriage or other relationships?
- How big and creative is your God? Do you think he can uniquely gift you with creativity for the challenges you face?
P.S. Be sure to hop on over to Facebook and vote for your favorite subtitle for my new book, Holy Doubt (coming out May 9th!!). I’d love to hear what you think.