Operating out of a consecrated creativity gives you the strength you were intended to possess amidst the spiritual battles in the creative life. Consider the words of God to Joshua, in preparation for what God was about to do through him (lead the Israelites into the Promised Land). God told Joshua, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” (Joshua 3:5)
It is easy to forget that spiritual warfare is constant in this life. It is easy to focus on the next project, the daily grind, or our own inadequacies. But the essential reality is that we need more than self-help tips. We need a consecrated creativity that aligns our passions and talents with what God is doing in our life and in our creative work.
Los Angeles is never boring because people come here with grand dreams. They come with dreams of fame, financial success and even the transformation of culture or even the world. Dreams are a wonderful thing. They can inspire us and motivate us when times are tough, but there is an inherent danger when our dreams and visions for our life are not consecrated. What I mean by consecrated is that we bring our visions and dreams under the rule of the Kingdom of God.
This means we are asking how our dreams honor God, how they reflect His heart for our industry, and how their accomplishment impacts our heart for God personally. If we are not asking these questions, we are essentially leaving God out of our career, our dreams, and our imagination. To be honest, we all do this, but how can we change this? The point is to begin actively seeking to reorient our creativity and our careers to mirror what God is doing right now,
It is easier to come up with grandiose dreams than to establish the habits that will get you there. Too many creatives have dreams of “making a difference for Christ” in the art world or in the entertainment industry, and they fail to ask what habits will enable such a vision to come to fruition. Like the old joke of the man walking through New York City, asking a street musician, “How can I get to Carnegie Hall?” The street musician answers, “Practice, man. Practice.”
Dreams are useless without discipline, commitment, and the right habits. For a musician, it requires thousands of hours of practice, great teachers, and countless performances to earn the right to perform at Carnegie. Our spiritual life is no different. We are able to “make a difference for Christ” after years in the art world or the entertainment industry because we spent countless hours in prayer, practiced daily what it means to love our neighbor, and what it means to love God. Our daily habits are the litmus test for what we really care about, and what truly are the desires of our heart. These habits are essential for faithfully pursuing a consecrated creativity.
Our imagination is always looking for new ideas and concepts to bring together in a fresh way. Like King David, we want “to sing a new song.” But we live in a fallen world, and we live amongst other artists who use their imagination to glorify drugs, infidelity, or the pursuit of fame at any cost. The challenge before us is how we will be different.
We have the freedom in Christ to address any topic, but we are called to honor God in the process. As we ‘speak’ into our cultural community of artists, the patrons, and the fans, we must remember that God has consecrated us, and ‘set us apart’ for His work. Though the distinction may not be visible to others, it is a distinction that runs through our hearts and keeps us tethered to Christ. We can take time to explore all kinds of ideas, but we must also guard our hearts, and seek to glorify God in all we do. Sometimes it is helpful to remember the words of Saint Augustine, who shared his longing “to think God’s thoughts after Him.”
Living in a fallen world can be very trying and challenging. We all face trials that we fail. The enemy, that lying devourer Satan, wants to condemn you and lock you in the den of despair. Your Savior, the ever faithful Son of God, longs to restore you, for He has already redeemed you and called you by name. The only real option in moments of failure is to re-consecrate your heart, mind, imagination, talent, dreams and habits. This is how we find our joy restored, our heart lifted from despair, and our eyes opened once again to the goodness of God.
This is the beauty of the Gospel – there is always grace at the cross. Remember that God is more focused on you becoming like Christ over time, than doing this perfectly…the first time…the second time…or the third time.
So take time to invest in the dreams and habits that lead toward godliness and consecrated creativity. Don’t let your mistakes hold you down. Focus on the journey, and begin to see how God is with you along the way. And…Let us know in the comments below how you have consecrated your creativity along your journey. Tell us what has helped you stay focused.
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