I have never thought of “the paintbrush” as being wielded as powerfully as “the sword” to demolish strongholds…but I am beginning to contemplate the concept.
Paul teaches in 2 Corinthians 10, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.” (2 Cor. 10:3-4, NASB) Paul defined the “weapons” as “destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God”, as well as “taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Cor. 10:5**)
These both primarily reflect intellectual disciplines…and an intellectual approach to the “weapons of our warfare,” – which is no way diminishes their value or spiritual potency. However, I propose that the concept of not warring “according to the flesh” clearly points to the Kingdom, the spiritual, and thus encompasses potential for a wider variety of intangibles…including the very real use of “warfare” being carried out through artistic expression and Spirit-led creativity of all sorts.
In the book Born to Create, author Theresa Dedmon makes several bold statements linking spiritual impact to creative expression. She writes, “If we understood the power of sound, visual art, film, writing, and creativity to bring the Kingdom of God to earth, we would stand up like Paul did on Mars Hill and let the truth be known!”*
“A natural man,” one to whom the gospel appears as foolishness, as he processes it through his understanding. Yet…could it be that the flow of His Spirit through us via creative means can lead a person more directly into the realm of “spiritual appraisal”, bypassing skeptical mindsets and cynical disbelief?
It’s a question I’m prayerfully asking.
Dedmon also makes the bold assertion, “Creativity terrifies the enemy because no weapon can stand against God’s people as they use it for God’s glory.”* Isaiah 54:17 states as a declaration from the Lord, “No weapon that is formed against you will prosper…this is the heritage of the servants of the Lord…”
Creativity and warfare…sometimes the reason we can’t immediately embrace a concept is because it isn’t a quick-find-in-the-Concordance topic. For instance, there is no use of the specific words “creative” or “creativity” in most Scripture translations. “Create,” – as in ‘God created’ – yes. Creative? No.
It seems to me that the omission of that particular word reinforces a tendency to internally divide ourselves up, to think that “we, and our walk with God” are “over here,” and that artistic expression, endeavor, activity, is somewhereover there…unrelated to Him and His Life, His Spirit, viewed as irrelevant to any area of a Christ-centered walk.
That just isn’t true. To believe that is to allow the enemy to throttle us before the paintbrush paints…or the potter’s wheel turns….or the vocal chords sing. And If we separate His inspiration, our sonship and flow of His Life through us from our creative endeavors…we have abandoned a valuable resource He has designed to both edify ourselves and minister love and freedom to others.
Scripture offers insight into the strength, power, and high regard God holds for creativity and skill that extend His touch, His influence, His dominion. The book of Exodus equates an infilling of “the Spirit of God” with spiritual deposits “in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship…”
Think about that for just a second. “All kinds of craftsmanship” fueled by wisdom, understanding, and knowledge..and a direct result of being filled with the Spirit of God.
I can only say, whoa!
Paul admonished the Ephesians that “the manifold wisdom of God” was to “be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.” (Eph. 3:10)
There is a connection between His wisdom and His creativity, for they both originate with His Spirit. Ephesians 6:10 comes to my mind, in which the “full armor of God” enables us to “stand firm.” However, it is very difficult to “dress” another person so that they can stand firm. Perhaps this is another route to the same goal…through creative expression, to introduce that person to greater levels of faith and belief in Jesus.