To celebrate the recent publication of Spark: Igniting Your God-Given Creativity, today I’m posting a brief excerpt and holding a giveaway. To enter the draw for a free copy of Spark, please leave a comment at the end of this article and/or share on social media and let me know. I’ll do a random draw on Saturday, August 29, 9am and post the winner’s name then.
As a first-year university student, I enrolled in a course that combined English, literature, history, and philosophy. For my first paper, I wrote a Bible-as-literature essay on the book of Exodus, and at one point referred to the Holy Spirit. When I met with my professor to discuss my paper, she said,”You can’t say that. The Holy Spirit is a New Testament idea. You’re writing about the Old Testament. The Holy Spirit wasn’t invented yet.”
With all due respect to my professor, the Holy Spirit was not some kind of late invention by New Testament writers. From the very beginning, in Genesis 1, the Spirit of God was present in creation. God’s Spirit stirred the people to give and express their creativity in assembling the tabernacle and its furnishings (Exodus 35-36). God’s Spirit moved Isaiah, Jeremiah, and others to speak out for peace, justice, and mercy. Psalm 139:8-10 describes how the Holy Spirit is everywhere:
If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning
and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me fast.
In 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, the Spirit of God gives spiritual gifts, and energizes and guides their use. For me, this is freeing and applies also to the gift of creativity. It’s a gift that’s freely given–we don’t have to earn it or compete for it. We don’t have to drive ourselves. We don’t have to be guilted into doing anything. Whatever creative gifts we may have, we receive them from God, whose Spirit leads and enables us to express them.
Your turn: How does the Spirit spark your creativity? I’d love to hear your ideas and strategies. Or just leave a comment to let me know you’d like to enter the draw for a free copy of Spark.