We Were Created to Create

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I know some ultra-creative people. My friend Ashley can paint stunning landscapes. Gia can craft imaginative stories. Natalie can sketch heart-warming portraits. And that’s only a glimpse.

The world is oozing with creativity. Painters, poets, potters and pianists have embellished life since its beginning. They’ve blended colors and forged rhymes and morphed melodies into beauty.

Did you know you’re a creator? Whether it’s a song or a spreadsheet or a software system, every person was born to create.

Why?

Because we were created in the image of an ultra-creative (and brilliantly glorious) Creator (Gen 1:27).

Out of Nothing

My creative friends all have something in common: They need materials to work.

Ashley can’t paint without oils and Gia can’t write without words. As broad and deep as their creativity is, not one of them can fashion something out of nothing.

That’s because humans are mini-creators. Everything we make is only a rearrangement of what God has already made. We paint with colors he called into being. We write with words he spoke first. And when our materials run dry, so does our creativity.

Not so with God. His creativity is boundless because he requires no paints, paper, hammer, pencil, or clay to work. God creates ex nihilo—out of nothing.

By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible (Heb. 11:3).

God shaped planets out of nothing. He molded Earth without clay. He breathed life into mankind and then told us to go create things.

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it…” (Gen. 1:28).

Created to Create

What does it mean to subdue the earth? The idea suggests bringing something into cultivation or control. When we take materials God made and craft things, we’re subduing the earth. We’re obeying God’s call for humanity.

Like Bezalel in Exodus 31, God created us to be creators.

The LORD said to Moses, “See, I have called by name Bezalel… and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs…” (Ex. 31:1-4a).

God gave Bezalel an eye for artistry. In turn, Bezalel crafted the articles used in the Holy Place to worship God. Our calling is similar.

From God’s own lips, we learn where all creativity originates: I have given to all able men ability, that they may make all that I have commanded you (Ex. 31:6).

To subdue the earth is to hold the strands of God’s creation and braid them into beauty that magnifies him.

The Object of Our Creativity

But we don’t always use our mirrors to reflect God’s glory. We tend to swivel the reflector so it spotlights us. And the consequences of seeking self-glory are severe.

[God] will render to each one according to his works: … for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury (Rom. 2:6 & 8).

We cannot create for God’s glory until he recreates us.

Pouring our creativity into the basin of selfish ambition is more than a waste. It’s sin deserving furious wrath. Creativity’s chief purpose is to glorify the Creator, and anything else is wickedness. Apart from Jesus’ redeeming blood, our creativeness is no more than filth smeared across canvas.

We cannot create for God’s glory until he recreates us.

[You] have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator (Col. 3:9b-10).

Jesus’ blood clothes us in righteousness. Only because of this can we adjust our mirrors to reflect God’s light as image-bearers.

The truly successful creator is the artist who does just that. It’s the sculptor who relishes God before he chisels. It’s the songwriter who studies God before she shapes words and tunes. It’s the Christian who creates because they’ve been created in the image of a glorious Creator.

7 thoughts on “We Were Created to Create

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