So how does the world look at the artist? In what way does the artist fit into God’s design within the church family? The book of Deuteronomy does speak of certain individuals possessing the gift of craftsmanship. Oddly it is not mentioned in the New Testament or included in what is considered nine of the “spiritual gifts” spoken of there.
It is taught that while some believers may have more than one spiritual gift, believers have at least one. It can even be an enhancement of what would have been a natural born talent. This was an eye-opener for me. For so many years as I grew up, I found myself jealous of others having found their gift, their path. I had assumed that my spiritual gift would be something I would use within the four walls of an actual church organization. But I had an interesting conversation with a priest one day pointing out that my calling was probably more out in the world, rather than serving within a church organization per se’. I was struggling at the time as a church secretary at the time of this conversation.
In 2010 I started a blog in relation to my scrapbooking website I had at the time. With the blog I experimented with creating scrapbook pages around various scripture verses and life topics and would blog about the piece and my own issues behind it. I wasn’t thinking at the time about the whole spiritual gift idea, but had just decided to use what abilities I had to honor God. It would be quite a few years later before I realized the significance of what I was able to do and consider myself an artist. It was actually the input of others that helped me see it. One of those was a minister who in his own way testified to the effect that these abilities may be a gift.
In my journey to discover and better understand this “spiritual calling” of mine, I came across a book by Matt Tommey called Creativity According to the Kingdom. I enjoyed how he explained the spiritual side of art and I appreciate his insight into what I see as why the church today can be “funny” about the whole topic and even why the world as a whole struggles with it as well.
I would encourage you to read Creativity According to the Kingdom. Tommey says that many scholars believe that it was Lucifer’s position in Heaven’s throne room to literally reflect the Light of God as it came forth. He says that our design as a creative worshiper, artist, business executive or homemaker is the same as Lucifer’s original design, which is to live in the presence of God, reflecting His light and sounding forth His sound in the earth through the unique way the Father has created you. Lucifer’s sin was in wanting to take the glory for himself. That is our challenge as artists today.
I suppose that Satan has a special hatred for Creatives as these abilities were his as an archangel originally. Tommey refers to them as “perfect storms” designed to take out the artist. (p.33 Creativity according to the Kingdom). I think, whether Christian or not, this is why not only the church but also the majority of the world’s people have mixed feelings about art and artists.
In spite of these issues I choose to follow the creative path I have been given. It is part of my journey to learn to get out of my own way and follow God’s way, however long that takes. I have never taken a professional art course and the whole process of being an artist entreprenuer (who has a full time day job) is daunting to me. But I will keep at it and if you are an artist, I hope you realize both the gift and its purpose.