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Is Your Creativity a Wildfire or a Controlled Burn?

Is Your Creativity a Wildfire or a Controlled Burn?

I wonder what the practical value is in a Christian who lacks discernment. And at the same time, I wonder the practical value of a creative who lacks vision. Those may seem completely unrelated, but as we continue to move forward as members of both groups, there is a tie that binds them together. It is the Spirit of God. A creative needs vision. A Christian needs discernment. Christian creatives need vision from the Spirit of God.

“Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint,
but blessed is he who keeps the law.” Proverbs 29:18 ESV

As we go and create, I can’t help but see this image of fire. The Spirit of God is often represented as fire in Scripture. A Christian who lacks discernment, a creative who lacks vision, both seem like a wildfire in the worst way. The destruction that can unintentionally result is terrifying. Wildfires are a real issue in many parts of our country and throughout the world. They can be uncontrolled, unplanned and spread rapidly, leaving destruction in their wake. As a chaotic creative, in the creative process, a wildfire could be unbridled creativity with no direction, no restraint, and can result in a chaotic output that doesn’t have any focus or purpose. Like a wildfire can devastate forests and communities, unchecked creativity can lead to wasted resources, missed opportunities, or even creating something harmful to oneself or others. Without discernment in life, creative endeavors may lack the clarity and wisdom needed to ensure they result in positive impact. The results could often not be in alignment with the creative’s values or goals.

But on the other hand, I believe the Christian with discernment, the creative that has vision from God is still tapping into that very same fire. But instead, it’s a controlled burn. I always thought that was interesting because growing up, I was someone who I will admit was a bit of a pyromaniac. Maybe that’s why I’m drawn to the concept of the Spirit of God being a fire. But I always was fascinated by the fact that there were things called controlled burns. A controlled burn is intentional, deliberate, carefully planned, and a fire set under controlled conditions to achieve specific results like reducing wildfire risks, restoring ecosystems, and promoting new growth. In the same way, intentional creativity has purposeful direction and channels creative energy toward a specific vision or goal. Just like controlled burns rejuvenate forests, clearing out underbrush and promoting new growth, controlled creativity allows for the cultivation of ideas, the refinement of skills, and the realization of meaningful projects.

Through discernment, a Christian creative can identify ideas, projects, and collaborations that align with their calling and values. Creative vision provides the guiding light illuminating the path forward and inspiring innovation within the boundaries of faith and purpose. In essence, while both wildfires and controlled burns involve fire, the key difference lies in the intention and direction behind them. Similarly, in the realm of Christian creativity, discernment and creative vision serve as vital tools for channeling creative energy toward God-honoring endeavors that bear fruit and bring glory to him.

So let us not ignore the flames. Let us not run from the fire, but instead, let us seek God for discernment and creative vision as we look to Him to bring order to the chaos.

Looking for further help staying close to God? Check out the Five by the Fire Podcast.
With over 700+ episodes of devotionals and Bible meditations, it is a great tool to encourage the believer into God’s Presence.

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Should We Wait for God’s Voice or Walk in Faith?

Should We Wait for God’s Voice or Walk in Faith?

Almost 10 years ago, I donated a kidney.

There was a co-worker who found that he had kidney disease and it was advancing rapidly. We weren’t especially close, and when the invite came through to join a Facebook group that was entitled, Chuck needs a life-saving kidney, I almost immediately disregarded the invite. But then I felt convicted that I should at least pray about whether or not I should consider donating. So, I accepted the invite to the group. I had noticed that there were a few thousand people in this group. Surely, one of them was more closely related or more appropriately suited to do this. After all, I’m married with two kids and I have to be concerned about their well-being and future.

So I went to prayer and I wish I could say that I heard a very clear “yes” from the Lord. I didn’t, but all I got was a question… What Would Jesus Do? I was getting the lesson for this post…When you don’t have a specific “yes,” just keep walking in the way that Jesus would.

It was clear that this is the type of thing that Jesus would say “yes” to. I talked it over with Lariza, my wife, and we determined that if this wasn’t going to be a thing that would really greatly negatively impact our family, that I could continue to explore it.

And so that I did. I took the first test and as I was going, I was praying.

“Jesus, is this what you want for me to do? Please redirect me if this isn’t from you. Show me a different way if this is not your way for me.”

And the first test passed. The second test showed that I was a match. And the following test showed that I was healthy enough, including my psych evaluation.

Everything was lining up and Jesus was quiet. So in his silence, I simply decided to be obedient to what the way of Jesus would be, even though I did not have a specific “yes” for this situation.

It’s interesting to me that so many of us are okay with making so many decisions without Jesus and his leadership. We don’t ask him whether or not we should open the refrigerator when we’re hungry. We don’t wait and pray whether or not we should use the upstairs bathroom or the downstairs bathroom when we need to relieve ourselves. So why is it when there’s certain decisions that are scary to us, that seem huge, that we are so afraid to move forward without having direct instructions on that is what we should do? So instead we do nothing and call it waiting on the Lord. The truth is, God has already given us our instructions to move forward.

Yes, many, many places, God says, “Wait on the Lord and renew your strength.”

But even more than that, the resounding instructions from God’s Word are, “Fear not, go, I am with you.”

“Fear not, go, I am with you.”

What if we applied that to all of our daily activity that we’re doing with the heart of worship for God?  “Fear not, go, I am with you.” As we look at Scripture, there’s one significant place where God’s people were commanded to wait. And that was upon the anticipation of the Holy Spirit in Acts. They were told to wait for the helper. But once the helper came, they were lit up. The gospel began to pour out of them and they split up, divided themselves throughout the known world, preaching and teaching according to God’s instructions.  Those same instructions applied to us all,

Matthew 28:19-20

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Why do we still need an additional go-ahead for each and every big move? Yes, we should pray. Yes, we should walk in wisdom, but we should be continually moving forward in that which we already know. We should not be sitting still but moving forward as we are waiting for Him to instruct us further, redirect us, or maybe even stop us.

This concept is a foundational one for the inception of the Ordered Chaos Club. It began simply as my desire to express this reality that creatives need to be more Christ-centered and that the church needs to be more creative. But it continues to evolve and God continues to speak truth and direction into it, rather than me simply waiting to hear the whole vision before I begin.

Sometimes we just need to go. So the question is, what is our default posture? Are we simply sitting and waiting for God to give us more direction? Or are we already going forward based on the last thing that the Father spoke to us?

I believe those in movement in the direction that they believe are those who are truly being faithful. Let us wait while we walk.

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