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Are Your Creative Thoughts Captive to Christ?

Are Your Creative Thoughts Captive to Christ?

“You cannot keep birds from flying over your head but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.” – Martin Luther

Having a wild, creative nature is a beautiful thing. Consider icons like Frida Kahlo or Pablo Picasso. These individuals embodied a wildly creative mindset. But I wonder, to what degree did they have to develop leadership for that creativity to get the most out of it?

Imagine if Steve Jobs never focused on developing the iPod, or if Einstein never honed his thoughts on relativity. What if Frida never dedicated herself specifically to her craft with her brush?

I believe our most impactful creative works lie on the other side of our most intentional decisions regarding our creative thoughts. It is through this thought work—this warfare on the battlefield of our mind—that we achieve victory. Jesus reminds us that we can hold every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.

This is the heart of meditation that I am drawn to—not necessarily the act of emptying your mind, but the act of deciding what your mind will dwell on. Many Eastern and New Age meditations talk about an emptiness of mind during meditation. However, as I explored these practices to quiet my mind, I realized that the actual work involves focusing my mind on specific things. Instead of dwelling on random thoughts, my mind focuses on the environment and being present, rather than on the thoughts that tend to occupy it.

This realization has shown me that meditation is not about emptiness, but about fullness. It’s about what your mind is filled with. What your mind is filled with in each moment determines your focus. That focus, that mental dwelling, is what you are giving your peace, your heart, and in many senses, your future.

Instead of trying to keep my mind empty for peace, I want to dwell, focus on, and stay filled with Christ and the thoughts He would have me meditate on. To chew on, to ruminate over, to remain abiding and dwelling in Him for all of my days.

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Why Do We Need Help To Reach Our Full Potential?

Why Do We Need Help To Reach Our Full Potential?

The Need for Accountability

In recent years, I’ve come to realize that where I lack accountability, I soon exhibit a lack of discipline. It’s a sobering revelation, but I suspect I’m not alone in this experience. When I examine God’s commands for His people, I see a strong emphasis on unity and togetherness. Repeatedly, Scripture calls for people to operate not alone, but in pairs or groups intertwined.  

At one point, I believed this focus was solely about the joy of community or safeguarding against the enemy’s isolating work in our lives. While these are certainly true, I’ve come to understand an additional, vital aspect: the immense value of accountability. Living amongst fellow sojourners highlights areas where we might have deceived ourselves into thinking we’ve “arrived” as disciples. It’s easy to let discipline slip and stall our growth when you’re the only one evaluating your progress. The personal shortcuts and lies we tell ourselves are endless.

Discipleship Demands Discipline

Interestingly, the words “disciple” and “discipline” share the same Latin root, “discipulus,” meaning “student” or “learner.” This connection underscores an important truth: being a disciple inherently involves discipline. Therefore, the idea of an “undisciplined disciple” is an oxymoron. True discipleship requires ongoing training and self-control guided by accountability.

If you think there’s a point where you no longer need others to spur you on, to hold you accountable in order to grow as a disciple and maintain discipline, you’re deluding yourself. Even the world echoes this wisdom – observe the elites who have mastered their crafts. Tom Brady still has a quarterback coach. Boxing greats like Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali had trainers. Serena Williams and Tiger Woods also have coaches. It may seem strange that those at the highest levels still need training and accountability, but it’s their humility in recognizing this perpetual need that ensures their greatness. The arrogance to believe we can grow without accountability breeds the same pride that precedes a fall.

Embrace The Identity

As Paul compares in 1 Timothy 4:7-8, “Train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” Just as no elite athlete still trains alone, let us too embrace our identity as disciplined disciples. Let us establish discipline around the creative crafts our Creator has entrusted to us, moving forward steadily each day toward increasing mastery. For as Hebrews 12:11 reminds, “All discipline seems painful at the moment, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” While challenging, profound and lasting rewards await those who persevere.   

This perpetual need for discipline in God’s word was part of my motivation for the Five by the Fire Podcast. I knew I needed to engage with Scripture daily and extract its truths to spur my own growth as a disciplined disciple. This desire also sparked the Ordered Chaos Club blog – though the Five by the Fire podcast has been reduced now to weekly episodes, the daily blog still keeps me grounded, reflecting on my creative journey while aiming to lead others to do the same. Yet I know there will be seasons when the momentum wanes and the consistent practice feels arduous rather than life-giving. In those times, the commitment of this accountability community will be invaluable, motivating me to persevere in the mutually beneficial work of diving into Scripture.

So I invite you: What is your creative craft, the work God has called you to produce? Discover it, then build discipline around it through the support of community accountability. Understand that like the elites, you never truly “arrive”, but the eternal impact you can have through remaining a disciplined disciple is immeasurable.

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