The Creative Path

by Morris Ruddick on February 19, 2015


© Morris E. Ruddick


“God thunders with His majestic voice, doing great things which we cannot comprehend. For by Him all thingPicture8s were created that are in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or power.” Job 37:5, Col 1:16

In God’s nature is found a basis from which to think, to act and prioritize the decisions of life. It’s a creative path. Moses tapped its parameters. So did Joseph and David and Daniel. For each, it changed everything and made them heroes of faith. Jesus then added substance to this framework and raised the bar. At its foundation is the way of the Kingdom.

It begins by knowing the One who is the Creator, the One who transcends time and our limited perspectives of the realities around us. In knowing the Lord, we begin uncovering what we refer to as His truth, His nature and His ways. Then as we discipline ourselves to know Him according to His ways, our thoughts and attitudes begin to be aligned with His.

It is THEN that the Lord will allow us into His inner sanctum and expose us to the unlimited dimensions of His nature.

The Glory of His Presence
Solomon inferred that these unlimited dimensions of God were the stuff of kings (Prov 25:3). No doubt a king’s perspective, as Solomon bore the responsibility of spiritually guiding those for whom he was accountable.

There’s no question that these dimensions of God are beyond the ordinary thresholds of how most people are wired to think and act. Paul described these unlimited facets of His presence as the riches of God’s glory. Jesus advanced this reality by admonishing His followers to seek the oneness of abiding — in Him.

In His presence is a glory to be partaken when our interactions with Him are pure. The heart of God desires a people willing to transcend the boundaries of human limitations and in truth, meekness and righteousness (Ps 45:4), to share in these dimensions with Him.

In approaching these boundless dimensions of His nature, there is a pathway that uncovers, engenders and releases the creative. Discerning the voice of the Lord is the gateway. This gateway leads to the discovery of much more.

In heeding his call as prophet, Isaiah was given an assignment that addressed the dullness and desolation that results from NOT hearing the voice of the Lord (Isa 6:9). Isaiah went on to make it plain that God’s ways are simply higher than ours and beyond our normal comprehension (Isa 55:9).

Similarly, God’s nature is to bring increase. From God’s promise to Abraham for descendents beyond his ability to number, to Jesus’ parable of the talents, God’s expectation for good stewards is in bringing increase.

As God’s very nature is creative, with His Spirit within us, we have the means to go beyond the boundaries of our human limitations and what we, in the natural, perceive and “know.” When our way is stymied, one God-thought can be the release.

New Mind-Sets
With God at the center, this unfolding path holds the potential of being illuminated by our mind-sets, the way we think. While the precepts of men tends to impede progress, the way of the Kingdom, facilitates release.

The Catalyst of Vision. When God told Abraham to gaze at the heavens, telling him his descendents would be as numerous as the stars, He was casting vision. He had already told Abraham that He was Abraham’s shield, his exceeding great reward. He wanted Abraham to visualize that His promises far exceeded Abraham’s ability to grasp them. Abraham’s response was to believe God which pleased God greatly. The faith-response of vision is the igniter to bringing that which is not into being, of creating something out of nothing, through God.

Investigative-Approach. Proverbs suggests that the prudent man is cautious and considers well his steps (Prov 14:15). That caution is not in believing God, but in the steps that need to be taken. That suggests diligence in doing our homework. It means that there is wisdom in asking questions and investigating a matter thoroughly, as there will always be something hidden or not obvious to be uncovered and considered. That’s why it’s important to ask the right questions and push the envelope in considering alternatives.

Imagination. There is an untapped potential triggered by our imaginations. Imagining is the ability to form new images and concepts in our minds. Our imaginations actuate the bridge between the natural and spiritual worlds, between vision and reality. With faith in God, it carries untapped potential. Jesus noted that one can be guilty of negative things entertained in their imaginations. Likewise, one’s imagination gives shape to their vision. It’s a vital ingredient for acting in faith.

The Process of Planning. Planning and goal-setting is a means of identifying the steps needed to bring vision into reality. It is a process of evaluating the response to alternatives. Planning is continuous. It is a process of evaluating things that recognizes there is always something more. Cooperative planning with the Holy Spirit gives the Lord opportunity to add that expanded dimension of His thoughts into the process of establishing vision, goals and strategies.

Strategy. Good strategy is the purpose of good planning. Mapping out the steps for the pathway gives shape to maximizing opportunity and bringing increase. While good strategy is sought, the higher dimensions of God’s nature elevate the standard much more than just good ideas. The need is the prophetic dimensions of God-ideas. This is what set Joseph apart in the eyes of Pharaoh and resulted in his promotion. Joseph did more than just accurately interpret Pharaoh’s dreams. He mapped out a strategy. Pharaoh recognized the prophetic wisdom resident within Joseph as coming from God.

Excellence. Daniel was described as ten times better than any of the advisors of the king’s court around him. Excellence involves becoming expert in something, to the degree that whatever the developed gift, it goes beyond that of the standard held by most others.

The Strategy of Faith and Prayer
Whereas wisdom is the application of God’s principles, creativity is the discovery and application of bringing the invisible world into the visible one. God’s strategy to bring this about is through faith and prayer.

New mind-sets represent a way of viewing things and problem solving. The process of employing these factors generates insights that lead to creative discovery.

That’s how it operates on an individual level. Yet, God’s design for biblical community is the value-added of the creative dynamic available through God. It represents a safe-place fostering these higher dimensions of God. Incorporated in its design is to build from generation to generation. It demonstrates the reality of God through a people. It utilizes a model dating back to Abraham.

From age to age, biblical community has engendered consistent success despite adversities and backlash that God’s chosen have experienced from the very different, but dominant cultures of which they have been a part. There are specific factors bearing on the strategy of community with which this pathway operates.

The Strategy of Community
Over the millennia the Jewish people not only have succeeded in retaining their cultural identity, but with disproportionate achievement have served as catalysts and influencers to the civilizations that would rise and fall around them, like the Greeks, the Romans, the Assyrians, the Ottomans, the Babylonians and on and on.

Historically, in civilizations without a middle class, the Jewish people have served that function, as merchants and bankers and people of business. They have been advisors to kings, rulers and leaders and financed national agendas in the societies in which they lived.

Yet, as a people, Jews have been distinctive. As a people, they have released nuggets of wisdom from the roots of their faith-culture that have impacted the foundations: economically, governmentally, judicially, and morally, for what is now considered as the good and enduring virtues of Western civilization.

Today, despite being only .25 percent of the world’s population, since 1950, Jews have been the recipients of 27 percent of the Nobel prizes awarded. Studies such as “The Golden Age of Jewish Achievement” and “Startup Nation” attest to their contributions, which statisticians would view as “beyond chance expectation.”

In short, the means by which Jews have tapped the creative has resulted in them outliving, as a people, the civilizations of which they have been a part.

Pertinent Ancient Wisdom
. At the foundation of Jewish culture is their identity. They hold to the belief of being a prophetic people of God whose ways were outlined by Moses, the prophets and their forefather Abraham, as they have been blessed to be a blessing. They have resisted assimilation as, from age to age, they have maintained their unique identity as a culture within a culture.

Entrepreneurship. True entrepreneurship is by definition creative. Nurturing entrepreneurship changes the status quo and provokes opportunity. It fosters a creativity that builds from the bottom up. Former Cambridge professor, entrepreneurial expert and author, Bill Bolton (with John Thompson, “Entrepreneurs, Talent, Temperament, Technique”), stresses the importance of the creative and innovative dimensions which drive economic opportunity and the dynamic of entrepreneurship.

Trust Society. From the days of Moses, Jewish beliefs nurture the dynamic of community as much or more than any other culture; but with the approach of being a trust society. A highly respected social economist has uncovered some unique insights into these issues in his examination of economies and cultures in “Trust: Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity.”

Francis Fukuyama contends that social capital is as important as physical capital. Yet, only societies with a high degree of social trust will create the foundations needed for the large-scale business organizations that compete in today’s global economy. However, large-scale organizations are only a part of the equation as enduring prosperity for community flows first from the bottom-up entrepreneurially.

Opportunity Enablers. Within the Jewish community, there is a nurturing that is the natural order of things. The more successful advise those entering new arenas. The older, more experienced help those who are younger. Mentoring benefits all as the diversity of gifts blend together for the common good and opportunity is enabled.

Self-Sufficiency. Within this context, when adhering to these standards, the Jewish people operate in a self-regulated, self-sufficiency within their communities. They nurture the type of stewardship that serves and reflects excellence. Their forefather Abraham began his adventurous sojourn with God by being told that as God blessed him, that through his descendents, then that blessing of God would be extended to all the families of the earth. That requires a unique form of leadership.

Leadership. The Jewish brand of leadership has the distinction of operating best through influence and service. As a people, Jews are disciplined and are willing to pay the cost to live for a higher standard, to sacrifice for the future of their people.

Moral Standards. Jews as a people of God uphold a high moral standard as a society. Their distinctive identity upholds the standards of community, entrepreneurship, innovation, excellence and industriousness that are central to their heritage. While the Jewish people have had their share of centuries as a conquered people, they have never lost their foundations culturally that have made them unique and strong.

The Higher Dimensions
All of this dovetails into a framework, individually and community-wise, that has set a standard for living within the reality of God’s nature. It is a creative path that carries the expectation of good and of higher dimensions.

Yet, the status quo is the enemy of these higher, creative dimensions in God. As Hebrews 11 sums up the exploits of the heroes of faith, it concludes with a most unusual, but insightful statement. It says that apart from us, they who have preceded us would not be made perfect. This truth works both ways, as we progressively build upon the foundations laid by previous generations.

When Solomon notes that God has put eternity in our hearts, it gives glimpse to the unspoken, insatiable quest to reach beyond the visible and to discover and apply the pieces that are lacking.

Hebrews 12 begins with the dramatic picture of the great cloud of witnesses, beyond time, surrounding us and the strong admonition to press through and not be entrapped by the encumbrances designed to seduce and hold back. Jesus said: “He who loves his life will lose it, but he who hates his life in this world will gain it.” There is a place in God that far outweighs the best this world has to offer. It is in the dimensions of God beyond ourselves that the creative and true life resides.

Moses mapped out the starting point: “All these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, when you obey the voice of the Lord your God.” (Deut 28:1) This speaks to the priority that Jesus punctuated, that you don’t seek after the things of this world, you seek after God and His Kingdom dimensions (Matt 6:33). When you seek after God, then those things we refer to as blessings will follow after us, amass and come upon us.

The creative path of discovery is one that has a parallel in embracing His glory. It explains how a member of one generation can be influenced by dimensions from their spiritual heritage in deeply penetrating something in the both the natural and spiritual realms. Yet, the higher dimension that taps His power, like that of Joshua when the sun and moon stood still, resides in a foundation of knowing Him.

It is a gift drawn from His presence, of abiding in Him, which impacts the way we view things and make decisions. That gift grows from a way of thinking to an anointing that serves in developing and applying our mantle in life. In prevailing, it will transcend the natural and uncover significant matters not normally visible. It evolves as a process as the natural begins tapping the supernatural.

It’s a process for all times, but especially for what lies before us. We are entering a time unlike any that has preceded us. It will be a time of progressive, higher dimensions unfolding in a single generation. It will be a time of new things with the creative on the forefront. The strategy of prayer and faith and the strategy of community will be bedrock.
“The Spirit of the Lord rests upon me, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.”  Isa 11:2

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