This time I want to add to these ideas, some of the insights, or creativity, which result from the mind of an artist, writer, poet, or musician. Any of these types of creative individuals, draw upon inspiration for their work. They may find these resources in nature, other people or circumstances, God, or "dark regions of their own souls." Inspiration can come in many forms, and not ALL of it is good, or edifying, to say the least. One doesn稚 have to look very far to see how Hollywood and the theatre, have embodied this. There are many movies and theatrical arrangements which have a great amount of creativity seen in them. However, are "horror scenes" depicting the depraved mind of a psychopathic killer, or haunted houses and decapitated heads floating around, good things to look at? Yes, they are perhaps, entertaining. They may have many interesting "effects," and "colorful" scenes, but do you walk away after viewing something like this, with images of beautiful scenes or visions, within your heads? Some of you may also have heard of the most recent art show in New York City, which had as its prominent exhibit, the work of an African artist. He had done a painting of the Virgin Mary, dabbing areas of "dung" to the canvas, to somehow, express his feelings about the subject matter. Obviously, this caused quite a stir, and New York City痴 mayor also had some things to say about it. Now, to be sure, the "arts" have a place for expressing social attitudes and concerns, and reflecting society痴 values. Here again, though, what was the ultimate effect?
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."
Also, a visual artist, graphic designer, or painter, also deals with images or "visions." From the recesses of their minds and hearts, they paint, draw, sculpt, or design, a work of art. It may well be executed or created, in an excellent manner or technique, but the over-all look or feeling one gets, is "darkness." The theme may be depressing, and devoid of any hope of any kind. As a Christian, one who creates, needs to consider how to keep "hope alive," and to instill this in the hearts and minds of the those around them. Now, I believe this is true for the prophet, preacher, or spokesman as well. Even in the midst of judgment, there is still hope, and mercy. "Mercy triumphs over judgment." A time will come though, when those who have disbelieved in Him, and have not listened to His continued warnings, will then be left to the judgments of God.
In I Kings 7:17-20, we have an account of the temple痴 furnishings which Solomon had constructed for the Lord. There are several specific plans and details laid out for this construction including the APPEARANCE and ARTISTIC design of it.
"A network of interwoven chains festooned the capitals on top of the pillars, seven for each capital. He made pomegranates in two rows encircling each network to decorate the capitals on top of the pillars. He did the same for each capital. The capitals on top of the pillars in the portico were in the shape of lilies, four cubits high. On the capitals of both pillars, above the bowl-shaped part next to the network, were the two hundred pomegranates in rows all around."
v. 29-"On the panels between the uprights were lions, bulls, and cherubim-and in the uprights as well. Above and below the lions and bulls were wreaths of hammered work."
(Obviously, this illustrates very specific details and designs to be wrought in Solomon痴 Temple. If one were to read this chapter, as well as the one following it, they would see how many people, craftsmen and others who had been given specific tasks, worked together to build this great temple for the Lord.)
Prov. 29:18 says:
"Where there is no revelation, (vision) the people (perish) cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law."
We know for a fact that without the true word of God being preached in the land, that the people will indeed perish. They will look for it like beggars in a desert. They will search for it like water to parched lips. The word of God is needed, as much, if not more, than food or water. We need it to thrive, and even to SURVIVE.
"The days are coming," declares the Sovereign Lord, "when I will send a famine through the land溶ot a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord. Men will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the Lord, but they will not find it." Amos 8:11-12
We also need the prophetic word given to "activate" us and to "inspire" us to what God痴 plans are for us as a nation, a city, a group of people, and individually as well. The arts can also be used as a vehicle of activating "vision" as well. Various things written down, painted, drawn, sang, orchestrated, etc., can indeed, inspire those who are exposed to it, in either a negative, or a positive way. We know of the scripture below, and its relevance to us as a prophetic people. Whenever God gives someone a commission, or a call to "run" with the word He has given to them, then they must make it plain what the message is, as well as persevering, and fulfilling the word that He has given unto them. I don稚 mean that they are to fulfill it as to having it "come to pass," but to fulfill what He has planted within them, and to be obedient unto Him with that word. We also need to bear in mind that much of what He speaks to us that is to be shared in this way, is not ALWAYS for the present time, but speaks of the end. It will not prove false, even though we may need to WAIT for its fulfillment in our lives, or in the lives of those who it speaks to.
"Then the LORD replied: "Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay."
So, what is the "vision" which He has planted within your heart or soul? Is it clear? Can you run with it? Have the waters become "muddied," or tainted, and the images or scenes which speak of this vision, become confusing? If it is just a fleeting vision, or something that you have seen like a dream in the night, then it may not last, and will become lost to the other images of the night, or day-dreams.
Job 20:8 "Like a dream he flies away, no more to be found, banished like a vision of the night."
(Below is a short word the Lord gave to me back in 1994, concerning some of these things mentioned above.)
"For when you create you are giving glory back to Me, for I am a creator. I created the heavens and the earth, and I knit together man and woman, each in their own way, and in their individual parts. For I am also an artist. You look upon the substance of things with your eyes and your senses, but I have created out of nothing and of the void. I have hollowed out a place inside of you, a creative center, where my inspiration flows and the sparks fly. This is my plan, for in this way, you are showing forth the image of the creator, which I Am." For graven images are an example of creativity gone eschew."