Our God is a creative God. As a matter of fact, He refers to Himself as the Creator; so, creativity is a feature of God that He obviously wants us to know about Him. We are told that we are made in God’s image; therefore, it should come as no surprise that we are creative beings as well.
We are so creative, in fact, that God built right into our physical bodies the ability to create life. Part of the appeal of being parents is so we can feel the joy of creating another human being.
This joy becomes humbling to us as well, especially when that sweet little one is cradled in our arms for the first time. We know we couldn’t have accomplished this awesome feat without the help of God. For most people, being a parent is a humbling, spiritual experience that has the possibility of drawing us closer to God.
Even observing someone else’s baby can provide this humbling experience. We don’t have to be a parent, in order to appreciate this creative aspect God has endowed on humans. If you’ve ever wondered why babies are so popular, why everyone seems to love babies, then now you know why. Through babies we recognize the Giver of Life.
Focusing on Baby Jesus
At this time of year, when the world is focused on the birth of Christ, we might wonder what is so appealing about His birth.
Perhaps the reason people are so enamored with Baby Jesus is because, when you think about it, this was one of the most humbling times for the Son of God. What could be more humbling than to have another human being feed you, clothe you, change your diaper (or whatever they used back in those days)? This was humility at its finest.
Satan’s Interruption of Our Creative Expression
But, let’s think now about some other ways God has allowed us to express our creativity, in the humble act of worship. There are many art forms that people around the world have used over the centuries. Whether it be art created on a canvas, through a piece of sculpture (remember the two cherubim on the ark of the testimony in the sanctuary), on a sheet of music, or, dare I say, on a dance floor (remember Miriam’s song and dance after they crossed the Red Sea), all cultures down through history, have found various ways for creativity to manifest itself, in and out of the worship setting.
The sad part is that Satan is aware of this creative aspect of our nature and its tendency to draw us to our Maker. He has therefore taken each one of these art forms and found ways to pervert them and draw us more toward his idea of who and how we are to worship.
The use of these perverted art forms causes us to worship the creature instead of the Creator. And this leads ultimately to worshiping Satan himself. He too is one of God’s creatures. But his pride has caused him to have a far more glorious opinion of himself than God intended. He wants to replace God and become like Him (Isaiah 14:14). How easy it is to fall into that trap ourselves.
Satan’s Other Tactic
In addition to perverting so much of the world’s creative outlets, Satan has another tactic that seems to work just as well at causing us to have inflated pride. He has discovered that he can draw us away from God by encouraging us to judge someone else by their creative expressions of worship. This also amounts to replacing God, because God is our Judge, even admonishing us to “judge not, that you be not judged” (Matthew 7:1 NKJV).
Face it, all over the world, there are multiple ways to worship our Creator. People are naturally drawn to whatever creative style has spoken to them in the past. We must keep in mind that the kind of music that causes one person to fall into drugs or alcohol may be the kind of music that their mother used to lull them to sleep with, or that gave them the comfort and space they needed as a troubled teen. It will be for them a beautiful reminder of innocent enjoyment, instead of the memory of what we would call worldly entertainment.
In other words, we all have different backgrounds, as well as coming from different cultures. We should never judge someone by their style or medium of worship. Surely, we personally know what style speaks to us in the most profound way, and we should mostly immerse ourselves with the artistic style that causes us to worship God most reverently.
But, let’s remember that this style will be different for everyone. I’ve learned the hard way not to judge people by their choice of worship music. Most every time I’ve identified some musician, playing music that spoke to me in a negative way, as a person with little regard for God, I’ve later humbly discovered that the musician truly had an intense and personal relationship with God that I never would have imagined.
Bottom line: instead of being judgmental about worship music choices and the musicians who perform them, let’s remember to pray for and encourage everyone to find the musical worship style that speaks most to them about God.
Be Creative and Expansive in Your Expressions of Worship
In the meantime, it’s good to be exposed to multiple expressions of worship music. Don’t become bogged down with just one or two.
If you haven’t been fortunate enough to have a background that included the hymns found in your church hymnal, I would encourage you to give them a try too. They have been proven to have time-tested appeal. They’re like those healthy vegetables you learned to like as an adult. Give them a try this holiday season, when you’re searching for your favorite Christmas carols.
And remember, it isn’t the outward style, it’s the inward worship that counts. Train your mind not to be judgmental, but open and forgiving this special time of the year…and all through the year. Try to be blessed by worship this Christmas, no matter what package it comes in!