Thoughts on musical creativity
Thoughts on musical creativity
Musicians are always looking for sources of inspiration for creativity in their music. In the world, creativity with music is seen as the way to obtain more money, honor, and fame. And unfortunately in the church today, creativity means much of the same. However, I believe the Lord wants to release a new level of creativity to those who call upon His name – not so that they can draw attention to themselves, but so that the music that they play will draw others into being consumed with the glory and beauty of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
I believe that there is a measure of creativity that can only be touched by those that are intimate friends with their Creator.
Adam, the first man, reflected God’s creative nature in such a deep way in that He allowed him to name all of the animals. From that time forward, a bear was called “bear” and a lion was a “lion” because Adam named it in an exercise of creativity.
“Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name.”
(Genesis 2:19 NKJV)
God could have named the animals and birds and every living creature Himself, but He chose to give that privilege to Adam. Adam was constantly being pushed to be creative as he dwelt in a garden with the Creator. The Lord gave Adam an opportunity to express that creativity with so much dignity in allowing him to name all of the animals.
Adam walked in nearness to God, but the Lord invites us to an even deeper nearness to Him because of the work of Christ and the giving of the Holy Spirit. From this place of nearness, He gives us the honor of creativity and expression of His heart through music. And in the same way that Adam named an animal and “that was its name”, I believe that the voice of our divinely inspired musical creativity will matter in His kingdom forever, and what we play and write with divine creativity will have the greatest impact on the hearts of men for Christ.
Pursuing this nearness to God and obedience to the first commandment is not something that is disconnected from our lives as musicians. Loving God is not a means to an end – it is the end in itself. We don’t love God so that we can be more creative and have more comfort, honor, fame, and money. Intimacy with Jesus, the Creator of all things and the most creative One who has ever existed, inspires true creativity for all the right reasons. We cannot separate walking out the first commandment and receiving divine inspiration for creativity. What we do with our time, money, speech, thoughts, and emotions off stage significantly affects our creativity on stage or in the studio. If we commit to loving God off stage – especially in the place where nobody is looking - our times on stage will be more creative and will be used by the Lord to draw listeners to the glory of Christ rather than ourselves.
As musicians, He has given us so much dignity in expressing His heart to others through music. I am sure this dignity is something far beyond what we have ever considered! Do we really have any idea how creative our God is? Have we stood speechless and in awe of His creation? Do we really know how much He wants to make His heart known to us? As ones who have been invited into His heart to share in His creativity, we should run to the Creator of all things instead of running to the music store for more creative inspiration. It is from this place that our music will have its full creative impact in bringing glory to Jesus.