As the church, we are facing a time of prolific change, and our ability to evolve is essential for an effective future. We have simply reached the end of a wineskin. The sound of its tearing reverberates through church culture, imploring us to preserve the rich vintage of ages past while urgently making space for the vigor of fresh wine for a fresh era. It’s time for us to reach into culture with the kingdom strategies and solutions of our time. Our familiar formulas and comfortable Christianity must give way to the creative energy of God.
In this technological age, the rate of change is prolific, winding the world in a tightly coiled tension that craves breakthrough answers. God planned for His people to carry the most creatively ingenious and powerfully innovative solutions to every area of society, modeling the multifaceted character of the Creator who crafted them and bringing answers that will turn the heads of millions to see and accept the Savior they have been seeking.
This creative power is one of the first things that God revealed to us, then gifted us with. Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The opening line of the Bible unveils God as a creative Creator. Later on in the same chapter, we read, “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness’…So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:26–27).
Up to this point in Genesis 1, God reveals little else about Himself besides His capacity for powerful, world-changing creativity—and His decision to make us just like Him. The act of creativity was not limited to professional artists’ expression. On the contrary, all people would be made in His image—and, therefore, all people would be called to create, just as He did. Yet countless Christians seem to embrace the rest of the Bible and its wisdom on what is needed for a life well lived in Christ, meanwhile missing or dismissing the importance of Genesis 1, as if creativity was an optional endeavor, an extra bonus reserved for “artistic individuals.” How could this misunderstanding have happened, when it is clear that the first revelation given about our nature as humans is our creativity?
The enemy has a plan. Well aware of God’s intentions for co-creation with humankind and the battle-winning potential of such collaboration, he will stop at nothing to make sure we remain unaware of our creative possibilities. We live in a world jam-packed with creativity and the arts; it seeps into most areas of daily life through the media, music, design, television, sports, and many other arenas, with the enemy regularly using it to shout out his message with a megaphone and influence millions of minds. When it dawned on me that, according to Genesis 1, every one of God’s children is meant to be creative, I began to recognize just how distorted our definition of “creativity” has become.
A powerful divine pattern runs through the Scriptures, from Genesis to Revelation, inception to completion. My new book Creative Fusion travels a mysterious path full of answers for modern times. It searches the seven linking stages of the tabernacle pattern that reveal the building layers of this creative power God intended for His church. The church marks stage six, succeeded only by the restoration of all things and the return of the King. We have been commissioned to call in an immense harvest of souls. We will need all the weaponry and innovation the pattern contains.
I believe we are reaching the end of an era. It has taught us much and its riches are to be treasured always, but something new has been set in motion that will catalyze the restoration of dynamic creativity to the church. As we prepare for the dawn of a new epoch, we are called to courageously fine-tune our valuable craft, surging past mainstream monotony and into the Spirit’s slipstream for the time shift upon us. Investigation and innovation will lead us into ever-broadening options when we shake loose the “safe,” faithless formulas and unleash a new age of creative movement.
The pieces of the tabernacle pattern lie disconnected in the minds of many believers. Like the mechanisms of a clock, they will not activate power in perfect timing without connection to each other and the master clockmaker. This is exactly where the enemy wants them to be, knowing that if we grasp their synthesis, we will become an unstoppable force. It’s time to pick up the pieces highlighting their value and connective powerhouse. We must redress many misconceptions surrounding their purpose. Enlightened, we can see a generous landscape of new possibilities for our workplaces, communities, and commissions.
The ancient pattern contains everything that we need for a modern army in modern times, building from Eden through the tabernacles of Moses and David, Solomon’s Temple, Jesus, the church, and magnificence of the new Jerusalem. There is treasure beyond counting. Wisdom will empower us to reach back into the ancient storehouse of tabernacle stages and then run forward, influencing every area of society: government, business, education, science, family, the arts, media, and more. The new wineskin needs space—to explore God, to dream, to create, and to shake free of the musty repetitions of yesteryear and become an army on its feet in the mountains of culture.
We can find Him standing in the dusty desert, waiting for us to see His form, or in the outer courts, watching as we grasp the sanctity of atonement. We can find Him in the holy place, brooding over us, brightening our path deeper in with the light of menorah wisdom. He awaits us in the holy of holies, its entrance framed with the tatters of a torn veil hanging scarlet with sacrifice. It is here we will find a face-to-face friendship that will reveal the mysteries of our future.
Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. (Exodus 40:34–35)
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