Artists In Ministry & Missions

Tag: Calling

Got Imagination?

The Biblical Role of Imagination and Imaginal Intelligence

The Hebrew term for imagination is either yatsar or yetser. It is a term that is use, for example in the passages in Jeremiah related to the Potter’s trade (e.g. Jer. 18:3). 

Yatsar means to fashion in the mind before forming in time and space. That is, to fashion in the mind also holds in its meaning the capacity to imagine, to invent, to form, to frame (in the mind’s eye); and the emphasis of the term is in the ability to see something—that could be real and true—in the mind’s eye BEFORE it is actually formed in time and space. Yet, though it is ‘seen’ in the mind before it is actually created, the assumption of the term is that the thing “fashioned in the mind” will actually at some point in time be formed in reality (e.g. Jer. 18:4, “But the pot he (the potter) was shaping from the clay was made in his hands; so the potter formed it (first in his mind fashioned it a different way to be made—then began to form it again, after having thought of its new form) into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him” (NIV, author’s expanded explanations).

Hebrew concept of imagination includes two dynamic applications:

  1. with regard to the human capacity to invent or make something, imagination is ‘the capacity to see what could be but is not yet.’ An example of this human capacity is Jer. 18:4, “But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him” (NIV).

  2. with regard to the human capacity to interact with transcendence, imagination is ’the capacity to see through what is known into the realities beyond what is known.

A profound example of this second dimension of imagination—facilitating interaction with transcendence—is the exercise of faith in Hebrews 11:1: “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (NIV). One who believes ‘faithfully’ in God looks on the revelation of God has given (culminated in God’s revelation of Jesus, God Incarnate); and though not knowing ‘all’ there is to know about God’s saving work, knowing enough of God’s work in Christ (Christ’s real and earthly life, death and Resurrection), to place one’s hope in all the realities of salvation one has in Christ, most of which “we do not see” (Heb 11:1b). That kind of ‘faith’ is not blind faith’. It is true faith; though much of what goes into that faith is beyond the capacity of the human to ‘completely’ grasp.

Paul says the same thing in Romans 11:34: “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!” (NASU).

Jesus implies this same “faith principle” when speaking to His disciples after His Resurrection, when He said in John 20:29, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (NIV).


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Business, Occupation, & Ministry. Do you know the difference? Part 2

Occupation: What is it?

1. Occupation Defined:

  • How you make your living
  • How you gain provision to live

2. Occupation Varies:

  • You may make your living several ways at the same time
  • You may work several jobs at the same time

3. God is the provider

  • GOD supplies your PROVISION
  • Deut. 8:18

4. Market-place Occupation is good because . . .

  • God expects you to work at something to earn provision
    2 Thessalonians 3:10
  • God is the provider of all wealth
    Deut 8:18 “It is God who is the creator of all wealth

-Your provision from a ‘market place occupation’ is a good thing because it comes from God [note the context of ‘Israel, and how God provided for them in the wilderness]

5. God expects everyone to have at least one occupation

  • 2 Thessalonians 3:10

6. In a fallen world, most often your occupation will NOT be your God-given CALLING–but you will always be & do your CALLING in the midst of your occupation if you are an integrated Christian and a balanced human being.

  • Paul’s example: 1 Cor. 9 & 2 Thess. 3

7. The biblical norm for carrying out ministry is being bi-vocational . . .

  • Earn your money in the market place and do your calling all around it: again note Paul. 1 Cor. 9 & 2 Thess. 3

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Are you Called? What is your assignment from God?

Are you Called?  What is your assignment from God?

Calling: The central purpose of your life

God does not call people to the arts, per se.  He calls us to Himself and to live out the ways HE’s made us.  Then, as you are increasingly drawn to seek HIM the following biblical truths are essential to your understanding the issue of CALLING in general, and CLARIFYING your own calling in specific.


First know, the essence of Calling is this: God calls you to Himself. Period !
The Greek Term for CALLING used in the New Testament is KLESIS

KLESIS = Invitation

You have been INVITED into HIS EMBRACE !!
2 Peter 1:3
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. NIV

1 Peter 5:10
10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. NIV


Second, concerning your CALLING…
God calls you to get comfortable with The WAYS He’s made you ! Getting comfortable with the WAYS HE’s MADE YOU … will take you far beyond money & fame. It will bring you to new and deeper levels of true fulfillment. Central to the reality HE’s made you in particular WAYS is to get comfortable with those WAYS.

Note these things about the WAYS HE’s Made You.
a) You are unique
Fearfully and wonderfully made – Ps 139:13-16
A poem; God’s masterpiece – Ephesians 2:10
You have at least four [4] unique WAYS he’s made you.

a unique Personality
a unique set of Talents
a unique set of Spiritual Gifts
a unique Sovereign History

b) You are gifted for PURPOSES God has assigned
Eph. 2:10 You are Created for good works, for purposes
Romans 12: 3-8 You are Gifted by God HIMSELF, to affect HIS purposes
1 Cor. 12: 1, 4-7 You have been Given spiritual gifts


Third, God calls you—gives you HIS Unique Assignments to serve HIM and HUMANITY—to assignments that flow out of the WAYS He’s made you.
So now, note again: your calling is found “where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
(Frederick Buechner … referenced in Andy Crouch’s 2008 book, Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling; IVP Books; p. 263).
a) He will not assign you things for which He has not “graced” you!
b) You should not aspire the things for which you have no God-designed ability.
c) You will not achieve success in roles for which you do not have God-endowed aptitude, passion, pleasure.
d) You must realize that YOUR assignments will not look exactly like anyone elses assignments.
For example consider:
Rom 15:15-16
I have written you quite boldly on some points, as if to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles with the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. [NIV]

So, do not compare yourself with others.
Rather just get on with your assignment


Summary:
God calls you to Himself . . . for intimate companionship.  Period !
God  calls you to get comfortable with the Ways He’s made you—personality, talents, gifts & sovereign history;
God calls you to assignments which flow out of the WAYS He’s made you

Frederick Buechner proposed that …
… your calling is found “where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” (from page 263 of Andy Crouch’s 2008 book, Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling; IVP Books)
In trying to discover our CALLING, Christian and writer, Andy Crouch, urges us to ask the question:
… “Where do you experience grace—divine multiplication that far exceeds your efforts.” (from page 257 of Andy Crouch’s 2009 book, Culture Making:  Recovering Our Creative Calling; IVP Books)
Then Crouch goes on to challenge us to ask a second question:
… “Where do we find our work and play bearing awe-inspiring fruit—and at the same time find ourselves able to identify with Christ on the cross?  That intersection is where we are called to dig into the dirt, cultivate and create.”  (Quoted from page 262 of Andy Crouch’s 2009 book, Culture Making:  Recovering Our Creative Calling; IVP Books)
Discovering your God-given CALLING assumes that you are pursuing God’s agenda for your life more than you are seeking your own agenda.


So in all this, remember: Philippians 2: 12-13

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed- . . . -continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you (both) to will and to act according to his good purpose. [NIV]

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