Jon Fowler, a friend of mine, posted a Bible verse on fb last week. It’s a pet peeve of mine when people use social media as a marketing tool for their faith. They slap on a bit of scripture even though there’s no evidence that the carefully typed testimonies match up with the rest of their lives. But that’s not Jon! He’s the real deal.
There’s another reason that this particular update spoke to me, and it has something to do with a very different idea he’s involved in at our church. First, here’s what he wrote:
I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1, 2 NIV)
We have very creative people in our church. God has been prodding me and Randy, our senior pastor, to tap into the gifting God has given Evangel Baptist through people who may not be in leadership. It has become customary in churches for people to wait for God’s direction to come only through the staff or leadership. We forfeit some divine creativity with that perspective. So, we’ve come up with the idea of a church Dream Team consisting of nine dreamers in our church.
The name isn’t fashioned in the manner of the Olympic Basketball team or a den of super lawyers. Dream in our case doesn’t refer to a collection of people who are the best at being Christians either. It’s based on our ability to be creative, to trust that God can, and wants to, have a church that is exciting – that acts like the sky is the limit in terms of what is possible.
We want to explore things that haven’t been done before, because God is in the business of doing new things. We’ve been meeting for several weeks and have a pretty cool new idea for our church that will be unveiled Sunday morning, December 1. It hasn’t been done before, and that’s not only okay . . . it’s crucial to our purpose!
So, when I read Jon’s facebook post, I read it in light of the perspective of our Dream Team. In the early weeks we looked at various passages where God’s creativity is emphasized, like the Red Sea parting, water spewing from a rock and enormous city walls falling down after having been circled a few times. We also talked about how the Bible says God is revealed to us through nature. You can’t get more creative than that.
I suppose that’s where my emphasis for the last few posts has come from. We’ve talked about how kid-like creativity requires a high degree of childlike faith and vulnerability. That means believing God can do anything, more than we could think or imagine. We’ve taken that as an invitation to dream.
The verse in Jon’s update is focusing on the power of the Almighty God, the Creator of heaven and earth. But, what if he’s not just focusing on God’s power? After all, being a creator is downright creative! Could the writer of this psalm have been looking forward to God providing for him in ways he hadn’t thought of before? By the way, he’s looking up to the mountains as he’s saying it. He sounds like a dreamer to me.
When you look to the mountains in anticipation of your future with your King, trust in his power and his creativity because they are closely linked. And since he’s not limited by our expectations we should free ourselves from captivity to them as well.