Creation Sans Imitation

You know what’s pretty amazing to me? The way Yahweh silences fear with truth.

I used to have a really big fear of running out of things to say. I mean like honestly running out of content, things to write about, life experiences, stories to tell.

I would work myself into a stuck state where no words would come because I was so paralyzed by the fear of them leaving me for good. I would allow thoughts of lack and inadequacy to consume my mind so much that I couldn’t hear anything except them.

But when I finally brought this massive fear before Yahweh, He gave me a truth that was the weapon I needed to defeat the lie of creative inadequacy each time it rears its ugly head.

Yahweh helped me understand where creativity comes from. He helped me to see where imagination and influence and inspiration all originate. Real creativity flows from your identity.

I’m not talking about the identity that society gave you, I’m not even talking about the identity that your different roles in life has given you, I’m talking about who Yahweh said you are before you were born, who He has been declaring you are every single day of your existence, and who He has prophesied you to be in your future. This is your identity. This is the very bottom, the firm foundation, the indisputable, unchangeable truth of who you are.

Now here’s the thing about identity. When Yahweh reveals it to you and you begin to live from a place of knowing and belief that that is who you are, it’s kind of like unplugging a pipeline that directly connects you to Yahweh. And because you’re directly connected to Him and He is limitless, your flow of creativity is also limitless.

Once I got that, I mean really got it deep down in my bones and started answering the lies of inadequacy back with it, guess what? I started winning the fights and they became less frequent. I’m not saying inadequacy doesn’t still come at me, but I know how to fight now. I think that’s a common misconception that a lot of people have about past mindsets and struggles against sin: that faith makes the opposition go away.

I’ve proven in my own life that that’s not true. Faith gives you the tools you need to fight back. In my case, through prayerful and intentional conversation and communion with Yahweh, He disrobed the lies that inadequacy and lack were whispering in my ear. He helped me put what was bothering me into perspective. And that perspective – the truth He shared with me – was the strategy I needed. It was the word I would talk back to my fear, and the declaration I would make in the midst of its consuming feelings.

That’s what faith does. It doesn’t make the battle go away, it gives you the weapons you need to win the fight. But you still have to fight. You still have to get in there and use the weapons, not just hold onto them and then surrender to the thoughts when they start screaming. No. Hold your ground. State that truth. Talk back to the lies. Fight fear with truth and watch it retreat.

And as Yahweh continues to reveal that truth to you, I guarantee you’ll begin to find it addresses other questions or silences other lies you’ve encountered as well. Like when I asked Yahweh how do I ensure that my voice is always my voice and not the voice of someone else.

I think a lot of creatives who follow and are inspired by other creators can sometimes be unwittingly influenced by them in their work. I know this first hand, when you read too many of someone’s books or spend too much time listening to their podcast, suddenly you’re a mini them, and you have to work really hard to remember you don’t speak that way ever. It works for them but not for you.

But that truth about identity – that creativity flows from the identity of each person – also applies to the uniqueness of what is created. When we create from the depths of who we are, from our deepest, most authentic selves, the selves that are connected to the King of Creation, then we never have to worry about it sounding, looking, acting, or behaving like someone else. Yahweh doesn’t do duplicates. Ever.

He’s never created anything twice. No two things that exist in the past, present, or future, are the same. Nothing. Not one thing.

Yahweh makes molds and them He breaks them. His creativity is so endless that He doesn’t think ‘I should save this for another time,’ no. He smashes the whole thing to smithereens and starts again from scratch. He hand shapes and makes each individual, shapes each leaf on each tree, paints every sunrise and sunset every day, arranges the stars in the sky every single night. Every second of every day He is creating something that has never been done and will never be done again. Each moment in time, each breath’s length are all unique.

And guess what? He’s our Father. And guess what else? He made us in His likeness. So if He is the endless source of creativity and uniqueness, and we are created in His imagine and likeness, and through identity we have unlimited access to Him…then what does that make us?

Limitless.

We are bottomless conduits of creativity. We are overflowing vessels of art, and capable of creating anything we set our hearts and minds to. With His assistance, we will never run out, never run dry, never have to recycle, duplicate, or imitate others.

And while we’re on the topic of duplication, I want to reach out to those who feel that imitation is the only way they’ll ever be noticed or valued. When we imitate others, we immediately shut off our endless supply. When we decide to pull from someone else’s source and abandon our own, we immediately restrict ourselves and limit Yahweh’s ability to create through us.

Remember, creativity is directly connected to your identity, your identity, not anyone else’s. When you pour from a vessel that’s not yours, you will run out. You will most definitely not have enough. When people decide to dedicate themselves to a life of pretense or imitation, I don’t think they ever count the full cost. Being someone else is hard. Living a life that’s void of sustainability, consistency, stability, or identity is hard.

If you’re being tempted to pass off someone else’s work as your own in hopes that it will bring you favor in the eyes of your followers, don’t do it. The trauma it will cause to your soul isn’t worth it. Don’t subject yourself to having to sustain yourself on stolen water from neighboring wells when there’s a whole ocean available just for you.

Practically speaking this means giving credit where credit is due, quoting your sources, giving people recognition for their work, respecting the fact that they had the courage to lean into destiny in partnership with the Holy Spirit, create something completely unique and beautiful, and express it in a way that is consistent with who they truly are. It’s easy to take credit for art you didn’t make, ideas you didn’t conceptualize, and words you didn’t say in this age of social media, but I challenge all light seeking children of Yahweh to be honest in their sharing.

Don’t let envy cause you to steal, and don’t let fear cause you to live a limited life. Identity brings the ability to live a life free from – not void of – fear. And it also grants you the grace to create without the need to imitate.

Be encouraged.

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