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Stephen King Where Art Thou? by Andy Sanders

By Andy Sanders
One of the greatest blessings within the body of Christ today is the creativity of our God — the ability to come up with ideas, concepts, style, and divine flavor that others without Christ do not have. For the unbeliever, it's there — but not tapped to its fullest potential yet. It's like an undiscovered well resting quietly under the sands of a scorching desert. For the believer, the sands are uncovered, the cap has been removed, and that which was once hidden is now revealed through us to bring an all-sufficient well of life to those lost and roaming within the unconfined borders of an endless desert.
 
 
 
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Untapped Wells
 
One of the greatest blessings within the body of Christ today is the creativity of our God — the ability to come up with ideas, concepts, style, and divine flavor that others without Christ do not have. For the unbeliever, it's there — but not tapped to its fullest potential yet. It's like an undiscovered well resting quietly under the sands of a scorching desert. For the believer, the sands are uncovered, the cap has been removed, and that which was once hidden is now revealed through us to bring an all-sufficient well of life to those lost and roaming within the unconfined borders of an endless desert.
 
This is the creative ability within you that others around you haven't discovered yet. It's everything needed to unlock each situation in life — where solutions are formed and unanswerable questions are discovered.  It is the divine presence of God resting within your body day in and day out. This is the Word of God tucked deeply within — moving with you, breathing through you, and touching everything you have held. Without a doubt, heaven's creativity wants to burst inside of you!
 
"Inside I am like bottled-up wine, like new wineskins ready to burst" (Job 32:19 NIV).
 
Creativity Stifled
 
So why do we run to the world as the authority on creativity when all along the world should be turning to us as the creative experts? If the Creator's creativity is living inside of us, then why do so many churches across the country feel and look as if one just walked into a morgue — or at best a Sunday afternoon funeral?  
 
The answer is simple: creativity has been stifled in the church.
 
Shouldn't every expression of our being resonate our Creator and His endless supply of inspiration? Then why do we try to copy something that isn't ours to engender in the first place? The world isn't our home; heaven is—and heaven chases us way more than we can chase it. Are Jesus's methods outdated? I think not. Are we waiting for Jesus to catch up to us, or is Jesus waiting for us down the same path He just traveled? Now and then, our impatience makes us wonder where God is when all along the Lord was asking us: Where are you and why are you walking so far behind Me?
 
Unauthorized Blessings
 
We are united with the Creator of everything known and unknown, so trying to adopt something in our lives that doesn't belong reminds me of when the Philistines attempted to steal the Ark of the Covenant for fear of what the God of Israel might do to them. They recognized the manifested blessing of the ark without honoring God's authority. As Christians, we cannot "steal the world's ideas" just because we are bankrupt of authenticity and expect the world's creativity to work for us. When this happens, it only brings disaster. Look what happened to the Philistines:
 
"When the people of Ashdod saw what was happening, they said, 'The ark of the god of Israel must not stay here with us, because his hand is heavy on us and on Dagon our god'" (1 Samuel 5:7 NIV).
 
When we step into places that don't belong to us and attempt to fill the void of what is lacking in our lives, it never ends well. Running to the world for cultural relevance is like asking blind Bartimaeus to be our guide over the Grand Canyon on a slippery, makeshift wooden walk bridge. It doesn't work! But even blind Bartimaeus had enough spiritual sense to see that God's Son was genuine (Mark 10:48). The Lord is looking for more than echoing Christian voices who have nothing new to say, so instead they carry expired notes and outdated messages around in their pockets, proclaiming freedom to a generation that stopped listening years ago. God is screaming for original voices to take their places on earth.
 
"The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law" (Mark 1:22 NIV).
 
Was Stephen King Misunderstood?
 
As a publisher and writer, I often wonder if people like Stephen King ever graced the doors of the church out of curiosity. Is it possible that Stephen stepped into a church service but felt so out of place — potentially unwelcomed — because his gifting didn't match our standards? Is it possible that we can be so out of touch with the reality of what people go through around us that they can't wait to get out of our church buildings? There is no doubt that Mr. King is one of the most gifted writers out there, but unfortunately he isn't writing for the Lord but rather for the other side. (I am not writing to debate Stephen King's writing or movie style. Nor am I writing this in any way to condemn or bring a reproach to him. Also, I am not condoning his writing genres.)
 
Stephen King — one of the most talented and creative writers of our time — writes for the dark side instead of for the eternal light that longs to reside within his life. Stephen has been an amazingly successful writer, and God's will is for Mr. King to become "the king" of revelatory understanding; and this is what I pray for.
 
What could have happened if Stephen King had used this God-given talent for the kingdom of heaven rather than worldly expression? Did he ever try? Could it possibly be that he once felt the presence of God and started to write into some of the deepest realms of the spirit world that natural man has ever entered into? Maybe as a young child he just never knew what to do with it because nobody took the time to teach him through the process. Maybe he once presented his writing talent to his local church and, unfortunately, it was misunderstood — ostracized instead of corrected, adjusted, and fathered into glory. His talent is a gift from God, but it isn't being used as such at the present time.
 
"For God's gifts and his call are irrevocable" (Romans 11:29 NIV).
 
Where Are the Stephen Kings?
 
Our gatherings are sometimes like doing in-house calisthenics (up, down, up, down) where we focus more on the order of the meeting instead of the timing of God. I believe in order, but at times I think we have depended on the order of the service so much that we have nearly choked it to death. We have driven so much authentic creativity out of the church that we can end up looking more like a well-oiled assembly line instead of a supernatural progression of the authority of God manifesting through us into the earth.
 
Have the Stephen Kings of the earth vacated our gatherings because they rejected us or because we first neglected them? If we truly serve an all-creative God then we must accept that His creativity works through every dimension on earth. This includes individuals around us who don't fit into our closely-guarded understanding of what Christ working through someone looks like. Style is the lesser — it's the heart of the message given within the individual's talent that matters most. The bottom line is that the Stephen Kings of our time should be just as welcomed in our churches as you and I are. God wants them back — and it is centuries overdue.
 
The wells of supernatural creativity are coming forth! Intellectual deficiency is shifting to brilliant ingenuity. Fear must run; failure must bow; insecurities must be surrendered. Hidden plans will be revealed and financial bondages snapped in two. Governments will knock on our church doors and Hollywood media gurus will now sit at our feet. There is enough wisdom from the throne for every unexpected turn on earth multiplied by the population of the world a million times over.
 
It's time for divine interruption over our media airways — a time to shift from evil to good. Some of the best ideas on earth haven't been discovered yet, and these thoughts have your name on them. Be a part of one of the largest creative awakenings on earth. It's time to bring the creative relevance of Christ back into the mix of modern-day Christianity.
 
So the simple question is: Do you know what God wants from you? Biblical creativity! Originality within is His next move.
 
Andy Sanders
 

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