Common Spirituality

Have you ever wondered who was the first person mentioned in the Bible to be“filled with the Spirit?”The answer may surprise you. It wasn’t a leader like Moses or David. Nor a prophet like Samuel or Isaiah. Not even a priest, like Aaron. The answer: Bezalel, the artisan tasked with fashioning the vessels for the tabernacle in the wilderness: “I have filled him (Bezalel) with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts” (Exodus31:3). We generally do not think of a craftsman as being a very “spiritual” position. Our idea of being “spirit-filled” usually pertains to spiritual gifts and actions. Rarely do we see the common and ordinary parts of our lives as places where God’s Spirit can fill us. But biblical spirituality means living an ordinary life of extraordinary obedience to God. Bezalel was an artisan, a craftsman. How often do we see God’s Spirit as a dynamic partner in our creativity? We often focus upon God’s Spirit as empowerment for a witness, anointed preaching, teaching, or worship. Yet God filled a craftsman with His Holy Spirit, into whom He breathed divine creativity. Should not our lives as Spirit-filled people be marked by such creativity? Everyone knows the story of David’s confrontation with Goliath. David credited God with his victory, yet what did David do? He threw a rock in a sling. Something that shepherd boys did every day to corral and protect the flock, or simply to pass the time. David had probably thrown a thousand rocks in his slingshot during his days herding his family’s flock. And, quite frankly, had he not, he most likely would not have been successful when he faced the Philistine. This does not take away from God’s glory, but it teaches us something very valuable: our faithful preparation of ourselves in the common, ordinary tasks in our lives provides a foundation for God to build upon to bring glory to Himself in our lives and circumstances. Bezalel, a craftsman. David, a shepherd. Both of them prepared themselves for their tasks in rather common and mundane ways. Who would ever think about a craftsman being Spirit-filled, or a shepherd throwing a stone as glorifying God? But because both prepared themselves during the commonness of their lives, God’s Spirit partnered with their common abilities in a moment of time to bring God the glory. And that’s the core of biblical spirituality.

Father, help me today to be diligent in the tasks set before me so that they might be used for Your glory. Holy Spirit, animate my mind and life with Your divine creativity. Amen

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