“Your creative mind is the greatest gift God has given you and it ought to be devoted entirely to Him.”
My Utmost for His Highest (Feb 11 devotional page)
Happy 2014 to all! I don’t make resolutions this time of year but I do like to assess where I am and how I can grow in the coming year. As I pondered scripture and some reading on January 1st, God showed me what HE desires I focus on, in the coming year. If you do something similar or make resolutions, per chance, I pray you pass through them well.
The thought above from Oswald Chambers is one that many people may wonder about but not understand completely. Even Believers or disciple of Christ Jesus, may not actually grasp the concept of becoming such a clean vessel, you desire your every thought to glorify God. I remember the first time I read the following passage in 2 Corinthians (10:5):
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
(For short, take every thought that is impure, or ungodly, captive. Do not allow it to seep into your spirit or outwardly, into the world. The two prior passages are really important as well when in a battle but this one speaks particularly loud to those in certain areas of sin.)
For a person with a creative penchant in life, who enjoys the creativity of others (art, music, literature, et al) it can be a difficult thing to defeat. For a creative person, even more trying…yet not impossible. I had no idea that the thoughts and imaginings of my mind are controllable (i.e. that I could be rid of them); the prospect both excited and amazed me. It takes a lot of work, breaking down strongholds of the enemy and a lot of strength to accomplish but it is very possible! (2 Cor 10:4 discusses this: “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.)
Ask yourself: where exactly does your creativity come from? What does it feel like when it’s bubbling up (are thoughts/feelings healing or disturbing?) and how would God perceive the final product? Would it be pleasing to His eyes, ears and heart? If you are walking with the Lord (or even if you are not) your very goal in life should be to produce work (regardless of the type), or good fruit, that you know is pleasurable to our God. It should resemble something that would be created in His image, not wrapped in bubble wrap mind you, but also not deceptive, hateful or wicked, in spirit.
We are not to participate in the ways of “the world”, instead we are to create “heaven on earth” (or Matt 6:10, “…thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”). We are created in the image of God. Through this calling we are commissioned to create art that is beautiful and uplifting (edifying), as not to tempt ourselves, nor others, into bondage of the flesh through their participation, or admiration of, your work. By keeping your eyes and mind on Christ as you create, you will take captive any ungodly desires to produce ugly fruit.
“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?” (Psalm 2:1) Because they do not adhere to God but instead to the darkness over this world. The most beautiful thing we have to offer as creative professionals, artists…is a mind that is sanctified; all we produce should resemble good fruit. It is very unfortunate that the dark arts have a stronghold over people today.
But there is hope…
There is no time like the present to start fighting; no time like the present to take back what God gifted to us, for His pleasure as well as the aesthetic enjoyment of all people. Works of art and words of glory, bathed in beauty and light. There is no time like the present to stop being complacent and allowing ourselves, or our work, to be used for evil rather than for good! Today is a great day to start – why not enter into this new year with a more beautiful state-of-mind?
4 thoughts on “It’s a New Year State of Mind”
as a fellow “artist” I find myself struggling at times with keeping the world out of my expressions. It is tempting to create something that makes people happy – giving them what they want, as opposed to doing these things for the glory to God (1 Cor 10:31) I have to tell you, this entry really hit home with me; I have been guilty of people pleasing, losing sight of why and what to do with my songwriting. I appreciate this quote from Oswald (though I have never heard it before). Know that I needed to read this as a tactful and Godly reminder of what to do with the gifts we are given from our Father. Excellent article Stacey, and quite timely.
Dennis, thank you for your thoughtful response to the post. I truly appreciate knowing that this piece in particular (as it is near and dear to my heart) has touched, and provoked another artist to evaluate how they are utilizing their gifts/talents. I am honored you found it useful. God bless you and keep up the great work! 🙂
A big thanks to Chrstianity 201 for reposting this blog post…it was an answered prayer! http://christianity201.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/the-christian-and-creativity/#comment-5766