“One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple.”
Honestly, I am the worst when it comes to this type of thing. I always feel the need to DO rather than BE.
A couple months ago I considered giving myself homework assignments related to the Bible and prayer to force myself to actually spend time with God. Why? Because that makes it easier for me.
Sometimes, it’s easier to fill out a worksheet or complete a journaling prompt than sit still, listen, or pray from the heart. BUT, that doesn’t make it better.
"Here’s what I’ve learned through it all: Don’t give up; don’t be impatient; be entwined as one with the Lord. Be brave and courageous, and never lose hope. Yes, keep on waiting—for he will never disappoint you!"
Psalm 27:14 TPT
There isn't a place so far away that we can go, so dark that the Lord isn't there. He is passionate about us, and He is jealous over us to be close. The Lord meets us in that place, and pulls us close. He is our very foundation, our rock, our fortress and our strength.
Walking through serious health problems as a child into adulthood, I clung to the Lord just like this verse says,
"Be brave and courageous, and never lose hope. Yes, keep on waiting—for he will never disappoint you!" I can honestly say that after I walked through that journey, it didn't seriously occur to me that there might be seasons just as hard or sometimes harder that I might walk through. There have been years where the it felt like the trials just kept coming, but the Lord would remind me of who He is, and who I am in Him. We all have a choice whether to believe the truth of who God says we are and keep our eyes on Him, or get lost and feel far away from Him. He's already stated that He won't leave us.
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.”
“Solvitur ambulando.” (“It is solved by walking.” St Augustine)
I spend a lot of time outside, praying. For whatever reason, I feel closer to God when I am in the middle of His Creation. My artwork is largely a reflection of that. Natural beauty inspires me, and the fact that God made it all inspires me that much more. My creativity is just as much an extension of that connectedness as my prayer life.
"Though the fig tree does not blossom and there is no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive fails and the fields produce no food, though the flock is cut off from the fold and there are no cattle in the stalls, I will [choose to] rejoice in the Lord; I will [choose to] shout in exultation in the [victorious] God of my salvation! The Lord God is my strength [my source of courage, my invincible army]; He has made my feet [steady and sure] like hinds’ feet and makes me walk [forward with spiritual confidence] on my high places [of challenge and responsibility]."
Have you experienced difficult times in your life? Have you had seasons where it felt like you simply didn’t want to get up in the morning, and everything around you was bleak?
For me, I have experienced a few seasons like this. We had a season of financial crisis that lasted seven years. It was very painful as we walked through many losses of worldly treasures. We struggled to buy groceries and clothes for our children. We felt weary year after year as we worked to keep ourselves above water.
This morning I felt to just worship the King of kings before even asking for anything because He truly is worthy of that, the King on the throne. I played two songs, one of the them being a song by the name of Way Maker, absolutely incredible song.
"Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me. For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear.“
With God, there is always an exchange. We come to Jesus weary and heavy burdened. And we leave refreshed, eased, and with new strength.
All we have to do is come to him first. Jesus asks: "Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden?“ What is your answer to this question? What does your heart say? If your answer is YES, Jesus offers you: "Then come to me.“ He’s already there, waiting for you, ready for you. What is hindering you from coming to him first?
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."
Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
You are a one of a kind. No one is just like you. God has amazing purposes for every person on this planet.
You have been filled with gifts, talents and dreams and this world needs who you are. God knew that others would need what He planted in you ever before you were born.
"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, [God’s] own purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people [at all], but now you are God’s people; once you were unpitied, but now you are pitied and have received mercy."
1 Peter 2:9-10 (AMP)
Every time I read this verse, and others in 1 Peter, I feel overwhelmed with the gift of pure love God has so generously given to me and to all that love Him. Who wouldn’t want this? I, as well as many others, have been chosen, and because he chose us, we are His royal priests. We are part of a consecrated nation and considered to be so special that He calls us His own!
Being His own comes with some privileges that are worth far more than money can buy. We can speak and claim excellence over ourselves. Excellence in our deeds, our virtues, and all that we perfect to do.
"You answer our prayers with amazing wonders and with awe-inspiring displays of power. You are the righteous God who helps us like a father. Everyone everywhere looks to you, for you are the confidence of all the earth, even to the farthest islands of the sea."
Psalm 65:5 TPT
Is there anything too hard for our God? No. Nothing. The God of the whole universe, who knows us down to every hair on our heads, lives in us, abides with us and desires us to know Him in a very real way.
When God created us, He knew every ounce of breath it would take to make our bodies function, every ounce of blood that would flow through our veins, and every cell that would have it's own function. Every living thing has a purpose, and creation declares His glorious name too.
Such a loving Father knew our hearts needed sunrises and sunsets, and the colors that we see and how they mean so much to us as creatives. In fact, He put within our hearts the desire to be creative because He made us in His image. What a generous and loving Creator we have!
"And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey.’"
Exodus 3:17 NIV
Israelites awaited entering their Promise Land - a land flowing with milk and honey.
But before entering it the Lord reminded them not to seek the peace and prosperity of the nations around them.
They should not serve other gods but rather follow the LORD with all their hearts, soul, mind and strength
Here you will find a mix of encouraging and inspirational articles written from members within the Community of Christian Creatives.