The Light of God Shines Through Us When We Create
As creative people, especially as creative Christians, we must realize and acknowledge that it is God who has given us our gifts and talents. The light of God shines when we create because we reflect his glory into the world through our art. How many times have you stopped to think about where that idea originated or how you were able to see new designs or create original artwork or hear music that becomes a melody and a song or have words flow from your heart through your fingertips? If we are not in tune with The Creator who empowers us to create, then we can be self-absorbed and can end up denying His work in us and through us. In addition, we will not fully benefit from the power of the Holy Spirit that can optimize the abilities that have been given to us.
I love reading the Bible. No matter how many times I read it, God makes His Word fresh and new. I do not know how many times I have read Matthew 5:14-16, but recently these verses spoke to me differently than they have in the past: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” In this passage, Jesus is instructing His disciples (both then and now) to shine God’s light into the world and to not hide our belief in and love for Him from the world. We are to be beautifully bold in the way that we represent who God is and who we are as His children and we are to submit to His Holy Spirit so that everything that we say, think and do glorifies God.
But this time, as I read this passage, it felt as though God used those words to let me see deeper into His heart, and my heart responded with both conviction and joy: He has given me artistic ability but throughout my life I have felt uncomfortable with other people seeing my work. I have always felt exposed and vulnerable because I believed that I was revealing something about myself that, of course, left me open to rejection or criticism. But what I came to realize, considering Matthew 5:14-16, is that I had not allowed God’s light to shine through me. I had, in essence, denied Him the joy of watching me use what He had so lovingly given to me and I had denied him the pleasure of expressing Himself through me. And I will never do this again.
With this revelation came a soul-stirring challenge and an amazing sense of freedom. I am no longer bound by my own wrong thinking: that what is created by my hands is a reflection of who I am; it’s a reflection of who He is and whose I am. In Ephesians 2:10 it says: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” I am privileged, blessed, with this gift that God has given me and I will use my gifts so that my light shines and glorifies my Father in heaven.
God’s Spirit can be active in the creative process. In biblical history, Moses is given very specific, detailed instructions on building the tabernacle and creating all its furnishings and accessories. He is even told who the artisans and craftsmen will be. In Exodus 31:1-6 it says: “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills–to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts. Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also, I have given ability to all the skilled workers to make everything I commanded you…'” After the tabernacle had been constructed and everything had been executed according to the plans that God had shared with Moses, one of the most beautiful and awesome events recorded in Old Testament history occurred as recorded in Exodus 40:34: “And so Moses finished the work. Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.” God was pleased with the work and the workers and He granted the Israelites the awesome joyfulness of being in His presence: ” And when all the people saw it, they shouted for joy and fell facedown.” Leviticus 9:24
Imagine that you have bought or made a gift for someone you loved. Throughout the process of planning, purchasing or making that gift you were bursting with excitement at the thought of giving that gift to your loved one because you had poured your heart into it and you were anticipating the joy of watching your special someone unwrap the gift. Their eyes would sparkle with unshed tears; a tender awe and reverence would fill them as they beheld that gift and then, after giving you the deepest heartfelt “thank you,” they would use your gift for whatever the intended purpose. And you knew that each time they used it, they would think fondly of you and that special awe would fill them anew.
I believe that when God gives us a gift, that’s the scenario that He wants to experience when we receive what He has given us. He wants us to think of Him and feel how much He loves us. He wants to share our excitement and awe and joy as we use that special something that He has given us. Our talents are gifts from God, and the greatest honor that we can give Him is to joyfully use what He has given us.
Has God given you a gift, a talent or special ability? Do you glorify God with that gift or have you hidden it away? Do you want to be free to release your creativity and allow God to fully develop the gift that He has given you? Nothing that is good can grow in the dark; therefore, for you to truly grow as a creative person, you must expose your gifts and talents to The Light and let The One who gave them to you grow you and your gifts and talents to maximum potential. In the process not only will the glory of the Lord fill you and His light shine through you, but your own heart will be filled with awe each time you use the gifts that God has given you.
Accept this invitation: Open that gift; use it. And give God a chance to feel your joy as you use the gift. Let Him express Himself through you and let His light shine through you. Seek God first in your creative pursuits and remember that you are created in the image of The Creator and His light is in you. It’s time to shine!