Monday, 2 December 2013

What am I doing!?

Whaddup Readers!  Sam is my name and Alex and Jay have dared to let me write this week’s post – hooray!  What fantastic and generous humans they are!

Ready? Okay!

All the Rocking it Christian Style posts speak of issues that are so relevant and close to my heart.  I am tremendously interested in music and projects that glorify God within creative industries.  I just finished a degree in Fine Arts and since about the middle of this year, I really struggled to justify my artistic creation.  What is the purpose of this artwork? Who understands it? Who actually cares whether I paint a landscape or present a toilet seat on a podium and call it art? What GOOD does academia do?  Whose life does this impact?  I’m sure there are many other creatives who can relate to these feelings… 

After wallowing in self-pity about my decision to study a useless degree, I found something that shed the whole sun of light!  The About Us section of Deeper-Well:

Deeper Well: A Gospel Collective
Deeper Well was formed in 2012 as a collective for followers of Jesus who want to use their creative gifts to explore the depths of the Gospel.
Our goal as a collective is to help creatives and artists navigate the tension so often found between the world of art and the world of Jesus – for art by its very nature is self-expression, while Jesus by His very nature is self-denial. [BOOOOOOOM!] What we need is a drive for creativity that is not motivated by the desire to be known, but by the desire to make Jesus known. It is a need for Christ-expression, for the rise of the prophetic voice.
We must remember that the ancient Hebrew prophets were poets – their words were inspired by God, and drew the people back to God. It was artisans gifted by God who used their creativity to build a sacred space where God’s presence would be experienced. We believe that this kind of expression is needed desperately in these difficult days. Our desire is to provide creative work that flows from a deep understanding of the gospel and that is available for the church as a whole.
Recognizing that the gospel flows out of God’s generosity toward us in Jesus, every work that Deeper Well produces will be offered as a free gift. Jesus said, “If the Son of Man is lifted up He will draw all people unto Himself.”  Our prayer is that these creative offerings will lift up Jesus and draw you close to Him.

I decided to include the entire About Us because it is just too cool.  You should all definitely check it out -  Incredible music!

So there is MEANT to be tension for followers of Jesus in creative industries?… WHAAAAAAAT!? Blows my mind! Why did no one tell me this when I finished high school!?  Even if they had, it wouldn’t have stopped me from doing either music or art. Side note: If God has put fire in your heart for something, be it baking, acting, accountancy, teaching or architecture, the Holy Spirit is going to stir.  No matter what your logic says, what your parents say – If you have a relationship with Jesus and He puts it on your heart to go and scrub floors for Him, you go and flippin’ scrub floors for Him!  If you deny a stirring from the Holy Spirit, he’s only going to come back and stir again (even if it is later in your life). If you choose to turn around a corner onto a path contrary to that which God has placed in your heart, the Holy Spirit will meet you around another corner anyway!!

Anyway, this About Us section really inspired me to finish my degree and pursue a purposeful life in the creative fields!  No industry on earth is perfect or completely fulfilling (nothing and no one but Jesus is 100% fulfilling ), but God has a plan to implement His perfect will for each of our lives and that involves being a light surrounded by people who don’t understand what God’s love means.  And it’s hard.  But that is why we have the Holy Spirit: our helper and comforter.  I won’t go into all the amazingness of the Holy Spirit because this post will never stop!

Everything you will do in this life, God will make sure that you use what you have learned to impact and help someone else to see the Love and the Truth. I truly believe this.  Every gift, every skill, every blessing you have been given in this life is for the sole purpose of glorifying God.  Creatives who have been trained in the arts industry are encouraged to express themselves, search themselves more deeply, ‘play on YOUR strengths’, be as smart and philosophical as you possibly can be, when actually, we should only be seeking God more deeply and more rigourously through our work. 

In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.’ Romans 12:6 NLT

Romans is generally FANTASTIC to read when you have no idea what is going on in your life! I really digz Romans.

Author, Frederick Buechner defines ‘vocation’:  “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”  So how do we know whether we’re in, or working towards the ‘right’ vocation?  I think the word of the day is Wisdom.  How do you receive Godly wisdom? EAT YOUR BIBLE, that’s how! We need to be lapping up all the promises and the lessons that God wants to show us while we’re on earth. That is how God is talking to us, it is the best way to truly know what is good and what is of God’s will.

We will never have perfect wisdom, but as we grow eager to learn and thirst for God’s word, we gain wisdom.  I know it sounds like I’m trying to convince you to read your bible but sometimes I really feel like I need that!  There are such delightful treats in the Old Testament!

The Lord told Moses to instruct the Levites to ‘be sure to give to the Lord the best portions of the gifts given to you’ (Numbers 18:29 NLT).  I don’t believe that the Lord is only referring to tithing...

So now that we know that God has blessed us with specific gifts and now that we have a vague idea of how to obtain wisdom to use them, what is missing from this equation?

LOVE (1 Corinthians 13). It is the love of our Saviour that carries us through whatever we end up doing.  That is the motivation.  Without it, we shouldn’t even think about making a difference or trying to be successful.  This goes for all industries God places us in.

Holla at the comments box below! J

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