For the everyday, unstudied, non-theologian like me, there are certain sections of the Bible that are less than riveting, not because they aren’t holy or awesome, but simply because I’m not smart enough to understand what all the lists, practices, and laws mean. If you’re like me, most of the time we shy away from what we don’t understand. I’m not sure when, but at some point, I got really tired of fear, so I decided to actually dive in and see what might be hidden there for me.
When it was over, and after much reflection over mounds of Rocky Road, I still didn’t understand exactly what all the laws meant, but I had learned something about what it means to create something for the glory of God.
While reading, I ran into many seemingly monotonous lists of materials, measurements, and proportions that were supposedly given by God to the leaders as instructions for how the Ark, the temple, or wherever the Lord would dwell, should be constructed. Upon reflection, I noticed that everything that appeared on these lists was extremely valuable, like gold, silver, or fine fabrics. I also saw that all the measurements and proportions for these projects were extremely specific, which explained why the lists were so freaking long.
I noticed these things. And then, in a flash, it was simple.
If these Israelites were going to build something for God’s glory to rest upon, then it was going to be their absolute best. When I saw this, the verses began to transform themselves right before my eyes. Instead of seeing a long, boring list of materials and instructions, I was seeing a lesson about the worth of God, and the responsibility of those who seek to create for his glory.
As a self-proclaimed “artist”, and as a Christian, I hope that in some way everything I write, perform, and create reflects and brings glory to the God of the universe. Now, just to be clear, this God I’m talking about is the all-powerful, all-knowing, loving, merciful, strong, mighty, patient Father. Seeking to reflect the glory of a God like that can begin to look like a tall order.
God is awesome. His worth is beyond measure. Therefore, if we truly seek to reflect him in the things we create then we must offer up our absolute best. In creating for God, we cannot bring a subpar effort. Just like the builders of the temple, who used gold and gave God their most precious offerings, we must bring him our best ideas, our best effort in creating. We give him the best we have to offer with our lives. If we seek to bring glory to the King of Kings, then we must seek to create with excellence. Be excellent.
I heard it said once that God has never given us anything but his absolute best. I think that’s true. After all, Jesus was a pretty good gift. So then how could we, in return, give him anything less from ourselves? The art and lives that we offer up to God should be the absolute best we have to offer. And just like we don’t have to understand every single verse in scripture for God to teach us something, we also don’t have to be a creative genius in order for God to use what we have created. He knows our hearts, and if what we make is truly offered with the hope of reflecting him, and we’ve given everything we have to it, then even if it looks like a first grade painting of a tree, he will react just like a loving father would. He will bless it, use it, and cherish it.
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