3. God receives glory from time spent creating with Him.
Sometimes it’s not about what we create so much as the fact that we created it with the Lord. In the writing industry, it’s easy to find validation in our writing if we’re published, or sign with a reputable agent, or get a five-star book review or a ton of blog hits. It’s harder to find validation in an Audience of One—but truly, His opinion is the only one that matters for a believer. And this Almighty Judge is nothing like Simon Cowell. Our Father is compassionate, kind and merciful—a Father that finds joy in His creation.
“… but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.” (Psalm 147:11ESV)
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save;he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17ESV)
Thankfully, our Creator doesn’t measure and judge by the world’s standards. “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7ESV)
Which would we rather have? 5-star reviews and a million Twitter followers? A technically perfect singing voice? A Pulitzer prize verifying our success? A painting hanging in a museum? Or the deep, contented joy of knowing that we gifted our gifts back to the Giver and created on a worthwhile journey with Him?
In all honesty, as believers still being sanctified, we probably want both. But I crave a heart that’s after the latter and not the former. There’s nothing wrong with desiring for our work to be seen by others, for the heart and message of our creation to be noticed—especially within ministry. But there’s a simple joy that comes with knowing we spent time creating with our Father. Just like how as a child, I loved doing errands with my dad, just riding around in his pick-up truck with no agenda or going to his work on a Saturday morning and being treated to a candy bar from the vending machine. The candy bar was awesome. But the bonding with my dad was far more valuable—a truth that was recognizable even as an eight-year-old girl.
As Allen Arnold said, “What do you hunger for most in your creativity? There is no guarantee of sales, popularity, contracts, or fans. But God does guarantee His presence in all you do...if you seek it above all else.”
“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13 ESV)
When our hearts shift from creating for human validation to creating with the singular goal of spending time with our Creator, pressure to perform is relieved. The burden of expectation and goal-meeting is lifted. And we experience creating as it was meant to be.
With Him, and for His glory.
Betsy St. Amant Haddox is the author of fourteen inspirational romance novels and novellas. She resides in north Louisiana with her newlywed hubby, two story-telling young daughters, a collection of Austen novels, and an impressive stash of Pickle Pringles. Betsy has a B.A. in Communications and a deep-rooted passion for seeing women restored in Christ. When she's not composing her next book or trying to prove unicorns are real, Betsy can usually be found somewhere in the vicinity of a white-chocolate mocha. Look for her latest novel with HarperCollins, LOVE ARRIVES IN PIECES, and POCKET PRAYERS FOR FRIENDS with Max Lucado. Visit her at http://www.betsystamant.com./
Photo Credit: Unsplash/Mike Giles