Probably the first thing we need in the process of creating is the idea, the inspiration. We need to know what to create. Staring at the blank page, (canvas, screen, etc.) can actually be pretty daunting especially if you’re wanting your work to glorify God. I’ve found a process that seems to work so I thought I’d share it.
If we’re trying to create something that glorifies God, a good place to start is to ask Him what to create. I find it easiest to step away from the blank surface and spend some time with the Father. Ask Him for inspiration. Ask Him to lay a burden on your heart. Ask Him to point you in the right direction.
Often our prayers are more like a shopping list than what they should be, a conversation. When you talk to God, He does talk back. Maybe not always audibly, but in your Spirit through the “still small voice.” It’s important that we leave some silence in our prayer time so that we can hear what He has to say. He might direct you to Scripture, or give you an idea or show you something you hadn’t noticed before.
Once you have your God given idea, it’s time to get to work. Don’t fret about what you don’t have. Start with what you do have and make the best possible thing you can with it. If you’re truly lacking in resources, take the project as far as you can and pray that God will bring what you need, show you how to get it or how you can do without it. Also “bathe” your creation in prayer throughout the process. Ask God to guide your steps, help you create it, use it to impact people to His glory, etc.
4. “Ship it”
Once you’ve finished (and prayed over it) it’s time to release it to the world. Art is a gift meant to be shared. Withholding it is the same as hiding your light under a bushel. The same goes for “eternal tweaking”—you know being your own worst critic and eternally refining, changing, editing it, trashing it. There is nothing wrong with wanting to do your best work, but there comes a time where you have to say it is finished and put it out there.
5. Trust it to God and see what happens
Ultimately the success or failure of the piece is in the eyes of God and the beholder. If God called you to it and you’ve given it your best, God is pleased. He doesn’t waste a lot of time comparing you to the more skilled artist down the street, because the little secret is, it’s not about the art, it’s about giving God your best. God can and will use it to touch the hearts He wants to touch and reach the people He wants you to reach. I believe that’s why He calls us to create in the first place. Our human measures of success are really flawed anyway. If God uses your work to reach even one person for Jesus or even just make the next step toward Jesus, that’s eternal impact. How much is that worth?
God wants to work in you and through you in the creative process because He loves you. Don’t let anything hold you back. Serve Him faithfully today!
What’s holding you back from giving God your best?
From the upcoming “manifesto” God and the Creative Process, by Dave Weiss.