Running On Empty?

Posted: August 28, 2017 in Thoughts on art ministry and life
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There’s a great song from the seventies by Jackson Brown called Running on Empty. It’s an ode to life on the road that leaves him Running on Empty. Have you been there? I know I have. This creative life is a joy. That is indisputable. We get to do what we enjoy and people even pay us to do it. Some days I have to pinch myself to realize I’m not dreaming. It makes me want to go, go, go, and I can for a long time, praise God. Ah, but that’s what we’ve got to remember. As Christian creatives, we are part of something bigger and we’re creating for someone bigger. We’re supposed to be doing what we do for God.

If we do this right, we’ll never find ourselves running on empty. It’s when we get out of balance that we get into trouble. You see God is our source and our strength and He is an unending supply. So if we find ourselves running on adrenaline and caffeine, we should probably ask ourselves who is driving this train we’re on. Remember this is not just art, it’s ministry. One of my favorite verses is 1 Peter 4:10. It says each one should use whatever gifts he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. It’s huge and important and it’s pretty much what launched me into this ministry. It says we should use whatever gifts we have to serve others and when we do this, it allows us to become instruments of grace, allowing us to point people to Jesus so they can receive His grace for themselves. It’s vitally important that we do this.

The context around the verse makes this even clearer. Verse 7 gives us a sense of urgency. “The end of all things is near.” This is a limited time offer. The time for us to love and serve is now, but it is crucial that we also see the verses after, especially this one. “If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.” In this Christian creative life, God is supposed to get the glory. People are supposed to be drawn to Jesus rather than to us, but most importantly, where does the strength come from? We serve with the strength God provides. So if you’re running on empty, it probably means you’re in your own strength and outside the will of God. The good news it’s easy to get back on track. All you need to do is slow down and trust God.

It seems easy, right? Now all we have to do is do it. Running on empty? Let God fill you up.

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