Isn't "repentance" a word that seems to have vanished from our vocabulary? We are averse to admitting to any sort of wrong doing.
“In repentance and rest is your
salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have
none of it."
As everyone does whatever seems right in their own eyes, who is to declare definitively what constitutes right conduct? We instinctively shy away from admitting that we are wrong about anything.
Most of us feel offended or get defensive when confronted with our sin. Yet we are more often wrong than right about most things! Owning up and turning away from our mistakes is actually best for us. Recognizing our sinfulness before a holy God is a concept that ought to be reintroduced to society.
Far from being unpleasant, joy is the ultimate objective of repentance! A stunning statement, isn’t it? I can prove it to you from the Bible.
Creativity thrives when our hearts are full of joy. Our Creator understood that repentance was essential to living vibrant, fulfilled lives. His law was made plain, not to rob us of life, but to give us a way to live joyfully and freely.
Repentance is like vile tasting medicine that we must swallow to be freed from the continual malady of our fallen nature.
Each year, I’ve sought the Lord for what I ought to keep on my spiritual radar as I live out its days. He gives me a verse, a concept or something from the Bible to help me grow into who He has called me to be. This year, as some of you already know, His command to me was a single word - "Rejoice!" Since then I have been studying it and praying for understanding. "Rejoice" is such a simple word, yet I've learned that there is always more to God’s commands than is immediately apparent.
The Scripture below is an example. Quoted often, I was aware that the joy of the Lord was to be my strength. But how? And why? The verse in the Bible occurs in a chapter where the nation of Israel was at the point of repentance.
"Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”" Neh 8:10
Suddenly aware of the gravity of their sin before God, the people were truly repentant. With full hearts, they were now yielded to His purposes for their future. Yet they were so overwhelmingly conscious of their shortcomings, that all they felt was guilt and sorrow.
God's call to repentance was not intended to condemn them to a state of perpetual mourning. In keeping with His gracious nature, it was to bring them to a state of joy. When we repent, the oppression and burden of guilt is lifted - all that remains is the joy of restored relationship with the Father!
As an artist, I pray often for the anointing to create works that are pleasing to God. Staying clean before Him requires being quick to repent when I am made aware of having missed the mark.
If you are hungry for the anointing to create artwork that is meaningful and satisfying, then don’t run from repentance. Embrace it. See it as your opportunity to draw closer to God.
He promises then to refresh and honor us with His presence. As Christian artists, aren't we eager for His presence more than anything else?
In His presence is fulness of joy and the abounding creativity of art. In His presence is where you will gain the skills to be more than you can imagine today. And the key to that blessing is in recognizing sin for what it is, repenting and yielding yourself to be refreshed!
"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;" Act 3:19