Creativity and Missions


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Can an artist impact the world for God? 

I didn’t think it was possible. In fact, I remember the day doubt found a home in my mind. It first took residence on a Sunday afternoon. My friends and I were walking around the church parking lot to pass the time while our parents finished chatting. We talked about dreams and what we wanted to be when we grew up, as children so often do. Anna talked about wanting to be a missionary nurse and Zach a missionary pilot, both following in their parent’s footsteps. I said I want to be an artist. My legs suddenly went limp when I heard these words fall off Zach’s lips like a nearly finished puzzle falling off the project table, “How can art be used for God?” Little did my Sunday school friend know how much his words would impact me. 

I loved drawing, painting and doing all things crafty; however, in my 9-year-old heart, I was stripped of purpose and left in the bitter cold of shame. I felt like I couldn’t pursue what I loved if I also wanted to be used by God. When it came time to pursue a career path, rather than art, I chose to pursue something more useful to the kingdom. I thought that by doing so that I was somehow following God’s will for my life. One night while I worked on a school project, God shifted my perspective. I will always remember how He graciously stopped me in my sleep-deprived tracks and spoke to my heart,

“I never called you to do this.”
Those seven simple words flipped a switch in my mind and heart.

"God revealed to me that I had been trying to meet the qualifications of the world instead of following His lead. I had doubted that I was enough and that the gifts he put in my hands were enough to share His love with the world."

It seems silly to me now that I let a little boy speak into my core. But, his words were just the beginning of the waves of voices that would crash against me throughout my life. Life is full of little voices - voices that try to define you - voices that tell you that your talents aren’t worthy of being used by God. However, the truth is that God can use anyone who is willing to submit to Him. Standing on that truth keeps me from being swept away by the lies that try to flood my thoughts with doubt. The more I allow that truth to take over my mind and heart; the more peace and confidence I experience. 

"Once you are at peace with who you are and have confidence that God can move through you,
nothing can stop you from impacting the world."

I used to think missionaries were only those serving on the frontlines. They fight the good fight feeding the hungry and risk their lives taking supplies to those struck by devastation. However, behind the scenes of every successful mission is another team. They are the ones who use their skills to help arm God’s warriors.  We can all play a part in building God’s kingdom when we work as unto Him and submit our skills to be used how he wants them to be. “In His grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well”
(Romans 12:6). 

So whether your gift is making works of art, serving hot meals to the hungry or simply showing kindness in an unkind world, whatever it is, God has given you that specific gift to reach those specific people for His specific purpose. We may not always see the impact we have on others, but that’s okay. Simply doing what God tells you to do is enough. As long as you are willing, God can move through you to be a blessing to those around you. “So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless” (1 Corinthians 15:58 NLT). 

What doubts have taken residence in your mind and kept you from being used by God? Will you allow God to fill those thoughts with truth today? 

Check out opportunities to use your creativity and bless nations

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