If you are a faith-focused creative, you are probably very aware of your need to stay connected to God. You’ve sensed how your faith impacts your artistry, and you know that without a strong foundation, your life won’t remain in balance.
Awareness is one thing. Application is another.
There are two areas that help us connect with God on a daily basis – prayer and reading the Bible.
Yes, most Christians know that these two activities are essential to living out their faith. Nevertheless, it’s difficult for many faith-focused creatives to maintain these habits consistently. Whether it’s due to our varied schedules, our creative impulses, or constant interruptions, keeping up with daily devotional times can be daunting. You might feel like it’s a major hurdle to commit to better spiritual habits. But there’s hope – you don’t have to change your entire life in order to make communication with God a priority. Let’s break down the two spiritual disciplines so they aren’t as intimidating.
Prayer each day is simply keeping in touch with God. It doesn’t mean that you must have a deep, philosophical discourse every time you close your eyes. It’s just communication with the One that made it possible for you to communicate.
Some people get intimidated because they think they must follow some kind of spiritual formula when they pray. Kneeling, getting in a perfect spot, clearing your mind – it’s as if we think God needs us to be totally put together before he’ll listen to us.
That’s just not true.
Imagine approaching a best friend and saying, “I would talk to you more, but first I need to do some preparation on what I should say to you, and we can’t talk until we’re in the perfect place and there are zero distractions.”
Your friend would look back at you with astonishment and say, “That’s silly. Just talk.”
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t attempt to have a dedicated place to pray. It means not having one shouldn’t stop you from praying.
What you say when you pray is not as important as saying what you mean when you pray. God simply desires to know what you really think. And since he knows what we think, it really doesn’t make sense not to express it.
Prayer doesn’t just mean asking for things. But it doesn’t mean NOT asking either. The more comfortable you get with being honest with God, the more you’ll sense the truth in his answers.
Reading the Bible
Bible study is the other discipline we often neglect for similar reasons. We claim we don’t know where to start, or we simply begin reading cover to cover and get lost in the historical details.
Rather than getting lost in the details, look for what you need. Just as there’s no perfect prescription for prayer, there’s no perfect way to read the Bible. When God communicates with us, he’s looking for results, not just a routine.
Using online searches and Bible apps, look up the topic that is on your mind. Love. Joy. Pain. Fear. Making major decisions. Facing your most difficult tests. Often you’ll find verses that you have seen before in passing that will leap off the page and into your spirit.
Here’s how you know your Bible reading is effective. If you read a verse and it doesn’t hit you emotionally every time, that’s OK. But every once in the while the verse you read should read itself back to you. It will sound more like an echo of something you already know. And that’s when God starts planting His words in your heart.
Keep at it
These are called spiritual disciplines for a reason. It’s not hard to do them. It’s just hard to do them every day. Life will try to pull you way from the things that make life easier.
Don’t let it happen. Keep the spiritual lines of communication open. He’s always ready to start a conversation.
Is keeping daily devotional times more difficult for you as a creative artist? Share the biggest obstacle to your consistent spiritual development in the comment section below.