Have you ever wondered how to tell when the Holy Spirit is guiding you and working with you in your art or when you are trying to do it all on your own? If this is you, you're not alone. This is a question I get a lot from artists all over the world. And today, I want to share with you a few things that I've learned over the years that have really helped me definitively answer this question for myself.
Religious Baggage – We All Have Some…
You know, a lot of us were raised with a fear-based relationship with the Lord. This is where the idea that you have to be "careful" because you don't want to "miss God" gets ingrained in your heart. While the desire for this sort of teaching is undoubtedly good, it often produces the opposite of what it is intended to do.
In my life, this mindset failed me completely. Instead of keeping on the straight and narrow, it took me totally off the path. I became paralyzed because I was so afraid of doing anything that might seem like my own flesh, anything that would not honor the Lord. I was just scared all the time, and because of that, I really was not moving forward in my life.
This kind of religious baggage paralyzes a lot of people in life. But over the years, the Lord began to help me realize some essential Kingdom truths. These truths helped me know the answer to the question, "Am I doing this with the Lord, or am I doing this on my own?"
You Were Designed for Co-Creating with God.
We all have to realize that God's pleasure and His desire are FOR you. God's design in your life was created specifically for you. In other words, there is a design, there is a pattern, there is a way of flowing that He designed for you. Not for anyone else, and He did this before the very foundation of the earth. When you got saved, the best part is that your Divine design got reactivated and reenergized in your life.
I love where the Bible says in Psalms that God inhabits the praises of His people. I love it because that is what art feels like to me. As we create in concert with the Holy Spirit, inviting Him into the creative process, God is faithful to His Word. As we do the things we were made to do with the One who created us, He comes, and He inhabits, leads, guides, and comforts us through that process.
You Have Everything You Need
It is crucial to realize that through what God has done for you through the cross, you already have everything you need for life and godliness as a Kingdom Artist. The real question is, "How do you participate or partake in all that God has already done for you? In II Peter 1:3-4, it says that we participate in the divine nature through the very precious promises of God. So, it is by faith, right?
It's by faith that we take hold of the promises of God and can appropriate all the things that God has for us. Well, the same thing is true with your art. You need to embrace the truth that every idea, every inspiration, and every skill comes from God. He has already equipped you with all of this, plus the desire and ability to flow with the Holy Spirit in your creative process. It's already there! It exists right now! Well, how do you access it? You access it by faith.
Try This the Next Time You Are In Your Studio
So the next time you go into your creative space, walk-in with a joyful heart saying: "Father, thank You that I have the opportunity today to come in and do the thing that You created me to do. Now, Lord, I receive by faith Your inspiration and the movement of Your Holy Spirit. Lord, I listen with the ears of my heart for Your voice. Lord, I respond with my hands, and God, I trust that You will lead and guide and move in and through me during this process. Use me, Lord. Transform me that my work might be used to transform others."
You see, I just find that when you can come in and create out of a place of JOY and not judgment, you can't do it wrong. When you approach the creative process from a place of judgment versus joy, fear rises up, anxiousness kicks in, and self-doubt rules the day. Judgment says, "I don't know if this is God! I don't know if I am doing it right! I don't know if I am going to miss it!"
Joy says, "I am a son. I am a daughter. I am already set up for success. God has already given me a design. There is no way I can do this wrong. God, You are FOR me. Holy Spirit, You are my guide, and You are the one that is here to lead me today." As you do that, it's like letting a drawbridge down into the spirit, receiving by faith everything that God has planned for you.
What the Fruit Says
Lastly, I want to share how you can recognize when the Spirit of God is moving in and through your creative process. Ask yourself the following:
Is there a sense of His presence as you are creating?
If you're answering yes if you're seeing the Fruits of the Spirit manifesting in your life and through your work. All of that confirms the movement of the Holy Spirit in your life as you create. So don't make it more complicated than it is. Enjoy the process.
A Resource That Can Help
A few years ago, we put together a mini-course called "Knowing God's Plan for Your Life and Art." After taking this 3-part mini-course, you'll be able to:
You can learn more about this course by clicking right here.
I hope this helps as you continue to create with the Lord. If this article has helped, take a moment to share it with a friend, share it on social media, and comment below!
Thanks for reading.
Matt Tommey is an artist, author and mentor who is passionate about empowering artists to thrive spiritually, artistically and in business.