Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | October 15, 2015

October 15, 2015 “The Author of Ability”

“In the hearts of all who are skillful I have put skill” (Exodus 31:6)


Good Morning Everyone, on this glorious new day the Lord has made. Rejoice! Be glad!

When I was a child…(oh, and truth be told), even in adulthood, I have manifested somewhat of a competitive nature. This nature would manifest itself in childhood in those areas where I had a more than reasonable expectation of being successful. I could run pretty fast as a child. I was fairly bright academically. I could sing. When it came time to have a race, I raced hard to win. If my class played a game of musical chairs, I always wanted to be the last one on the last chair. When tests were given in arithmetic or spelling, I wanted to get the best grade. When music class started, I made sure my voice was heard. But then there was art class. I was forever frustrated when it came to the visual arts. I couldn’t draw well, or paint well, or create clay figures well. I was even challenged when it came to drawing stick people! On the other hand, my brother had a knack for doing these things and my mother would proudly display his artistic creations around the house, which made me a little jealous. I have gotten over that, and now am quite appreciative of those who possess a God-given talent (and I mean that literally) for creating visual works of art, be they paintings or sculptures, or films, or wood carvings, or photographs. I believe these skills to be gifts of God, given to glorify Him. In fact, He tells us that himself in his word, where here in Exodus 31:6, he informs Moses , “In the hearts of all who are skillful I have put skill”. As we read more of this account in Exodus, we discover that God gave artistic skills to particular individuals so they could be used to fashion a suitable and inspiring place of worship for the children of Israel. They had left a land full of splendid palaces and graven images to false gods…palaces and images they had been forced to lay bricks for so that the skilled Egyptians artisans could create their impressive, yet ungodly idols of stone. Now God placed in the hearts of certain chosen ones of Israel skills to build temples in his honor…testimonies to his greatness and glory. These were to remind the Israelites of His splendid, surpassing greatness and beauty. God did not stop there. He still grants such creative skills to particular individuals who are meant to use these skills for his glory. Some do, some do not.  These visual art renderings are to be testimonies not to the particular artists but to the One providing the skill. The late theologian Francis Schaeffer once said,

“A Christian should use these arts to the glory of God, not just as tracts, mind you, but as things of beauty to the praise of God. An art work can be a doxology in itself.”

Does this mean that if you are so gifted, every work of art should have some sort of religious theme attached to it? I don’t think so. But I do think the inspiration for the creation, most certainly for the artist who is a believer, has its genesis in a right relationship with God. The Lord gives the talent. The Lord inspires the artist. His glory is manifest in it, and he will use it to inspire others as well. I no longer envy those of you who have been so gifted. Instead, I am grateful to the “Author of Ability” that he has granted you those skills that others like me may be inspired and that He may be glorified. “Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.”  Let’s pray!

Gracious Lord; Thank you for granting particular artistic skills to certain individuals. Those visual creations uplift and inspire others, and manifest your glory, ushering into your holy presence, which is always a blessing. May you be praised and glorified in this new day, and in every waking moment. This I do pray in Jesus’ beautiful Name. Amen!



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