Here are some slow thoughts about an unhurried life of worship and creativity from the first verses of Genesis…
Please note: this transcript is auto-generated so forgive any (or many) errors 😲 – click the timestamps to play that section directly in the audio.
Today I want to share six thoughts on slowing down simplifying and the creative life. Christian creative life, particularly looking only really got as far as the first few verses of Genesis. But the Holy Ghost has been instructing me in the pace of life that leads to fruitful living and fruitful living as much as the world may try and Con you into thinking is not just a matter of production. It’s a matter of peace. It’s a matter of living in the way that is fullest and the way that best represents the one whom we have been sent as ambassadors for.
That would have been a day when I would most certainly have said I would rather burn out than rust out. But having been through a few episodes of virtual burnout, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be really. I would much prefer to live with the long view to live a life of rich, rooted fruitfulness. And despite what I’ve just said, I’ve got no monumental story to tell, no big brag about a previous breakneck, life of speed and greed, no mega churches, no like endless meetings or anything like that to talk about.
No dramatic turnaround that transformed a crazy speedaholic success into an unhurried worshipper.
I’m just a believer with a deep desire to know God who is quickly, even though I’m talking about slow and maybe I am slow. Maybe it’s taken me 50 years to get here almost, but I am quickly realising that fast does not work. Certainly not for me anyways, I can’t be prescriptive in that, but I think there’s something to be said about walking with God, not jogging or running or sprinting with him. Now there may be seasons for that, but boy, oh boy, I think more often than not it is a walk in the garden that he desires in the cool of the day.
And I think in those places of quietness, in those places of a pace that allows the noise of the world to simmer down and for the voice of God to be strongly heard, we step into a different way of living, a countercultural way of living.
And so here are some slow thoughts about an unhurried life of worship. And presently I’m just as I say in the first few verses of Genesis, who knows where this will lead? I may end up. I’ve got six thoughts here. From these first few verses I may end up with about 600 if I work my way through the Bible, so brace yourself.
It will be a slow journey. Don’t worry, number one in the beginning. In the beginning, Genesis, one verse one in the beginning, God, everything begins and ends with God. He comprehends all things in himself and nothing is outside his knowledge and control. Everything in time has a beginning and an end.
But God does not. He lives outside of time. And I think an unhurried life sits very securely in this reality when we step into the place of prayer, and we sense His presence in reality. We are stepping outside of time and all of that time pressure that tries to force itself in upon us dissipates. And we realise that there is a far bigger picture at work, something far bigger than us, something far bigger than the madness outside our doors that’s taking place in the world.
And we can rest in that reality. The Scriptures say he will keep the man whose mind is stayed on him on God. He will keep in perfect peace. And I think that the place of prayer is where we can best put that promise to effect. Now prayer is where we meet the one who inhabits eternity and where we get a perspective that’s just less pressured by the passing moment slipping through our fingers.
Isaiah 57:15 for thus safe the high and lofty one that inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy. I dwell in the high and Holy place with him. Also, that is of a contrite and humble spirit to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contract ones. There is a place of humility when we slow down, stop all of our efforts and our striving, and recognise this wonderful, awesome, generous, faithful God that we serve, whose name is Holy. Number two.
In the beginning, God in the beginning, God God created. We know that. But the who came before the do before there was any action before there was any other thing. He is. The same is true for you.
Who before do you’re not measured by your production or usefulness, even though the world would try and convince you otherwise? And the impactful contribution that you’re called to bring to the world is going to flow from who you are on the inside issues of life flow from the heart and the more connected you become to your accepted and dearly loved identity in Christ. The more freely and wonderfully that value that you produce will flow out and change lives. Number three, in the beginning, God created God’s first introduction to us is as a creator, he is a maker and wonderfully inventive in every way, like beyond description.
And I think a creative life is very natural and normal for children of God.
It’s not something that we have to work up or strain to become. You are creative by nature. You are made in the beautiful image and likeness of the one who created you. Living a creatively fruitful life is the overflow of the connection that you have with Him. A tree doesn’t strain to produce the fruit it was designed to bless the world with.
And I think there’s a place where we don’t have to either. There’s a big difference between a machine churning out whatever widget it’s designed to spew out and a tree that actually draws its nutrients from deep roots and quite naturally then produces fruit. And I think that our deep rooted relationship with God is the very source and essence of our life as creative Christians. So let your heart root deep into God’s faithfulness and his personality and the vibrant, untamed wonder will flow from your inner man in the most surprising ways.
Number four, the Earth was without form and void.
We’ve got all the way to verse two. Hallelujah. The Earth was without form and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep. The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Genesis one, verse two.
And in a society that is hellbent on, faster, bigger, cheaper. The idea that something is not shiny and slick is very frowned upon. And sometimes I don’t know about you. I can only speak for myself, but I feel less than slick. Here I am in my office, scraps of paper lying around.
I’ve got an appointment at eleven and because I’m so bad at remembering appointments, I’ve got it written on like a bright little sticky note with it scribbled on. So it’s right in my face. I feel less than slick. I don’t know how I come across, but I can promise you it’s a lot more kind of frayed at the edges when you get behind the scenes. And here in verse two, we find out that there is a place where we often feel very much without form and void.
And it’s a dark place. If we fail to remember that God moves even when the lights are off, don’t be in a hurry to run from those searching seasons where our life feels without form hidden inside what looks like a formless lump of clay to an untrained eye. The sculptor sees a masterpiece and God uses every season. God uses everything in our lives to mould and shape us for eternity. You truly are, as the Scriptures say in Ephesians, his masterpiece, his workmanship, and even through dark seasons of soul searching, the Holy Spirit is moving.
Number five, the Earth was without form and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters. The word used for spirit here in the first verses of this epic adventure into the mind and heart of God is Rua. It’s translated in some instances as breath. The breath of God moved on the face of the waters.
God breathed into the darkness. God’s breath is life giving and creative by nature. And maybe I think if we take his lead and breathe a little more, we would see better results than for all our breathless striving. Take a breath and remember that God is with you and in you. And maybe this will help you keep your mind stayed on this truth, that nothing is impossible with Him.
Even in the midst of seeming chaos, he is moving. He is breathing. And so can you slow down, take a breath and remember who it is that you’re working with. Number six in the evening and the morning and the evening and the morning were the first day jumping right to Genesis one verse five and the evening and the morning were the first day. I actually really love this.
The creation song that we read right there in the very first chapter of Genesis is just so incredibly beautiful and so insightful and revealing on, like, it could be a lifetime that we spend there. And here we find that there was a rhythm to our father’s creative work. There’s no sense of rush in this beautiful account we have over his creative work. Really. The question isn’t like, wow, six days.
That’s so short. Don’t we need billions of yours? The question really is, why did it take him so long? Seriously, this is the Almighty God. He could have just in an instant created everything.
But he decided to Institute a perfect rhythm. The evening and the evening and the morning. We begin our work in the morning, after an evening of rest, we work from rest. And like I say, there’s no sense of rush. Evening, morning, the first day, evening, morning, the second day.
And then he adds a second beat to this rhythm to this song. And God saw that it was good. I mean, if I was a beatboxer or like in musical or in any way, I would probably try and might be a slower beat than that. But he adds this second string to the song. And God saw that it was good.
Genesis one verse twelve, evening, morning, the third day, and God saw that it was good. Genesis one eight, evening, morning, the fourth day, and God saw that it was good and right the way through this wonderful chapter to this Crown in chorus. And God saw everything that he had made. And behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning was the 6th day, an unhurried rhythm of creation, followed by and punctuated by appreciation.
Well, thanks for listening. Hopefully, it’s been an encouragement to you today. If you want to connect any further, you can do so through my website at Davidleemartin.com. Have a great day.