The first chapters of Genesis are a richly sown garden of revelation. Digging in with desire to discover more of God’s grace and character underneath the surface soils reveals endless delights.
Here are five more thoughts on slowing down and discovering your gold…
Please note: this transcript is auto-generated so forgive any (or many) errors 😲 – click the timestamps to play that section directly in the audio.
I am so happy to share five more beautiful thoughts from the early chapters of Genesis about slowing down and discovering your goal today. I’m just absolutely loving these chapters, man, what an amazing book we have. What an amazing book the Lord has given us and put in our hand. It is an endless supply of wonder for the soul. And so I’m going to share five more thoughts that I’ve drawn from these chapters that have ministered to my heart, ministered to my thinking, and I think that they can Minister to yours.
Number one, beautiful and useful out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the site and good for food. Now, I think to a large degree the creative life is all about bringing beauty and utility to the world. God made the natural world both beautiful, pleasant to the site and good for food useful as artists and entrepreneurs, I think that we do the same. We’re in the business of bringing beauty and utility to the table and often in the best cases, both together.
I think utility, something being useful, something being helpful becomes even more so when coupled with beauty.
Mary Kondo of the life changing Magic of Tidying Up, a book that I am amazed that I found absolutely fascinating and really loved. Who would ever have thought Tidying up could be so exciting, speaks of objects sparking joy, and that joy really is the determining factor as to what is ultimately and truly useful in our life and our environment. And I think this is a real key to creating an atmosphere.
The atmosphere and the environment that we create for ourselves to create in is so so powerful and such a helpful thing to give time and thought to when we create an environment and we design our surroundings to Minister joy to our soul, creativity can flourish in that kind of atmosphere, really. Our spirit works in an atmosphere. I don’t know about you, but it’s just when we come into spaces of prayer, spaces of worship, spaces of devotion and creativity, where there is flow taking place, it develops and creates an atmosphere that draws and continues to draw more and more from airing a man.
I believe that we can design our environment to do the same. Beauty is purpose in itself.
The idea that something must be useful as well as beautiful. Forgets that man was made for joy. Sometimes it is just spot on to create and to do things for the sheer joy of them, not because they have some stated end in mind. That’s why I love some of the I’m a modern art fan. Yeah.
When I lived in London, here in the UK, my favourite place to go and spend time was the Modern Art Gallery there in Tate Modern in London. It was so wonderful. I mean, the funny thing is, it was great that it was best when I took my wife along because I would be stood looking at some bizarre canvas and like completely enraptured by it. And my wife would be looking at me like thinking, what in the world do you see on that canvas? It’s interesting, isn’t it, how one person’s art can be another person’s at best.
Question Mark and at worst worthy of throwing in the trash. But I believe that beauty is purpose in itself. The Bible tells us that man was made for joy. The worlds were created to bring pleasure to their maker. The Scriptures say in Revelation four, verse eleven, you are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, honour and power for you have created all things and for your pleasure they were and are created elsewhere in Ecclesiastes, there’s a verse that speaks of this godshaped hole that only relationship with the Creator can satisfy.
In the beginning of that verse in Ecclesiastes three, verse eleven in the amplified says he has made everything beautiful in its time. Everything beautiful, everything made for his pleasure. Pleasure that I believe God longs to share with his friends. There’s a wonderful again, a great verse in Psalm 16, verse eleven, you will show me the path of life in your presence is fullness of joy. At your right hand.
There are pleasures forever more. I believe that we can create environments and atmospheres in our lives, in our homes, in our businesses, in our offices, in our workplaces, in our Studios, wherever we can create environments that are both utilitarian useful but also beautiful that Minister to the soul and draw the very best out of us that brings me to .2 atmospheres that promote artistry. Genesis two, verse eight says the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there he put the man whom he had formed.
The environment we cultivate is the garden in which we grow. Atmospheres are really important.
They influence how we feel, how we think, how we operate. The wonderful thing is, we often do have a level of control over what our environment is like. I operate best personally in a clean and tidy atmosphere, but I’m not really that much of a tidy person. The way that I have tackled this is through a minimalist approach, ridding myself of unnecessary clutter, and then that way there’s simply less stuff for me to be untidy with. It really is amazing how accumulation can junk up the atmosphere and leave us sometimes feeling out of control.
Now, God told Adam and Eve replenish the Earth and subdue it and have Dominion. In the first instance. I think that our immediate environment is a place that we can exercise this creation mandate in taking hold of the outside Larna in which we operate work live. It will also help us do the same inwardly. And I’ve often found if my internal world feels disordered and for whatever reason, I feel unable to really address it directly.
Putting my hand to subdue my outer environment, tidying organising uncluttering seeps through bringing peace to that internal world. Our outer life and our inner life work in tandem with one another. And this is just a real practical Avenue to restore and replenish somewhere that promotes that creative flow that we desire. I really encourage you to give thought and consideration to the environment in which you’re working the surroundings. Do they Minister peace?
Do they, Minister joy? Do they Minister? Are they speaking the message that you want to hear in your own heart and the message that you want to bring to the rest of the world? Number three, unashamed. They were both naked and the man and his wife, and they were not ashamed.
Genesis 2:25 naked and unashamed. This is the natural state of mankind. This is how God made us to be no need to hide or run, no compulsion to be something that we’re not in order to please the creative life thrives on authentic connection to the real self on the inside, this sanctified self stripped of fear and worthy to be heard. Stepping out creatively still takes courage because the fallen world seeks to keep wild souls like you in cheque through conformity to explicit and implicit rules designed to dumb down your originality.
I believe, because honestly, your authentic self is dangerous, dangerous to the devil.
And a pure and loud declaration that God is alive. The terrible shame that Jesus endured on the cross, naked and exposed to ridicule means we now can be clothed with confidence. He was stripped so we could be clothed. Hallelujah. The exchange that happened 2000 years ago on Golgotha brings us back to the garden where we can now be naked in a soul sense, in a spiritual sense and completely unashamed.
No shame, nothing to hide, ready to freely express our inner heart without fear of what others will say. Number four. And this is an interesting one for me being thankful for what God doesn’t give. I’m learning this recently in that I had all sorts of high hopes for this year that’s just gone. I’m hearing me like believing and expecting to triple my income.
I actually halved my income. He is me expecting for this vast expansion of my tiny Empire. But really, in many ways, I diminished is too strong a word. But let’s just say that some of the things that I’ve been asking, believing and expecting didn’t quite come to pass in the way I had hoped, and in that it brought me face to face with myself and some of the ambitions that I carry. It brought me face to face with myself, and maybe some of the values that I had been buying into.
I don’t know. It was just an interesting kind of time of self reflection that probably would not have happened had the Lord given me the very things that I thought I wanted. And actually it’s driven me into this incredible new fresh season of thankfulness and worship and submission to the person and the presence and the will of God that I am honestly incredibly excited about and really thankful for. Here reading in Genesis Two verses 16 and 17 of every tree in the garden you may freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat it.
And as I say, I’m going through a season right now and learning this important lesson to be thankful for the things that the Lord does not give, even when I think I want them speak exceed God’s agenda is that he would have complete possession of your heart.
He would be completely welcome in every way that your life would be founded on a rock of hearing and a rock of trust and a rock that is not like moved by every wind that blows Hallelujah. And that doesn’t happen always by getting your own way or by me getting my own way. Jesus will use circumstances to drive us deeper into His heart and to take us further in our relationship and friendship with Him. And speaking of a life of peace, I have absolutely found that the desire for things can be a diversion from the delight that God wants us to walk in.
The Bible says this Mark 419, the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things entering in choke the word and it becomes unfruitful.
At this point all the materialists just say, Switch it off, stop it, stop. Don’t tell me that Paul, we’re told, was able to prosper whatever his external circumstances, contentment was his prize. And I so wanted to be mine too. Philippians Four verse Eleven Not that I speak in regard to need for I’ve learned in whatever state I am to be content. There’s a real interesting proverb and it’s one that really in a culture hell bent on accumulation and expansion and increase is one that is definitely worth pondering.
And it just reads like this Proverbs 31st eight remove falsehood and lies far from me. Now that alone is something that’s a great prayer because there is a lot of falsehood and there are many lies that we can easily buy into because our heart desires things and that’s just one area of it because this proverb then goes on to say, Give me neither poverty nor riches. Now that may not be a prayer that many of us are keen to pray. We might pray, don’t give me poverty, Lord, but definitely like this.
Give me nor riches.
Hang on, Lord.
The one tree that our Father ring fenced in the garden. This tree that he said you can have everything else except this one tree, I believe, has now become many. I think that that tree that Adam and Eve, like fatefully ate from has spawned a forest of lying branches seeking to entangle our heart and causing our peace to be upset. Learning to be thankful for what the Father gives is great. Absolutely.
We should live lives of deep gratitude, but learning to be thankful for what he does not is something that I need. And I’m sure most of us need maybe a bit more practise at and Interestingly, I think the Lord will give us plenty of opportunities to do that, too. I don’t mean that from a place of unbelief. Believe me, my pursuit is of His presence and anything that would detract from that, even if I don’t know it, I really don’t want him to give it to me.
I don’t want him to grant me things that would divert my attention and divert my heart from the tree riches that he offers in his presence.
Seriously, what is more precious? And it doesn’t mean that I’m not mean I want to make it clear this is not an either or equation. It’s a both, and our heart has to be prepared to carry that both. And I believe that sometimes when our heart is not prepared for it where our heart might get caught up and get diverted by these other things that the Scriptures talk about, then it’s the Lord’s mercy that he allows us to be driven back to Him, that our desire would go back and we would come back to the throne to reexamine how we are living, what we are asking, why we are praying and the things that we’re pursuing anyways.
I think that that one’s still in the oven cooking, but nevertheless, that’s what came out of that scripture for me.
And then finally, gold. This is funny, coming off the back of what we’ve just been saying. The Lord says here right in Genesis, right at the beginning. And there’s no reason for this other than I think that the fact that the Lord really loves gold. He talked about Rivers and he said the name of the first is Pyson.
That is it which compasses the whole land of Havila. And there there is gold. And the gold of that land is good. And there’s also bedlim and Onyx stone. God sees the gold and isn’t shy to share it.
He points it out to Adam. The scriptures are really not down on prosperity again and again. We see God’s blessing exalting his people, an abundant provision and influence being carried by his followers. The idea that poverty is a blessing is an absolute Lee. Poverty was never part of God’s original design and remains a painful testament to our selfishness as human beings.
There is more than enough for every person on this planet. Of course, prosperity on the other side. We shouldn’t define it by the world standards when one man has three flat screen TVs and another does not even have a ball of rice to feed his family, something is amiss. But the gold that I really want to highlight today because we’re talking in respect to a restful, peaceful, blessed life, a prosperous life in the most real sense of the word. And a life of creativity is the river of gold that is flowing from your heart.
The Bible says, from our inner man will flow Rivers. You have something on the inside that the father wants to point out to you and then to the world. He stands with his arm proudly around you, saying, hey, see here, this is my son. This is my daughter in this heart, and life is worth and wonder. He saw these Rivers in the book of Genesis, and he says, hey, this river.
Take a look at them. There’s gold in that river and the gold is good. And I think that he’s saying the same of you is saying, hey, look at this river that comes forth from this heart. There’s gold in that river and that gold is good. Now, discovering your own gold so you can share it is one of the first and most important steps we can take in the Christian creative life.
It’s a real principle that we work with in the Christian Creative Academy is that recognition of the gold that we carry on the inside and unashamed naked celebration of it. Sometimes it gets lost in the flow and the grit in the riverbed and sifting through can take time and attention. Some heart searching definitely and boldness to then bring it to the surface when we discover it. But as our father said, the gold of that land, the gold that dwells in you is good. 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. Davidleemartin.com have a great day.