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…
1. Beautiful and Useful
“And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food” (Genesis 2:9 KJV)
Creative life is all about bringing beauty and utility to the world. God made the natural world both beautiful (pleasant to the sight) and good for food (useful). As artists and entrepreneurs, we do the same. We’re in the business of bringing beauty and utility to the table, often both together.
Utility becomes even more useful when coupled with beauty. Marie Kondo speaks of objects “sparking joy” and that joy is the determining factor in what is ultimately truly useful in our lives and environments. I think this is a masterful key to creating an atmosphere is the delight we enjoy when we occupy the space. When we design our surroundings to minister joy to our soul creativity flourishes.
Beauty is purpose in itself, and the idea that something must be useful aswell as beautiful forgets that man was made for joy.
The worlds were created to bring pleasure to their Maker.
“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Revelation 4:11 KJV)
Ecclesiastes, in a verse that speaks of the God shaped hole that only relationship with the Creator can satisfy, says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 AMP)
Everything beautiful and for His pleasure. Pleasures He longs to share with His friends.
“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalm 16:11 KJV)
2. Atmospheres That Promote Artistry
“And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.” (Genesis 2:8 KJV)
The environment we cultivate is the garden in which we grow. Atmospheres are important. They influence how we feel, think, and operate.
The wonderful thing is we often have control over what our environment is like.
I operate best in a clean and tidy atmosphere, but I’m not really a very tidy person. The way I have tackled this is through a minimalist approach, ridding myself of unnecessary clutter. That way there’s simply less stuff to be untidy with.
It’s amazing how accumulation can junk up the atmosphere and leave you feeling out of control.
God told Adam and Eve, “replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion” (Genesis 1:28 KJV)
In the first instance, your immediate environment is a place you can exercise this creation mandate. In taking hold of the outside arena it will also help you do the same inwardly.
I find that if my internal world is disordered, and I feel unable to really address this directly, putting my hand to subdue my outer environment, tidying, organizing, uncluttering, seeps through, and brings peace to my internal world.
This is one very practical avenue to restore and replenish creative flow!
“And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” (Genesis 2:25 KJV)
Naked and unashamed. This is the natural state of mankind. No need to hide or run. No compulsion to be something we are not in order to please.
The creative life thrives on authentic connection to the real self on the inside. The 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 in check through conformity to explicit and implicit rules designed to dumb down originality.
Because your authentic self is dangerous!
Dangerous to the devil, and a pure, loud declaration that God is alive!
The terrible shame that Jesus endured on the cross, naked and exposed to ridicule, means we can now be clothed with confidence.
The exchange that happened 2000 years ago on Golgotha brings us back to the garden.
No shame. Nothing to hide. Ready to freely express your inner heart without fear what others will say.
4. Thankful for what God doesn’t give
“Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it:” (Genesis 2:16–17 KJV)
I’m learning an important lesson; to be thankful for the things that the Lord does NOT give me, even when I think I want them.
Speaking of a life of peace, I have found that the “desire for … things” can be a diversion from the delight God wants us to walk in.
“… and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” (Mark 4:19 NKJV)
Paul was able to prosper whatever his external circumstances. Contentment was his prize.
“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:” (Philippians 4:11 NKJV)
The following proverb is an interesting one in a culture hell bent on accumulation:
“Remove falsehood and lies far from me; Give me neither poverty nor riches … ” (Proverbs 30:8 NKJV)
The one tree our Father ring-fenced has become many! It has spawned a forest of lying branches seeking to entangle your heart and cause your peace to be upset.
Learning to be thankful for what the Father gives is great.
Learning to be thankful for what He does not is something we need to practice.
“The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone” (Genesis 2:11–12 KJV)
God sees the gold and isn’t shy to share it.
The Scriptures are not down on prosperity. Again and again we see God’s blessing exalting His people, and abundant provision and influence being carried by His followers.
The idea that poverty is a blessing is a lie. Poverty was never part of God’s original design and remains a painful testament to our selfishness as human beings.
Prosperity also cannot be defined by the world’s standards. When one man has three flat-screen TVs and another does not even have a bowl of rice to feed his family, something is amiss.
But the gold I want to highlight today, the river of gold I want to point you to consider, is the river of living water that flows from your heart.
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, “See here, in this heart and life is worth and wonder!”
Discovering your own gold so you can share it is one of the first and most important steps in the Christian creative life. Sometimes it gets lost in the flow and grit on the river bed. Sifting takes time and attention, some heart-searching, and boldness to bring to the surface.
But, as Papa said, “… the gold of that land is good!”