July 16, 2007 Ration

Zephaniah 1:5b-6

“(I will stretch out my hand against…) those who bow down and swear to the Lord and yet swear by Milcom, those who have turned back from following the Lord, who do not seek the Lord or inquire of Him.”

I have to ask my heart this question: “Where do I swear to the Lord and yet swear by Milcom in my artistic pursuits?” Where do I find the Lord preferable in some way and yet have some of my heart’s hopes or allegiances placed in another means, another god? The Lord will not have it. He will stretch out His hand against me where I run to other masters, other means, other lovers. God needs no help in accomplishing what He bids me to do, and I evidence my lack of faith in God when I swear by anything other than Him.

God will not have Himself as a topic or theme while something else is the end and means. God is the end and the ultimate means of everything, which is the reason that He is the topic and theme. “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:36).

So what might we swear by as a type of "Milcom" in the arts? My own artistic skills (which I only have because God has given them to me); my relationships (those whom the Lord has also made and put in my life); my work ethic and discipline (which is not only portioned from the Lord, but is only applied because of the daily strength that He gives me); a market (which is ordained, raised up, or laid low at His bidding); etc. If all these things cannot exist apart from God, then why would we not seek the Lord and inquire of Him as He gives us our days with them? It seems that we trust too much in what our eyes can see. And as our eyes cannot see God, we play the traitor when we swear by the "Milcoms" they can see.

Artists, seek the Lord and inquire of Him for your work, your satisfaction, your every provision, your every joy, your faithfulness, your worth, your standing, your purpose, your inspiration. Do not wander that artistic path where there is a type of knowledge of God, but no fear of Him; a path where God is named, but not exclusively called upon; a path where allegiances are divided between the invisible God and the visible work of our hands; a path where God is the theme or currency by which we attempt to buy our righteousness through our good works (another type of Milcom). Where our hope is in another, it is not in God, and therefore that hope is idolatrous. The Lord will stretch out His hand against those who swear by another!

Behold, Fear, Tremble at, and greatly Enjoy the strength of the Invisible, Almighty, Sovereign God in your artistic bidding and pleasures!

Jason Harms

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© 2007 The Gaius Project

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