April 21, 2008 Ration

Psalm 100:3

“Know that the Lord Himself is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.”

The Lord Himself is God. I am not God. Duke is not God. You are not God, and neither is your favorite artist. The Lord Himself, He alone is God. Every being, every genius, every artist, every mendicant, every cripple, and every king has come into being by God's exertion of His unparalleled, skillful hand. God is every man’s Author, no man has made himself.

God has made us all, fashioned us according to His good pleasure, and endowed us with particular skills as He pleased. It is God who sustains us, for the whole world is His pasture. We are His people to do with as He pleases. We are not our own, nor are we our own workmanship. You, me, your favorite artist, and my favorite, Duke, all have the exact same Author. None of us created ourselves.

Artists, it is time to completely own this true and beautiful reality. You did not make yourself! God has made you just as He intended. And God intends you to be just as He has made you. Where you find yourself to be skilled and pleasured with dance, painting, music, filmwork, writing, sculpting, carving, etc…, then be what you are: a creature of God, skilled by God, owned by God, to the glory of God, all for your unending pleasures in your enjoyment of this fabulous, nonpareil Creator of amazing creatures – God Almighty!

Who dares to claim that he created himself? Almost nobody would in these words, but almost everyone does when their actions are measured. Our hearts of flesh naturally seek what we want, how we want it, when we’ll have it, and demand to have only the results that we desire when having it, as if we are the author of our existence. We want to be God, but that is impossible because we have a beginning and God does not. God was before all that He created. That we have a beginning proves that we were brought into being outside of our own doing. It is God, who has no beginning, who has made us, and not we ourselves.

God has not only given you your skill set, artist, He has also given you a heart that has emotions and affections that are aroused by the exercising of those skills. The enjoyments that you take pleasure in are a grace of God to you. But be very careful with your affections, for “the heart is more deceitful than all else, and is desperately sick…” Jeremiah reminds us (17:9). Our hearts would rather long to be God than to enjoy God and God’s pleasure in what He has made to be pleasurable for us. Such a foolish heart we have. It loves to drink of the Vine’s luscious grapes, but without affections for the Vine itself, the heart, in effect, rapes.

Artists, as you broadly and freely glean from the artistic fruits of men, know this: It is God who has made every man; no man has made himself. In all that you enjoy, are your affections mature enough that they culminate and terminate in your enjoyment of the Author of all things enjoyable? Your greatest pleasures will be known when your affections are thus fully grown. Enjoy your Maker in your enjoyment of every work of His, for it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves!

Jason Harms


© 2008 The Gaius Project