August 18, 2008 Ration

II Corinthians 6:12

“You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections.”

Any restriction, any failing to experience, any obstruction, any reason why one does not know and enjoy the fullness of the pleasures of the grace of God in their life will most certainly be traced back to a misplaced affection.

Our own misplaced affections are the thieves that scuttle our enjoyment of God’s grace.

Artist, you may want to object with: “But, my lot is hard,” or, “My means are tight,” or, “I’ve been wronged,” or any other pitiable deflector. The enjoyment of the grace of God is not known only in the days of feasting. In fact, if that is the only time we "see" it, then our affections must be tried to see if it is truly the grace of God that we are enjoying, or may our affections really be enjoying the sugary means of His grace to us.

Did Paul have a cake life? Far from it. He says, “…through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise…treated as imposters, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything” (6:8-10). But did Paul enjoy a life of grace? Paul enjoyed God’s grace in his life like no other! His affections were so focused in on God. He says in Philippians 4, “…I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content…I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (11-13).

Artist, your truest and greatest pleasures in your artistic labors are not restricted by anyone but yourself. Don’t charge your lot, your means, your failures, or your shaftings with the guilt of being the Restrictor. It is our own affections for our praise, our gratification of the flesh, our desire to enjoy all things without desiring to enjoy God in and for them, our attempts to earn our righteousness with our good labors and pursuits, etc.; these affections are the culprits that restrict us.

The grace of God is where we must tune our affections to, because all things flow from the grace of God. When our affections can smell God’s grace in His ordaining and upholding of all of life, then we will be able to enjoy God’s grace in whatever packaging He sends it. God, give us grace to see as You see! Especially as we have to navigate through the crooked affections of our hearts in our enjoyment of Your extremely pleasurable grace of art.

Be free, artists; master your misplaced affections! “You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections.”

Jason Harms


© 2008 The Gaius Project