December 8, 2008 Ration
May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Do you pray for each other like this, artists? Do you pray for each other at all? From the day that Paul heard of the Colossians faith in Christ, and of their love for all the saints, because of the hope laid up in heaven for them (1:4-5), he did not cease to pray to God for them (1:9).
Paul knew the source of their strength. Their strength was not in the goodness of their works. They were not strong because they were fruitful. That there was any fruitfulness in their lives was the evidence that God was strongly at work in them. So Paul encourages them to endure and have patience with all joy because God is able to strengthen them according to His glorious might which also, beforehand, prepared the very "good works" for them to walk in (Ephesians 2:10)!
What is this might of God? One flexing of His might is that He has qualified the guilty, weak, repentant one to share in the inheritance of the saints. It is the might of God that has delivered us from the domain of darkness, not our good works. It is the might of God that has transferred us to the kingdom of Christ, not our status granted by this culture. It is the might of God that has granted us redemption the forgiveness of our sins, not our artistic service on earth. All of these astounding benefits are made possible to us because of the glorious might of God!
Artists, we must understand clearly that it is the might of God, and not the value of our artistic work, that is the source of our strength, inheritance, purpose, and joy.
So, when we are in need of endurance to faithfully complete what the Lord has given us to do, may we run to God, as Christ did in the garden, to be strengthened with all His power (Luke 22:42-43). When we are in need of patience to faithfully endure, may we run to God who has exhibited the beauty of patience as He forbears with us in our sins and accomplishes our righteousness (2 Peter 3:9). And may all of our running to God in prayer be with genuine joy because we know God to be so effectively mighty! Where it is not our joy to pray for this, we evidence how little we believe in the strength of God. Shame on us, that we are not the most joyfully enduring and patient of all people, given what God is for us!
Artists, God has already accomplished what concerns us. It is our position, then, to be faithful in what He calls us to. In what He calls us to, He will supply the strength for. This is His pleasure, for He is uncommonly strong! We draw from shallow wells and feed at fallow troughs when we work in our own strength and for our own ends in our artistry. I pray, like Paul, that we all may be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. God help us to enjoy Your strength!
© 2008 The Gaius Project