This week, my friend, Nikki sent me a picture from her bible study that stopped me cold, and overwhelmed my heart. Not only was it an amazing scripture and teaching, but it came on a day that I had been praying about how God sees me. I like to check in with Him and make sure I haven’t gotten out of my lane. I love it when God answers your tiny prayer with a side of extra.
The bible study, "Named by God" by Kasey von Norman went on to point out that "this is the first time in scripture where we see this particular word usage--that God 'filled' a human with His Spirit" (page 127)
She then shared this insight: " it's fascinating that while God could have chosen to pour His Spirit out on a more obvious choice--a preacher, teacher, worship leader....He didn't. He chose an artist."
Sometimes you just can't even breath it's so good. God filled an ARTIST with His Spirit. I love how God uses imagery that we can picture to describe spiritual things that we can't see.
Years ago, I read an Oswald Chambers devotional that snatched me up and convicted me. It was during a season when I was working really hard on various things. Pride had crept in, and I really felt entitled to receive credit, but it just wasn't happening. He showed me His Word actually teaches that a life filled with Him not only was never intended to bring us glory, it doesn’t promise affirmation either. When I surrender, it's wise to picture my life being poured out like a drink offering described in the original sacrificial system (Exodus 29:40). Picture that. My life willingly being poured out. Onto the alter of sacrifice...in front of my savior... What would pour out of me right this moment?
If I truly want to be ready at a moments notice to be filled by His spirit like Bezalel was, I think that means I need to be intentional about making sure I have emptied my vessel of me...emptied of the yuck, the sin, selfishness, pride, bitterness, etc....name your tendency...
How? How do I get past the imagery and actually DO it? The main way, in my experience is to confess my sin. Allow my heart to really break over the way my sin is so filthy and gross compared to Christ's purity. Initially, it is confession and surrendering your life to obey Jesus and do things His way. Then it is an ongoing process where we say we are sorry for screwing up. Then stop and do it God's way. That empties a lot out. Slowly we learn to empty our desires, our expectations, our rights...
Here is the beautiful thing about the Lord. It doesn't mean I just forever pour out myself in exhaustion and sacrifice. He promises to fill me up with HIS spirit. As we chose to reject sin, we have more and more space for Him to fill us with the good stuff: the Fruit of His Spirit--love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. This changes things. We start pouring out those attributes instead of anger, selfishness, bitterness, gossip, complaining...
I think that is the work God did in Bezalel's life--before the Holy Spirit was available to all who believe. I sat with the obvious question. WHY? Why him? If you read the scripture that follows, it becomes crystal clear. He and his fellow artists were going to build the first tabernacle, the dwelling place of God on earth. No big deal... I think God looked around for artisans who were empty enough of themselves for there to be room for His spirit--which is no tiny thing. They would be given the skills and wisdom and insight needed to build the ark of the covenant, the mercy seat, all the Holy items needed for the Jewish sacrifice....a creation custom designed to hold the presence of the Creator of the Universe. They had to be worthy of such a significant task--something they could not be without God's presence first in them.
As I sat and pondered this moment, this job, the enormity of it all, it hit me that HE STILL DOES THIS! I think He still looks around for anyone who is ready for Him to infuse the creativity He has given each of us with a filling of His Spirit. He is also willing to give us the wisdom we will need to create a unique environment where people today can meet God and learn about Him. Don't forget that since Jesus died, the dwelling place of God is in us. We are the intentional, beautifully crafted dwelling place of God. The tent of meeting still moves around the desert in us! He allows us to be a part of the huge commission to make Him known, using the skills of our hands and the wisdom only He can provide. What a beautiful honor.
Much like Bezalel, I think we each already have skills that He is totally ready to pour His Spirit out on. Don’t assume that you aren’t an artist just because you don’t fall in the world’s “creative” category. Since we are made in His image, there is creativity in each of us. Ask Him what your creativity is! Ask Him where that reflection of Him comes out in your personality. Sit with Him pondering it. I think we may not even recognize how special our flavor of creativity is because He knit them together in us before we even were. They are so deeply woven in our design that we may be tempted to write them off as no big deal. Stop believing that lie! Spend time with Jesus and ask Him to reveal it to you.
I am thankful for the imagery of beautiful vessels created by local potter, Jason Doblin. He and His wife, Wendi, along with their family are very familiar with the process of pouring out their own desires and being surrendered to following Jesus wherever He leads.
Contact him at email@example.com to add his beautiful art to your life!!