Embracing Your Creative Freedom in Christ
For creative men and women of God, it is essential to understand our freedom as Christians refers not only to our salvation and our justification, but also to our creative freedom in Christ. For Jesus did not come to save us only from our sins, but also to inspire us with hope, to refresh our souls with the joy of our salvation, and to inspire a creativity fueled by our freedom in Christ. This is the promise given to you and me as artists and creative professionals.
Slavery vs Freedom
Slavery is always the alternative to freedom, which we find throughout Scripture. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament paint clear pictures about how God takes us and transforms our life from being a slave to becoming free. Such freedom is more than the mere absence of chains and shackles upon our limbs. It is a freedom within our hearts that reflects an absence of the deeper chains of guilt and shame. It is the absence of addictions from within and evil masters from without.
This kind of freedom liberates the heart, not simply the body. For a mere mortal can save a slave from their slavery. But Christ’s salvation is of a more profound nature. It is this kind of freedom that allows our imagination to soar because we are not afraid of what the critics will say, or what the fans may not like. Our very identity is anchored elsewhere.
Audience of One
Yet freedom is not derived from ceasing to care about what people think. That approach takes us only so far. True freedom comes when we care most about what one particular person thinks, and that person is God himself. This is known as the audience of one!
It sounds counterintuitive, but this freedom comes because we know this audience of one is the only audience that loves us completely. It is the only audience that forgives us when we offend, covers our sins when we screw up, and rejoices over us when our creations become all that He intended for them to become. But regardless of how hard the process becomes, or how lonely the road becomes, we are never alone, and never abandoned.
The Paradox of Freedom
The paradox of freedom is that it is not found in the absence of restraint. It is not found in merely the ability to do whatever you desire. It is more than the classic categories of ‘freedom from’ and ‘freedom to’ do what we desire. True freedom of the heart and soul is found in being seen. It is found in being known. But it is most powerfully found in being loved extravagantly by the God of all creation.
Why? Love transforms our fears into hope and our shame into courage. We long to be more than caged birds who sing but never leave the cage. We are called to fly from the cage, to soar, singing with great joy, knowing that we are free in body and soul from all slavery.
Remember the words of Paul, written to young believers in Galatia. Paul was angry at anyone who so distorted the gospel that it became a burden of performance, legalism, or guilt. As he pleaded with these sisters and brothers in Galatia, he wrote:
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore,
and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
– Galatians 5:1 (ESV)
Spiritual Creative Freedom
As an artist or professional creative, made in the image of God, do not submit again to the yoke of perfection, appeasing audiences, or lies from the devil that push you to embrace guilt and shame that are not yours! Do not take your identity in what others say, but in the overflowing love found in the arms of the ‘audience of one.’ This is where you must go to hold onto your creative freedom in Christ.
Christ did not die for you to be crippled by fear, anxiety, or the opinions of others. Christ died to rescue you completely and make you free. To be sure, it can be a battle. We can become overwhelmed by the critics and the cynics. We can become overwhelmed by the voices we keep playing in our own head. Though you are free, it still requires strength, courage and confidence in the love of God.
Freedom that Transforms
In order to experience the freedom Christ died to give us, then we must have eyes to see beyond all that discourages, frustrates, and exhausts us. It requires turning our gaze away from our gifts, and beyond the crowds, to the one who gave us our gifts. Only the everlasting, never-ending love of God can bring you the deep freedom your soul craves.
Maintaining such freedom isn’t easy because it is an ongoing process. Each day we are tempted to find our worth in our gifts, talents and our ideas. We are tempted to build our sense of self-worth on our work, our recognition and our accomplishments. But all this will fail, because every time you face a blank canvas, a blank stage, or a blank studio you realize you will have to earn it all over again. It becomes an endless hamster wheel of achievement that never offers rest.
Freedom in Love
True rest and freedom is found in being loved by the Gift Giver who gave you your gifts. It means giving up your pride, letting go of earning your acceptance, and sitting at the foot of the cross – overwhelmed by God’s grace. Eventually, to find this breakthrough to freedom we must become undone by the knowledge that God knows everything about us, and God still loves us.
He knows how you and I have misused our gifts to focus on our own glory. And yet, He will never love you more than He does right now, and His love never wanes. Even now, He longs for you and me to run to his arms – whether we are the prodigal son or the elder brother. He is not keeping a tally of our mistakes, or a record of debts. It is all forgiven in Christ.
So come back to the Father’s embrace. Learn afresh how great the Father’s love is for you and me.
A Prayer for Creative Freedom
May the God of all Comfort draw you to himself.
May you be inspired by The Creator who gifted you to create,
May you be moved by The Father’s love for you.
May you be inspired by The Holy Spirit as you create.
May your life be transformed as Jesus creates a new heart within you.
May your life as a disciple be built upon love for Jesus.
And may you experience creative freedom in Christ, because you know you are loved.
And may we all yearn for that day when we experience complete freedom, love and joy
as we enter in the presence of God.
And if you’d like to be on our email newsletter list, sign up HERE
Copyright © 2021 Joel & Michelle Pelsue. All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission.