through His Word
Guest blogger and friend Tessa Emily Hall shares about writing and how to keep it God-centered. If you write fiction or non-fiction (or if you paint, draw, sing, or serve God in any way), I hope you find inspiration and motivation to write and serve for a special purpose! Now from Tessa…
I first discovered my love to create when I was a toddler. Every time I was bored I would ask my mom, who was an art teacher, to lead me into a new craft. The stirring to create grew each time I completed a new project that consisted of finger-painting, play-dough, or even making a doll out of paper and stuffing it with napkins (my mom didn’t help me with that one ;)).
However, when I was three, my desire to make crafts transformed into a new desire to create stories when my mom suggested that I write a book. I began filling pages and pages with illustrations, dictating my stories to her.
That drive to create never faded. Throughout my childhood, a thrill rushed through me every time I sat down with a new set of blank pages and a pen, ready to watch a story come to life as I wrote.
I believe God has given each of us a creative spark, whether it is in writing, dancing, or even science and math.
Genesis 1:27 says,
“So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.” (NKJV)
Creation always begins with imagination. God had to imagine the earth before He created it; He had to know what He was forming when He breathed the human into existence.
Similarly, each of us have an imagination, and each of us have an ability to create. This was no an accident. According to the above Scripture, we were made in God’s image; therefore, it is obvious that we have inherited this creative spark from our Father, the Master Artist.
When God gave us this gift to create, He intended for us to use it for good and for His glory. However, many of us fail to do this. So often we choose to use our creativity for our own pride or greed. But God poured this flame of creativity into us, so we should pour it back to Him in the form of worship.
How can we do this?
1. Write daily. God has entrusted us with this gift, and we need to be wise with our time by making sure we are fitting writing into our daily routines. 1 Peter 4:10 (NIV) says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” We need to keep this creative spark fueled by exercising this gift. Even when we are at a writer’s block or cannot find the motivation, we should do as Colossians 3:23 (NIV) says and “…work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”
2. Spend time with God and make sure that He is your focus. Writing isn’t just a form of art; it is a form of ministry. If we are writing for selfish reasons, our stories are not going to be as effective. We need to immerse ourselves in His presence daily so we can be led by His Spirit as we write. And if you find yourself at a writer’s block, step away from the computer and spend time with your Creator. Then you can go back to your page with a clear focus and fresh mindset.
3. Ask God to remove your fear. Satan will use fear to keep us from fulfilling God’s calling in our lives. Fear can creep up in many different ways: when we disconnect ourselves from God and try to write through our own abilities; when we look at the long road ahead and measure that with our own strength, talent, or energy; and when we think about how unlikely it is to find success in this career. Whatever the case, we need to constantly ask God to remove our fear and replace it with His peace. You can be assured that when God calls you to do something, He will provide a way, as well as the skills and tools to do so. Remind yourself of Philippians 4:13 (NIV), which states, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” As you realign your focus so you are writing for God only, fear will dissolve, and you will realize you have nothing left to worry about. I love this quote by Erwin Raphael McManus, which states, “We fear because we were never intended to create apart from God.”
A musician can make music to worship God; a painter can paint to worship God; a dancer can dance to worship God; and a writer can write to worship God. Through this process, not only are we drawing closer to Him, but we are enabling others to draw closer to Him as well.
Have you ever sat in awe of a breath-taking sunrise or sunset and felt God’s overwhelming presence? I know I have. And since we were made in God’s image, we, too, have the ability to create a piece of artwork that can illuminate God’s love for us. But this can only be accomplished if we are using our writing as an act of worship.
God created the earth from nothing. And although we do not have the power to do that, He has put a small flame of creativity into each of us. When we use that, a blank canvas transforms into painting. Instruments form a song.
And a blank page becomes a story.
"Remember your writing is a gift from God,
even the desire to write is God-given,
it's part of that whole likeness of God thing,
our drive to create."
© Copyright 2014 by Tessa Emily Hall
Tessa Emily Hall spends her days sipping on lattes, cuddling with her Teacup Shih-Tzu, immersed in a book, and singing along to country music. She sacrificed her high school years to write about a teen whose life was far more interesting than hers. This resulted in her debut YA Christian fiction novel, PURPLE MOON, a Selah Finalist published by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She is also a freelance writer, a teen columnist for Whole Magazine, and on the Teen Advisory Board for DevoZine. Tessa resides in South Carolina where she is currently studying to earn a degree in Creative Writing.
A Special Note from Katy:
Tessa has used her God-given talent to write, and it shows beautifully in her novel Purple Moon. If you know of a young person who is struggling with teenage hangups and needs hope, please check out Purple Moon on Amazon. Both the Kindle edition and the paperback are reasonably priced, and this story will charm and give hope to anyone who reads it. The book also has a Facebook page.
For more tips on writing and for inspiration for the craft and for life, be sure to visit Tessa's website and social media outlets!
Tessa Emily Hall, writing, worship God, talents, service to God, Worshipping God through Our Creations, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies