To nurture your creativity and your life in Christ, be a passionate, lifelong student of the Bible.
When I was in my late twenties, my mentor, Dr. Morris Weigelt, gave me a line paraphrased from Henry David Thoreau*:
Saturate yourself with the truth,
and the truth will exhale from you naturally.
That statement stuck with me, and it has proven so very true. God’s Word is the truth about reality. But more importantly, it helps us know God as a Living Being. You’ve probably experienced how rewarding it can be to get to know a human being, whether a spouse or a close friend. The process for getting to know God is very similar, but infinitely more fascinating and rewarding.
Realize that everything He does is aimed at one goal: to share Himself with us. Son and Spirit, creation and redemption, need and abundance, life here and hereafter, His entire agenda is to give Himself to us and draw us into Him. He wants you to know Him.
Simply cooperate with His loving desire for you. Seek Him for His own sake, not for your own ends. Marinate your mind in Him and in His Word, and He will reshape not only your thoughts, but your imagination, your heart, and the person you are in your daily life. Remember the old saying:
Sow a thought, reap an act.
Sow an act, reap a habit.
Sow a habit, reap a character.
Sow a character, reap a destiny.
Psalm 119 is a wonderful meditation on this very idea. For years as I regularly read through the Psalms, I dreaded coming to Psalm 119. It seemed to drone on and on, saying the same thing over and over again. But as my heart grew to sincerely desire God’s Word, the Psalm became precious to me:
I rejoice in following your statutes
as one rejoices in great riches.
Open my eyes that I may see
wonderful things in your law.
I run in the path of your commands,
for you have set my heart free.
Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.
Your statutes are my heritage forever;
they are the joy of my heart.
(Psalm 119:14, 18, 32, 36, 111, NIV)
Saturating myself in God’s Word has proven vital, not only in the big picture of life, but in my daily writing as well. When I’m writing a hymn, for example, I don’t laboriously go through my research notes and try to construct every idea into verse. Instead, it’s more like eating. I ingest the food. I take in the truths until they are personally, emotionally meaningful to me. I saturate myself. Then through processes I can’t see or fully control, the words are born.
Communicators, creators, believers, saturate yourself with the truth. Then experience the amazing and varied ways God causes that truth to exhale through you.
*For the full context, see The Journal of Henry D. Thoreau, Autumn, Nov. 1, 1851.