Genesis 1:1 — “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

From the beginning of time, God has been creating; crafting this world to his exact specifications. Are you one of the believers who begins each year reading Genesis 1:1? Or is it one of many verses you can recite from Sunday School? If so, how often do you breeze by this verse? Or say the words by rote? When was the last time you thought about what this says about you and about God?

In the Bible, the first thing we ever read about God is Him creating, expressing all His power and might by creating a beautiful and magnificent world. While we could never create something as complex, diverse, and abundant, later in God’s Word, we are told to worship Him in a multitude of ways. What better way to glorify our creator than to create, just as He did in Genesis 1:1? Let’s look at a few verses found in the Bible that give us a quick picture of how we are instructed to worship God, and how our creativity is pictured in His plan.

Worship in all concentrations

The Engage Art contest focuses on music, visual art, and video submissions. Countless times throughout scripture, we see God’s Word call His people to worship Him expressively. Psalm 149:2-3 is an excellent example:  “Let Israel be glad in his Maker; let the children of Zion rejoice in their King! Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!”

Oh, how beautiful our praises are to God! Oh, how wonderful it is to be able to serve such a powerful Savior! The Bible is continually calling us to survey the glory and might of God, and through that, be brought to worship and reverence. In this particular verse, we see dancing and melody mentioned; however, we see more general proclamations of worshipping Him in the Psalms and other books of the bible.

Psalm 99:5 says, “Exalt the LORD our God and worship at his footstool; he is holy.” While some might be quick to say that singing to God is the pinnacle way to praise Him, there are many different approaches to praising God through our creative gifts and skills. We can praise God in how we live our lives; we can live our worship of Him even when are we silent.

We can praise God when we’re singing, dancing, eating, praying, driving, creating, and so much more.

Our creativity glorifies Jesus. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” — Ephesians 2:10. God has numbered our days and planned our steps, that we would lift Him high and worship Him daily.

Music is a blessing, but you also announce your praises to God through your paintings, sculptures, short films, and every other piece of creative content. In Exodus and Chronicles (1&2) and Job, the Bible talks about craftsmen — those who engrave, set pen to paper or chizel to stone, those who design, embroider, carve wood, set stone, or work with fine linen, with yarns, silver, bronze, and iron. Does that sound like you? The Bible says God has “filled them with skill to do every sort of [artistic] work” (Exodus 35:35)

Beyond that, Romans reminds us that “the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable” (11:29). This puts real weight on us as creatives. When we are using these creative minds that God has gifted us with, that God has filled with skill, how are we using them to point back to Jesus? How can your art reflect God, and speak His name to the nations?

Worship in all circumstances

Creatives are often working very hard just to get by, and that can be a burden. You might say, “How can I spend my time — especially my ART time — praising God?” Look at Acts 16:25-26. After they were flogged and beaten with rods, Paul and Silas were thrown into prison, with chains constricting their movements. They still praise God.

“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened.”

Through their creativity, artists can speak with great power.. When we put that power to work for Jesus, He can multiply our efforts. And our unique perspective as both believers and participants in the art world gives us more to say when we use our talents to declare our hope in Jesus Christ, whatever our circumstances. In a world that is broken, jaded, and sinful, we can look to a Savior who is far greater and far more powerful than any of us. What an excellent message that Paul and Silas’ worship of God in the prison can proclaim.

The Engage Art contest focuses on music, visual art, and video submissions informed by the spiritual battle found in Ephesians 6:10-20. What’s so special about this portion of scripture is the that it gives explicit instructions on how to claim victory over Satan: put on the full armour of God and stand firm. What is included in that armor? Truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, and the word of God. And then we are asked to pray.

Though Satan might cause us to stumble right now, in the end, we can always have hope in our Creator, knowing that Jesus has already secured the victory, and He’s working for our good. I pray that our creativity and artistry in the Engage Art contest may display the glory and strength of a God who can save. To learn more about the contest, cash prizes, and requirements, visit: www.EngageArt.org. We hope to see your submission soon!