The End of Expression

Colossians 1:16-18
For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.
I was listening to some worship music this morning:



And it hit me like lightning, as I listened ... God created the medium of music. God created the medium of poetry. God created the medium of art. These forms of expression were in his heart from the foundation of the world.  Today, we use these mediums to express a variety of things. But there is something ... immensely powerful when these forms are harnessed to express God's glory. There is something ... fundamentally correct about this.

The highest things that these mediums could possibly express are praise, adoration, and recognition of God, our redeemer and savior. He is worthy of more honor and praise than it's possible to express through any medium, simply for the fact of who He is -- the Highest One.The Infinite One.

The Bible states in several places that the world around us, by its very nature and majesty, gives evident recognition and glory to the Creator. An objective person would be able to see the obvious evidence of God in the world around him -- this is no secret. It's obvious and evident to any clear and untwisted mind.
Psalm 19:1-
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course ...
The creation at large is one big flashing, Las Vegas neon sign radiating the fact of our Creator, and demonstrating his creative and excellent nature. To ignore God in the everyday is to abuse the facts. We are truly without excuse.

Psalm 14:1
The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." 

Romans 1:20
For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
I don't believe I am abusing the principle here in taking this to apply, not only to nature and it's grandeur, but also to forms of expression -- for these things also point back to the quality of their ultimate creator. God created man in his image. Man is "fearfully and wonderfully made." And though we have been corrupted through sin, yet the image of God remains in us, whether we give him credit or not. When you see an artist who lived his life hating God, and yet by his hand he created works of unspeakable beauty, you are seeing God's facility and capacity for creative expression in this man -- this man did not come by this gift himself! Who can blame himself for the gifts and propensities he was born with? He may have denied God in his life, but his gift actually points right back to the creator, for the one who can see clearly. Indeed, he may have shut his mouth from giving any recognition to God, but the rocks have cried out.
Luke 19:37-40
When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”

“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
The creation speaks clearly of God. Even man, as a fearful and wonderful creation, evidences the creator by his very existence. And yet man is notably different from the rest of creation.  There is a duality here. Taken as just another part of the created world, man evidences God in the same way that all of nature does; his nervous system, the miracle of birth, his creativity, his intellect. There is awe of God lurking in every mystery of man's function. But there is another side of things. Man is the only creature on this earth who has a will with which he can either recognize or deny God. He has a choice about what he will use his miraculous faculties to accomplish. He can give praise, or he can withhold it. He can be used of and for God, or he can be used of and for himself and the enemy of God.

And Jesus clearly says:  "If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." Man can keep quiet. Man can withhold. But in so doing, he cannot with all of his efforts eclipse the Creator. God's will is greater than man, and God has painted his own portrait on every surface, in the very DNA of all that exists. A man who says in his heart, "there is no God" is a fool. In fact, it is the very height of foolishness, presumption, and blindness. And yet men do this. They deny God every day with their will, while their very existence is a constant confession of Him.

Now, the converse is also true. The concert pianist virtuoso declares God in the quality of his art, although it may be unwillingly or unknowingly that he does this.

But what happens when a man willingly chooses to express truth through the medium of his art? What happens when a man chooses to give the glory due to his maker; to express his well-deserved love and adoration for the Father of Lights?

Something converges here, something amazing and honest and correct is happening. The man's will has been fitted to its correct place in the equation of beauty and purpose.

We were meant for God. We were created to know Him, appreciate Him, love Him. Be loved by Him. We were made to dance with God, dance for God, sing to God, sing for God, express his glory and his mysteries, search the unsearchable depths, throw our entire hearts and minds and lives into the honorable task of exploring Him, seeking his face, loving Him. The simple undercurrent of all creation is that it was made for Him. By Him. That is its highest function.

Where the recognition of this truth is absent, there is something tragic happening.

We wander the earth, unaware of what we are really for. The poet thinks he is for his poetry. The singer things she is for her music. The business man thinks he is for his enterprise.

It's like the holy grail being used for a doorstop, a diamond ring stuck in the snout of a pig.

We were meant for the highest thing.

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