Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind for a time, not even able to see the light of the sun.” Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about seeking someone to lead him by the hand. When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord. (Acts 13:9-12)
Prayer, of course, is the primary way to connect to God. Creating is also an excellent way. Above my fireplace, a Thomas Kinkade painting captures the beauty of a cabin in the woods with a stream running past. Thomas Kinkade connected to God while he was painting, and his goal was to spread God’s light.
I believe the peaceful, creative, almost euphoric feeling we have when we’re crafting an artform is a connection to the Holy Spirit. Satan doesn’t want us to connect to God, so he attacks artists: sculptors, painters, musicians, writers, seamstresses, knitters, crocheters, and crafters. Many times a day the enemy tells artists they have no talent. It’s the reason so many have alcohol and drug addictions and commit suicide. Thomas Kinkade was clearly talented and had a wife and four children, yet he committed suicide in 2012.
In our Scripture, Sergius Paulus, the proconsul, wanted to connect to God. Elymas was sent by the enemy to discourage Sergius Paulus from seeking God. In the same way if we’re seeking God or in the mission field helping another find Him, the enemy will show up. God wants us to fight the enemy.
If you reread the words Paul spoke to Elymas through the Holy Spirit, he speaks to the enemy within Elymas. God loves the Elymas he created and only blinded him so he would seek the One who wants to lead him by the hand.
God has a message for us in Paul’s and Barnabus’ mission trip to Cyprus. He will send us out too. When he does, he wants us to know we should pray and fast, ask for prayer and support, accept the mission, start when God tells us to, use the power of the Holy Spirit to help us with obstacles and challenges, and fight the enemy with prayer, words, the power of the Holy Spirit, and truth. When we do that, others will be amazed and believe.
Father, I praise You for giving me a creative spirit to connect with You. Help me use it for Your kingdom. When the enemy tells me I’m not talented or good enough, give me the power of Your Holy Spirit to fight back and tell the enemy he’s full of deceit and trickery. I am what You say I am: talented, loved, forgiven, pursued, valuable, special, God’s temple, chosen, wonderful, wanted, and beautiful. In God’s name, I pray, amen.