Monday, November 11, 2019

Devotionals for the Heart: Amanda's thoughts about a Biblical hero

Be Like Bezalel
A devotional by Amanda Wen

“See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft.” – Exodus 31:2-5 (ESV)

One of my favorite Biblical heroes is Bezalel. He’s not one you hear a lot of Bible stories about in Sunday school, nor is his name one that trips easily off the tongue the way Joshua, Esther, Ruth, or David do. In fact, I’d guess even many lifelong Christians would be hard-pressed to remember the guy or what he’s famous for.

But anyone who saw the Tabernacle would instantly know that name, because the original dwelling place of God, the portable sanctuary where His Shekinah glory resided, was largely Bezalel’s handiwork. Bezalel was a master craftsman, enormously gifted and spectacularly skilled in a variety of fields, including metalworking, stoneworking, textiles, and woodcarving. The source of this gifting? The Holy Spirit.

Before Jesus’ death and resurrection tore the curtain of the Holy of Holies and forever removed the separation between God and man, the Holy Spirit did not automatically indwell believers. Instead, God filled chosen men and women with His Spirit to accomplish certain tasks. Joshua (Numbers 27:18), the judge Othniel (Judges 3:10) and King Saul (1 Samuel 10:10) were all filled with the Spirit at specific times for specific reasons. In addition, this power came upon Mary when she conceived Jesus. (Luke 1:35).

But after Jesus returned to the Father, His Spirit came to indwell believers (Acts 2). Any of us who profess Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord receives the Spirit of God to dwell inside us and enable us to do what He has called us to do. And just as Bezalel did nothing to earn this indwelling, we don’t earn it, either. It’s automatic, as much of a grace-gift as salvation itself.

As a believing creative, I’ve often heard that we should create “in the Spirit.” For a long time, this puzzled me. How would I know when I was doing it, or, more importantly, how would I know when I was not doing it, so I could get back on track?

But I don’t think there’s any magic to it. No easy steps to follow to make sure we’re “creating in the Spirit.”

Brothers and sisters, if the Holy Spirit lives inside you, than any creative work you do for the glory of God is done in the Spirit. Little by little He uses our work, our circumstances, everything about our lives, to shape us to be more like Him. In return, we glorify Him by what we give back: the gifts and talents He’s has given us, along with the enabling of the Spirit to create what He has called us to create.

It’s pretty awesome to think about.

One final thought: Bezalel was filled with the Holy Spirit in order to construct God’s dwelling place (the Tabernacle). Mary was overshadowed by the Spirit to conceive the Word made flesh, God’s only Son, in order that He might dwell with His people here on Earth. And now we as believers are filled with the Holy Spirit and so become His dwelling place. 

1 Corinthians 6:19 tells us that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. The places where God’s Shekinah glory dwells.

And because of this indwelling of the Spirit, like Bezalel, we are able to do whatever He calls us to do. It might be something spectacular, like building a tabernacle. 

More probably, it’s simply enabling us to do the everyday tasks He puts in front of us, whether that’s raising children, writing books, creating art, making music, or serving faithfully at our day jobs. Not because of anything we do, or anything we are on our own.

It’s only because of who He made us to be.

Author Bio:
Amanda Wen is an award-winning writer of contemporary inspirational romance and split-time women’s fiction. 

A first place winner in the 2017 Indiana Golden Opportunity Contest, she also placed first in the 2017 Phoenix Rattler Contest, the 2017 Great Expectations Contest, and the 2016 ACFW First Impressions Contest, among others. In addition, she was a finalist in the 2018 ACFW Genesis Contest.

Amanda is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and regularly contributes author interviews for their Fiction Finder feature. She’s also been spotted onstage with the worship team at recent ACFW conferences. Amanda is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency.

In addition to her writing, Amanda maintains an active and rewarding career as a freelance cellist, frequently performing with symphony orchestras, string quartets, and her church’s worship team. She lives in the Midwest with her amazing husband and their three adorable and hilarious Wenlets.

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