"Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes."
Romans 12:2 (The Passion Translation)
These last few weeks have seen me fine-tuning my purpose and artistic medium with Father God. At the end of June I felt exhausted from learning, striving, pushing forward into new creative territory, so much so that I began to have doubts about whether fine art was really my “Gift” like I had thought.
Father is so, so good: no matter what we ask, so long as we ask Him, He’ll answer.
Identity is a tricky thing. The world grabs us every. single. day. and yanks us around with messages about who we are, what we should be doing, how we should be thinking. If we aren’t spending enough time with Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, it is easy to find ourselves lost in the weeds.
"I pray with great faith for you, because I’m fully convinced that the One who began this glorious work in you will faithfully continue the process of maturing you and will put his finishing touches to it until the unveiling of our Lord Jesus Christ!"
Philippians 1:6 (The Passion Translation)
I've had an old worship song stuck in my head all day,
"He who began a good work in you, will be faithful to complete it. Will be faithful to complete it. He who started a work will be faithful to complete it in you."
Have you been there lately? Looking at your circumstances and they don't quite match up with what you know God has promised you, or what you know to be true? I have too.
"Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand."
James 5:7-8 ESV
Many of us have heard the phrase, “Patience is a virtue”. But have we really stopped to think what exactly it means to be patient and why it should be a virtue for us all? While the scriptures often emphasizes the importance of patience, we now have quickly forgotten the very idea and the reason we have to tolerate seasons in our lives to realize incredible fruits of blessings.
Advancements in technology have brought us many good things. But, one entity it has also brought forth from the depths is this nasty character of impatience. We live in a generation of the instant; where we all need things done as soon as we begin them. We expect to have things in our hands right after we order them, we expect a perfect relationship with our partner without putting in the effort or expect growth in our businesses just as we set them up. While these are rather simple examples of impatience, we realize a similar pattern through our journey of life.
"The Lord Yahweh empowers me, so I am not humiliated. For that reason, with holy determination, I will do his will and not be ashamed. The One who makes me righteous is close to me. Who would dare challenge me now? Who would be my opponent? Let him stand before me! Who is my accuser? Let him confront me! It is the Lord Yahweh who empowers me; who would condemn me? My accusers will all fade away like worn-out, moth-eaten clothes."
Isaiah 50:6-9 (The Passion)
Isn’t it great to be empowered? I looked up the definition of this word; this is what I found:
The Lord Yahweh gives me power, so I am not humiliated. For that reason, with holy determination, I will do his will and not be ashamed. The One who makes me righteous is close to me. Who would dare challenge me now? Who would be my opponent? Let him stand before me! Who is my accuser? Let him confront me! It is the Lord Yahweh that gives me authority; who would condemn me? My accusers will all fade away like worn-out, moth-eaten clothes.
“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy servant. You were trustworthy over a little, I shall set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.'"
Matthew 25:23 (The Scriptures Bible 1998)
Most of us have heard of the above scripture and about the servants who were faithful with the talents given to them and those who were not. I ponder on the fact that many a time we are given things and what we do with them, whilst in our hands, is so important.
Something I have observed, and I believe Master Yeshua / Jesus has brought to my attention, is when my 3 ½ year old would cry for something, something he would want to play with and I would give it to him in the hopes that he would explore and learn something. I would give it to him wanting to see what he would want to do with it. Or when someone gives him a gift but the box says 5yrs and older, yet it is given to him to enjoy. Unfortunately, days go by and the toy or item is broken into pieces or pieces are missing and scattered all over the house or even completely damaged. At the time the gift was given to my son, he was actually not mature enough to receive the gift.
"Once your life was full of sin’s darkness, but now you have the very light of our Lord shining through you because of your union with him. Your mission is to live as children flooded with his revelation-light! And the supernatural fruits of his light will be seen in you—goodness, righteousness, and truth. Then you will learn to choose what is beautiful to our Lord."
Ephesians 5:8-10 TPT
Where light exists, it's impossible for darkness to remain. Even a small light changes everything. Can you imagine how we must look in the spirit? We are bright lights! The Lord shines in us, and then shines through us bringing His light, and His life everywhere we go! We need to remember who we are in Him, and the authority and life that we carry in us.
On a regular basis, we're accused by the accuser. He's good at that, and He works hard to try to remind us of who we were, our failures, our problems and every negative view of our present circumstances. That isn't enough though, for He tries to bring fear of what is to come. The Lord has delivered us from all darkness, and brought us into the Light! As long as we stay in agreement with the accuser's lies, we stay in the dark once again.
"My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! For you know that when your faith is tested[a] it stirs up power within you to endure all things. And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking."
Jas 1:2 My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
Jas 1:3 knowing that the proving of your belief works endurance.
Jas 1:4 And let endurance have a perfect work, so that you be perfect and complete, lacking in naught.
This morning in my quiet time with Messiah Yeshua/Jesus, I felt He was asking me the question, “What do you think it means to endure through trial with joy”. I usually ask my 3yr old questions as I want him to think for himself, it will get in quicker and will show me his level of maturity. Scripture encourages us to mature and eventually move away from milk on to solid meat. As I gave a few answers I realized that He was giving me the opportunity to really think about it and to change my perspective.
I don’t know how many times I have had to read James Chapter 1 but I know one thing is for sure is that the King is trying to teach me how to endure with joy.
"We have become his poetry, a re-created people that will fulfill the destiny he has given each of us, for we are joined to Jesus, the Anointed One. Even before we were born, God planned in advance our destiny and the good works we would do to fulfill it!"
Ephesians 2:10 AMP
You are free to be who God has created you to be. Are you dreaming with God? God has such a beautiful destiny written for each of our lives, and He's able to fulfill it!
Along the way of our journey, as we're growing in who we are created to be there will always be those struggles or obstacles that challenge us to keep going in the vision God has put in our hearts. Sometimes we even make decisions that take us on new paths, but God is still able to complete all that He has begun in us. He really is that big. :)
“The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world.”
Through many inspiring people and books, God has been able to awaken me to my life’s true calling. One of the best and life changing books I’ve ever read is called “Captivating” by John and Stasi Eldridge. Although it’s not a book about creating art, it drastically changed my view about it. It is all about the value of women in God’s kingdom, while reminding us how important men are as well. Surprisingly this validating book has opened my “artistic eyes”.
The authors define what makes a woman’s heart’s come alive and teaches about our core desires. Even if we aren’t aware of it:
The part about how important beauty is in our lives, went especially deep for me. It was revealed to me that beauty is restorative and refreshing and it is no mistake that God has placed beauty in creation everywhere. A quote from “Captivating” is: “Creation is primarily beautiful, not primarily functional.” I think of sunsets, fields of flowers, the northern lights. Glass wing butterflies, painted chameleons, crashing waves. There is so much beauty in creation that it validates beauty itself. This tells me that it isn’t frivolous or an afterthought, but instead, a necessity to enjoy a full and healthy life.
“But Jesus immediately said to them, ‘Take courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.’
‘Lord, if it is you,’ Peter replied, ‘Tell me to come to you on the water.’
‘Come,’ He said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came to Jesus.”
Sometimes, it can take a lot of courage to get out of the boat to begin with.
I am very new to this “prophetic art” thing; in fact, I didn’t know it even existed until last Fall (2018). I was officially baptised in January 2019 and God redeemed my artistic ability for His use in March, a scant two months later. Before that, my forays into art as an adult were haphazard at best and largely ignored at worst. I didn’t set out to be an artist. I wanted to be a musician. When God called me to art — NOT my preconceived notions of musicianship — I was shocked and terrified, much like Peter and the other Disciples in the boat that day on the stormy ocean.