PAINT ON THE CANVAS
by DeBorrah K. Ogans
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Paint On The Canvas
God not only knows the very hairs that are on our heads. He determines how long we inhabit the earth. He is the ultimate Master Creator and Designer who weaves everything together in His magnificent canvas of life. When we grow in His grace, truth and knowledge He gives us the ability to spiritually discern. Spiritual discernment lights the foreground of our canvas as we venture through this valley of the shadow of death. His wisdom grooms our being so as children of light our lifeís canvas commences to reflect the light of His presence in our life.
Quite often we adapt to the world and employ personality traits that are in general socially acceptable. Personality is used in typical dictionary definition to distinguish behavioral, emotional and attitudinal tendencies, character traits and habits. It is by these traits that one is uniquely recognized. We as people are fundamentally a complex integration of physical and non-physical dimensions and attributes.
The spiritual facet of us should reflect the God like qualities within our nature. Interpersonal dynamics and environmental influences are primary, but not exclusive to developmental determinants of our personalities. As human beings we are living, learning and growing organisms. When parents have properly nourished us by providing sufficient freedom and are generous in positive reinforcement, children will achieve a sense of personal autonomy. On the other hand if parents have modeled much faulty behavior themselves, were too overprotective, demanding, too permissive or critical, children will learn to have doubts about themselves. They will become harnessed with feelings of shame. In Godís eyes we are all ageless children. His Holy Spiritís presence in oneís life is able to override any inappropriate learning experiences which we all have to a certain degree. God who is the ultimate Sovereign Creator can paint new life onto our lifeís canvas. The Holy Spirit works in believers to give us a new nature.
When I studied ďArt AppreciationĒ in school I acquired a respect for the various art forms. When I saw an original Picasso Abstract, my first reaction was ďI donít like it. After studying Picassoís work I learned he was able to paint with a childlike simplicity. He was able to go inside, vicariously share and interpret on canvas the depth of his feelings. From an exterior posture for one to understand his work, a surface summation would not properly render what he was trying to relay. Despite the possibility of no one understanding he did not allow that to hinder His work. Whether he was aware of it or not He was given a God-given talent. It was largely after his death that the world really began to appreciate and understand his unique gift.
Our life can be quite like an abstract painting. Especially by those who really donít know us. People usually fear what they donít understand, or tend to label it negatively. Webster defines Abstract as; difficult to understand. Insufficiently factual. Expressing a quality considered apart from an object. Impersonal having only a generalized form with little or no attempt at precise representation. Quite often as Christians we too must risk being misunderstood. We must learn to tenaciously pursue our God given talent(s) with a steadfast devotion.
Each day that passes what we say and do and how we respond paints an array of events on our personal canvas of life. Much of our lifeís paint is applied erroneously when we wander aimlessly about. When we stray from the narrow path that God has designed. Godís world is awesomely vast. A marvelous abstract spiritual venture awaits those who are obedient. Faith and Trust in Him are required companions that confidently paint the unseen path before us! It is easy to deter from our course because God allows us so much freedom. He has given us the power to choose. Other wise each individual canvas would yield a duplicate reproduction!
But once we really discover that life has purpose the strokes on our lifeís canvas should be guided by our Creator.
There is nothing in our life that has transpired that we can unpaint. When we find ourselves somewhere we donít want to be or saying or doing something we donít want to do what do we do? Do we continue to allow pride to lead us anyway? No, it will only lead us somewhere we donít really want to go.
The hues of pride darken the spiritual path. It keeps the light of our direction deep in the background. So do we just waste precious time and continue to stumble around? Do we employ passages of scriptures to justify our sometimes wrong position? Do we erroneously mislead and gather others to support us in our wrong position? Ask yourself, do you hear a faint unspoken voice beckoning you to change your direction? Although painful, it is far better to move towards the Light. God knows your true motives. Do you know it is more important what God knows rather than what people think!
God our Creator knows all of our faults, shortcomings, misunderstandings and insecurities. His arms are wide open. But too often, pride, guilt and shame keeps us at His arm distance. It keeps us in the dark away from His marvelous Light! Too often we just donít want to admit that we are possibly wrong or were wrong to ourselves especially not someone else! We are so reluctant to tint our canvas with the magnificent brilliance of humility! We would rather allow pride to paint our canvas and take us to a place that we will eventually dread!
If you are at a point in your life you donít want to be, or if your life seems to be headed in a direction of uncertainty; If you have done something or said something you should not have ( and we do from time to time) seek Godís direction. Really dedicate some time to being still and sincerely do some deep soul searching. Have your self a Gethsemane experience. Get quiet enough so you can actually hear what God is saying. Now that you have gotten His attention. Sincerely render to Him what is on your mind and in your heart. Remember He knows anyway. Once you have lightened your load. Ask Him for direction. Admit and repent (not repeat) of anything that is hindering your spiritual path.
Allow Godís yoke to be spiritually connected to lighten your burdens. I assure you He will direct you! Just know it may not be in a direction you want to go. You may just have to apply some humility to your lifeís canvas. Humility can harness anger and impulsive rage will have to flee! Instead each painful step in His direction will be accompanied by His unexplainable peace! Did you know that when we are at our weakest point it gives God the opportunity to create a great work in us? Proceed cautiously knowing that anger and pride wants to darken itís hues on your life canvas. They want to deceive you and keep you walking in denial and disobedience. They only want to suppress and cover up the Light that wants to shine on your lifeís canvas!
Once we humbly admit to God we are wrong, a flood of Light appears. It opens the door for the cleansing power of His Word to wash us thoroughly. God in His infinite wisdom is totally aware of the minutest speck of sin on each of our individual canvases. ďAll of us have sinned and fallen short of His gloryĒ. But this does not give us the right to continue in sin. Christ did not die for us to be slaves to any sin in our lives. He even told us except we become as children we will not enter into His kingdom! He is the only Sovereign Master Designer! He can make each stroke of circumstances whatever they may be; mold and shape us into a vessel of beauty and honor in His sight. Commence to allow His Holy Spirit to guide you as you paint your personal canvas. Our life truly is ďA work of art in progress!Ē
About the Author:
DeBorrah K. Ogans is a licensed Pastoral Counselor and ordained minister. She is certified through the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling in Creation Therapy and holds a Masterís Degree in Biblical Clinical Counseling. DeBorrah is a Co-Founder along with her husband Randall of "Alpha 7 Ministries". She is the author of a pre-marital guide ďHow Do I Love Thee: Things You Need To Know Before You Say I DoĒ, and just released her second book "Holy Matrimony: Now That You're Married".
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