We had been walking for quite a while and we needed to stop for a minute and just catch our breath. I say "We" but in fact "he" was riding in the comfort of a stroller and I was the one that needed to rest for a minute.
I was taking pictures of the botanical garden that we were walking in and I looked over to where he was patiently sitting while waiting on me. I caught him just looking at me and right when he knew I had seen him, he flashed me his smile. I caught it deep and I also caught it with my camera.
I was looking recently for a picture to draw and wanted to create a piece that would inspire me whenever I looked at it, so I chose to draw the smile of the little guy who calls me "Daddy".
Choosing the right pencils and tools for a task like this is always crucial. I use many "Traditional" art tools that you might expect to find in any art studio as well as many far from traditional tools and I think I got my ability to use a multitude of different tools from years of watching my own father paint and draw. (He is so much better than me with art although I would never want him to know I think so)
As soon as the sketch was laid out on the table I knew within my heart that this was going to not only tug at my heart while I worked on it, but that it would perfectly capture my son in the way that I think I will always see him no matter how old he gets. Innocent, and perfectly happy to just know that his Daddy sees him.
As I applied the different layers of color to the picture I was blown away as I always am to see the picture that was once just a thought, turn into a sketch, then depth is added and suddenly thought becomes a perfect expression. It is an emotion that is expressed in an image. The more color that was applied, the more the image "Came to Life".
The eyes are my favorite part because they are windows into the soul of what you are drawing. The eyes of a picture can seem to speak to the person who looks at it. They convey the true intent and feelings of the creator that were held as the portrait was being created.
It makes me think immediately of the first account of creation mentioned in the book of Genesis.
"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:..." ~Genesis 1:26a
"And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." ~Genesis 2:7
God placed his tools on the table and He began to create. He was creating something far different from anything else He had ever made. It was a personal expression so far beyond the realms of anything He had ever made before, because He completed His creation by personally breathing Life into the nostrils of His creation and I cannot help but think that the first thing that God did when Adam's eyes fluttered open was to look deeply into them to see directly into his soul.
The color was in place and the portrait God made was complete. It was not Man and God, but rather it was us in complete and perfect fellowship. The depth and richness was in God's creation and we were in His likeness. The picture was perfect.
Then a lie was introduced and lie was believed in. The lie was subtle and crafty. "Here is something that you can do to be godly." Man believed the lie and operated in that lie and the color picture became an image that was based on it's own identity and it was now a creation with an identity separate from the identity of the creator. It was an identity based upon their own efforts and strength and no longer was it upon their creator.
The resemblance was still there, but it no longer was able to contain the same depth and richness that it did before. It went from portrait back to sketch if you will. The color of God's presence and indwelling was not there.
The incredible thing about salvation is that Jesus, through His death on the cross, enabled us to be saved and in that salvation, we now have the Holy Spirit of God indwelling us today!
Once again, the black and white lifeless sketch has life placed within it! Life that was traded for a lie in the garden is now restored.
We are continually in the presence of God now and His life is within us!
I am so blown away by that! God is ever present and there are no more rituals to go through to get "Daddy" to smile at you. He is always looking at you and if you are His child, He is always pleased with you!
For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:" ~Colossians 1:19-22
The picture is color folks and it is because of Him and it has nothing to do with your own efforts.
The lie is still in place today, and there are people all over that would like you to believe that there are things that you can do to add color to the picture yourself. (this usually entails helping them build their own empire in their image)
The result of that thinking is you trying to do the work of God on your own portrait. You are trading away your identity in Him and basing your identity on (1. What you do. 2. What you have. 3. What others think of you.) You have His color in your picture and that will never go away, but you have chosen to try to manufacture what He has already given you. Life and Identity!
Nothing has to be manufactured. When you understand that God has made you complete in Him it is a constant state of Him revealing to you what you already have been given in Him.
You don't have to go out of your way to "appear to love others" or go to a conference that will show you in 6 easy steps how to love others. You have it already in Him! He is Love!
There is not formula or program for you to follow on how to let what He has placed within you be seen. It is natural and anytime we try to program or formulate His working in us and through us, it will always have the "Son's of Skiva" outcome.
You either have a firm understanding of who you are in Him, or you do not.
I find it amazing that Paul wrote the early church and had this to say:
"And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:" ~Colossians 2:10
That statement alone would bar him from teaching in most churches today.
"If people really understood that they were complete in Him, then how would we get them to build an empire that we can base our identity on?"
Hmmmm... I wonder if this is why God had Paul mention this. Christianity is not about programs or how massive the church is. Christianity is about a living God expressing Himself to through you to the world around you!
Repeat this out loud:
"I, _(Insert your name here)_ , AM COMPLETE IN CHRIST!"
Did that feel strange to hear yourself say that?
Did you know that is what God says about you? If God says that, why would you listen to a man's opinion of you that differs from it? The Holy Spirit teaches and matures us as He reveals what we already are in Him! If you notice that anytime Paul wrote to the churches who had drifted away, he never referred them to a law or a list, instead he would say things like, "Know ye not?" or "Don't you already know?". He always referred them back to their identity in Christ.
Look what else Paul said to the Christians at the church of Philippi.
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church," ~Ephesians 1:17-22
He was praying that they would come to the knowledge of what they already had in Christ!
The portrait is "on the table" and creator is busy revealing to you what you are in Him. In the post "What is it?" I made a list of what God says you are to Him. There is nothing you can do to change His mind on the subject. You are His complete master piece!
Today I want to challenge you to just ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes and reveal to you what you already have in Him! Once you see color has been applied to the picture, you will never want to settle for the black and white sketch again.
Climbing with you,