His grace is all that I need. There is no other thing. It is a simple path to Holiness. A simple path to Jesus. His Grace.
I don't have to strive or work or do a special dance to be good enough or holy enough for Him. I just have to rely on His Grace. His Grace empowers. His Grace releases. His Grace frees. I was freed by Grace today. I know that it is a process of learning to totally depend on His Grace, but I know that today is the day I learned what that means. I am secure in His grace.
The more I painted, the more that truth sunk deep within me.
Painting is so therapeutic. It helps to calm your mind. There are no rules in art. It's freeing to be as expressive as you want. The canvas doesn't judge. :-)
After finishing the first painting, and the second and third both drying to prepare for the next step with them I began to ask some pretty big things from the Lord. I have been praying big prayers lately and I have been getting some pretty big answers too.
Tomorrow, I want to begin to try to express the fire and love in Jesus' eyes. I'm sure this one will take some time... and a lot of seeking Jesus. :-) But it is something that I want to do.
I was thinking about how much I love to be creative though as I was cleaning up and I just asked God, "God, how creative are you?"... and then He laughed... and I did too. He is the Creator of Creativity! (Mind blown!) He created everything! He created the entire world. He created me! I am His masterpiece. More than that, He created me in His image. Jesus is wearing a body like mine right now. He has eyes, hair, skin, fingerprints. Jesus has his very own fingerprint. He is so beautiful. I am created in His image.
"Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them."
"For your created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand- when I awake, I am still with you."
There is so much that I want to write out that I don't even know where to start!
When I began to paint, I knew what this painting was going to mean to me. I knew exactly what its purpose was. For me it was a reminder of His grace. I saw the whole picture in my mind before my brush touched the canvas. I pretty much knew where it was going to go when I got finished with it too.
When God created me, He knew all of that and more. He created me. He knit me together. He saw my unformed body... just like saw the blank canvas. I don't think that it is a coincidence that verse 16 says "Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." God put those two independent clauses together for a reason. I thought me up before he put his brush to the canvas. He planned it all out. His thoughts are precious.
I am overwhelmed at the thought of that.
I said that the next thing I want to paint is an expression of the fire and love in Jesus' eyes. After my mind was blown by God being the creator of creativity, I asked, "Jesus, what do your eyes look like? Can I see your eyes?" (It's a crazy question I know... but I've been praying crazy prayers lately.)
That's when I realized He has real eyes, just like me.
Jesus, The savior of the world has eyes like mine. Are they blue? Green? Brown? I don't know. But I know he has real eyes.
That's when it hit me. We are made in His image. He is a man. I can see a glimpse of His eyes when I see his children's eyes. Eyes of love and acceptance. Eyes of passion and fire. Eyes that burn and heal at the same time.
I have some pretty great, Christ-like people in my life that I can talk with about my failures, joy, dreams and desires... but I don't think I have ever looked them in the eye when telling them of my failures or secret dreams or the desires I have deep in my heart. I have feared what I would see in those eyes. I have feared that I would see disappointment, shock, disapproval, rejection, or scorn. But Jesus' eyes are filled with love and joy. Jesus Laughs. He smiles. Jesus looks at me with love and acceptance. If these people that I am able to talk to have his eyes, I should see those same things in their eyes. I have avoided them because of fear of rejection for so long. Because of this, I have likely missed out on seeing the acceptance, love and joy of Jesus in their eyes. Jesus uses his people to show his heart to the world. How much have I missed because I feared rejection from his people, an ultimately, from him?
Back to that verse... His "EYES SAW my unformed body" and his thoughts toward me "outnumber the grains of sand."
When David sinned with Bathsheba, he told Nathan he sinned... but Nathan replied, "Yes, you have sinned, but God has forgiven you." So while David was beating himself up for his dumb choice, God had already forgiven him and was waiting for him to move forward.
It is sometimes extremely difficult for me to forgive myself. I try to walk around in self condemnation. So much so that the enemy doesn't even have to try to get me to beat myself up... I just do. But today I re-realized that God Forgives. He doesn't hold my mistakes or sin over my head, waiting for me to mess up just so he can remind me how awful I am. He totally and completely forgives. He is waiting on me to forgive myself and move on though. He won't do anything until I get up out of the dust and push forward. I realize that my unforgiveness towards myself and my self pity is a major hinderance to my freedom and growth. It keeps me in the trap of the enemy... when Jesus has already set me free.
Today was an intense day to say the least. :-)