After reading Ephesians 6:10-20 and delving into a deeper personal study I was drawn to the narrative of the unseen fight in the heavenly realms. From my walk with God I know this to be true. The battle is His. The battle is not mine. I was inspired by the Paul’s use of object representation. I chose the son with the Star of David to represent Christ, who is Gods son, and who fulfilled the Jewish law by his death and resurrection. I have angels emanating from the sun to bring back the point that the battle is His. He's got His angels on it! The organic shapes surrounding the sun are representative of the fiery darts. My photographs in the background are of the sky and large trees to represent the battle is in the heavenly.
After filtering through ideas and sketches for a few weeks I came home from my birthday weekend and felt inspired to draw. I made a preliminary sketch in pencil on paper and then redrew it in pen on white mat board. I then hand colored the design with colored pencil. I chose blue for the Star of David which is known in Hebrew as a Magen David (shield of David), as it is similar to the blue on the flag of Israel. Once the coloring was complete I photographed the illustration edited the background out in Photoshop and cleaned up a few ink smudges. I selected 2 photographs of mine, layered all 3 items together and reduced the opacity of the photographs until the foreground drawing was prominent and visually balanced.
I would like to begin with thanking you for providing this forum. It came at the perfect time in my life for God to do a work in me through Engage Art. I have been through some rough times and God has guarded me, protected me, healed me, and will never stop loving me through this healing process and into eternity.
I thought about the visuals for my piece daily for months. I thoroughly studied and recalled scripture to show "thyself approved." "Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15)
To answer your question, this work fits into the contest topic as representations, just as Paul used applicable representations for the time, I have used representations that mean something to me.
My strength comes from knowing the creator of the universe, the Almighty God with limitless power loves me! And because He loves me, he will never let anything destroy me. Paul wrote, "A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power." (Ephesians 6:10) it means the following to me: God loves me and the battle is His. "The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving." (Psalm 28:7)
Attacks on me in the past would cause a desire to fight back or crying sessions on the floor in private. As I have grown as a Christian, I prefer to be still and know that God is God. "Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world." (Psalm 46:10) I prefer to remember that I have a hedge of protection around me. "You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is!" (Job 1:10)
I have seen God handle attacks on me in the past from protecting me from previous marital abuse, to saving my home from foreclosure, to curing supposed incurable disease in me, to throwing out frivolous lawsuits against me, and currently working on healing me from an abusive alcoholic mother, and negligent father. "Father to the fatherless, defender of widows—this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy. But he makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land." (Psalm 68:5-6)
Gods love truly is my rock and fortress. Over the years, I have clear evidence of Gods love for me and that he really does provide all my needs. "The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety." (Psalm 18:2) "And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19)
I now know I have the choice to remain calm and steadfast in knowing the battle is His. God always wins and to let the past be the past. Jesus died so that I could have an abundant life and to redeem me from the hands of the enemy. "The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life." (John 10:10)
Seeing proof in my life of Gods protection has shown me that I can decide to let go of fighting back and focus on seeking peace and enjoying my lot in life. "Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it." (1 Peter 3:11) "Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life. And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—this is indeed a gift from God. God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past." (Ecclesiastes 5:18-20)
As a believer, I know I was made anew and I don’t have to do anything for God to fight my battles. "For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." (Ephesians 2:10)
Gods love for me is not conditional and it is fact that no weapon formed against me will ever prosper. "But in that coming day no weapon turned against you will succeed. You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you. These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the Lord; their vindication will come from me. I, the Lord, have spoken!" (Isaiah 54:17)
I have seen with my own eyes that vengeance is Gods. "That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him." (1 Corinthians 2:9) "Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back," says the Lord." (Romans 12:19)
I have learned to make the choice to just keep forgiving, walk away from the fight, and enjoy every day while God takes care of me. "Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!" (Matthew 18:21-22)
In closing, my work fits into this contest topic because it is directly inspired by Ephesians 6:10, Galatians 5:22-23, and 2 Corinthians 12:9. "A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power." "But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!" "Each time he said, 'My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.' So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me."
Original. Not for sale. “Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full--pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back." (Luke 6:38)
Curious? Interested in submitting artwork to our contest? Know someone who might be? Through April 14th, 2022, the Engage Art Contest is open to the whole world! Get your foot in the door by claiming your Artist Page now!