My artistic piece titled: spiritual growth reflects how God's Word impacts us through the world we live in and how our increased faith and righteousness impacts our spiritual life and warfare. The Word of God is clear about the power and authority of those who are born-again of the Spirit- “The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). The narrative against spiritual battle is clear: to become a formidable force in the spiritual battle we need the powerful weapon of prayer through christ to be effective. The artistic piece highlights the believe that many spiritual beings, good and bad, inhabit the dark unseen realm and the visual narrative in the piece explored the need not to fear but “stand firm” in prayer, faith and duty; to be constant, to persevere, to remain steadfast and to continue in that state. And while we persevere we need to believe and tap the source of strength not found within ourselves but within Christ. By putting our faith in God we tap into the source of strength and the Lord’s power becomes our power. In spiritual warfare, gathering intelligence is key to identify and assess the enemy. We need to know the schemes and battle plans of the enemy so that we may be successful in the fight against him; while that can be gained from scripture, my artistic piece express that understanding of when the spiritual force function i.e in the dark and also using that knowledge to set prayer timelime for disarming the evil weapons. As highlighted in (2 Corinthians 10:4) -the weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.
Above all else, the piece highlights the need to guard our heart for spiritual growth , for everything we do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23). To set time in exploring the word of God, as through reading scripture (John 8:32) and through understanding its mystery we can unlock and overcome the satan battlefield of fear, hopelessness, frustrations, and despair, through the renewal of our hope in the salvation that flows from Christ, (1 Thessalonians 5:8). God’s word is our sword-the only weapon of offense. We must use it regularly in order to become proficient users, knowing that the word (logos) is insufficient we must know how to use it (rhema). Ex: Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 8:3 (Matthew 4:4) by taking direction from the Holy Spirit.
In sum the word of God gives us assurance that we can stand firm and resist anything that Satan throws on our way, only if we put on the whole armor of God ( Faith, prayer, righteousness) for spiritual growth. And that we can experience the gospel mystery and miracles if we persistently crave the word of God, day and night as highlighted in my artistic piece.
When we become Christians, we enter into a relationship with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit that will cause us to grow. With the power of the Holy Spirit, we are called to become more like Jesus and to become more holy. It is this spiritual growth that becomes a birthmark of our faith! The artistic piece highlight a narrative of increased faith as Luke 17:5 tells us: The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”, which means we experience spiritual growth through having increased faith and as seen the piece highlight faith through righteousness of reading God's words just as Psalm 92:12-14 buttressed: the righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green. The verse explains that through doing good works we grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, 2 peter 3:18. And when we hearken to God words we sow seed on good soil that stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop Luke 8:15. Which is why Hebrews 6:1 encourage us to move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God. So like newborn babies, we crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it we may grow up in salvation, now that we have tasted that the Lord is good, 1peter 2:2-3. Though our faith, righteousness and prayer aren't alone for "increased armor" but also from received prayers as we grow in the knowledge of God, Colossians 1:9-10.
As we make every effort to add to our faith we should add to our goodness; and knowledge; self-control; perseverance; godliness; mutual affection; and to love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 Peter 1:5-8. In acquiring all that we put off our old self, which is being corrupted by deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of our minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness, Ephesians 4:20-24, till we reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, to attaining a whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work (for spiritual growth) Ephesians 4:13-16. While we continue to hearken to God's words we put on the full armor of God through faith, prayer, righteousness- Ephesians 6:10-20
A big thanks to my mum for helping me to keeping check on my work/life balance while creating this piece. And to my sister for examining and critique the piece for its aesthetic value.
I am a studio painter as well as a mural artist based in Lagos/Nigeria. For any info any my work kindly check: www.saatchiart.com/akanji
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