This painting, “Victorious!”, gives a representational picture of what happens in the spiritual atmosphere when I worship and praise God in dance; amid the battles I may be facing. Even though there is darkness, heaviness, sickness, depression, fear, pain, loss, suffering and many negative thoughts bombarding not only my mind, but my environment, I am able to create a place for the Holy Spirit to invade and bring hope and light. This only happens when I position myself under his covering, under his blood. It is then that I can sing and dance as an expression of the joy of victory that He brings.
In creating this piece, I drew from my personal experiences. Personally, I have been through years of depression having endured five miscarriages (although I now have a nine-year-old son!) and many other challenging situations. I have learned to wage warfare in my dance, in praise and worship, intercession, Bible study, through my art, despite my circumstances. While I was painting this piece, it was necessary, as I always do, for me to be listening to sermons or singing and listening to worship music. Creating an atmosphere where it is easy to hear and feel the presence of the Holy Spirit is crucial to my art making process.
As a dance minister and a prophetic artist, I have learned to “see” in the spirit and listen to the Holy Spirit while in worship. In both expressions, I understand that the beauty and power of what I do depends upon him. This is essentially what this painting is about; it is a visible tangible expression of the power of praise and worship as a weapon of spiritual warfare.
The title of my painting is “Victorious!”. The two main inspiration verses were firstly, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.” (2 Cor. 10:4) and secondly, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world - our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:4-5) It shows the power of the weapons of dance in praise and worship together with the faith of the worshipper.
The darker colours of the background represent the trials that I have faced and the present challenges. The direction of the brush strokes and various tones represent the forces of darkness that always seem to be working or fighting to try and smother me and keep me oppressed, confused, depressed and fearful. Some strongholds seem to appear daunting at times, but God has always given me a way of escape and a strategy for victory.
The red ribbon coming from the top, held by the dancer and then going around her, represents the love of God, the blood of Jesus as a covering and also, a spiritual weapon, made “…mighty through God…” By placing my trust and my faith in Him and in the promises in His Word, I am secure under his banner of love. This quiet confidence in God’s unfailing love for me and faith in His promises, have been like a shield against deep depression and insanity. This is also why it shines so bright in the painting; it was my only light when all around me was thick darkness.
The red garment means that I am washed in the blood of Jesus, so I am both justified and qualified to wage war in praise. My dance garment also has music notes which represents the anointing for praise and worship. This idea comes from Is.61:3 – “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion; to give unto them… the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…” Red represents power, authority, great confidence, love, passion and I also believe, holy anger which is needed for a worshiping soldier.
There is a sense of movement and great energy as shown by the lines surrounding the ribbon, as well as in the background, which contrasts with the worshiper standing resolute in the centre as in Eph. 6:10, 13, “Finally my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might…and having done all, stand.” This contrast emphasizes that dance in praise and worship is a powerful weapon of spiritual warfare that can shift atmospheres. It shows the power and impact that true worship holds, to effect change and bring victory.
Reference photo for the dancer was shared by my friend Schachia Strachan.
Original Painting. Acrylic on stretched canvas. 12x16". Cost: $130. U.S.
Does not include shipping.
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