How Scriptures (Other Than Ephesians 6:10-20) Can Inspire Engage Art Submissions

Scripture is a tool God uses to communicate with us, remind us, and direct us. But Scripture is also personal. Each of us receives Scripture through the lens of our own experiences. This is unavoidable. We also take in movies, conversations with friends, and magazine articles through the lens of our own experiences.

As humans, our brains naturally look for patterns, connections, and meaning. If there aren’t patterns, we’ll make them up! Some scientists think that our ability and desire to find these patterns is the thing that makes us “human.”*

In the Engage Art Contest, we are asking people to create art that relates to a specific Scripture passage: Ephesians 6:10-20. Here’s the thing …. MANY scriptures could connect to this passage. Really. As your “art brain” takes in Scripture and filters it through your own experiences, you can see and illuminate for others how that experience reveals the spiritual battle.

Two examples:

1. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19
or
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

Artwork meaning/story/exploration:
A missionary is exhausted by the comedy of errors that is his life in a far-flung province. He is rejuvenated by his daily “walk with God,” literally a daily walk beside the river when he talks out loud to God and listens for guidance.

Connection to Ephesians 6:10-20:
Ephesians 6:19 talks about Paul wanting words to “be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.” That’s the same as “making disciples of all nations.” Anyone who is doing that work in earnest is likely to be “weary and burdened.” When he talks about being an “ambassador in chains,” it begs the question, “What chains hold us today?”

2. “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
or
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
or
“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:6

Artwork meaning/story/exploration:
A person turns away from:
a. Salvation
b. Right living
c. Selflessness

because of:
d. Guilt
e. Temptation
f. Feelings of inadequacy

Through her faith and Scripture, she realizes she has resources and options. She turns toward a more accurate view of her actions and circumstances (truth) and examines how she is justifying poor decisions. She shifts toward moral choices and integrity (righteousness). Through this process, she finds a peace that had eluded her and moves back into a right relationship with God (faith).

Connection to Ephesians 6:10-20:
Stumbling blocks are put in this person’s way by “the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” This reasoning could apply to so many verses and so many art themes that it’s almost universal! Man is influenced not only by God and the heavenly hosts but also by spiritual forces that work against our best interests. We can choose between them, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to do … sometimes it’s not even easy to tell the difference! BUT because of our “full armor” toolbox, we can make the right choices, be reconciled with God, and “stand firm.”

These are just two examples of how some favorite Scriptures might inspire the meaning of an artwork and how both the inspiration and the artwork can help illuminate Ephesians 6:10-20. We can’t wait to see what springs from your imagination!

* https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180531114642.htm
https://psychcentral.com/lib/patterns-the-need-for-order/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4141622/