Has God ever told you He is about to stretch you? Whenever he does it is no laughing matter. If you are like me it leaves you feeling vulnerable and uncomfortable in the stretching. Once you consent He gives you a long bucket list. The tasks are intended to pull things out of you that you have been avoiding for a long, long time or things you simply did not know were there.
Last month I had this experience again. I was in prayer one morning when He said to me.
“I am going to stretch you”.
I know your answer would be, “YES LORD! DO IT JESUS!” That was not mine. At times I am like the reluctant son that responds, “Please don’t”.
As His bondservant my delight must be in what He desires for me. That viewpoint is completely counter-culture. A different attitude and mindset is required. Deliberate actions, patience and time must be undertaken to see things from His perspective. This viewpoint has helped me to accept that whatever He does is ultimately for my good. He knows stuff about me that I am just discovering.
Normally, after I have successfully undertaken the task He has given, I am shocked at the results. Thankfully He isn’t. He just shakes His head and say ”Boooboo it has always been there. I put it in you”. Sometimes He simply laughs.
This time, when He told me He wanted to stretch me, I sheepishly said “OK Lord! Have your way”.
Then came the bucket list. Several assignments in diverse areas were given. One such assignment was to learn to draw.
I was like, “Are you kidding me?! There are many talented people. Please use them”.
Drawing for me was painstaking. It was no fun but I did not verbalize it to the Lord. I kept it in my heart. Do you know that He knows your thoughts?
As I said undertaking the tasks requires a new mindset. So I shifted my thoughts. I begun reflecting on the people He’s used in the past. My mind when immediately to the ultimate documentary-The Bible. It flipped through the pages and landed on Moses. Now there was a man that was very reluctant to answer the call. He gave excuses and required many assurances before He accepted His assignment. But! There is always a but isn’t there? After responding to the call God trained him and used him mightily. He became a legend.
It is so good that God is patient with our response to the call. He patiently allows us to work through our angst. He knows he only chose us because WE CAN. As a matter of fact what He has called you to do no one else can. It is your assignment. He gifted you for it.
When my reverie was finished, your boy said, “Alright I will do it! Bring it on!”
I was like David. I grabbed an ephod. Went before the Lord and encouraged myself. Nah! I sigh! Started speaking encouragement to myself. “You can do it! Just get back into the grove.” I begun to reminisce about the images I had drawn as a teenager. Now that was a long, time ago. They were decent. I considered them to be good. I loved them but the process was painstaking one image took me two weeks or more. Sometimes I would look up from the drawing and realized that quite a bit of my summer had just vanished while my head was down drawing. Now I just needed to understand how to do it quicker. I lacked the techniques and skills. The Holy Spirit will help with the rest.
Now let me be clear, I am big on relying on the wisdom and counsel of the Holy Spirit. I firmly believe we are equipped with the spirit of knowledge, wisdom, understanding and counsel when we receive Him. He comes well packed. He also gives us power and the fear of God (See Isaiah 11:2). Pretty awesome stuff! Sadly, we do not cultivate the working of the spirit of knowledge, wisdom and counsel in us. It is left to the Apostles, the prophets, the pastors, evangelists, teachers and helps in the church.
It has taken me a long while but I am learning to rely on Him more. One of my first encounters with working with the Holy Spirit ‘on the job’ was in 2012 He showed me how to write computer programs in a quicker time. I was shocked. Code that I was struggling to write, was done very quickly. Can you believe it! I naive enough to believe the God of the Universe, the omniscient One. was unable to code. It did not go well for me. He rebuked me!
The week I decided to start drawing, the Lord lead me to the Periscope broadcasts of Prophet Ruben Arana. He was doing something I had never seen. He took scripture and begun to interpret them through drawing. The atmosphere encourage participation. Everyone was allowed to give an input. The camaraderie was good.
Recently God gave Prophet Ruben a 21 days challenge for us. Something was to be done continuously for 21 days. Guess what He told me to do? Draw. Yes you guessed it right. Other things were given also. I am not going to lie to you. It took sometime but I slowly begun drawing.
I started by drawing some clothing designs He had shown me. Then I remembered decided to focus on sketching and developing the techniques. Prophet Arana was great help. He did some videos on sketching. It gave me the courage to push even further.
On Sunday morning, I had a vision of a door in heaven. The next day, He told me to draw it. He told me to draw it. I am sure you know my response. “But…!” In the evening, I settled down and attempted it. I did not know how to start. There were sky, clouds, a door and staircase leading up to it. Everything blended together perfectly. How was I to reproduce that? I watched some tutorials of how to draw clouds but it was no use. I was not getting it. Worst the clouds did not look like any I had seen. I wanted the image to accurately reflect what I had seen. At 1 am, I was about to give up, when I called on the Holy Spirit to assist me. Immediately, He begun to tell me what to do. The result is what you see below.
This encouraged me to go further. So I challenged myself. I decided to sketch some objects. This time my approach was different. The first thing I did was to ask the Holy Spirit to help me. I then watched a bit of Prophet Arana’s Youtube tutorials and started drawing those objects. While I drew I felt I needed to challenge myself. I needed to draw something that was not on the video. I remembered Prophet Arana’s words, “I always tell my students, draw anything around”. My water bottle was nearby so I begun to draw it.
I needed to draw trees but didn’t know how so I asked my Guide to show me. The process was much quicker. I drew the tree in less time. And showed the work to the Worship Word Art Facebook group. I felt good. It was midnight. Time for bed!
God was not through with me. He had other plans. I felt inspired to complete the drawing of a bowl. I kept seeing it in my imagination. That lead to the below symbolic drawing of prayer.
Why am I sharing? I want you to understand that there are talents God has placed on the inside of you that are undiscovered. As long as we are alive we will be discovering things about our self. That’s why people learn new skills after retiring. Please, if you have not done so, rely on the counsel and wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Things that are in you will begin to unfold that you never imaged was there. As you persist, things you were afraid to do will be done effortlessly.
Are you interested in prophetic art or simply developing your creative talents for God’s glory? Check out Ruben Arana. He is an art professor and Prophet. He delights in sharing his talents with everyone.