Monday, July 18, 2016

application... execution... delivery...

I'm learning to paint.  Specifically, I'm learning how to paint with watercolors.

A few years ago, I took a community art class to introduce myself to the medium.  In it, I was shown a color wheel and many popular paint brands, the best kind of brushes to work with, hot vs. cold pressed papers, etc.  Per the recommendation of my instructor (who conveniently worked at our local art supply store when she wasn't painting or teaching), I bought a small set of watercolor pigments and a few simple brushes in addition to her favored textbook covering the art of watercolor.

However, in retrospect, I feel like the course as a whole was lacking in the end.  Why?  Because it turned out to be more an informercial covering the many would-be materials that I could possibly purchase and use to paint with rather than my actually "Learning How To Paint With Watercolors" as promised.  Our instructor would have us experiment with varying gessos and masking fluids, sponges and texturing pastes, but I don't recall walking away with a finished product... or, for that matter, being taught the slightest introduction to sketching, composition, lighting, or choosing a subject matter.  Instead, we spent our only "painting" time working on how to lay down a background wash.  A valuable technique for a watercolor artist to know, yes.  But what I hoped to learn, apply, execute, and achieve from our teacher... ummmm no.  Lacking, to say the least.  Sure, every student showed up each week relaxed and happy to have set time aside to feed creativity.  But in the end, there was nothing to show for our effort except more purchased art supplies in our bag.  There was nothing truly accomplished except learning some basic product knowledge and mastering one painting technique.  So into the drawer my supplies went... stored away until I could figure out how to paint with my watercolors.  Sigh.

Recently, I came to an astounding realization about "Learning How To Paint With Watercolors."  Perhaps you should sit down for this game-changing news...

One cannot learn to paint with watercolors if one does not actually PAINT WITH WATERCOLORS, folks!

Mind blowing!!!  (I know, right!!!???)

And when I say paint, I mean PAINT, people!  Not collect supplies.  Not putter around with color washes for months on end.  I mean, sit down and discipline one's self to work out a composition and then see it through to fruition... maybe even several times and with several methodical tries.  I am now learning from each frustrating mistake I make while choosing to celebrate all my present achievements discovered through watercoloring.  I'm getting my hands dirty with application, execution, delivery.  Cause, this is how we learn, folks... by doing.  This is how we grow... by developing our purpose.  This is how we live fully... by pushing ahead toward maturity.  Right!!!???

So, finally, after many years of collecting, puttering, wondering... I am finally learning how to paint with watercolors because I AM PAINTING WITH WATERCOLORS.  And I'm loving the journey as I anticipate and ready myself for each new step ahead with this art form.

It's easy to sabotage progress, isn't it?  To want to grow in the Lord with hopes to do wonderful things for the sake of God's kingdom only to stay stuck at the starting line with a bag full of new materials.  Many who seek the glory of Christ show up with high hopes, big dreams, wonderful intentions to know Him, serve Him, love Him... but few actually change gears into drive and fewer choose to do whatever is necessary to reach the gates of His finish line.  Spiritually speaking, few actually learn how to really do this Christianity thing... and to do it well under the grace of the Holy Spirit.

Instead, we putter around and spend our resources on infinite versions of bible translations, book reviews, sermon notes, study tools... collecting data while following the hype of others who are well-spoken but frankly lacking to teach anything of eternal depth or value.  But our bags are full of supplies to become holy, aren't they?

How about some more game-changing news...

Friends, one cannot become holy if one does not actually BECOME HOLY IN THE LORD.  We must work out our salvation. We must practice daily our dying to Christ in order to gain a closer perspective to His desired presence.  Through every frustrating mistake; through every achievement, this is how we learn... by doing His will.  This is how we grow... by obeying His purpose.  This is how we live fully... by pushing ahead toward His perfect maturity.  We are His masterpiece, in progress through the Holy Spirit.  So clearly, progress is key to know His success!  Progress is necessary to finish well.  We must progress so that our faith will become complete!

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. (James 2:14 & 26)

Therefore, my dear friends... continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. (Philippians 2:12-13)

Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:13-16)

Today, I encourage you to become holy by BEING HOLY.  To work out your salvation by progressing ahead obediently in the Lord.  Follow His commandments.  Obey His Word.  Study under His approval and then choose to love actively in His Name.  Move ahead in discipline as you anticipate the journey He has ordered your steps to walk.  Stop puttering and collecting data about being a Christian and BE A CHRISTIAN!  LIVE IN CHRIST!  For the sake of His call... for the glory of His throne... for the goal of His eternity.

Application... Execution... Delivery...  Be holy, because He is holy!

Blessings!

~Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson


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