YOU ARE A WORK OF ART
God doesn’t make junk. He created you to be destined for greatness.
Several days ago, a Vincent van Gogh watercolor sold for 35 million dollars, the highest price ever paid for a van Gogh watercolor. The Nazis had seized this painting during their occupation of France in Word War II. The owner never received compensation for her loss, but in the recent auction, her heirs reaped the benefits of this historic sale.
Likewise, satan stole our identity as a priceless treasure created by God when he convinced Adam and Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. God, in his mercy, banished them from Eden. If they had partaken of the Tree of Life, they could have remained forever in their sinful state. Instead, Father God provided redemption by shedding blood and covering them with animal skins, a prophetic sign that Jesus would go to the cross to save us from our sin nature. When we choose Jesus, we become new creatures, thus restoring God’s original design. (2 Corinthians 5:17.)
Let’s continue the parallel between the treasured painting and our journey of faith. Even after the van Gogh was rescued from the Nazis, it didn’t return to the previous owner, and was never publicly displayed. It lay hidden in storage where no one could admire its beauty until this most recent sale.
In like manner, the priceless work of art God created us to be is often hidden in darkness. Even though Jesus already paid for our sins, satan lies to us about who we really are and convinces us that God is only pleased with us when we work hard to overcome our sinful life. As long as he can keep us focused on our faults and wrongdoings, we will fail to see the exquisite person God created us to be.
We become what we behold. We either see our faults and failures, or we see ourselves as a treasure made by God. He created us in His image. We could have no higher honor. Since He destined us to become the Bride of Christ, would the Father create anything less than perfect for His Son?
FROM ORPHANHOOD TO ADOPTION
Last week we talked about the orphan spirit. See my blog, I Will Not Leave You Orphans. Orphans work hard to feel accepted into the family of God, because deep down they don’t feel like they belong. Jesus knew the disciples would feel like orphans when He left the earth. He often taught them to relate to God as a dad. When He taught them to pray, He referred to God as their “Father.”
This was a new concept for them. They knew God was sovereign and righteous, but the Hebrew sacrificial system also made God seem distant. Then, right before Jesus went to the cross, he told his disciples not to despair. After fathering them for three years, he would not leave them alone. The Holy Spirit would be their guide.
The apostle Paul reinforced the revelation of God as Father when he wrote that the Father adopted us as his own. God repeatedly tells us we are his beloved children because He knows the enemy tries to convince us we have to earn His love.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORPHANS AND SONS (AND DAUGHTERS)
Author and minister Leif Hetland wrote about the difference between orphans and sons and daughters in his book, Healing the Orphan Spirit. Here are some of his observations:
Orphans compete with one another. They feel jealous of the success of others because they don’t understand their worth in God’s eyes.
Sons and daughters complete one another. They recognize we need each other and we are all a part of God’s greater plan.
Orphans dishonor others. They criticize those who don’t share the same views and judge people according to their performance.
Sons and daughters honor others. They find value in everyone because we are all created in God’s image. They overlook faults and offer love.
Orphans work for love. They seek recognition and affirmation from God and others based on their performance.
Sons and daughters work from love. They serve God from a place of rest because they understand He loves and affirms His children. They don’t need to earn His love.
Sons and daughters live from pleasure rather than from pressure. They know that Papa God will not treat them according to their history, but according to their destiny.
HOW TO BREAK FREE FROM AN ORPHAN SPIRIT
So how do we break free from an orphan spirit? Leif Hetland suggests the following:
- Acknowledge that you suffer from an orphaned heart. In the story of the Prodigal Son, when the rebellious son returned, the father embraced him and threw a party. However, the obedient son was jealous. He felt obliged to serve his father for many years, but never got close to him. Likewise, we can serve God out of duty but never really know His heart.
- Ask for forgiveness. Forgive anyone who has misrepresented God to you. The Father is not harsh, critical, or judgmental. Jesus is our perfect picture of what God looks like. Also, forgive yourself if you have misrepresented God to others.
- Be open to receive Father’s love. Accept Father’s invitation of adoption. “God’s Spirit doesn’t make us slaves who are afraid of him. Instead, we become his children and call him our Father.” Romans 8:15 CEV
God is not asking you to work hard to feel “adopted.” He is asking you to rest and be open to His love. After all, you are His “work of art.” You are destined for greatness.