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God showed me a vision the other day of a hand, holding a paint brush, pushing blue paint across a canvas.  I knew immediately that He was trying to tell me something about myself and how I interact with Him.  I knew I was the blue paint and that God was wanting me to give myself to Him completely so that He could use me to paint the masterpiece He wanted to paint.  The problem is, I don’t always believe it is a good idea to let myself be placed completely and unconditionally in the hands of the Father.  I sometimes think that it’s not good to allow myself to be squished and pushed and smeared about, but that is exactly what God wants from me, and all whom He calls.  He asks for complete surrender and submission to His will, power, and purpose. He asks us to trust that whatever He decides to do in and with our lives is the absolute best thing possible…to truly believe that He is who He says He is.  That He is the all-powerful, all-knowing, ever and always present God who loves us and has a wonderful, magnificent and beautiful plan for our lives. 

So often in our humanness, we can consider the idea of control a safe and right thing to pursue.  We want our lives to look the way we want them to and we think we have a God given right to pursue the life that we decide upon, but God does not express this view.  He says that He works all things for the good of those who love HIM and are called according to HIS purposes.  How can we think that we know better than the Master and creator of the entire universe?!  Shouldn’t we consider, that maybe God knows better than us?  He Himself says that our wisdom is foolishness to Him, that His ways are high above our ways and His thoughts high above our thoughts.  He is the potter, we are the clay, but He can do nothing with the life that won’t submit to Him, for He is not a controller or a manipulator.  He works things for Good.  He redeems and molds and shapes things and it is all out of a deep place of unconditional and holy love. 

Are you still trying to paint a masterpiece with your own life?  What does it look like?  Is it what you thought?  Will it last?  Is it anything in comparison with what God could do?  Or does it look like a scribbled, chaotic mess or a hyper controlled stencil drawing?  Perhaps you’ve given up on it ever being beautiful, or you stopped with God and never started again, or maybe you prefer to keep your colors in the box, never allowing anyone to touch them, nice and safe, right where you want them. 

Jesus came so that we might have life and have it abundantly, and He has designed works for us since before the beginning of time, so that we might walk in them.  What love is this?  What grace?  It’s time to take those Spiritual realities and very real promises of God seriously in the here and now.  If you are reading this, I pray that you would enter in, that you would submit and surrender your life, not to your own will or purpose, but to the will and purpose of the Maker, the Father, the lover of your soul.  For He has great plans for you, and when you seek Him with your whole heart, you will find Him, and you will find the life you were always meant to live, in Him.  It might not look like what you thought it would and at times be very uncomfortable being smeared across the page and left in the hands of another, but I assure you, He who has called you is faithful and He won’t let you down, and He doesn’t make bad art.  He makes beauty from ashes.  Let Him make you beautiful, let Him make your life the masterpiece He created you for, intimately glorious unto the Lord in every way.

Every step of obedience and surrender to the Lord, every step taken walking in His ways, is another divine brush stroke that declares God’s glory to all the universe.  Let God use you.  Surrender today.  Take the time to ask Him what He wants with your life.  Don’t give up until you hear an answer, lest you end up another unfinished canvas on the scrap heap of the world.  Jesus was crushed for our sins and in that sacrifice the most beautiful portrait of mankind ever, was formed.  This is the life Jesus made for us, the vibrant life of love and sacrifice as we worship in Spirit and in truth.