Every morning when I get up to have my devotions and doodle a response, I think to myself . . . I got nothing! Once I’ve taken care of all the animals and made some coffee I sit down to read. More often than not I end up saying to God, “How do I illustrate that?!” Then I start doing pencil sketches in a pad, writing specific words that stand out, looking up the meaning of the words (which sometimes prompts ideas). You might say, my brain, coffee, hands and God all start stirring the pot and things come out–this morning is no exception but you have to read to the end. This morning as I was thinking about the idea of being one with God (a subject we’ve touched on multiple times in the past few months), in the context of asking in Jesus’ name and Him answering, I was stuck. I’ve illustrated being one, how do I do it again? Finally, my sketch pad doodles began to have a “conversation.” I began to realize that when I overlapped “word bubble conversations” I began to understand even more the concept of praying in Jesus’ name. (This is the whole reason I began to doodle, so I could delve deeper into a different understanding of God and a more intimate relationship with Him.)
At some point I have to actually take out the card I’m going to doodle on and get going. Usually there’s no exact plan, I just start sketching. Today, the “magic word/wand” idea seemed appropriate. I don’t know how many times I’ve cynically thought to myself, “So, if I throw Jesus’ name out there then the Father HAS to answer my prayers because Jesus said He would.” In turn I’ve thought, “So does that apply to EVERYONE who throws out Jesus’ name, because I’ve not always had my prayers answered the way I thought would be God’s will. . . I prayed for my marriage, I got divorced. Is that God’s will?; I prayed for healing for ______, they died. Is that God’s will?; I prayed for _________.” We all have a long list of things we’ve prayed for and nothing’s happened the way we thought it should.
This morning it came clearer–I understood it intellectually, some, but now I SEE it. In Oswald Chambers words,
“In that day you will ask in My name . . ,” that is, in My nature. Not– “You will use My name as some magic word,” but– “You will be so intimate with Me that you will be one with Me. “That day” is not a day in the next life, but a day meant for here and now. “For the Father Himself loves you . . .”
I love the idea that we can NOW be so one with God that He does what we ask. But now I understand that the Jesus’ name thing is not a magic wand or word, but it’s in Jesus’ NATURE. It’s in His love, sacrifice, death, patients, kindness, joy, peace . . . it’s in His eternal purpose. No more do we want temporary, temporal fixes, but everlasting, eternal life fixes. (which explains the wisdom of answers to my past prayers.)
Interestingly, when I’m finished with a doodle, I’ll set it down, take a picture with my cell phone, edit it down and email it to myself, save it in a file on my computer then open my blog and make a post. It’s usually when I take the picture that I really SEE it for the first time. Today, when I SAW it, I noticed the cross shape in the conversation, and I thought to myself, “WOW, just when I think I’m messing something up by making the magic wand/word too big and not leaving enough room for the conversation, I see that God had His own plan and it feels like He’s indeed working things out, even in my doodles. He wanted the form of a cross in our conversation. And when you think about it, it’s only because of the cross that we can even carry on a conversation with the Father and it’s only through the cross that we can be indwelt by the Holy Spirit, it’s only through the cross that the Father loves us and calls us children and Jesus calls us friend. It’s only through the cross that we can be ONE with the Father/Son/Holy Spirit. Now that’s cool to think that God is into doodling with me, ;-). What’s more cool! I am His child–and so are you!
My wife took a course about learning to hear God’s voice (Mark Virkler) that started making such dramatic changes in her relationship with God that she brought me into the teaching. We learned that God’s voice often manifests in spontaneous thoughts that come to mind (and can be tested against scripture) when we focus on him and then honor His speech by writing it down. This is the same process you are describing with your doodles, and with the same result: a magnificently growing relationship with Him! One can clearly see you are actually hearing from Him daily. How exciting! How we need that! How this needs to spread!
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Thank you so much for the encouraging words. I will have to check out Mark Virkler. It’s a commitment to do this but I am always reminded to seek God first, do His will and all the other things that seem important will fall into place and more often than not, I’m more productive with my time than usual. God is good! Have a great weekend.
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