I have a short process video today of how I drew/painted this illustration in my Crossway ESV Single Column Journaling bible. I have a new webcam and am pretty happy with it but finding an easy video editing program that does all the things I want it to do has been a challenge.
Suggestions for editing software are welcome!
There is a little bit of drama in the middle of the video, but everyone survived and are A-OK. :)
It is based on Luke 4 18-19 & 21 and 2nd Corinthians 3:17. Jesus has declared that He is the the fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah.
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recover sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."
How awesome is this?
Many times, we are bound by things we don't even realize, this can be anything from food, gossip, overspending, and the list goes on. Some are more obviously harmful than others, but sometimes the seemingly harmless things are those that keep us from moving forward in our walk with Christ because we don't identify them as "being that bad" and can't identify that we are enslaved or bound by them.
Yet, if we ask, our eyes can be open to the things that hold us captive.
But...(there always seems to be a "but" in there somewhere).. I admit that this is a scary step to take. I don't always want to change.
"Captive", "blind", "oppressed"...those are such negative words. Am I blind and oppressed? I don't like to think so but if I really am blind, then I can't see if I'm oppressed, the effects of being oppressed, nor the freedom of what it is like to be released from the things that oppress me. Reality is that I may be comfortable in my bondage, especially if it is all I know and doesn't seem to be a big deal.
In the book "The Pursuit of God", A. W. Tozer writes; "The reason why many are still troubled, still seeking, still making little forward progress is because they haven't yet come to the end of themselves. We're still trying to give orders, and interfering with God's work within us. ”
Soo...questions must be asked:
Do I really want to have my eyes opened spiritually and "see" what what oppresses and holds me back?
Do I choose to continue to be oppressed and held captive by things that don't seem "that bad"?
Does God really know better than I do?
Do I trust God enough to relinquish control?
Is the liberty He speaks of really worth it and will I be happier and freer? Is "freer" really a word or should it be "more free"?
Do I really have to come to the end of myself?
Why does that word "really" keep popping up? I think it is a matter of faith; do I really believe or not?
A decision must be made.
I can take only one step at a time or it all just seems too big and overwhelming. Baby steps. Baby steps are better than no step at all. So here I go, the first step of my journey to the liberty Christ has provided for us.
My first step is asking God to remove the spiritual blindness to the things that are holding me captive.
I can do this. I must remember that God cares for us, He wants the best for us and wants us to be succeed. He will not ask me to do anything that is impossible.
It is His job to do the impossible, not mine.
The inspiration behind the illustration:
The cross is the most recognized icon of Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made to save each and every person ever born on this earth. His life was exchanged for ours, He broke the chains of sin and death which bound us all.
The Statue of Liberty is the most recognized icon of freedom in America. While we all have different definitions of freedom and liberty, I am so incredibly thankful that I live in a country where I can freely have a bible and express my beliefs. People may not agree with my beliefs but I am generally not endangered by my beliefs. So many other places in the world people are imprisoned, beat and killed because of their beliefs. They would literally be risking their lives just to hold a bible in their hands.
Today is D-Day. Thousands of people died in the fight to stop a big evil that was spreading through Europe and threatening the world. History is repeating itself - a different place, different people, different reactions, but it's the same old story.
As messed up as our country is, I thank God for the liberty we have. I will always pray that will continue God to bless America and that America will be a blessing to God. Where there is liberty, there is hope.