A small circles series of paintings with Bible scriptures
This is my Circles Series of paintings that I started up back in October 2012. I started doing these when a scripture would come up when we were praying for things going on. With almost all of these paintings, I would be doing something and just see the background in my mind and how it would almost look, etc. Then, later on, the Bible verses would come up during prayer time or sometimes just while I was doing other things. A couple of these I had been holding on to the backgrounds in my mind for a few months, until I knew which scripture to use on them.
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The background story
My wife, kids, and I, have been praying for finances and the ability to purchase a new, larger home that fits all of our needs and dreams for some time now. Earlier on, back in November of 2011, we started feeling God telling us to do things that were moving us in that direction. We actually made a list recently of all of those things, and started checking them off, one by one, as we did them. Our finances have never been better, and we’re working on that house part yet.
In October and November of 2012, the Wednesday night classes at church were going through a lesson series about prayer circles, based on a book and video called “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson. The book basically talks about “drawing” prayer circles around your dreams and desires, praying fervently for them, and not backing down.
Going through this series, I started seeing images in my mind of painting backgrounds with prominent circle shapes, and then Bible verses in the shapes. That’s when it clicked for me. One thing that I’ve dreamed about for a long time was to able to make a viable living off of painting. So, why not “draw” (or in this case, paint) prayer circles into the paintings themselves? If I truly want both of these dreams (house and career) to come into being, praying about them fervently, and even incorporating those prayers into them, seems like something I needed to do.
The first one was a blue background, with a white and almost flame-like outlined circle. The verse that came to mind with it was Philippians 4: 6-7, which reads:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (NIV translation)
I actually saw the background of the second one before the first one, but I didn’t paint it until later. I didn’t start painting it until the verse came to me, and after several months had passed, due to some unfortunate circumstances. I saw this flowing, rich, green background with a segmented gold circle with lines coming out of it. The verse is 2 Corinthians 9:8, which reads:
“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (NIV translation)
This is when the ideas started coming in more rapidly. I started seeing images and hearing pieces of scriptures a lot. The third one was mostly red and some orange, with gold shapes in it. When painting it, it turned out almost like flames and molten lava. The scripture, Romans 8:27-28, reads:
“And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (NIV translation)
I had this flowing yellow and gold background with bold lettering on a red circle come to me one night. I struggled a lot with this painting, as yellow can be a pain to work with at times. But, once it was finished, it looked pretty good. The scripture, Isaiah 45:3:
“I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel” (NIV translation)
I got this one while seeing water drops on the shower glass. Deep purple and a little blue, shimmering bubbles with scripture floating in them, and an awesome scripture: Philippians 4:13:
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (NIV translation)
This last one, number 6, I didn’t see until very recently. Just as I got the idea for “Dominion”, and told my wife about it, she brought up something that had not occurred to me before. See, I had figured out, after the 4th one, that I was seeing painting backgrounds that were sticking to a color wheel of primary (red, yellow, and blue) and secondary colors (purple, green, and orange). So, the final one would be orange. I hadn’t seen the background yet, but I knew it would be orange.
My wife reminded me of the brilliant colors of the tabernacle back in the stories of Moses. We did some reading in the Bible, then determined that it would be best to look up what the Biblical meanings of these colors were, and compare that to what the verses were about and what they were meaning. That is the part that left me in wonder. We strongly feel that God has shown me these paintings, in vivid colors, to speak to me about the blessings we’ve been praying about and for. It was right about then that I saw the orange background, but the verse didn’t come until a bit later. What I saw was like a drop into orange water – the rippling of the surface. The verse is 2 Corinthians 9:10:
“Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.” (NIV translation)
Here is what we found on the colors. These are in the order they were painted. We found that the order of the colors, the names, and what they represent was very fitting to how the events in our lives have taken place recently.
- “Tranquility” – blue – color means peace, prayer, authority.
- “Abundance” – green – color means blessings, abundance, sowing and reaping.
- “Consumed” – red – color means covenant, blood, Holy Spirit, intercession.
- “Manifest” – gold/yellow – color means treasures of God, mercy, power, purification.
- “Dominion” – purple – color means royalty, majesty, wealth.
- “Harvest” – orange – color means passion, power, fire, harvest season, fruitfulness.
Due to a lot of life getting in the way, and some laziness on my part, it took me quite a while to start, and finish, this painting. I started this write-up back on August 18, 2013. In November of 2013, I started painting on it, and became very frustrated with how it was turning out. I was trying to do an orange water drop ripple that I had seen a picture of recently. I stopped, let it dry, and then threw 4 coats of white primer over it to start all over again.
Wondering why this was being so difficult to execute, I heard God say “It wasn’t what I showed you.” I said, “OK” and left the white canvas on the wall until early January, 2014. I then put on a layer of orange across it as a base. Then, I let it sit again while life worked its course. Let me tell you: if God’s not in it, it’s not worth doing. I am constantly reminded of a verse in Deuteronomy, which is a promise from God to us in chapter 6, verses 10 and 11:
“When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied”
We, as Christians, need to stop trying to do things our own way. It leads to disappointment and, sometimes, disaster. I started working on this painting again on February 2, 2014. I almost had it finished, but had some struggles along the way with frustration. See, I currently paint in the kitchen, on a table that I also work from home on, as our house is small and packed to the gills. After flipping my paint pallet over and all over the table twice, I had had enough. I exclaimed that I was done painting until we moved, because I was done dealing with it. I finished the painting, except for the verse, and let it dry. I am much more satisfied with how it came out this time, especially because it is more of what God showed me, and not what I wanted to do on my own. After watching the Super Bowl, and calming down a bit, I realized that I was speaking something bad over myself. Forgive me Father!
I decided to finally get off my rear and finish the painting on February 9, 2014. All that was missing was adding the scripture on there and letting it dry. Even that part ended up fitting perfectly, and took me only mere minutes to finish. Sometimes things just work out that way.