Monday, March 23, 2009

Is there a Shadow on your Canvas?

I read in a devotion this morning, that Michelangelo painted with his brush in one hand and a candle in the other. This was to prevent his shadow from being cast onto the canvas and thus covering his work in progress.

We, like that canvas, are a work in progress. Is our shadow being cast onto our own life's canvas? Is it blocking others from being able to see the work of Jesus and His glory on our canvas?

So many times, I know that I get too focused on what others think of me in worldly terms. There are many things in all our lives that draw attention away from God and onto ourselves. Things that shout out, "Hey! Look at me!"

Our cars, our clothes, our hairstyles, our careers, our homes and even our successes.

These are the kinds of things that make life 'all about us'. When life becomes all about us, it is hard for others to see Jesus in us. Living for ourselves accomplishes nothing more that casting our own shadow on the canvas that should be reflecting His Presence in our lives.

I have been so guilty of this. It is so easy to lose sight of our purpose. It is easy to allow our own shadow to be cast upon that canvas.

Paul warned the believers in Corinth that 'No flesh should glory in His presence." (1 Corinthians 1:29)

This is a warning about getting too full of ourselves. A warning that I can assure you I need daily. A warning that smacked me right in the face when I read it.

As the Lord is in the process of painting my life's canvas, I need to keep "me" out of the way. I don't want my shadow cast on that canvas and preventing Him from doing His mighty work in my life. I want the image of Christ reflected there. I want others to be able to see Jesus.

"But let him who glories glory in this, that He understands and knows me. That I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgement and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight" says the Lord. (Jeremiah 9:24)



Lelia Chealey said...

Wow...great post Beth!

So glad you'll be joining us for the study of An Untroubled Heart!

You really blessed me today! Thank you!!
"see" you tomorrow! :)

Beth in NC said...

What a wonderful reminder to keep our eyes on Him and off of ourselves.

Thanks for sharing Beth!


Anonymous said...

How true and how easy is it to fall into that self-glorifing...I have a hard time taking a compliment because I am soooo very, very afraid that I will become a "Big Head" and proud, too proud.

Oh thank you for taking the time to remind us of this, in which it is needed everyday.


Yolanda said...

Keeping me out of the way is hard! But I think of the scripture He must increase & I must decrease.


Michele Williams said...

I love your post! Thank you for sharing... Blessings...

Laurie said...

Thanks Beth.
"So many times, I know that I get too focused on what others think of me in worldly terms." Me too. I was just asking God the other day to help me remember that life is not about me and what I do and do not have. Thank you for pointing us back to Who matters most! Blesings to you today!

Sharon said...

This is good, something I have been saying to my husband and friends as well, I want to walk the walk, talk the talk, I get so excited and I feel sometimes he is walking right beside me, coaching me on! I can even feel him smile!
What a wonderful reminder and thought provoking post!
Have a beautiful and blessed day!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Fabulous teaching on light and shadows and a painting in progress.

I'm caught in the imagery of it all. So much to ponder and consider. I just love this kind of teaching that forces me to put myself in the scene and consider the deeper truth of the matter.

Great post!



Loved that Jeremiah Scripture - but the last paragraph of your post is what I want to echo whole-heartedly with my life! It's such a fine line - of staying out of God's way - so HIS light can shine through!

Looking UPward and Choosing JOY,
[In Flight}

A Stone Gatherer said...

Me too!