“For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Ephesians 2:10

The angels I paint and give life to flow out of my heart in a posture of deep worship. I go into my studio, turn on music full of life-giving praise, and I paint. I ask the Lord to reveal Himself to me and through me on the canvas.

But I struggle with artists who have copied my work. I wrestle with the thought of someone creating these images, knowing that they may not be taking the stance of submission to God’s will that I do whenever I enter my studio. I play tug-of-war with my pride at the same time. I want to tap them on the shoulder and say, “MINE!”

In the midst of that internal battle, God always reminds me, “I created YOU, and I created YOU to paint these angels, and I have equipped YOU uniquely to manifest them the way that only YOU can. Be still. YOU are MY masterpiece, and I am asking YOU to create masterpieces in my Name.”

He is telling you the same thing. Your gifting may not be art. Maybe it’s athleticism, encouragement, thoughtfulness, writing or organization. It could be a host of gifts in a perfectly wrapped package of your identity. God is so pleased with what He created in you. You are a masterpiece.

Angel watercolor

I’m fondly reminded of the Steven Curtis Chapman’s classic from 1999, “Fingerprints of God,” which sweetly says, “Never has there been and never again will there be another you. Fashioned by God's hand and perfectly planned to be just who you are. And what He's been creating since the first beat of your heart is a living breathing priceless work of art…”

You may not be an artist, but you are undoubtedly a work of art. Every breath you take is a priceless original intimately crafted by the ultimate Creator. Just as I know every stroke of every angel that has been birthed in my studio, and just as I can spot (and have heartache for) a copycat artist within a nanosecond, our God knows every stroke of your life and your DNA that He birthed in Heaven. He too can spot (and have heartache for) every second you spend trying to operate outside of the gifting and identity He created for YOU.

My prayer for you today is that you embrace the originality of who You are. That you recognize and run toward the true identity He has painted on the canvas of your life. I pray Ephesians 2:10 over you, that you see that you are, “God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for YOU to do.”

Anne Neilson smiling

The Author: Anne Neilson

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