Why Coloring Inside the Lines is so Outside the Box (part 3 of Coloring in His Lines)
Are you an outside the box color-er (is that a word?) or inside the box kinda soul? I used to fancy myself an outside the box kinda gal... it's a trendy and empowering position to take but then I got to thinking...
We are God’s artwork- plain and simple. He created us.
Think about that and what it means.
Let's talk about lines, boundaries today.
God has placed lines in our world- many, many lines. Straight lines, thick lines, wavy lines, squiggly lines. Sometimes we see where they're going and sometimes we don't. Some intersect, some twirl and swirl- but they are all drawn together in a way that will make our lives a beautiful picture. These lines are the artwork of ourselves. They have been purposely set and drawn by a perfect Artist that results in a beautiful image. That’s right beloved, we are His masterpiece!
More often than not though, especially in the midst of the picture because of our low perspective, we cannot see the bigger picture... but it's there; and the lines that are present are put there as boundaries for us to know where to color correctly. The lines of the masterpiece have been drawn for you. Before time they were skillfully and perfectly crafted for you alone.
Yet too often we question the direction our lines are going, we are tempted to color our lives outside the boundaries that He's set for us, we try to peer over the lines into the next section. In short, we color outside the lines. We color outside HIS lines.
Lines can be sin, temptation, walls of obedience and they are not to be crossed- disregarding them mars the picture and become at odds with the image He has designed for us.
Not unlike Jonah, the 2 year old… remember his picture? See my first post about that here. His picture was just scribbles, he sort of acknowledged the lines of the drawing but didn’t really make an attempt to stay within them. The older one, Jesse, obviously saw the lines, noticed the picture and had a desire to stay within the boundaries.
Do you see your picture?
Can you see your lines?
Mature Christians should see lines in their lives daily, in all things. We should recognize them immediately as drawn by our Creator. We should acknowledge their boundaries and stay within them. They are there to protect us from marring our picture… in short, from defacing what the Artist intended it (us) to look like.
It is not up to artwork to tell the artist where and how its lines are to be drawn. That’s ridiculous! And yet how many times do we, as God’s creations, demand our pictures look differently? It is incredibly en vogue nowadays to be rebellious, to experiment, to stretch the limits and boundaries of what is right and acceptable. But we do so at such a cost! How often do we purposefully vandalize the image stamped onto our lives by sinning, crossing lines we know we’re not meant to? Do you see how bizarre that set-up actually is? That artwork would argue it's existence with the artist?!
God's artwork is perfectly drawn. It is perfectly planned and we are not meant to experiment with that. He does not want us to.
Everyone is so outside the box these days that being inside the box is the new radical lifestyle!
Dear ones I am convicted daily of how much I struggle with those seemingly pesky lines in my life! I am especially good at arguing with God about moving them or taking them away completely. Yet I cannot see my whole picture- and I do want my life to be a beautiful masterwork; one that looks the way it’s intended to.
I desire to be beautiful in His sight- and that requires, no, it demands that I stay within the lines drawn for me; tempting as it may be to go off with my own pencil.
So I’d ask you again to consider- How well are you coloring in the lines? Do you desire to be the masterpiece He's intended you to be?
Thank you for taking the time to read my heart today. Please comment below with thoughts and ruminations of where your walk is today- and stay tuned for part 4 (the last in the series <sad face>) coming to a blog near you!