Art Story: "In the Midst of You" - Overcoming Toxic Influences Through the Truth of God's Greatness
There is someone in my life that unfortunately is a “toxic” person. After a long period of being out of touch, we had a brief exchange. Afterwards, I felt like there was this “black sludge” trying to seep its way back into me like a fast growing fungus, as if this black sludge was coursing through my veins. It was a horrible, familiar feeling.
So I began to seek God about it and asking, “How can I be in contact with this person without their “black sludge fungus” getting inside of me?” I felt the Lord wanted to “grow me up” a bit to become strong enough to be around this toxic person without allowing their toxins to affect me.
I asked the Lord to give me a picture of how I could combat this so I could stand in the midst of circumstances surrounding this person and never, ever be moved. Then the scripture came to mind, “The Lord your God in the midst of you is Mighty” (Zephaniah 3:17). So, I began to meditate on this truth, confess it and stand inside that truth using my holy imagination.
During this process, one of the pictures the Lord gave me was of the moon’s effect on the tides of the ocean. How exactly does the moon effect the tides and why? I did a little research and (in a nutshell) here’s what I found:
The combination of the earth's gravity and the gravitational pull of the moon creates a phenomenon called tidal force, which is what causes our ocean tides to change.
So in this scenario (spiritually speaking) God represents the Moon, my soul represents the tides and the earth represents this toxic person. I see and feel the tension between the two forces. In nature, however, the tides have no control over which gravitational force will affect them. They are merely at the mercy of the moon and the earth. However, as a human being with free will, I can choose what I allow to affect the gravitational pull of my soul. I can either be more effected by the gravitational force of a toxic person or the gravitational force of the God of the Universe; the Savior of my soul.
This is not an easy or overnight shift or change. It takes growth, time and intentionality to become spiritually mature enough to stand strong and immovable by the gravitational pull of a toxic person and their behavior when you have been effected by them in the past.
This scripture comes to mind:
“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.” (Ephesians 4:14)
So I spent time, a lot of time, over the next several days encountering Jesus through my holy imagination in relation to the gravity-tides-moon concept in the face of this toxic person. In so doing, I allowed God to reclaim his authority as the only Gravitational Force to have Lordship over the tides of my soul. Yes, toxic and “deceitful and scheming people” will always possess a “gravitational force” in the earth in order to cause havoc wherever they go. Yet, I do not have to get caught up in it or be adversely effected by it. Through my intimate connection with Jesus as The Vine (John 17) I can learn to be in the world, but not let the world get in me.
"You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." (1 John 4:4)
This painting titled, "In the Midst of You", was created during the time of these encounter when I was realigning my mind, soul, spirit and body with this eternal gravitational truth: “the Lord [my] God in the midst of [me] is mighty.”