The Messenger Zine - WISDOM / Issue 15
“But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.” James 3:17 NLT
At the beginning of this year I had a dream about going to the beach. Some of my dreams are more vivid than others. These, I usually jot down in a dream journal and ask for God’s wisdom to help me understand.
For this dream, even though I had sought God about it, it still didn’t make very much sense. So I decided to follow the dream and head towards the beach, not knowing what God would say to me there.
I realised how much I had missed simply obeying God without knowing where He would lead, as I had done many times when I was younger.
In my dream, there was a specific place where I looked up and talked to God. So I made my way there. When I looked up, I saw a kite stuck in a tree. It was such a funny sight that joy burst forth within me.
My human wisdom couldn’t grasp how a kite could be of any significance. It should be sad that someone lost his/her kite. Yet God reminded me that things may not be what they seem. At times we will have to rely on His wisdom to understand.
“This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.” 1 Corinthians 1:25 NLT
When we look through human eyes, we may see ourselves stuck in a bad situation. But when we choose to shift our gaze upwards, we learn to trust Christ’s wisdom, that He has placed us where we are supposed to be and He will be our joy.
I didn’t know it then, but this new way of looking at things would be needed in 2020. Our world has been plunged into an unprecedented uncertainty with Covid-19 and plagues threatening our health, lives, economy and livelihoods.
Yet it also seems to have brought families and friends closer together. We hear of medical staff and others giving of themselves sacrificially and churches across the world aligning to hold joint online webcasts. There is a very real sense of joy that can only be found in Christ alone.
As you stand at a crossroads, look up. Ask for His wisdom not just when yours fails. Don’t be afraid to do what you have never done before. Keep following your dreams for He is the God of your future and your ever-present help in times of trouble.
“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” James 1:5 NLT
And above all, may He fill us with His peace, power and joy, and increase our love for each other.
Trained as a commercial graphic designer, Patrick worked for many years in the creative and advertising sector. 3 years ago, God told him to start drawing as He wanted to train him in patience, and with that, Patrick Bezalel was started.
Hello! First, please share a little about what you do as an artist!
I’ve been an artist, photographer and designer for the last 20 years. I’m always inspired by beauty, colours and details created by our Master Creator, God Himself.
I focus primarily on two techniques as an artist: digital hyperrealism and mixed media using resin and acrylic/oil.
Every piece of art comes with an immersive augmented reality (AR) experience where the audience is able to build a deeper connection to the art piece as they share the creation process with me.
“Drawn to Reality” are hyperrealism paintings that resemble high-resolution photographs created in an ipad medium, consisting of thousands of painstaking strokes over hundreds of hours.
Each painting is then produced on metallic print in limited edition copies for homes or offices.
We love how your art brings God into people’s lives! Could you share a little more on what inspired you to begin creating Christian art?
I was trained as a commercial graphic designer and worked in the creative and advertising sector for many years. 3 years ago, I felt the LORD tell me to start drawing. He said, “I want to train you in patience”. I was puzzled as I thought I was rather patient already. Anyhow, I started drawing.
As I moved on to more complex drawings, I found myself rushing and wanting to complete the art. In advertising and branding, speed is key to success.
But in fine arts, you can never do ‘fast, quick, effective’ because you’d be rushing work and, technically, you should be taking the time you need to produce the best piece of work. Every time when I rushed, God would say, “It’s okay, close the iPad, continue your work or do something else.” It’s very ‘gao wei’ (Hokkien for uncomfortable) to have to force myself to stop.
I was so used to finishing my tasks at one go, no matter how long they would take. I never liked to start, stop and start again. It took me a few months to break this habit and I will always remember a word of caution from God: “If you lose patience, you start to lose your edge and you lose everything.” That was the personal message and lesson from the Lord for me.
He was training me to be an artist for Him. To convey His love, to create art and stories that will remind people of the Word of God in their lives. Not to be an artist who portrays my own emotions but to be an artist that interprets His word and His visions.
I believe that the spirit behind the art pieces can inspire both believers and non-believers. And I wanted every piece of art to be beautiful to behold.
Do you have a piece of art that you are particularly fond of? If so, could you share why?
It is so tough. It is like asking which child is your favorite. :) If I really have to pick only one, the art piece from my first resin series called “Promise” is the art piece that is close to my heart.
When working with resin, it is often difficult to control the flow and I have to work with where the resin flows. For this artwork, I had a mental image of how I wanted it to look but the LORD had other plans.
And as I was working on it, I felt like I learnt a lesson to “let go and let God”. That He knows best, not only in the creation of the art, but also in my life.
On the message of wisdom, what does wisdom mean to you as a Christian, and as a Christian artist?
To me, there are 2 verses close to my heart when it comes to wisdom.
“But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God - and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.” 1 Corinthians 1:30 NKJV
Wisdom is the person of Christ. When God gave us Jesus as the lamb of God to redeem us, He gave us all things freely and that includes the spirit of wisdom. I believe that the wisdom of God is multifaceted and equips me to be the person He has called me to be.
“Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship.” Exodus 31:1-4 NKJV
My middle name is Bezalel. He is the artisan that built the tabernacle of Moses in the wilderness. The manifested wisdom of God in our lives will be seen through what we are called to do, to bring Him the highest honour and glory.
Thus, I believe that the wisdom of God will teach me all things pertaining to creating artworks that will edify and encourage everyone. Every time I create an artwork, I will always pray for the hand of God to guide me and for His anointing to be on every artwork.
The brand story of The Commandment Co is to ‘Send A Message. Inspire Someone.’ What is one message you would like to leave our readers with on the topic of wisdom?
Patience is a virtue. When you lose your patience, you lose your edge.
Two friends were walking through the desert. At one stage in their journey, they had an argument and one friend slapped the other one in the face.
The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything he wrote in the sand, ‘Today my best friend slapped me in the face.’
They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to have a wash. The one who had been slapped got stuck in a mire and started drowning, but his friend saved him. After he had recovered from his shock, he wrote on a stone, ‘Today my best friend saved my life.’
The friend who slapped and saved his best friend asked him, ‘After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write in stone, why?’
The other friend replied, ‘When someone hurts us we should write it down in sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it.’
“Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family.”Proverbs 18:24 MSG