Background & Inspiration
the true light
Light is the ultimate power of the universe. Day and night exist because of light and ultimately surrender to the power and authority of light. Light resides at the molecular structure of all matter and it is the bridge between thought and matter.
Void of substitutes, rivals and alternatives, light is the master key to order, the supreme government, the sovereign ruler, the lawgiver, the governor and the ultimate authority of every domain it occupies and inhabits.
Undoubtedly the most important element depicted in this piece entitled “My Boathouse” is the lighthouse tower. Aside from the boat which is almost camouflaged in a thick blanket of extremely dense clouds and marauding waves, the lighthouse is the most recognizable element in the composition.
The preeminence of the lighthouse, particularly its revelatory meaning, is paramount to discuss. However, prior to explicating how the lighthouse primarily alludes to Jesus, the true light and life of Man, it is sagacious to highlight the key functions of a traditional lighthouse and assay its similarities to the workings of The Holy Spirit, who in essence, is JESUS dwelling in every human who has acknowledged, believed and confessed that “He is LORD and his Savior, and has received His Spirit, the Holy Spirit”
As depicted in the first preparatory sketch for the heavily textured piece, the lighthouse is an impressive spherical stone structure established upon the highest point of land closest to the sea. As a navigational aid, its main purpose is to notify sailors when land is near and guide them to safe harbors. By marking out dangerous coastlines, rocky cliffs, hazardous shoals and reefs, a lighthouse is also responsible for warning boats of perilous areas and helping mariners navigate through storms, dense fog and dark nights. In essence, a lighthouse is like a traffic sign on the sea.
Similarly, The Holy Spirit, who is now in every born-again believer, is omnipresent and omniscient. He knows all things, sees all things and created all things. He reveals to Man what is to come and instructs him on the course to take to avoid deadly storms and snares set by the devil to thwart his purpose and derail him in the sea of conformity before reaching his glorious destiny.
The Holy Spirit also warns every child of God of impending danger and gives him The Word to speak to emerge a victor. This Word, which is essentially life and the light of Man is the cardinal key to peace, joy and fulfillment in a world teeming with darkness; a world whose systems are influenced by the spirit of fear and hence unjust, prejudiced, corrupt and callous as alluded to in the preparatory drawing showing the weighty, dark, intimidating and unyielding clouds and increasingly ferocious winds sent to destruct and blind the vision of the sailor and ultimately destroy him by capsizing the small boat (see fig. 1).
Foundation of Conviction Sketch 29 | ©Nya’ 2020. Seed Gallery, New York
In his preparatory notes for a painting that clearly depicts the supremacy of light over darkness entitled “Escort of Wisdom,” Nya’ reveals the inseparability of God, His Word and The Holy Spirit and articulates the immutable nature and character of light. He first describes The Holy Spirit as the Spirit of revelation who detects, dissects and penetrates every morsel of darkness and brings to full light every wicked agenda, evil intention, vile thought, malicious idea and even the unborn thoughts and purposes of every Man. He then describes God’s Word as the inextinguishable, impartial and unprejudiced light from Heaven. He further describes ‘this light’ as a universal currency immune to inflation; and to any human who diligently seeks ‘this light’, God grants him His life until he becomes an embodiment of true Freedom, True Power and True Wisdom.
While it is conspicuous that True Freedom, True Power and True Wisdom is a reference to God, the Son and The Holy Spirit, the singling of “this light” points out that it is every Man's depth of desire and desperation to know his Creator (not just about Him) that ultimately determines the dimension of light or revelation, truth and wisdom he walks in.
Just as the lighthouse exposes obstacles to the sailor, The Holy Spirit dwelling in every born-again believer reveals to him the obstacles to his destiny and gives him the power and authority to overcome them. However, it is up to the believer to either yield to the leading of The Holy Spirit or doubt Him and allow fear to overwhelm him as alluded to in the preparatory drawing showing the gathering fog threatening the boat’s resolve to reach its destiny (see fig 2).
the nature of true light
Another aspect of the lighthouse akin to The True Light who created the universe and upholds it by His Word is its capacity to draw people close to it. In essence, the lighthouse is stationary, immovable and fixed. It does not solicit attention nor does it seek permission from darkness to shine. Sailors from disparate backgrounds, carrying diverse cargo and heading to various destinations are the ones who follow the lighthouse and heed its instructions or risk collisions, capsizing and shipwrecks.
Similarly, Jesus, the Word of God made flesh and The True Light never pays attention to darkness, never acknowledges darkness, never confers with darkness, and never seeks approval from darkness in order to manifest Himself. The repetition of the word ‘never’ emphasizes three unquestionable and immutable truths about the character of True Light.
First: it is virtually impossible for darkness to compete with light for True Light does not compete with any animate or inanimate thing. In essence, True Light, who is Jesus, made every visible and invisible thing and without Him was not anything made.
Third: True Light never contends with darkness for when light comes, darkness backs out without a contest, without debate and without a struggle. And as alluded to by the boat following the direction of the lighthouse, Jesus (The Word and The True Light) never forces any Man to follow Him or seek and remain in His presence.
It is important to understand that by ‘darkness,’ Nya' is not referring to the absence of natural light but to the spirit of fear who is the source of all evil and the first to rule the world by ‘ignorance,’ - satan.
Ignorance, which can be defined as “the absence of knowledge, the lack of understanding, the dearth of wisdom and the perpetuation of religion and tradition is satan’s most formidable tool and hence humanity’s greatest enemy.
In select words in his Kingdom Lexicon, Nya' describes how ignorance strips a child of God of his royal dignity and honor and reduces him to a mere commoner. Ignorance also makes him a victim in life and a bitter critic and incessant complainer who is easily offended and manipulated by the fear-administered systems of the world. He further asserts that it is not just knowledge but essentially ‘intimate knowledge of the truth’ which sets a Man free from the quandary of ignorance.
There are two essential components in the highlighted phrase ‘intimate knowledge’ that are eminent to underscore in order to appreciate Nya’s assertion of ignorance as well as understand his depiction of light through the lighthouse tower in “My Boathouse.”
Foremost, the word “intimate” connotes a closeness, togetherness and oneness created through an affectionate, confidential and intensely warm relationship and partnership. Second, the word “truth” is referring to Jesus, who is the truth or the original source, bonafide creator, authentic possessor and sole dispenser of all knowledge pertaining to anything that is made, was made and will ever be made.
In other words, Jesus, the image of the invisible God and the firstborn over all creation, The True Light who is before all things and who created all things visible and invisible, all kingdoms and authorities, is undoubtedly the rightful, lawful and only source of all truth and knowledge.
With the above in mind, it becomes clear that it is only through a personal, affectionate and unrivaled relationship with Jesus (who is The Truth, The True Light and The Word of God) that any Man is set free from every form of ignorance. Put differently, until a person intimately knows God or the mind, intentions and plans of the source of his origin, his life is simply a confused, busy and unfulfilling voyage to nowhere and an existence gorged with naturally inescapable snares determined to hide his identity and purpose, shipwreck his faith and keep him from discovering and developing his gift.
While ignorance or darkness (which is fundamentally the absence of light or God’s Word) is every Man's greatest impediment to his glorious destiny, the source of all the woes and maladies encompassing the world is Man's choice to ignore, despise and disobey The Holy Spirit. In other words, as alluded to by the debris obscuring the lighthouse in “My Boathouse,” the root of every doubt, fear and eventual shipwreck of faith represented by the battered boat is the scarcity of light or dearth of God’s navigation system, and that is the most important Person on earth, The Holy Spirit.
The scarcity of light
Akin to the lighthouse, which is always ready to guide any vessel willing to follow its directions, wisdom, which is synonymous with light and is fundamentally “Jesus residing in a human and manifesting His culture and nature through him” is no respecter of persons. Jesus, The True Light and The Word of God, is willing to guide, direct and manifest Himself to any Man willing to obey His commandments.
In other words, as depicted by architecturally rendered x-ray for the towering lighthouse in “My Boathouse,” God’s wisdom is the light which banishes ignorance as well as elevates any Man filled with His Spirit from the reefs of poverty, coastlines of mediocrity and shoals of conformity to unlimited dimensions of glory where he becomes a beacon of hope and light dispenser in a world teeming with gross darkness.
Another key aspect of a lighthouse that keenly resembles The Holy Spirit dwelling and working inside every born-again child of God is its reassurance that one is on the right course to his destination.
In essence, the soaring lighthouse depicted in “My Boathouse” is a ‘comforting’ sign to weary sailors, distressed boats and heavy-laden ships that the calm waters of a welcoming harbor are fast approaching.
In his preparatory notes for “My Boathouse,” Nya' explicates the comforter as “He who leads a Man by the hand, He who is always beside him, He who walks beside him at his right side and accompanies him at all times.” While the allusion to The Holy Spirit is palpable, it is the scarred, spoiled, scorched, soiled and inglorious figure on a cross now comprising the lighthouse in the preparatory drawings which makes it apparent that it is Jesus, the greater one in Man and The True Light, who leads, corrects, teaches and guides every Holy Spirit-filled visionary to his glorious destiny (see fig 3).
To appreciate Nya’s subject matter within a revelatory scope, comprehending the work of The Holy Spirit as keenly alluded to in “My Boathouse” through the abstracted lighthouse is paramount.
the revealer of every man’s assignment
The Holy Spirit is the only PERSON who knows the center of every individual's assignment on earth. He also knows where every person on the planet's unique gift will be identified, pursued, embraced and dully rewarded. For example, while the church at Antioch was worshiping the Lord, praying and fasting, The Holy Spirit ordered the prophets and teachers to set apart Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which He had called them.
Earlier on, He had instructed Philip to join himself to a chariot ferrying the Ethiopian eunuch; and through that Holy Spirit initiated meeting, the renowned eunuch was baptized, received the gift of The Holy Spirit, and the course to transform the entire continent of Africa with the gospel of the Kingdom of God was irreversibly set.
In his preparatory notes for the painting’s underdrawings, Nya' assayed how God, ‘The Father of lights and with whom there is ‘no variation’ decides a Man’s divine assignment in the field He sent him to earth to subdue, dominate and transform.
The phrase ‘no variation’ emphasizes a truth about God alluded to by the immovable stance of the lighthouse in “My Boathouse.” This truth is the impossibility of God to revoke, annul or cancel any person's gift and divine assignment. Simply put, God never changes His mind regarding your gift and assignment. However, every human being must reconnect with God to discover his assignment and to ensure the continuous alignment of his gift with his purpose and assignment.
Aside from deciding every Man's assignment, The Holy Spirit also decides the exact location, region and city in the world where He desires every human being to dwell. Just as a sailor cannot dock a boat in any harbor he thinks is convenient; every assignment from God can only thrive and flourish at the place of His choosing. To that end, while the peril enveloping the boat in “My Boathouse” is undeniable, the anchor peering towards the foot of the composition (represented in the preparatory drawings by the architecturally rendered anchor dropped in the sea in front of the vessel – see fig 4) is a testament that the sailor is nearing his allocated dock and hence there is hope of reaching his destiny, all he has to do is to remain in his lane with his eyes fixed to the lighthouse.
Conclusively, akin to the lighthouse, The Holy Spirit, who is The True Light and God’s internal navigation system in Man leads the dedicated and obedient believer on a path coated with favor and abounding with the requisite provision for his divine assignment
In essence, The Holy Spirit achieves this by directing the believer's footsteps from the rocky cliffs where his gift is likely to be crushed from the shallow waters where his talents cannot be firmly rooted, and from the deadly storms where he will have to spend his life fighting for mere survival (see fig 4).
the holy spirit is the teacher of the church
Aside from being the only PERSON who knows, and when entreated primarily through prayer and worship reveals the center of a Man’s assignment, The Holy Spirit is also the teacher of the believer as partially depicted by the beacon of light responsible for instructing the sailor in “My Boathouse.”
Essentially, as the lighthouse of Man, and as God’s wisdom dwelling in human flesh, and The True Light who created all things and who now resides on earth in every born-again mortal, The Holy Spirit quickens Man's understanding for him to see what God is saying in His Word in order to mature his faith and erase his doubts. In other words, The Holy Spirit is the custodian of vision.
In essence, everything that a Man sees in his heart pertaining to his purpose and divine assignment, God shows to Him through The Holy Spirit. Furthermore, the four supernatural forces indispensable to becoming a world changer through subduing and dominating the field of his calling are all granted and empowered unto the believer by The Holy Spirit. These four forces are revelation, faith, love and vision.
In addition to being the teacher, the third and perhaps the most important work of The Holy Spirit is that of being ‘the guide’ to Man. The beacon of light the boat is following in “My Boathouse” alludes to this.
Fundamentally, like the beacon of a lighthouse that continuously flickers regardless of the season, time of day, as the guide, The Holy Spirit is the eternal light of God in every born-again believer who leads the way, directs his course, influences his footsteps, controls his movement and ascertains that his paths are lined with inexplicable favor.
Similar to a captain at the helm of a ship who maneuvers a vessel ferrying precious cargo into the right dock, The Holy Spirit gently steers Man and regulates progressive motion until he reaches his destiny. This is represented in the preparatory drawings by the architecturally rendered lighthouse with keenly coded Bible references and text in gold leaf and redemptive silver directing the vessel (see fig 5).
As the supervisor of his training and education for his assignment, The Holy Spirit guides and inspires the believer towards more challenging courses and makes sure that he is thoroughly furnished to emerge as the leading student and eventual authority in the field of his calling. Furthermore, as the Spirit of wisdom, He guides the believer to the right information and knowledge needed for every given situation, granting him the patience, mental fortitude, discipline and skill necessary to meticulously peruse, ponder and sift through the information and insight until he squeezes out what is applicable.
Keeping back nothing profitable by taking what belongs to Jesus and showing it to Man, The Holy Spirit is also the ‘gentle’ voice who guides every child of God into unexplored territories where his imagination is quickened resulting in the birth of groundbreaking ideas and unparalleled solutions that will herald him as a beacon of light in the field of his calling.
The highlighted word ‘gentle’ is important to note because it expresses the character and nature of The Holy Spirit as Mankind's true guide. Always glorifying Jesus and revealing Him to the believer as he reads The Word and meditates on Scriptures specific to fulfilling his assignment, The Holy Spirit never guides through intimidation or manipulation.
Rather, He opens the eyes of the believer to see the blueprint of the future He is leading him to and if he constantly makes choices aligned to His instructions, divine health, prosperity and the spirit of a world transformer continuously abound in his life as proof of His presence or God’s eternal life and Kingdom residing inside him.
the holy spirit is humanity’s only hope
The positioning of the lighthouse tower in “My Boathouse” is telling. Slightly off-center and to the right side of the viewer, the impressive structure stands alone and unperturbed by the deluge of debris covering its stem and partially obscuring its massive trunk. A circumspect study of the preparatory drawings shows how the lighthouse represents the redemptive work of Christ that liberated humanity from the bondage of the fear designed, administrated and sustained world systems hence the artist’s careful consideration in deciding where exactly to place it on the picture plane. In essence, the lighthouse stands alone in majestic splendor.
While most elements in the composition are covered by debris scattered by the whirlwinds, with the boat itself sandwiched between ferocious clouds and charred debris contaminating the water, the lighthouse keeps shining, a testament to its strength, resolve and rootedness. Undoubtedly, the focal point in the composition, the lighthouse remains a symbol of valor and the only hope for the boat to remain on course, avoid capsizing and reach its destination.
Likewise, PERSON of the Holy Spirit is the only hope for Mankind. Referred to as the most important person on earth in the artist’s preparatory notes for the painting, He is the imperishable and unconquerable tower, and the unquenchable light residing in the bosom of every born-again believer. Illimitable in stature, inexhaustible in wisdom and immeasurable in strength, The Holy Spirit is the ever-radiant light in Man who perennially exposes and melts into oblivion every cell of worry, doubt and discouragement incubated by the flesh to corrupt the authentic nature of his identity as the legal custodian of the earth and heir of the world.
He who leads the visionary to his destiny
Analogous to the lighthouse, whose light grows dimmer the further the sailor is from the tower, when a human being negates to spend time worshipping and adoring his Creator, The True Light of life, the light of the world and the source and sustainer of all lights, his influence and dominion is capped.
It is impossible to articulate in words, enunciate in mere letters and explicate in any language the preeminence of The Holy Spirit to Mankind. Even Jesus, the light of the world personified said He could not do anything on earth without first hearing from The Holy Spirit. Before His departure from the earth back to Heaven, He told His disciples to wait for the arrival of The Holy Spirit before proceeding with the work He had assigned to them. In fact, Jesus Himself is the sender and accredited baptizer in The Holy Spirit.
Furthermore, without The Holy Spirit, the ‘reality’ that a born-again believer is now a son of God and thus God’s legal heir and a joint heir with Christ remains a quixotic idea, and the ‘reality’ that he can now recover everything that was stolen by the devil because he now has complete access to his Heavenly Father’s wealth remains a fantasy. Even more, without The Holy Spirit, the fact that his mind can be renewed and transformed by The Word of God to think like God remains a far-fetched fantasy; and though he might discover his assignment, the reality that Heaven can now be fully established in his field of calling remains an idealistic notion.
In addition to the foregoing, without The Holy Spirit, the fact that redemption has released humanity from the judgment of God remains an overstretched grace ‘reality’ and consequently, even though the believer might profess that he was saved by Grace, he will unconsciously depend on his self-effort, self-righteousness and good works to try and please God and win His favor.
As vehemently alluded to in the preparatory drawings through the carefully selected Scripture text, words and Bible verse coded references accompanying the lighthouse, without the Word of God residing in the heart of Man, The Holy Spirit has nothing to work with (see fig 6). As much as He is the helper of the believer, His advocate, His interceder, strengthener and comforter, He can only work or help Man, intercede on his behalf, counsel him, correct, guide and advise him, strengthen him, and lead him by the Word of God.
This, therefore, means, as alluded to by the sackcloth and discarded metal in “My Boathouse,” a person can have the gift of The Holy Spirit, but if he is Word deficient or is feasting on religion and its elaborate rituals and time-wasting traditions, he remains in darkness, and like the boat in the painting under heavy assault from the whirlwinds, his faith risks being shipwrecked.
the gift of choice
Choices, or personal will, is integral in working with The Holy Spirit. In essence, every Man is a free moral agent and was granted the gift of choice by His Creator. To that end, he has a choice whether to obey or not to obey The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can show a believer which way to go like the lighthouse does to every vessel upon the waters, but just as the captain of a ship can choose to disregard instructions from the lighthouse tower, the believer can also choose to ignore The Holy Spirit.
As alluded to by the blueprints of ships and boats in the preparatory drawings for “My Boathouse,” The Holy Spirit can reveal God’s master plan to a person but it is up to him or her to either seek His wisdom on how to fruitfully pursue it or ignore Him and try to fulfill it on his or her own terms. The Spirit of God can also tell a believer the words to speak over a naturally impossible situation, but he may make the choice to orate his feelings instead of confessing God’s Word.
Like a flashing beacon on a lighthouse which knows where safe harbors are located, The Holy Spirit beckons Man to follow His leading because He knows where the greener pastures are situated, where the spring waters are located and the path to the mountain of abundance. And aside from knowing where the fresh meadows are, The Holy Spirit knows the path that leads to every glorious destiny, the exits to avoid, the turns to make at every intersection and the route that ensures that the believer arrives at his glorious destiny unscathed and unperturbed.
However, unless a believer makes a quality decision (choice) to invest the entire equity of his trust in Him and obey all His instructions, he risks wasting his life meandering in the valley of mediocrity, the wilderness of sorrow and plain of bitterness. The broken glass, sackcloth, pebbles and rocks comprising the texture in the composition allude to this.
This does not imply that a Spirit-filled believer who has made obedience to God’s instructions his lifestyle journeys to his predestined position of greatness in the field of his calling without facing arduous obstacles. On the contrary, and as alluded to by the tenebrous winds surrounding the boat, barriers of diverse varieties are guaranteed to inundate his path.
However, he always emerges a victor, for wherever God commands him to go and whatever He charges him to do, it is underwritten by the government of Heaven and hence guaranteed to succeed. For that reason, discovering one's unique gift, mandated work and divine assignment is paramount for every child of God if dominating, subduing and transforming his field of calling through his gift as God’s heir is his will.
the holy spirit, emotions and confession
Comprised of tumultuous winds and rumbustious downpours of rain and sleet, the perilous thunderstorms represented by the electrically charged dark vertical clouds enveloping the frail boat represent the array of persecutions sent by the adversary to overwhelm a Spirit-filled child of God and thus bury him in his ‘emotions’ before he can reach his glorious destination.
As expressed by Nya' in his Kingdom Lexicon as pressure is applied to the flesh, emotions are the gateway for the devil to corrupt the faith of a destiny-bound believer with doubt and fear, until his faith is shipwrecked. In actuality, there is nothing wrong with emotions. God gave Man emotions, which is the ability to feel and express sentiment immensely. However, every emotion is dependent upon the spirit behind the person, the situation or event applying the pressure to produce the spontaneous emotion which is often accompanied by words and psychological changes.
If the spirit of fear, (who is the devil) is behind the pressure, offense, bitterness, jealousy, envy, covetousness, pride, discouragement, depression, slander, malice, debauchery, hopelessness and death are sure to manifest. These devil-backed emotions, which are often accompanied by a torrent of words void of faith are toxic to the human spirit. To that end, while the thunderstorms enveloping the boat represent pressure sent by the devil to thwart a child of God and persuade him to give in to his emotions and give up on his divine assignment if he remains focused on the lighthouse, victory is certain.
The rocks, shards of metal, broken glass and crushed rocks comprising the deluge of unorthodox texture primarily towards the foot of the composition allude to the inescapable giants that harass every Man on his divine assignment. Described in his Kingdom Lexicon as the internal and external enemies every person must face and defeat along the way to their destiny, giants are evidence that a believer is moving in his divinely ordered direction and the billboards that announce his arrival and takeover in the field he was commanded to infiltrate, impact, dominate, subdue and transform.
Giants are guaranteed on the course to your destiny
As alluded to in the painting by the light from the lighthouse exposing the callous terrain surrounding the boat, when adversity and affliction arise along the course of a Spirit-filled believer on his journey to his predestined position of greatness, it is a declaration from Heaven that his present season has ended and promotion awaits his arrival. To that end, as represented in the preparatory drawings by the anchor ready to secure the massive boat to the harbor (refer to fig 5, giants simply confirm that he is closer to his destination, and he is about to subdue and take dominion in the field of his calling.
Therefore, instead of discouraging a faith-driven visionary, giants or critics, naysayers and haters from various fields help him to sharpen his focus on his mission and increase his Word intake, culminating in increased fortitude, revelation and supernatural attentiveness to The Holy Spirit’s instructions.
With his faith built up and marinating in obedience, he maximizes God’s Grace; and with diligence, dedication and discipline, he patiently endures the hailstorms pummeling his boat until he arrives at his destination.