Background & Inspiration
In this painting entitled “War Doctor,” the minimally portrayed scarred warrior kneeling at the altar of thanksgiving and offering tribute and heartfelt hymns of praise upon his victorious return from battle reveals the origin of praise, worship and thanksgiving and establishes these three inseparable elements as the foundation of enduring freedom and dominion on earth.
Foremost, as the innumerable scars represented by the wire stitches, cow-dung paste smeared parchments, scotch tape and deep gushes on the warrior’s head and face suggests, only a person with an abiding revelation of the price that His Creator paid to restore him to his primordial position of freedom and dominion is willing to face the spiritual enemies to his inheritance on earth until he emerges a victor.
Despite the innumerable adversities to his calling and the weapons formed against him, because he knows his true identity in God, his heritage as a custodian over the colony of earth, his purpose for existence, his illimitable potential in his Manufacturer and his divine assignment which was already concluded in Heaven before he was conceived, he abides in an eternal season of true worship, praise, thanksgiving and gratitude as he diligently serves his gift to humanity.
In essence, true worship, praise, thanksgiving and enduring gratitude abides in, is inherent in, and is a requirement only in kingdoms. This, therefore, means that without a “working revelation” that Jesus is the King and the Lord of the universe, the precept of worship remains a mystery.
The highlighted term ‘working revelation’ is important to understand.
It implies a continuous and always growing revelation whose intrinsic benefits upon engaging and applying it are unquestionable. It is abiding in the consciousness that Jesus did not come to earth to bring a religion because Mankind never lost a religion and neither is he seeking nor satisfied with religion. The manufacturer of Mankind came to the earth He created in the body of Jesus to put back the colony of earth under the jurisdiction of the Kingdom of Heaven or the government of Heaven and hence the laws, values, society, culture and economy of Heaven.
Of all the planets God created, He chose earth as the one His children would rule as lords and kings. The term lord is in reference to Man's ownership rights over the planet and the term king is in reference to our legal right to control and exercise authority as masters over the domain of earth. For this reason, the term King of kings refers to God being the ultimate King over the Kingdom of Heaven, where He has ultimate dominion, and the earth He created and sent His children to rule as kings just as He rules in Heaven.
It is abiding in this truth that Jesus is the Lord and King who came to earth to redeem and restore him to his original position as lord and king over the entire planet but specifically the field in the world he assigned him to take over and transform that is empowering this warrior depicted in “War Doctor” to abide in an attitude of continuous praise, thanksgiving, worship. However, while all the elements that directly represent earth and the dominion given to Mankind have been replaced by the figure’s perennial position of obeisance, this architecturally rendered x-ray for another work “Heir of Inheritance” testifies to this place of authority, influence and custodianship over the colony of earth Man has been re-exalted to (see fig 1).
In his painting theory for “War Doctor” and the notes accompanying the preparatory drawings, Nya’ reemphasizes how true worship actually begins and rests in this revelation of Jesus as the King and Lord of the universe. This, therefore, implies that whether a human acknowledges that Jesus is Lord or not and whether he worships God or not, does not change who Jesus is.
In fact, it is knowing that worship does not benefit the creator of the Heavens and earth since The Lord Jesus does not need anything He created to worship Him in order to remind Him of who He is which is empowering the Holy Spirit-filled child of God represented by the warrior to dwell in continuous praise for what Jesus has done for him, to him, with him, and is doing through him.
In essence, Jesus is not a religious leader who came to earth to inaugurate a faith movement, start church denominations, ordain bishops and convert people against their will into a religious organization. He is also not a religious leader who died and now speaks to His followers through a distinguished person or special people elected, ordained or appointed by a committee of revered elders.
Jesus is God. He is The Creator of the universe who clothed himself with human flesh and came to earth to personally pay the price demanded by sin to redeem His most valuable creation and legal custodians of earth, Mankind. God is incorruptible hence it is impossible for the Man He created to manipulate or appease Him through his praises and worship, for if any human could, it would imply that his source of breath can be controlled and swayed by emotions.
While the Kingship, Lordship and Glory of Jesus has only been alluded to in “War Doctor” through the figure’s permanent position of obeisance and coded numbers, it is more pronounced in the painting’s preparatory drawing that also utilizes a monochromatic, sublime and ethereal palette through the Scripture reference in silver and gold, the imposing text, the faceless head of the genderless figure and the wheels within wheels comprising every element (see fig 2).
It is critical to emphasize that this impressive figure in “War Doctor” is not a representation of a religious fanatic nor a zealous believer of Christ having a spiritual experience. Rather, it represents a Holy Spirit-filled citizen of God’s kingdom fulfilling his leadership mandate as given unto Mankind to subdue, dominate, replenish and transform the world systems through his unique gift and by the power and authority of The Blessing of the Lord. To this born-again believer, reigning on earth as a king and priest, worshipping and praising God is his culture and lifestyle hence an every day, every hour, anytime, all the time, any place and every place reality.
The representation of disparate musical instruments through the five strings behind the figure and the severely battered metal piece in its hands allude to this. In reality, the five strings represent the diverse musical instruments in the family of an orchestra and the half-moon-shaped metal represents the soundboard of a mbira musical instrument synonymous with the Shona people of Southern Africa.
Aside from the Lordship of Jesus and the impossibility of not praising and worshipping Him when any Man abides in the conscious awareness of the concept of Lordship and kingdoms, another fundamental element depicted and alluded to in “War Doctor” which is inseparable from praise, thanksgiving and worship is that of gratitude.
In his Kingdom Lexicon, Nya’ singles out gratitude as the most estimable virtue in the Kingdom of God. He goes on to state that praise and thanksgiving cannot be accepted without a foundation of gratitude because it is only upon the foundation of gratitude that enduring praise and thanksgiving can be “naturally evoked” and sustained.
The highlighted term “naturally evoked” stresses how enduring praise can only spring forth from the seed of thanksgiving, which is nourished by the waters of gratitude. This is true kingdom praise alluded to by the impressive figure in “War Doctor.” The figure’s position of obeisance represents heartfelt worship that stems from the heart hence does not require a hymn-book, a worship leader, a band or a choirmaster.
To that end, the elements representing musical instruments in the composition are an allusion to the mellifluous sounds of praise and thanksgiving ceaselessly gushing out of the pores of the grateful warrior.
Fundamentally, the witty inventions and novel ideas behind the transformation of the world primarily alluded to in the preparatory drawings for the painting are traceable to the foundation of gratitude. This is because in the Kingdom of God, it is only the grateful who can be joyful, and only the joyful can be God-full, and only the God-full can see what natural eyes cannot see, hear what natural ears cannot hear and therein resides the secret to their life of exploits. To be God-full simply means to be full of God’s nature, and wisdom and knowledge are integral to His nature.
This, therefore, means that the transformation of the world represented in the preparatory drawing by the nations covered in gold is a result of the wisdom of God operating, and manifested in His sons as they serve, and minister their gifts in their respective fields of calling. And this divine wisdom is rooted in a lifestyle of praise and thanksgiving, and both praise and thanksgiving are anchored in a lifestyle of gratitude (refer to fig 1).
True worship anchors in an embryonic state of perennial gratitude
In his painting theory for “War Doctor” Nya’ defines gratitude as the substructure that upholds the highly profitable life of praise, thanksgiving and worship. He also defines gratitude as the only elevator in the Kingdom of God that empowers Man to scale new altitudes in his assignment.
He also explicates how the peace and grace of God resides in an atmosphere of gratitude and thanksgiving and how praise (or expressing and offering heartfelt words of commendation, honor, gratitude, exaltation and heartfelt worship) opens the door for favor. He concludes his dissertation on gratitude with the following statement that explicates the inseparability of praise, thanksgiving, worship, gratitude, favor and peace:
“When Man praises and worships the King of kings and Lord of lords in truth and spirit, in thanksgiving and gratitude, while reverencing, adoring, exalting, magnifying, glorifying, blessing and uplifting His name; he will provoke His presence and a sweet fragrance of overwhelmingly unutterable and indefinable favor and peace will embrace and engulf his being.”
The celestial whites, dove creams, shades of Ashanti gold, cleansing crimsons, redemptive silver and Cushite black employed for both the imposing figure in the actual painting and the Scripture-coded garment veiling the figure in the preparatory drawings allude to a lifestyle of praise, thanksgiving and worship erected on the stable foundation of gratitude (see fig 3).
As represented in the painting by the figure’s permanent position of reverence and honor, from the moment an ambassador from the Kingdom of Heaven is sent to earth to fulfill his government’s leadership mandate of recreating the world of Heaven on earth wakes up in the morning to the time he retires to sleep, he is engaged in an internal ode of adoration; and with every passing day, he is enraptured in perpetual laud.
At every intersection, as he patiently seeks and awaits direction, counsel and guidance from the invisible government of Heaven resident in him, he breaks into a song of thanksgiving. Even the myriad of persecutions alluded to by the scars on the figure’s visage, the slander, the multifarious seasons of betrayal and the countless years of assault that accompany His Holy Spirit-led life are all embraced interludes to pen a new psalm of fervent appreciation for his Heavenly Father’s ineffable, incorruptible and immeasurable Grace.
On the whole, it is perennial gratitude that stems from a subterranean knowledge and keenly revealed truth of the impossibility of God to change and the inconceivability of His promises to return void that attracts His favor and joyously torrents the soul of any Man who has discovered that his identity, heritage, purpose, potential and assignment resides in the Kingdom of God resident within him.
The unbroken psalm of gratitude
“Favor is the power that births the opportunity to excel and prosper; the supernatural ability that authorizes the unspoken burning desires of a Man's heart to come to pass; the irrevocable arrow that obliterates his enemies; the inexplicable might which creates high fliers and incomparable achievers in the Kingdom of God; the preternatural supplement that exterminates years of shame and the inerasable ink that establishes the work of his hands and secures his legacy…”
Upon examining the artist’s entire treatise on favor, it becomes indubitable that it was nothing else but God’s unadulterated and inconceivable favor that has raised the minimally portrayed valiant warrior to his pre-sin position of dignity and prominence. Favor has obtained him a name, distinguished his people and clothed him with power, wealth, wisdom, strength, honor and glory. Favor has secured for him every gift of redemption and empowered him to prosper and reign as a king and priest on earth.