YONDER OF ETERNAL EXCELLENCY
Background & Inspiration
five questions that drive human endeavor
While it is incontrovertible that Nya’s work is predicated on the power of words and anchored on the dimensions of faith, vision and purpose, there are five eminent questions upon which his oeuvre is authenticated, honed and sustained.
These five questions described through select words in his Kingdom Lexicon as the invisible yet inescapable mainstay responsible for every action by every human being are behind every thought and decision diurnally made by every soul on the planet. Aside from deciding the voice a Man chooses to listen to, these five questions determine a person’s choice of friends, influence his response to offense, determine his passions, govern his appetites, shape his desires, mold his attitude and decide whether he will use his faith to endure life or overcome the giants along the course to his destiny.
Perhaps even more importantly, these five cardinal questions determine every Man's philosophy, contrive his concepts, fabricate his theories, construct his belief system, hatch his convictions and regulate his behavior. In essence, these five questions decide the destiny of every human being.
These five paramount questions are the following:
Who am I?
Where am I from?
Why am I here?
What can I do?
Where am I going?
The question “who am I?” is firmly rooted in identity, and in particular, the irrevocable, immutable, ever-present and ever opulent truth that Man is created in the image of God and was granted a unique gift with the capacity to dominate, replenish and legislate his field of calling and ultimately transform the world.
“Where am I from?” is a question that has to do with knowing one’s heritage. In particular, the revelation that Man's origin is not in his skin color, ethnicity or country of birth. He is a spirit being and the source of His spirit is God. For that reason, even though every human being is birthed in a physical country and is a citizen either by being born in a particular nation or the nation to which he migrates, the truth is, Man's original home is Heaven and that is where he ought to look to and depend upon for his protection, preservation, promotion and provision for his assignment.
The question “what can I do?” is anchored in knowing one’s work. For until a Man abides in the imperishable light of the revelation that his paramount role in life is to be of service to others through his distinguished gift, he will languish in the murky waters of conformity where he is destined to be strangled by the weeds of mediocrity and graved by the debris of fear.
The fourth question, “where am I going?” is all about vision and destiny. Defined by Nya’ in his Kingdom Lexicon as a high-definition image of a person’s desired destination, vision is an advanced showing, preview and a clear impression of one’s completed future at the beginning. Designated as the source of order and discipline, the preeminence of vision is impossible to articulate but it suffices to say that without it, even when a person is gifted, dedicated, persistent, powerful, passionate and prayerful, his life is destined to remain a social experiment, a banal pilgrimage and a traditional voyage replete with cyclic frustrations in a continual torrent of despair.
Rooted in knowing the purpose as to why one is born, why God sent him on earth and why He made him who he is and the way he is, from his personality, skin color, race, ethnicity and gender, “why am I here?” is a question that has to do with discovering a person’s divine assignment.
Decided before his birth and long before he was formed in his mother’s womb, a Man's divine assignment is the purpose as to why he was created. Also referred to as a calling, vocation and a celestial appointment on the terrestrial, a Man's assignment is the problem he was created to solve and the value he was created to add to humanity. His assignment is also the salt he was sent to season the world with in order to preserve his area of gifting from decadence, and the light he was uniquely sent to set ablaze to dispel the darkness fogging his field of calling.
As alluded to in the painting’s preparatory sketch showing the spirit specie of Man in its two models (male and female), a Man's divine assignment is the distinguished part of the Creator of the universe which His Spirit (The Holy Spirit) deposited in him and deployed him into the world to reveal, exhibit and display (see fig 1).
Before inventorying what is essential for every human and especially a Spirit-filled child of God to know in order to fulfill his assignment as depicted in “Yonder of eternal Excellency,” it is imperative to inventory the nature and character of a divine assignment as discoursed in select preparatory sketches and drawings for the painting.
the source of every divine assignment
Always requiring seasons of preparation since no Man is born qualified for his life’s work, every divine assignment will demand one’s entire being. In fact, one can only fulfill his or her divine assignment when the assignment becomes his sole passion, obsession and reason for breathing.
Essentially, behind Paul’s influence and impact (alluded to by the intense crimson hues inundating the painting) was his absolute dedication, unrivalled focus and complete obsession with his assignment of preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ to the Gentiles.
The indispensability of passion, dedication and focus
To that end, focus, passion and dedication are not optional to any believer if dominating, subduing and replenishing his field of calling and ultimately transforming the world as a son (offspring of God) and citizen of His Kingdom now on earth is his fondest desire.
The highlighted word “focus” is important to understand.
Defined by Nya’ in his Kingdom Lexicon as “every Man’s divine choice to select what he will authorize to master him,” focus is the divine power that neutralizes, obviates and ultimately annihilates everything that does not align with one’s assignment.
To begin with, the cities and regions inventoried in the x-ray of the painting (see fig 3) allude to the geographical aspect of every divine assignment. In essence, as a joint heir with Christ, and redeemed to become a world changer and global influencer, although transforming the world to reflect the characters of Heaven is intrinsic to a believer's assignment, God will always send him to a specific people, a specific region, and give him a specific message.
Ultimately, it is his obedience, diligence and willingness to wholeheartedly serve his gift and remain committed to his assigned location that will either make the world his parish or provoke God to extend the boundaries of his assignment. For example, Paul was specifically sent to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God to the Gentiles but his impact ended up reverberating throughout the world.
It is also important to comprehend that every human being’s gift and talents will only be celebrated at his designated place of assignment. For example, while Paul was widely celebrated by the Gentiles, the Jews found his message overwhelmingly offensive and perennially plotted to kill him. Jesus was rejected in Nazareth and yet in Capernaum (where he did most of His miracles and where He called to service five of His disciples), He was wildly received.
Furthermore, the requisite favor and divine provision for the assignment are only procurable in one’s field of assignment. In other words, all the resources necessary for a Spirit-filled believer to make the full expression of his calling await him at his designated place of assignment. Therefore, he will not have to go into debt, manipulate people, lobby for resources, toil or resort to gimmicks and other fear and ambition-driven plots and schemes to raise money for his divine assignment.
Favor accompanies the course of the visionary
The burnt patches, roasted vellum, detailed drawing of mountain folds and rugged terrain in one of the preparatory drawings for “Yonder of Eternal Excellency" (see fig 4) depict the opposition, challenges and hurdles that every Man will have to confront and overcome in fulfilling his assignment. And in the actual painting, the broken glass, stones and coarse ground in distinct parts of the composition represent the insidious traps set up by people assigned by hell to discourage a born-again child of God from pursuing his divine assignment.
To that end, another important characteristic of every divine assignment depicted in “Yonder of eternal Excellency” (see fig 3) is how it is impossible to fulfill it in the flesh. This is because the Creator and sole owner of the universe will never give the Man he created in His image and sent to earth to fulfill His ultimate purpose of recreating the world of Heaven on earth an assignment that can be accomplished merely with mere human strength, natural dexterity and sensual wisdom.
Every assignment necessitates HIS presence and it is this revelation that continually grows a Man's faith in His Creator and Father and is evinced in his diurnal lifestyle of praise, thanksgiving, prayer, confession and meditation which in turn produces a life replete with the non-negotiable requisites for fulfilling every divine assignment. These are love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, discipline, gentleness, and faithfulness.
the requirements to fulfill an assignment
The itinerary detailing every influential city and region impacted by the apostle Paul’s ministry in “Yonder of Eternal Excellency” does not only express the importance of planning, preparation and time in fulfilling a divine assignment, but it also represents how every divine assignment is revealed progressively. This, therefore, implies that seasons of isolation where prayer and fasting become customary and God’s voice becomes distinct and every other potentially distracting and divisive voice is banished are mandatory to the believer.
As represented in the preparatory sketch with a topographical outline alongside the grid of every city transformed by the Apostle Paul (see fig 4), God guides the believer on the course of his assignment step by step. For that reason, unwavering trust in Him, as well as keen obedience to His instructions, is imperative.
The indispensability of intercessors, mentors, divine partners and spiritual father(s) for a believer’s assignment is also depicted in select sketches for “Yonder of Eternal Excellency” by the names of various men who were strategically sent to the apostle Paul’s aid in distinguished times. Of the plethora of names inventoried, Silas (who, aside from journeying with the Apostle for 3 years also preached with him and was stoned and jailed with him) stands out.
Other eminent names include Luke, who was in the shipwreck with Paul on Malta and jailed with him in Rome. Timothy, a trusted companion and emissary of Paul’s for 17 years is also noted. As well, Barnabas, the first person to believe in Paul’s conversion story and the one responsible for smoothing the way for the former persecutor to be accepted by the Church in Jerusalem.
However, other names, after having been distinguished were crossed out (e.g. Demas); this is a testament to how betrayal, abandonment by friends and kinsfolk alike, as well as false accusations and slander from trusted co-workers are all included in every Man's assignment (see fig 5).
To that end, a believer’s assignment demands that he loves people more than he can hate them and desist from taking and harboring offense. He must also be willing to forgive his enemies as well as critics, naysayers and accusers in order to avoid any interruption of communication with the source of his provision and the only PERSON responsible for keeping him in touch with his Lord and Savior (Jesus) and his home country of Heaven, The Holy Spirit.
Every human being’s divine assignment is the birthplace of his importance and the crowning residence of his value to humanity. His assignment is what distinguishes him from every human being on earth and shapes and defines his future. Decided by God before HE began the beginning and prior to his conception here on earth, his divine assignment is more important than his gender, race, social status, nationality and ancestral pedigree.
As the determinant, regulator and sole governor of his income, comfort, wealth, worth and significance, his assignment decides where he belongs, and it is at this demarcated estate on earth where his weakness diminishes and his creativity and entrepreneurial dexterity finds its expression as his gift flourishes.
It is not important for one to know everything about his life but rather to solely focus on his assignment and labor to firmly grasp an intuitive knowledge of who has been assigned to him and to whom he has been assigned. For that reason, comprehending the ineffable value of questions, the inexplicable equity of passion and dedication, and the inestimable gravity of developing his gift and developing an intimate and unbroken relationship with granter of His assignment, The Holy Spirit, as depicted in “Yonder of Eternal Excellency” is imperative.
the value of questions
Questions are the most valuable, potent and undeniably persuasive device on the planet. Every divine assignment is discovered through a question, developed through questions, sustained through questions and ultimately accomplished through questions.
On the other hand, every aborted assignment, discarded dream, abandoned vision and castaway purpose can be traced to a question that was never asked, questions never responded to, a question that was ignored and questions that were not specific and therefore never satisfactorily answered.
As alluded to in the preliminary notes and sketches for “Yonder of Eternal Excellency,” the following question was responsible for initiating the change of trajectory in the life of a committed and authorized persecutor of God’s Church named Saul;
“LORD, WHAT WILL YOU HAVE ME DO?”
This desperate question exited Saul from his life as a persecutor of God’s anointed body (His Church) and with this question, he took his first divinely ordered footsteps to becoming Paul, the most prolific, powerful and influential apostle whose Holy Spirit inspired letters primarily from prison make up at least fifty-four percent (54%) of the books in the New Testament (see fig 6).
Foundation of Conviction Sketch 63 | ©Nya’ 2020. Seed Gallery, New York
Fundamentally, it was the conversation and instructions centered on the afore-quoted question (Lord, what thou have me do?) which led Paul onto a divine course replete with immeasurable Grace that manifested in miracles, signs, wonders and divine encounters.
This distinguished course eventually opened the door to his divine assignment and his divine assignment elevated him to become a global entity and world transformer as depicted in the preparatory sketch (collage) of the world map showing his ineradicable footprint and eternal impact on the earth (see fig 7).
A genuine question inspired by “the truth” and supernaturally fueled by “the truth” will preternaturally empower a Spirit-filled believer determined to walk in love and live by faith to see life as God wants him to live it. Furthermore, potent questions emanating from his re-born Spirit will still his mind thus allowing the Word of God to reinvigorate, replenish, restore and resuscitate his wit, imagination and ingenuity.
Fundamentally, it makes it clear that a question not stemming from “the truth” is simply a common question that provokes a common answer and hence generates common faith. Truth, as we are speaking of, is the Creator and sustainer of the universe, The Lord God himself. He is The Truth and His Spirit-Word is the source of all truth, and as such God and His Word are inseparable.
To that end, it suffices to say that questions barren of the Spirit of God, a question void of love, a question independent of faith and a question depleted of hope and barren of passion is simply a verbal exercise, a vain utterance, mere chatter and a pointless banal gyration of the jaws.
Not to be confused with general questions like diurnal conversational questions, statistic gathering questions and job application questions, a question inspired by “the truth” is the most persuasive, influential and dominating element on earth. Laden with the capacity and ability to see the invisible and believe it is possible, a question is the sole employer of answers and in every conversation, a question is the most important ingredient.
Apart from introducing a person’s difference, questions exhibit passion, parade one’s desires, exterminate ignorance and repatriate confidence. Essentially, a question is a gift granted by God (the source of all truth) to help any person discover, develop and serve his or her gift for the betterment of Mankind.
questions and mentorship
In his preparatory notes for “Yonder of Eternal Excellency,” Nya’ discourses how the scarlet hue inundating the picture plane exhibits the contagious nature of passion and what he firmly believes is the most important role of questions, which is to unlock, sustain and nurture mentorship.
Although it was a conversation instituted by a question which opened the door to The Holy Spirit-administered course responsible for ushering Paul into his assignment, it was ultimately his obedience, faith, dedication and willingness to remain a committed learner as revealed by his questions to his Mentor that established him as a world transformer.
Prior to disclosing the identity of Paul’s perfect Mentor (represented in the painting by the scarlet hue underlined with crimson and dabs of lamp’s blood), it is sagacious to define the true essence of a mentor and mentorship.
In his Kingdom Lexicon, Nya' describes a perfect mentor as “He who knows your frailties but acknowledges your difference, unique gift and divine assignment.” He further describes a perfect mentor as “He who facilitates every child of God’s glorious destiny and supernaturally helps every willing believer to accomplish what years, decades and generations of toiling, laboring, accumulating and planning could have never helped him attain.”
Obedience is the key to fulfilling every assignment
Fundamentally, mentorship is what tangibly displays the perfect character and nature of the mentor in the field the believer was anointed to go and subdue, dominate and transform with his gift and talents. However, mentorship is only successful when the protégée keenly listens, earnestly observes, passionately imitates and consistently applies everything revealed to him by the mentor.
A keen observance of Nya’s definitions of a mentor, makes it clear that Paul’s perfect mentor (represented by the scarlet hue canopying the composition in “Yonder of Eternal Excellency” is the PERSON of The Holy Spirit. This explains why the tide of crimson and dabs of lamb’s blood underneath the layers of scarlet blanketing the canvas were used instead of showing anything that physically relates to Paul (except for the surgically rendered marks representing the cities and regions he visited, see fig 8).
In essence, Paul had thoroughly hidden himself in the blood of Jesus. He was dead to himself (his flesh) and only alive in his assignment birthed, matured and sustained by The Holy Spirit residing in him. In other words, once Saul asked the initial question that changed the course of his life, he cultivated his relationship with The Holy Spirit or the author of his assignment through prayer and fasting, worship, and investing quality time in the Scriptures, all the while asking Him (The Holy Spirit) searching questions that exhibited his dependence and trust in Him.
Always decisive because He had up-to-date, relevant and applicable knowledge, insight and foresight as a result of asking his mentor (The Holy Spirit) fervent questions, Paul’s relationship with his invisible mentor resident inside him kept enlarging his domain of influence until his impact was felt throughout Macedonia and Asia Minor.
As illustrated by the scarlet, crimson and dabs of lamb’s blood carpeting the entire assignment of the apostle Paul in “Yonder of Eternal Excellency,” every born-again believer has the same Holy Spirit residing in him who was in Jesus and the apostle Paul. This is the one and same Holy Spirit responsible for empowering Jesus to finish His assignment in 3 years and who transformed Saul into Paul and made him a world changer.
In other words, right now, in every born-again believer resides The Governor of The Kingdom of God who is the Teacher, The Adviser, The Provider, The Protector, The Coach The Revealer, The Sustainer, The Perfect Mentor and The Truth Himself, Jesus, God’s Spirit, THE HOLY SPIRIT.