The Zealous Warrior
THE BACK STORY
On April 19, 2013, I sat down on the couch to connect with God, hoping to unload some stress I was going through at the time. I had been in a pretty consistent routine of meeting with God every morning and reading the Bible, but that morning it felt as though I should just get on my knees and pray. I shared my worries, my praises and my struggles with Him. I wanted to let go of so many things. I asked that God would continue to have favor on our business, my art [which is now Hope Delivered® Art Prints], and other things that were going on in my life. After I shared my thoughts and asked God for His, God showed me a vision. Here's what I wrote in my journal about it:
God showed me a vision of a friend of ours—an angel. He was MASSIVE! He had to have stood over 7’ tall and he was double the size of my brother Kyle [my brother was an offensive lineman for his college team...so he’s a big dude]. He got up out of his chair/throne and bent over to greet us—Amber was there with me. He smiled and said, “Follow me.” Amber and I followed him into the wilderness where he was our guide. He moved debris and large objects out of our way. He was clearing a path for us. What happened next made us afraid, yet astonished. There was a series of large mountains and valleys that we needed to cross. Instead of climbing them, he took the mighty mace he was carrying and he tore apart the mountains, filling the valleys with the rubble. Once he was done destroying everything, he showed us a straight path. The path he forged for us led us to the goals that God had in store for us. We walked over the flattened mountains and filled-in valleys to an overlook. There, sun was setting over a body of water and it was so beautiful. All three of us stood together and soaked in God’s glory.
That was the end of the vision. I woke out of it terrified and shaking because it felt so real. Also, I realized that God spoken to me, so that really rattled me as well. All glory to God!
INSPIRATION & PURPOSE
Two years later to 2015, I was praying about how to go about my next painting when God reminded me about my warrior angel. I went back and found that journal entry along with an awful rendering of him I had jotted down. As I reread my entry, I actually teared up because I was finding myself in the same season I was in back in 2013 when God gave me the vision—depressed, burnt-out, and overwhelmed with fear.
Using the sketch and the story, I turned on some music to get the creative juices flowing. One song came on and I started to see the painting get transferred from my mind to my sketchbook. More Than Conquerors by Rend Collective from The Art of Celebration Album helped me bring the painting to life:
We are more than conquerors, through Christ
You have overcome this world, this life
We will not bow to sin or to shame
We are defiant in Your name
You are the fire that cannot be tamed
You are the power in our veins
Our Lord, our God, our Conqueror
While I was painting, I was reminded that God had overcome everything by sending His son, Jesus, to the cross. I have overcome this life because of my faith in Jesus. Fear constantly sends wave after wave of assaults on my mind, but they can be driven back by keeping my eyes on the prize and by continuing to push forward with my faith in Jesus. Jesus reminded me about the power of faith in Matthew 17:20 (NLT):
“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”
Too often I get wrapped up in my own viewpoint. If I would really take note of what Jesus is doing in my life, I would realize that nothing is impossible. I have the Conqueror of death on my side! He is paving the way for me to succeed in things that He has planned for me since the day I entered this world. With that kind of fire burning deep within my heart, I will be able to stay motivated to do his work. Knowing that Jesus the Conqueror isn’t out for me, but he’s working behind, alongside and ahead of me, it encourages me to keep going. There are surely beautiful sunset scenes ahead with this outlook.
Acrylic Painting on 24" x 36" Canvas