2009 - Fire and Praise

“Have you ever considered painting prophetically?”

“Have you ever heard of Akiane?”

Since coming to The River in April, 2008, I do not know how many people have asked me these questions. They usually surfaced after admitting to people that I am a graphite pencil artist but a few times people asked me the questions even before hearing that I was even artistic.

“I do not paint,” I would always answer. “I draw with pencil. Black and whites. Yes, I’ve read Akiane’s story. No, I never have drawn prophetically. I have to be looking at a photograph. I can’t draw just from something I see in my mind.”

Over the next year, painting prophetically started appearing in words people had for me when they prayed over me. They would see me painting pictures and tell me that God was going to use them to minister to people. I also had several people tell me that God wanted to reveal things to me and that art was going to be a part of it.

I was interested in the idea but frankly I did not have a clue where to start. When speaking with someone at a conference who did prophetic art, I was told to simply lay the stuff in front of myself and try. Still, it was a mental block especially since I did not work with paints at all…or color, for that matter.

The hints kept coming that God had something more for me concerning art. People constantly referred to my graphite pencil work as “painting”, especially one time when I asked for prayer concerning a project I was going to be working on. People prayed over me, “God, I pray that this painting would speak to people…. Give her the ability to paint…”

I quit saying anything out loud but I did mentally correct people.

I do not paint, I would think. I draw.

The Beginning

In August, 2009 I met an artist at the Bigfork art festival and ended up showing him some pictures of my graphite pencil art. He looked at them and said, “This is not sketching or drawing. These are paintings. You are painting with pencils.”

His words hit me hard and I realized, no surprise, that God knew what He was saying. In the art world, what I do is painting. For the first time, my mind cracked open slightly to all the words spoken over me.

Soon afterward, while heading up to my room for my morning prayer time, I saw an 18x24 pad of art paper on top of a cabinet. I suddenly decided to take it upstairs with me along with a box of colored pencils.

People keep telling me to try, I thought. Can’t hurt to just have it upstairs with me and just see if God shows me anything.

I have to confess, I really did not expect to get anything, much less be able to transfer what I saw in my mind onto paper, a block I have warred with all my life. I flopped the paper down in the middle of my bedroom floor and turned on my worship music. Several minutes later, lost in God, all of a sudden a very clear picture dropped into my spirit. I saw the pad of paper and on it two earthen pots. That was all. At the same time, God gave me a verse of scripture.

II Corinthians 4:7 AMP

However, we possess this precious treasure [the divine Light of the Gospel] in [frail, human] vessels of earth, that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves.

I looked at the pad of paper and thought, It’s not much but it is what He showed me, so….

I got down on my knees and started to draw. A few hours later, I sat back on my heels and stared. There in front of me was an exact replica of what I had seen in beautiful earthen tones and blues. Having never been able to do such a thing before, I was shaken deep inside and could not deny that God was speaking to me.

I showed the picture to my family. Their reactions were much like my own had been. They stared and stared at it. They said things like, “There is so much light”, “It snags your attention but I am not sure why” and “There is a deeper meaning to this.” My mom even said, “It does not even look like something you would draw. If someone had asked me if my daughter had drawn that, I would have said no.”

I felt that the picture did not look complete with all the empty white paper around the two pots but did not feel God had shown me any more. I mentally began making plans for how I would fill the empty space.

I’ll put a branch coming up the left side and maybe some flowers. Olive branches maybe or grape vines. That’s Biblical and goes with pots…

I mentioned my thoughts to my brother, Collin and received what I believe to be some very important advice.

“Are the pots all God showed you? Then, if I were you, I would put it away and not do anything. Pray about it tomorrow. Maybe it is a progressive picture and God will give you more.”

It was a hard thing for me to do since I am a person that always wants to complete what I start in the shortest amount of time but I decided to do as he suggested and put the picture away.

Fire and Praise

The following day, I pulled out the picture before prayer and looked at it.

Actually, I don’t think I even want to add anything to it, I remember thinking. I’ve never drawn anything like it and I might ruin it if I try to add more.

I went into prayer with this in my mind but God had different plans. Maybe twenty minutes later He dropped the rest of the picture as you see it in the finished product into my spirit with a very clear instruction.

Read the story of Gideon.

Besides being completely blown away by the picture He showed me and thinking of how impossible it was going to be to draw, I got out my Bible and found Gideon’s story. Things started jumping off the page at me as the Holy Spirit began revealing to me what He was going to speak through the picture. I’ll do my best to convey that message here.

Judges 6:12-14 AMP

And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, The Lord is with you, you mighty man of [fearless] courage.

And Gideon said to him, O sir, if the Lord is with us, why is all this befallen us? And where are all His wondrous works of which our fathers told us, saying, Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt? But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.

The Lord turned to him and said, Go in this your might, and you shall save Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?

Go in this your might.

These words just hollered at me. I found myself thinking, What was mighty in what Gideon said? Hadn’t he just told God that it wasn’t true that He was with them because all this bad stuff was happening?

Even as I was thinking this, I heard the words that Elisha spoke in II Kings 2:13-14 when he struck the Jordan with the mantle of Elijah.

II Kings 2:13-14 AMP

He [Elisha] took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him and went back and stood by the bank of the Jordan.

And he took the mantle that fell from Elijah and struck the waters and said, Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah? And when he had struck the waters, they parted this way and that, and Elisha went over. (Emphasis added)

I suddenly realized that Elisha wasn’t asking literally where God was. He understood, as did Gideon, that if God was with him the miraculous was going to happen. Gideon’s might rested in his understanding that if God was with him wondrous works were going to be present. God could not be present without something supernatural happening.