I attended the 4th YWAM Brazil Arts conference 17th - 20th May at YWAM Contagem. It wasn't without some challenges, I only managed to purchase a one way ticket! But what an amazing blessing to be at the conference It's been incredibly significant. I made lots of notes and sketches and right from the word go - I was sketching as fast as I could to catch everything....there was so much to sketch! All I can say is I am incredibly grateful to the Lord for this opportunity to be at the Conference!
During the Conference I believe the Lord gave me a word for artists and a picture. I told the leader of the event Daniel Silva about the word and picture I recieved in the morning, and he agreed it would be good to do this in the evening. I said if we can find the paint and material for the picture and an easel. - Then I would paint the picture…..A tall order as I only had the word that morning...plus I had to design the picture for the evening...you could say I was a little nervous…..but it was like fire blazing within me.
I was actually supposed to speak for 10 minutes. The word I had came when I woke that same morning with the music from the 1965 film “For a few Dollars more” A spaghetti western with the unforgettable music of Ennio Morricone. I had been listening to music from the spagetti westerns for a few weeks…..But I was now awake and listening to the music playing in my mind - And this time it was the music from the final duel in the movie. I was gripped by the scene of the last gunfight. And then I started to get an interpretation an understanding from God’s perspective - If anyone is familiar with the film you will remember one man's fight and quest to bring justice, closure and vengeance to the perpetrator who raped and caused the death of his sister ( I won't spoil the storyline for anyone who hasn't seen it)
Somehow this film - unknowingly speaks of another duel between Heaven and Hell… Can't we just for a minute let our imagination rise and soar with the eagles? and see the epic spiritual struggle now taking place in the world today? The Bride - the church….don't we see large parts of the church ineffective? Should we not be upset? Grieving about the church being robbed, defeated, violated and captured? I saw it….and thought what am I going to do? Where is the Church today?...for those who have ears to hear and eyes to see…Here is a reflection on a spiritual duel now unfolding, each of us gets to star whether we like it or not against an ancient adversary - How we react is important.
As the Lord Jesus Christ said “I will build my church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail!” Will we join Him?
If we look at the film with spiritual eyes - We may see the Church, in that photo of the young woman in the pocket watch in the hands of the enemy. But the Church is also in the hands of Jesus Christ.....and He is the one who knows when to step in.
It may seem as though the church is being stolen, violated, ruined... many falling away and in the hands of the enemy. it seems as though the enemy is making a mockery.. Heresy, false teaching and compromise everywhere - But if we see beyond the film - we will see ourselves and the Lord Jesus Christ with us ….He overcame the devil while here on earth by the Word of God, the sword of the Spirit - And He has given the Word of God to us to face the adversary - sufficient to despatch the enemy...and take back the Church. It's our call…The chimes are ringing….will we respond by reaching out to our own weapons? Will we run away? Bury our head in the sand? Pretend everything is fine? Or rise to our full stature in Christ and respond with the Word of God in His call to wage spiritual warfare on behalf of the Church on earth - What are you going to do?
Go and watch the last duel in the movie….and go see yourself...and see your call!
And to finish this parable of the duel….
I believe Christian artists are called by God to get the Bride of Christ ready for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. Dear friends we must rise up and play the part in getting the Bride of Christ ready…..
“ The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:4”