For the past 4 days I’ve had the privilege of joining the ReviveINDIANA team in Gary to revive the Northwest Region of Indiana. What a beautiful transformation the Lord is doing in that area. We saw miraculous doors open as the Spirit moved throughout the region. The unity was so refreshing between all the pastors; the breakthrough of unspoken division and racial reconciliation was evident. We were able to send teams to 13 fire stations to pray and bless the firemen. Teams were also invited to police stations in the area. And the Prison opened their doors for a group of men to go share with the inmates. One side of the law to the other, the Lord is moving in power through this place.
I want to share with you the painting I was inspired to declare last night, as we closed our last evening together in NWI. I called it, “Release.” The Lord showed me a picture of a butterfly earlier in the morning when I went out on the streets with a team. Another guy on the team, Danny, heard the word “hill” from the Lord. We ventured off to see where the Lord would lead us. We past a trailer park called “Hillcrest” and Danny felt it was the place we should go. We drove around and saw numerous trailers with butterfly garden ornaments. We tried a few homes, but no one was home. As we were about to leave, a woman on our team, Lela, walked towards the end of the road with Danny. They ran into a couple and asked to pray. The wife immediately got off the phone and held out her hand as Lela prayed for her. She was ready and willing to receive. Her husband shared of being in prison, losing his job, losing their home and they willingly gave up their kids to the state because they couldn't properly care for them. They are now on the road to a new life, fought for their kids back and were greatly impacted by the love and prayer from Danny and Lela. It was a beautiful moment where God touched their hearts and gave them hope for a new future where He leads.
As Danny and Lela were praying, John and I were waiting in the car and praying, visiting and sharing our own stories of how God transformed our lives. As we looked outside, there were butterflies flying all around. As I watched one flutter by with gorgeous white wings, I knew this was where God wanted us to be. Danny, Lela and Rich (the camera guy) came back to the car, they shared of the encounter and the kicker of it all…
Both the husband and wife had butterfly tattoos.
What a wonderful confirmation that we were lead by the Holy Spirit to give hope to a couple that was planned ahead before us. Walking with Jesus is an amazing adventure when we rely on Him to lead.
That evening I painted a message of new life transformed through Christ, being set free in Him. We watched a video of the prison experience and were able to witness God setting the “captives free” behind bars. You can be free physically, but in captivity spiritually bound by sin and death. Or the opposite; locked up behind bars with the assurance of everlasting life and the freedom in Christ with the hope of a transformed life. Jesus came to set the captives free. We have complete freedom and life in Him. While painting the butterflies, I felt to paint three with significant positions. One butterfly is still in the jar, the next is resting on the edge and the third is flying free. What position are you currently with the Lord?
"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
Because the Lord has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners;
To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To grant those who mourn in Zion,
Giving them a garland instead of ashes,
The oil of gladness instead of mourning,
The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.
So they will be called oaks of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified." (NASB, Isaiah 61:1-3)