I think everyone remembers the first time they encountered Pastor Tim Jones! I certainly do.
I was over at a friend's house with a spiritual mountain of oppression on my shoulders. Have you ever been there? Nothing I tried seemed to get me out of this funk. My dear friend, Julie, said. "Let's call Pastor Tim and have him pray over you."
"Will he?" I blubbered. I had heard about Pastor Tim. He was somewhat of a legend in this city. The praying pastor who hears from God and looks like Colonel Sanders, but I had not met him yet.
"Of course, he will!" Julie gabbed her cell phone. After a brief explanation, Pastor Tim began to pray over me.
Well, let's just say, it was awesome. The presence of God warmed my heart as he spoke. I cried a river and the heaviness I had walked under vanished. Not only that, but Pastor Tim spoke specific things over my life that no one else knew at the time except for God and myself! A man I had never met spoke to me like he knew everything about me! I was deeply moved and inspired. What an incredible example of operating in the flow of God's Spirit!
God and I had a much needed conversation later. "I want to be like that, Father. I want to hear your voice. I want to walk in the flow of your Spirit."
Fast forward a year ... Pastor Tim approaches me one Sunday morning at church to ask if I would be interested in illustrating the cover for his up-coming book. "Of course! What's it about?"
"It's about hearing God's voice. The title will be Extreme Sheep." Even in the midst of explaining his vision for the book, I already had an image in my spirit. As we parted ways, Pastor Tim gave me the title of an online video to watch saying, "This inspired me to write the book." He had a twinkle in his eyes.
That night as I started sketching and a sheep began to take form.
Light Blue is the color of the Holy Spirit and revelation.
I shaped the headphones to resemble a ram's horns because horns represent royalty, dignity, and authority. The shofar (or a ram's horn) is also a musical instrument that is used to announce the presence of God. As believers, our authority and power comes when we are focused on His presence and voice. You know, the big G. The conduit for all that awesomeness is His Holy Spirit.
Lastly, beside the excitement in this sheep's eyes, (walking with God is an adventure-like-no-other!), I kept seeing a red-plaid bandanna wrapped around his head. I knew Pastor Tim mentioned red plaid was his favorite, but would he mind if this was in his illustration? I didn't know. But I followed God's leading and drew it. The Bandanna around the sheep's head represents the blood of Jesus that covers a believer's mind and is paramount to our walk.
"And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water." Hebrews 10:19-21, NLT.
When I showed the finished illustration to Pastor Tim, he loved it! All of my previous uncertainties were wiped away.
My thought was, "How awesome are you, Lord! After Pastor Tim prayed over me last year, I asked you to teach me more about hearing your voice. So, you answered my prayer by giving me the opportunity to draw the very illustration for the book on hearing your voice, all the while using it as a beautiful lesson to build my faith."