Certainly, God is in the business of making things fall into place as they should. However, the way they fall into place is often based on the condition and motives of our heart.
As an artist, one who writes, acts, sings and directs, it is easy to think I have what at first glance may seem to be “good” intentions. But we have to have genuine faith in Christ, not in ourselves, if we are going to first please Him and be used by Him for what really matters.
As a Christian and an artist, I can sometimes get off focus and start concentrating on and pursuing worldly desires, not Christ’s desires. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with desiring to provide for your family. In fact, it is a godly desire, since God too delights in providing for our physical needs. However, it is certainly a lesser need and one that should ALWAYS take third place in the life of a Christian.
When Jesus was weakened by hunger, and His disciples left Him to sit and rest at a well while they searched for and pursued their physical needs (food), Christ pursued God’s greatest desire first. He chose to draw a broken and sinful woman to Himself, extend His forgiveness and salvation to her, and transform her life with the power of His love. When His disciples returned, still focused on their physical need for food, this is the lesson Jesus taught:
“Therefore the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for *eternal life*, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.””
Beyond a doubt, Jesus was more concerned with the eternal souls of a lost village than with His need to eat. Too often we are primarily concerned with how we are going to pay the bills than how we are going to bring souls to Christ.
Our gifts were not essentially given to us in order to earn income. Sure, God can use them to provide financially, but again, that is always third place. First thing we are commanded to do with the gifts God gives us—with all that we are—is to love Him, to seek to please Him. Next, it is to serve others for the purpose of edifying them in love. Lastly, it is to earn income to physically provide for our loved ones and others in need. When those priorities are shifted, we are missing the mark, we are not doing God’s will.
My prayer, my plea, is for every Christian artist out there to just stop and examine your heart and really discover the primary reason for why you are doing what you are doing. If it is first to promote yourself in order to provide for your physical needs, remember that is not supposed to be the primary desire and thus, repentance will be necessary.
Repentance is a change of mind. It is when you agree with God totally and then choose to obey Him. The amazing and beautiful thing about our Lord is that He is faithful to forgive when we repent, and He then pours out His Spirit and gives us all we need in order to accomplish His good desires to save souls and transform them with His love.
As Christians, we mustn’t seek our dreams first unless of course those “dreams” are truly and primarily the goals of Jesus: sharing the gospel and making disciples. In fact, I genuinely dislike the whole, “Pursue your dreams,” and, “believe in yourself,” phrases. 100% of the time, these phrases are encouraging you to put yourself first and to trust in yourself to do what you want to do. Let’s face it, that’s exactly what satan taught Eve, and continues to preach to this day. Jesus, on the other hand, says deny yourself, believe in Him, love others, and put yourself last!
Many self-proclaiming Christians tragically buy into the self-serving dream-pursuit message, and don’t even realize they’re serving themselves instead of Christ; they’re building up themselves, instead of bearing fruit for His kingdom, i.e., bringing souls to Him and/or strengthening the hearts of those who are already His. As a parent, that is certainly something I want to be mindful of.
As much as I love Arrow, I cannot support or enable him to pursue selfish desires. When he’s an adult, if he chooses that route for himself, I will pray for him, but I will not cheer him on. I pray his gifts and his life are always offered up as a sacrifice to God first and foremost. I pray he loves and fears Jesus first and I pray my husband and myself model that example for him for as long as we live. May my goal always be to love the one who loved me first, to give everything to the one who gave everything for me. To live for the one who died for me that I may truly live forever with Him. And I pray the same for you, beloved.