Sunday, January 25, 2015

Just Two Things

At some point you have likely felt God’s call and leading to use your talents for ministry. He has given you a message. Loud and clear. 

Take what I gave you, and get to work.

So we set about figuring out how to get out there and do what God told us. But along the way, we can get lost. We can put our focus on the wrong things, things He never brought into the conversation in the first place.

So let’s focus on the two things God HAS told us to do.

1. Feed my Sheep

“The Great Commission of Christianity is the instruction of the resurrected Jesus Christ to his disciples that they spread his teachings to all the nations of the world.” – Wikipedia

“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” - Matthew 28:16-20 (NIV)

Well there you go. To me this pretty much says, “I have created you to do one important work, and here it is.” Note he does not mention hit songs, awards, or royalty checks in that, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

So, at the very basis of our call as Christians, this is it. Feed my sheep.

2. Use the Talents I Have Given You

“Yay!” You say. “God has given me free reign to use this voice, these songs, and this music I play for His kingdom.” Well, yeah I guess. Frankly, I don’t think God cares how you serve Him but that you do. However, I do think it pleases Him when we use whatever talents that He gave us and we developed for His glory.

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace.” – 1 Peter 4:10

“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.” – 1 Corinthians 12:4-6

Yes, He wants us to use these talents for Him. You were not wrong to hear that from Him when you felt the Call.

The problem is we start to roll other things into the Calling, and when they don’t happen we wonder if we mistook the Call from the Lord to use our music talents for Him. But God never included these into the Call. 

Here are things He didn’t say...

You’ll Become a Star

Sorry, but becoming well-known nationally, regionally, or even fairly well received outside your own circle of family and friends (and sometimes in it!), none of it was in the deal. I have heard some people tell me that God told them that they were going to become known to everyone in the world, or speak to the nations, or some such nonsense.

Now we know from the story of Moses that this certainly is not beyond God’s purview or power. But I think even if you think you hear that, you should have the humility, much like Moses did, to not give it a moment’s thought. For even it that is to be true, it’s not something you can really do anything about. It will be God who opens those doors.

You’ll Make Money

Bad news again. This isn’t the income you’re looking for. As a matter of fact, unless you get to a point where you are traveling full time, playing (and getting paid) 2-3 times per week, and selling products at these events, the odds you’ll find anything other than a small stream of income are not good.

Yes, I know artists who God has blessed with a full-time living in music. Yes, they are supporting their family doing it. But it wasn’t easy to get, or stay there. I’m not even sure there is a Bible verse I could find where God says, “Do what I hath commanded, and I shalt showeth you the money!”

You Will Become the Greatest at Your Craft

This is a sneaky one. We all want to be a better singer, songwriter, and artist, and be known as one who has worked hard to reach a level of excellence. Certainly God wants that right?

Now don’t get me wrong, I preach excellence all over the place. But sometimes we think, “Hey, I have been doing this a long time. Why aren’t people telling me how good I am? God told me to do this! Why aren’t I better?”

And that brings us all the way around. God did indeed tell you to get His message out to the world, and He does allow us to use our talents to do this. But all the other stuff can get in the way of our effectiveness.

It’s actually very freeing. We don’t have to worry about fame, money, or skill, because that’s never what God called us for. He called us to love, to serve, and minister.

“A third time he asked him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, "Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you." Jesus said, "Then feed my sheep. – John 21:17

Have a great week!

EC
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Eric Copeland is the president of Creative Soul, a unique Christian artist development, production, and marketing company in Nashville, TN. To find out more, go to http://www.CreativeSoulOnline.com

5 comments:

Tom Dolan said...

Best article ever my friend. Very powerful truth.

Bill Irwin said...

Thanks Eric...I love the line you wrote about roll into the calling...sounds like a song in there to me...an R&B song...
Great insight..
Bill

Jeannette Petkau said...

Good Word!

Chris Bork said...

Thanks, Eric. Been reading you for awhile, and appreciate your articles and passion for what you do. This particular article is awesome, and you speak the truth. It's not about fame and money, it's about furthering the Kingdom. A few years ago, God got hold of me and pretty much impressed on me to not worry about how far the ministry will go, but to just obey His Word.

God bless you, man.

Troy Bourne - JirehScope Ministries, Founder said...

Excellent post Eric. I love that you brought up Moses; not because of the example of becoming well known, but rather the example of humility. Moses was credited as being the most humble man on the earth. And this should be our attitude as well. "I can't believe I get to use this (insert your passion here) which you've given me to help build YOUR kingdom. THANK YOU Father." Let us learn from the example of Moses, and humble ourself under God's mighty right hand (and if He chooses) that He may exalt us in due season.
BLESSINGS!