Art is the very expression of the human soul and spirit. To be immersed into a particular art, whether through pictures, paintings, videos, songs, dance, literature, festivities, etc - is to be immersed into that very soul/spirit of the artist. Popular culture shapes our society at large, while art shapes us at an individual level (in values, behaviour, beliefs and personality). Like they always say, we are what we believe - and hear, and see, and practice - whether expressed outwardly or unexpressed inwardly.
Therefore, there is nothing wrong with artistic or creative Christianity. A person can either be expressive about lust, or expressive about love. One can be expressive about anger, or expressive about forgiveness. One can be expressive about stinginess, while the other can be expressive about generosity. The list goes on. “Vibrant, dynamic Christianity” as we know it, is merely what we call expressive Christianity. Likewise, the opposite applies and so, on the other end of the spectrum, we have what we can presumably call - suppressed Christianity.
Balance is the key, but not neutrality. One must first be filled, in order to overflow.
None of us are perfect, and not all of us are expressive by nature. But let’s strive to be expressive and progressive in faith, in hope and in love. Believe and keep on believing. Confess and keep on confessing. Visualize and keep on vizualizing. Because God has called us to live a life from glory to glory, strength to strength, faith to faith.
It’s not how we begin that matters, its not even the destination that matters. What matters is the journey. Which is why Paul calls it the Christian WALK, or the RACE of Faith. The Christian life is now.
So what if we’ve believed but nothing happened? So what if we had faith but things didn’t turn out the way they should? God is looking for someone who would believe more today than yesterday, someone who would love and forgive more today than yesterday, someone who would encourage more today than yesterday, regardless of what yesterday was like.
The best electrical engineer - GOD.
Think twice before abortion. Think 4 times more before pre-marital sex.
As I was doing my mini workout in my room just now…this question just dawned upon me and HS spoke in my heart, “Andrew, what do you think?”
After a moment of solitude in the shower, the Lord shared with me about answering prayers.
The truth is, God isn’t slow. In fact, He is never slow. On top of that, He lives in Eternity! His realm has totally no concept of Time. His power flows outside of the realm of Time. We live in a 3D world, He lives in the 4th Dimension.
Many times we feel God doesn’t answer our prayers, whenever we want it, the way we want it to…sometimes it may even feel He doesn’t respond to our faith because I’m sure, many of us have had faith in our prayers.
For the newborn baby Christian, God might play the role of the Sugar Daddy. We make prayers like, “God, if You’re real, do this for me, do that for me.” When God pampers us, we feel overjoyed and we love God even more.
No doubt there is a stage of Christian growth, where God will do that and He allows it so that we can love Him more and enter into a deeper relationship with Him. But as we grow and mature, discipleship has to take place.
Every great apostle and hero of Faith didn’t live easy-peasy lives. They lived OVERCOMING lives. There were challenges, but there were also breakthroughs. There were heartaches, but there were also seasons of harvest.
As young, infant Christians, we will never be able to fully grasp the full concept of the Cross, until we decide to forsake all and carry our cross daily to follow Him. Yes, the Cross speaks of many great exchanges and great blessings, but it also speaks of suffering, trials and temptations.
Therefore to cling on to the Cross means to cling on to blessings AND sufferings. Does it mean God is a saddistic God? Of course not. Carrying the Cross means: WALKING THROUGH SUFFERING, CARRYING GOD’S BLESSINGS! It’s not living a life of sufferings without faith, neither is it living a life of faith without pain, its about having FAITH in spite of SUFFERING, having HOPE in spite of HOPELESSNESS, having JOY in the midst of PERSECUTION!
Back to my question. So then how is God fast in answering our prayers?
He answers 3 ways:
He doesn’t keep silent. Silence simply means WAIT.
There you go. He has already answered our prayers. Let’s give Him credit for that. For being swift to answer and for answering EVERY prayer. ;)
Let’s stop arguing and reasoning in our heads why God doesn’t answer our prayers, why God doesn’t love us, when all we ever wanted, lets be honest: Is for God to do whatever we tell Him to!
No one commands a plane to land or to take off, when the runway isn’t cleared.
When God says wait, or no, let’s stop being a crybaby, pull our act together, cast our worries on Him because He cares for us, and MOVE ON. If we don’t clear the runway, we can wait till Jesus comes back and we would still not be able to takeoff.
Instead of getting all bitter as to why God isn’t “doing what we tell Him to” (which most of us call “Prayer”), let’s humble ourselves and seek Him as to what needs to be done FIRST. :) The Christian walk is a walk of faith, a life of seeking and dependence on God.
Yes, God responds to faith. But God primarily moves through RELATIONSHIP.
If God moves through faith, then the world would be doomed a long time ago because the demons are having “faith” that all of us should perish! And mind you, the demons aren’t just sitting by proclaiming the promises of Satan, they are actually living it out! Even they understand that faith is an act! Haha.
On a side note, demons are ex-angels who lived in God’s presence before Lucifer’s rebellion. So they know how the Kingdom of God works, more than most of us do. ;)
At the end of the day, God is always good. Even if He is silent, He is silently good! Even if He rejects our requests, He rejects for our good.
Nothing hurts a person more than to accusing him of being bad and hating him for not meeting our expectations, when everything he has done for us, he has done it for our good and with the best he knows how.
And what is the root of it all? PRIDE. And SELF.
It’s so easy to focus on our own needs when we are in lack isn’t it? God wants us to focus on Him. Yes, we have needs. But isn’t that what a relationship is all about? - Forsaking our own needs for the needs of others. Like the saying goes: When we build God’s house, He will build our house.
God CAN make everything change in the blink of an eye. But He doesn’t. He wants us to learn to grow and mature in faith and in character.
Whenever we are down, we often encourage ourselves by saying, everything happens for a reason. I can make a good guess, 75% of the time, we are thinking: Everything happens for a reason…yes…OUR reason. - FAIL.
Isn’t it true? :)
Today, let’s settle it in our minds. Everything happens for a reason…yes…HIS reason! :)
Let’s not grow weary in doing good. But let’s not do it for the wrong motives either. Who knows, while we choose to move on and change our attitudes, God might just drop a surprise along the new path that’s even better? :)
All things are possible.
What matters is our heart. :)
Dating is all about charm and impressiveness, but when it all boils down to marriage and the decision to live together, it’s all about values & personality.
I think being able to live together with someone has got nothing to do with looks or deeds, but really, it’s Personality. If at a person’s worst, he is still pleasant and approachable, willing to tone down and listen, not afraid to admit his mistakes, share his hurts openly, I think it’s an invaluable gift.