Are you in?
Harmony is about being of one mind with God. To do that, you have to know what kind of relationship He invited you into, what He invited you to do, and where your art career fits within that.
In episode 6, we started looking at our relationship with God as the place where this harmony we are pursuing has to start. We posed two questions, which I hope you really thought about:
1. Why did God invite us into this relationship with Him and where do our art and career life fit within that reason? And
2. What did we think we were getting into when we said yes to His invitation? And where do our art and career life fit into our yes?
We talked about how harmony comes from understanding what we expect, what God expects, and then bringing the two together; bringing them together into His vision. So, episode 6 was about understanding where your head is. This episode is about understanding where God’s is.
Let’s get to it.
At a fundamental level, God wants the same thing we want when we get into a relationship with someone. When you get into an intimate relationship with another person, you don’t get into that relationship to live separate lives that never connect, never intersect.
You don’t get into relationship with them to exist as if you barely know each other.
You get into relationship to be with that person,
to do life with them,
to do daily, regular, consistent, ongoing life with them: in the big things, the small things, the mundane things, the exciting things.
You get with them to be involved, connected.
You come into relationship because you’re ready for the overlapping of your lives.
You’re content with the reality that the more intimate your relationship becomes, the less separate everything about you, as individuals, becomes.
Well, God wants the same things. He wants to do daily life with you. And, He wants you to do daily life with Him. He wants intimacy with you… but life intimacy with you, not just spiritual intimacy.
What do I mean?
Would you agree that sexual intimacy is only part of the intimacy possible in an entire relationship; that there are more ways to be intimate in a relationship besides sex?
Would you agree with that?
Then, in the same way, the “spiritual” things we do in relationship with God – like pray and read the word – those are only part of the way we can be intimate with God.
Look at it like this:
if you’re in a situation where the sex is good, but the rest of the interaction between you sucks, like –
you don’t talk,
you have nothing in common,
your lives are completely separate,
the only time the two of you are in the same space is during sex, and
outside of sex you have no idea why you would even speak to this person –
that situation is not a relationship.
That is a series of encounters.
It is a one-night stand arrangement.
A friends-with-benefits arrangement.
A booty-call-without-the-follow-up-how-you-doing-call arrangement.
And, we can have these same kinds of arrangements with God and mistake them for a relationship.
If we’re really ready to be honest…
these are the kinds of arrangements that we have with God.
Instead of the one-night stand, we have the one-day stand: Sunday service when we’re all loving on Him and telling him how good He is, and then we don’t talk to Him for the rest of the week.
Our friends don’t know Him.
Our family has never met Him or even heard of Him.
There are no pictures or evidence of Him anywhere in our lives.
He’s just our regular Sunday hook up.
We hook up, and then we go back to our separate lives.
We could also have the friends-with-benefits arrangement: where we actually could see a good thing going on between us, but I only see you as worth committing to a moment with, not someone that’s worth me committing to building a life with. These are our daily prayers, our times of reading the Word, that never actually come off the page, out of our heads, and into our daily life.
We never get to the point where we say I’m all in,
where we’re actually applying this stuff,
where we say here’s the key to my house
no, bump that,
let’s buy a new place together.
Here are the passwords to all my social media accounts.
Let’s get a joint checking account.
This is: I see you.
I even like spending time with you when we’re together.
I’m also totally good if we’re not.
And, I’m really okay if we only see each other occasionally.
This is the arrangement where you get the semblance of the emotional connection, but one gets pushed to the side as soon as the other person finds someone that they are actually ready to commit to.
But God wants it all.
He wants the ring,
the keys to the house,
all your passwords,
pictures of the two of you all on the walls in the house,
pictures of you as wallpaper on your cell phone and your computer.
He wants your nose wide open for Him. He wants it all. That’s what He wants with you.
But there are also things that he wants in you,
For you, He wants you to be healed, healthy, whole, provided for, living in purpose.
He wants you to have the desires of your heart.
He wants you to experience a fulfilled life in all facets of life.
He wants you to walk through life so secure that there is not one thing that can separate you from His love.
He wants you secure that there is no limit He would not go to the shower you with that love.
For you, He wants you to know that He has you and He has your life,
and, He is able to be and do anything that you need
and He wants to be and do all that you need.
Because that’s what you do for those you love, don’t you?
In you, He wants to see you walk in that assurance.
He wants to see you tackle life like the world is your oyster, because it is. I mean your daddy owns it all.
He wants you to understand how to walk and prosper in this covenant.
He wants you to be filled with all the fullness of God.
He wants you mature and fruitful.
Through you, He wants you bearing fruit.
He wants you to provide evidence,
to be His PSA,
His Yelp review for what’s possible in relationship with Him.
Because He wants to be reconciled and reconnected with all parts of His creation, and you are a key part of making that happen.
He wants you to present yourself as a partner that He can work through, to be His mouthpiece, His arms, His legs. In a nutshell, these are the things that God wants with us, for us, and us, and through us.
Now, none of this means anything if we can apply it to our career life. So here’s what I want you to think about:
What does it look like for you to give God all your passwords, for you and God to commit to a 30-year mortgage together in your career?
What does it look like for pictures of you and God to be the wallpaper on your cell phone?
What does it mean for God to be more than just a booty call, a one-night stand, or a friend-with-benefits in your career life?
What does intimacy, I mean true intimacy, with Him actually look like in the day-to-day things you do, in the mundane places you go as a professional artist?
What does it look like to be vulnerable with Him, to let Him into those exposed, tender places of your career life and your artistic desires?
There are many things that we will talk about here on the Kingdom Art Life, but first things first. Like, if your marriage is in trouble, there is no sense in talking about how you guys are going to deal with finances before you establish whether you both even want to stay in the marriage in the first place. Once you decide that you do want to stay in the marriage, then you can go to work on the specific aspects of how you make that marriage work better.
In the same way, we first need to understand what kind of relationship we’re actually in with God.
Then, we need to decide if we want to move forward in that relationship.
Then, we can start dealing with the specific facets of the relationship, and how we make them work together.
Now, let’s address a very real hesitation to all this.
If we’re honest, we tend to see the all-in relationship with God as really overwhelming. If we see this relationship as overwhelming, then it really becomes difficult to see how we could please God, and keep up with all of the demands of an art and career life at the same time.
But Jesus says, “Come to me. My yoke is easy and my burden is light. Come to Me all you who are heavy laden; and I will give you rest.”
Now, how is that true, if coming into relationship with Him is coming into a burden of unattainable expectations, constant disappointments and let downs, and impossibilities to ever measure up?
If He is consistent, and those two things are inconsistent, then something is wrong in our perception. Romans 12:2 talks about being transformed by the renewing of our mind. One part of renewing our mind is adjusting what we think it’s like to give God what He wants, how we imagine it is to be in an all-in relationship with Him.
I’ve been walking with God for a long time. And, I don’t mean I got saved a long time ago. I mean I’ve been walking with Him for a long time –
from redirecting my life to pursue what He had for me,
to picking up and moving places He told me to move,
to quitting jobs He told me to quit,
to putting my art life on hold to pursue whatever He needed me to pursue in that season.
I mean all in.
And, I can tell you that following God in your life, and in your career, that this all-in relationship with Him truly is easy.
All you do is live your life and listen for that Voice.
When the voice speaks, you follow the Voice.
That is literally it.
You just follow the voice.
Now, the difficulty comes when the Voice tells us to let go of something that we are emotionally tied to,
when we trust in the things we hold dear more than we trust in that Voice,
when we feel loss,
when we don’t trust that God wants nothing but good for us,
when we don’t trust that whatever He’s asking us to do is for our good, and is to bring us into a more fruitful, healthy, prosperous place.
It becomes difficult when we don’t recognize that the life we envision was given to us by Him in the first place – when we don’t recognize that His leading us to do something is not away from what He showed, but actually deeper into what He showed us… even when it’s not a method, or along a path that we understand.
In episode 6, if you did your homework, you were looking at what you expect in this relationship.
This episode was about looking at what God expects in this relationship.
For this week, I want you to spend some time and decide are you willing to move forward in this relationship as you now understand it?
If your answer is yes, you and God move forward from here to establish the parameters of your relationship together; the parameters of your relationship and your career life together. Your relationship with God is different from mine, just like one marriage (and what works in that marriage) is different from the next marriage (and what works in that marriage).
TALK TO ME
How does this episode shift your perception of what it means to bring your career life into an all-in relationship with God?