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Artist in church

Overcoming fear as an artist

fear
Every one of us knows what it’s like to be afraid. That is something that belongs into human nature. Fear is a system that has brought the human kind to the present time as powerful and viral as it seems to be. Fear has had a life-saving feature especially when people were living in a very close connection with the wild nature.

But what happens when you’re a performing artist and panic hits you a minute before it’s your turn? What are your ways to cope? During the years with God I’ve leaned to His promise that He will not leave nor forsake us, no matter what. Jesus has never, ever let me down, and He surely has given His peace into my heart when the enemy has tried to take it! Also He doesn’t delay His help, but it always comes in time! It’s crucial, that we face these situations as it gives us the potential to RISE ABOVE this “false alarm”. Don’t stay mourning and shivering, shake the enemy’s strongholds instead in the name of Jesus and stop breastfeeding fear and it will leave! It is promised in James 4:7 “Be subject therefore to God. But resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

You know, that Bible has been written as a lawful legacy for you too to use against the powers and principalities of this world. You can declare every promise you find from the Bible concerning your own life! The power is not in our declaration though, but in the name of Jesus Christ. Every time you say Jesus’s name aloud, the enemy has to squat down. Jesus’s name has the power over every single thing we face. Every single one. 

Darling, be brave in your faith, as it is the lifeline for us to exist, to be, to create, to live (a godly life), and to keep the final goal at sight: our place in Heaven. When you boldly confess Jesus as your Lord and use your “new birth right” as His family member, He will be proud to present you to Father God! Stay blessed, and be safe in Jesus. ūüôā 

Artist and (the) Glory

queen-and-servant

Do you have the heart of a servant, or of the one who wants to be served?

Difficult subject… Or is it? Maybe just a little uncomfortable? The society we’re living in has the habit of setting some people up on a pedestal. Often those people are the ones who affect in the cultural area of the society. It’s because they are thought to have abilities that a few have. And maybe it’s true. Some are creatively more talented than others.

As an artist we are used to be “on the spot”. We often also enjoy the attention. I know I do, when the attention is about my art. But it’s like a two-way street. The other way you need the attention to have your art do what it is suppose to do, but the other way it can be a spiritual trap. Sometimes we need to exam our motivation. Where’s our heart in? Is it in the taps on the shoulders? Is it in the admiration and (maybe) false acceptance? Or is it in servanthood? Is it where our Lord Jesus would so much love to see it, in serving others and encouraging them with our gifts?

I once met a Finnish musician when interviewing him for a radio show. He said something that has stayed¬†in my mind ever since. He said as a young Christian he used to have this fear of getting arrogant as he also was one of the top ballroom dancers in Finland. He was so worried, that he went to his youth pastor and told about his concern. The pastor said: “Relax! You can let it go to your head all that you want, God will surely drop you back down on earth!” Haha, that’s¬†comforting to know, but it is worth focusing our motivation radar every now and then in order to avoid the painful (sometimes ackward) landing! ūüėÄ

Worship stop

Here you can see a glimpse of Finnish! :) This is the Worship stop advertisement.

Here you can see a glimpse of Finnish! ūüôā This is the Worship stop advertisement.

I love my church, the Evangelical Free¬†Church of Mikkeli. During the summer we started these so called “Worship stop” -evenings, “Ylistyspys√§kki” in Finnish. (“Stop” coming from the allusion of a ‘bus stop’; a place to stay for a bit before continuing, and a place from where you can get on to different directions. If any native English speaker comes up with a better sounding name, please comment!)

Worship stop -evenings are to encourage believers to be active in their creativity, and to find ways to give their talent to glorify God. The time is only 2 hours, but it is so because we want to spend it¬†intensively in prayer and worship while we’re there. When the time is limited, it helps to keep our thoughts in Him, and to receive His inspiration and teaching. Everyone is reflecting the Holy Spirit in a way that is charasteristic to each, so we have painting, lyric writing, poems, worship dancing, etc. And of course someone leading the worship in flow. There’s no chit chatting during the hours, just experiencing the presence of the Holy Spirit and interacting with Him. Before we end, we share about what we have painted, written, experienced, and like this learn from each others’ experience, and get encouraged.

I see these evenings very important. Normally I don’t like to generalize things, but it seems as if many of us Finns are pressed down with our creativity ever since we were kids. I believe that in the background there is the fear of man. There must be thousands of adults in Finland, who recognize the creativity within themselves, but who have never, ever tried it in action! It can be that they don’t even know what their creative talent actually is, they just feel it’s there. Worship stop -evenings are e.g. as simple as The Place to learn to lift up your hands in worship, if you’ve been too afraid to do that. If you can’t yet walk, you can be on all fours, so to speak. We can start from the very basics of how to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, how to recognize your talents and how to express them. But the point is, that we continue growing in creativity with the Lord, and take it always one step further. Glory to God!

Pastors, cherish your artists!

Lion

Painting by Christina Papagianni.

YEY?!!!!! It is absolutely fabulous if you have been blessed with artists in your church! Don’t you think? Or have you not noticed? Did you know, that there dwells an enormous power of the Holy Spirit in creativity? It is power, that so very often is neglected, and artists are forced to choose between their faith and their creative talent, that at its best could also be the CALLING that God Himself has led the artist to enter. Some principal points for you to consider, while you’re giving some serious thinking in order to take advantage of what God has offered for your church in creativity:

* Please, do not judge the piece of art through secular glasses. All the lines may not be formally valid like an educated artist (or an “educated” viewer, for that matter!) might prefer. The point is to appreciate what your talented church member has expressed from within him/her. Holy Spirit talks in a way and another, and if something is for sure, it is that God’s word shall not return to God void, but it shall accomplish that which He please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto He sent it. (Isaiah 55:11 WEB)

* Value your artists not because of their accomplishments in gained education, but because of their willingness to open their uttermost depths of heart for God to work as He pleases in order to touch many lives. The process itself can be very consuming for the one who has given him-/herself to it. Artists are their own sensitive breed of human beings, treat them with care and they’ll give you back hundred times in bringing new life to your church and offering you new ways to reach new souls!

Glory to God, halleluyah!

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