1 Cor. 12:12-18 says, “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smelling be? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.”
Mainstream or underground! The pros and cons in between the two are enough to drive Christians crazy. A lot of artists that are “underground” (aka not signed to a major recording label) crave for mainstream level promotion…and income, of course. This is an extremely huge issue that actually has nothing to do with a record deal, recognition, or money. The main issue I see plaguing the average Christian (aka any Christian that desires to be used of God) really stems to a deeper issue of worth. Hear me out before you shoot me down. Remember James and John arguing about who was going to sit at the right hand of Jesus? We look at that and quickly assess that they were distracted and caught up in their own fleshly desires. In their own way, they were debating who was more valuable to The Kingdom. We, on the other hand, sit on the outside and easily acknowledge that where they sit in heaven is irrelevant as long as God is glorified. How come it’s so hard for us to make that same assessment in our own lives?
We all have a God-given desire to do something or be a part of something that is great. This is a good desire. The Bible says that those who know God will do exploits. Somewhere deep down, I think that being an underground artist doesn’t fit within our definition of an exploit. I want to challenge that mindset. We have to define greatness by God’s standard and not our own. You tell me what’s more profitable to the Kingdom of God, a mega-church filled with lukewarm saints or a store front church with a handful of mature believers who are being fed and living out the word of God. Can you not change lives right where you are? Is that not an awesome work that pleases God? Being a mainstream artist doesn’t mean that you will have more of a spiritual impact, it just means you’ll have more listeners and, in most cases, more money. So what are you really chasing after? Is it eternal significance or temporary accolades? What we sometimes miss in the midst of chasing our dreams is God’s will. Am I saying it is not God’s will for certain artists to be mainstream? Yes and no. Let me clarify. God’s desire is to have a representation of Himself on every level. We need Spirit-led men and women in the white house, but we also need them just as badly in the ghetto. Maybe you will go mainstream, but now is not your time. Just don’t think for a minute that your mainstream season is necessarily more glorious than your humble beginnings. Look at our model. Jesus was born in a dirty manger where everybody, regardless of how important or unimportant they were in the eyes of mankind, could have access to Him. This is what life is all about. Let me be more direct. This is what our lives are supposed to be about. Sinners need to have access to The Father and His truth. God actually wants to use us to ensure that this happens. If we were all rich and never left our swank neighborhoods the poor would be left out, and vice-versa. If we were all sporting million dollar record deals the corner spots that we sometimes rock for free, would be void of the gospel.
What if it wasn’t God’s will for you to ever be “mainstream?” Can you find joy in serving God where you are? If not, you’re either too self-absorbed to be used mightily of God or you just haven’t found your true calling yet. I’m sorry for being so blunt, but it is the truth. We all have to cross this road in our journey of offering true worship unto God. I’d hate to get before God and see my works being tested in the fire only to find out I had more hay and stubble than gold, because my attitude was all wrong. Remember, the body has many members. Most of the vital parts of a body are not visible to outsiders. What’s your motivation? Do you want to be an integral part of the move of God or do you just want to be seen?
Let me cut this short, because I could go on and on for days (trust me). Discover the value/worth in what you are doing and where you are NOW. Don’t get so distracted by your dreams of doing something big in the eyes of man (in whatever area your gifts/talents lie), that you lose sight of the glory of God working in you right now. The fact remains, God is working! Are you working with him? Or are you too busy discussing and dreaming of your next promotion that you aren’t doing a good job where you are?
PML – (Peace and Much Love)
E Pluribus Unum