KINGDOM IDENTITY – Part Two
(A.k.a: Don’t be a hater * Wink, Wink*)
Not so long ago my band and I went to lead worship somewhere (the place will remain anonymous). I have some very social people on my team and their first thing was “Lets make friends with the other band.” Unlike my friends, when I get invited somewhere I like to settle in first, I look at my surroundings, the people around me, and I start zoning in. I like to make sure I feel safe and calm before leading worship or speaking. So going into this event I was doing my regular routine, while my friends went straight into socializing with everyone there. As they went to shake hands with the members of the other band who was leading before us, I sat a couple rows behind them and was simply observing. Danny and Jephte were being their regular bubbly happy selves, shaking hands, asking names, trying to hug half the world as they usually do (lol). A couple minutes later I see Elias joining the group trying to start conversation with some of the musicians. The environment was hostile, almost as if they had been waiting to see what we were all about . After receiving the cold shoulder Elias, Danny, and Jephte went about their business. As they left the band proceeded to making fun of them. They made some nasty remarks and joked about how “bubbly” they were.
I feel like my worship team members are like my babies, I genuinely feel responsible for caring for them as much as I can. So when I saw them acting like straight bullies I felt like getting up and yelling
“YOU BIG BULLIES!! I’M SORRY THEY WERE DECENT ENOUGH TO SHAKE YOUR HANDS. I’M SPECIALLY SORRY YOU ARE NOT PROFESSIONAL, LOVING OR KINGDOM MINDED ENOUGH TO APPRECIATE SOMEONE BEING NICE TO YOU”.
Anyways, I obviously did not say it out loud because I’m not very confrontational and Jesus did not need me to misrepresent him. I swear though, inside my wee little heart I wanted to at least mad dog them a little (lol). As we finished our sound check we were escorted to a green room where we were all able to finally talk.
By this time everyone had felt the hostility coming from the other band and although I don’t remember who said what, I do remember that someone broke the ice and said; “The other band doesn’t really like us huh?” We all kind of looked at each other in agreement. For a quick second it was a little quiet but then someone said “It’s okay, we are not like that and we will not act like them, and when they worship we will worship with them because this is for the Kingdom”.
Needless to say, in that moment I was the proudest worship leader ever.
If there’s something I’ve never understood is, why do church singers and musicians always walk into a place trying to prove something? It blows my mind that hundreds of worshipers will automatically hate on you if you work in the Kingdom, leading worship just like them. I’ve had girls not even accept my handshake because they will sing before me or after me. When I got a scholarship to a music program in college, I met amazing musicians and singers. There were so many brilliant people there that I felt so small compared to them. I did not know how to read music like them and I had so much to learn. But that was the place that taught me how to pay it forward. I had people take me under their wing and sit with me for long hours trying to help me learn how to read music so I wouldn’t be so lost. If it hadn’t been for them I would not have been one of the 8-10 people that completed the program that year. I met people making some serious money in the music industry and they were so selfless. They sat and complimented me, encouraged me, filled me with knowledge and I may never see some of them again but I will treasure them forever. Being in that music program opened my eyes to see so much separation and hatred within church musicians. There are some broke nobodies in the church walking around spreading hate wherever they go, acting like they’re big shots for touring churches with twenty people in them.
Have you ever seen people who only feel the spirit when they play?
All of a sudden they stop playing and the spirit disappears for them and their family members (lol). AAAAAAHHHHH!!!! That makes me so darn sad. That is prohibited in my team, PROHIBITED. I don’t mess with that stuff. If we are going to worship, we will worship at all times. If there is a band playing, Jesus deserves just as much worship as if we were leading. If you can’t worship unless YOU’RE the one singing or playing, then you know nothing of worship, you know nothing of the spirit and you lack identity. Only people, who don’t know who they are walk around hating because if you knew who you were and if you actually knew the plans God has for you, you would understand that hating on someone doesn’t get you closer to your destiny. Hatred towards someone else’s achievements is like telling God that what He has for you is not good enough.
You know that there is a passage in the Word that says;
“For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11).
DOES ANYONE GET THAT?? That makes me want to do a praise break right at this moment. That means that God has a plan for you. Those plans are not tied to someone else’s plans. God has dreams for YOU, plans for YOU, He desires to partner with YOU to establish his Kingdom on earth. YOU are a piece to a beautiful puzzle, YOU have information, talents, and abilities coming straight from heaven that ONLY YOU can carry out here on earth on behalf of Jesus. This means that when someone else is getting to where they have to be you have no need to hate or tear them down because you know that they are co-laborers of the Kingdom with you. They work for the same King and they establish the same Kingdom. People with identity understand that a puzzle has more than one piece and they do not feel threatened or small because they know that every piece completes a picture much greater than all of them.
Have you ever seen that quote that says, “Haters are my motivators”?
Okay well I HATE THAT QUOTE.
I don’t live in fairytale wonderland; I know I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. Not everyone thinks I’m a good singer and that’s okay, I’m at peace with that.
Some people spend so much of their God given time worrying about who said what. Who is my hater, what is my hater saying about me?
One day I promised my self I would not live by what everyone thought of me. I was going to focus all my energy worrying about who God says I am. My destiny is not tied to anyone, God does not need permission to elevate me, bless me, open doors for me, or prosper me. So it doesn’t matter what anyone is saying, I am convinced that with Jesus I will win. The only person who can make the plans of God not come true in my life is ME. I decide how far I allow God to take me, I decide how much I believe and pursue all the plans in my favor. The devil can’t stop the favor, the anointing, the glory over my life and people can’t either. If I sat here crying and posting about every person who talks about me, says I’m conceited, makes up rumors and waits to see me fall, I wouldn’t even have time to write this. My destiny is tied to Jesus, so I will follow, I will listen, and I will be guided by nothing else but him. Haters do not motivate me, Jesus motivates me, what He is doing in me motivates me. So don’t spend time trying to see who doesn’t like you or who doesn’t agree with you, don’t be so defensive, stop posting hater quotes on social media. Focus on Jesus! Let him shine so bright through you that even the people who don’t like you can’t deny his presence over your life. My hope is always that someone that doesn’t like me might get to see that I’m not that bad, and who knows one day we might just be good friends. Everyone is a son and daughter, so I cannot say i love my father but not love my siblings.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you I’ve never hated in my life. I have to check my heart constantly. God’s been doing such a good job in my heart that I’ve had to let go of some things and some people who had been living there. Now don’t get it twisted, people sometimes want to guilt trip you and say that because we are Christians we have to associate our selves with everyone. I have forgiven some people in my heart that I will probably never associate my self with again. That doesn’t make me a bad person, that doesn’t make them bad people. It just means we are in different seasons. I am not who I was and they are not who they were (hopefully), so I will bless them and move on with my season. The less hate there is occupying your heart, the more room there is for a greater Glory.
One quick thing though; not worrying about what people say does not mean you do whatever you want. As anointed as you may be, if you burn all your bridges and close all the doors that open for you, you have no where to work. No matter how good you might be, if you make everyone angry, no one will listen.
My next blog will me titled “Rumor has it” because I feel in ministry and outside of ministry rumors can be hard to deal with. How do we face people’s chitchat and still keep it Christian. No one likes to be talked about but the truth is that it comes with the territory for all who rise up to do something. As long a people have mouths, rumors will exist and if you don’t fake the funk, you know you have also been part of some ungodly chitchat at some point in your life.
Having identity is so vital if you want to be successful in the Kingdom. Actually its vital if you want to be successful at life period. Knowing your identity is far more than knowing your basic information and job title. True identity is like a solid foundation, it is not shaken by outside perspectives, it is not broken by current situations, and it is not changed by opportunities.
So how do you find this foundation?
“For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” 1 Corinthians 3:11
If you want to find identity you have to find Jesus. If you discover who He is you will find out who you are.
I’m going to end with a little bit of my story. As many of you already know I come from a childhood of rape and violence.
This brought on a lot of anxiety, fear, insecurities and depression in my adulthood. You see me and would think that I’m not a shy insecure person because of everything that I do, but let me tell you that it has all been because of Jesus. When I feel like I’m getting an anxiety attack I start reminding my self that Jesus conquered death and defeated all evil and I repeated until my mind and my heart remembers who I really am. You see, Jesus has fearlessness in his DNA and the Word tells me that I was made to Gods image and likeness. So if bravery runs through the blood of Jesus then it also runs through my veins. There is not one thing greater than our God, nothing he can’t do, and nothing he has not conquered. He does not just win battles, he is a Winner and if you catch this you catch everything. It is impossible to be founded in Jesus and not win.
Every single Tuesday I go to a mentorship meeting. Almost every meeting ends with the same sentence. My pastor always says “Everyone can get to the top but not everyone can stay there”. You can spend your entire life and ministry trying to get to the top through competition, lies, rumors, tearing people down, manipulation etc. People like that make it to the top all the time. You don’t have to build a solid foundation in Jesus to get somewhere, you can work in the kingdom and never know Jesus. You can work in the kingdom and never love anyone but your self, being self centered is the easiest thing you could ever do. My pastor always follows up the previews sentence by saying “The way you obtain things is the same way you have to maintain them”. This means if you lied to get to the top you have to keep lying to stay there. You had to tear people down to take positions, you will have to keep tearing down everyone in your way. You had to manipulate to get what you wanted, manipulation will be everything you will ever have. I want to be successful in the kingdom but I refuse to do it at the cost of losing my integrity. I want to accomplish my dreams but not at the expense of tearing the dreams of everyone around me. I was designed for success but more than succeeding I was designed to be like God. So I’ve learned to spend more time comparing my self to Jesus than comparing my self to a fellow singer. If we all made up our minds to fight against the real enemy of the kingdom instead of each other the church would never be the same again.