The God of our Holy Culture
And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested. – 1 Chronicles 4:10 Holy Bible – KJV
Much has been said about the above scripture passage throughout the history of Biblical instruction. Many books and sermons have been written with this text in mind, making the listener or reader aware that GOD is a God that answers even the simplest prayers from seemingly (but not to Jesus) insignificant individuals. I say this because, not much is mentioned about Jabez in the Holy Bible. However, it is evident that God’s eye is definitely on the sparrow, and He knows, sees, and cares for all of us. Knowing that Jesus has our best interests in His heart leads me to today’s subject matter, the enlargement of the coast of Christian Hip Hop.
When we look around at today’s music, we see the proliferation of negative and sinful connotations. When we turn on the radio, we hear the same subject matter literally being programmed into our spirits, minds, and hearts. We have been inundated with the glorifying of pre-marital sex, money, drugs, violence, pride, arrogance, and many other destructive thoughts and desires of individuals who seem to care nothing about God or the children who hear their music and practically (for a lack of a better word) worship them and their teachings. Yes, I purposely say ‘teachings’ because they have a platform or pulpit from which they preach the message of the ‘broad way’ with little or no emphasis on the ‘narrow way’ Jesus spoke about in His Word, leading their students to the graduation of destruction and perdition (St. Matthew 7:13,14). Many of these same secular artists claim to love their fans, but if you truly loved someone, wouldn’t you inspire them to do better? Wouldn’t you desire to see them come into a knowledge of the only God who is able to save them and give them a better way of life, including (as Zig Ziglar the Christian motivational speaker says in his book Over the Top) all of the things money can buy, and the things money can’t buy? Wouldn’t you want those whom you love to live a life pleasing to God the Father knowing that it would not only be beneficial to their well-being, but that it would literally put a smile on the Creator’s countenance, as well as leave a lasting impression, a Holy legacy to (if the Lord tarries) the generations to come?
The Holy Bible calls our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ “the Word made flesh” (St. John 1:14). He is literally the Breath of God, The Will of God, The Son of God, the Spirit of God, and God Himself. The Bible states that God created all things by Jesus the Word (Ephesians 3:9). He literally spoke and still speaks things into existence, for Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Out of darkness, Jesus is able to speak light (Genesis 1:3). In the midst of suffering, He speaks healing (St. Mark 6:13). In the midst of trials, He says ‘be of good cheer (The Acts 23:11)’. When God speaks something, nothing can keep his thoughts and intentions from coming to pass. THE WORD of GOD literally changes lives, and shakes things up in the heavens and the earth (The Acts 17:6). This is what we as Christian Hip Hop artists need to always grasp and keep in mind. We need not be intimidated because all we seem to hear on the radio frequencies is secular music, with little or no emphasis on Jesus. God is more than able to take control of the airwaves, placing more Godly character into the hearts of radio programmers, as well as in the disc jockeys and the listeners who tune in faithfully to hear the next ‘hip’ thing. Remember, music has the power to heal, soothe, encourage, and inspire. Remember David playing his instrument to comfort King Saul when he was overcome by an evil spirit (1 Samuel 16:23)? I hear all the time people giving Satan credit for being in charge of the music ministry in Heaven, but I have yet to find this in The Holy Bible (If someone can show me the Scripture that states that, I will be eternally grateful). Jesus is not only the Author and Finisher of our faith; He is the Author and Finisher of everything! He made music, all music, including Hip Hop. Of course we who are wise by the Word of God understand that Satan and sinful men have perverted the good things of God. They even try to pervert the goodness of God for their own sinful and lustful desires. In simpler terms, we know that God made medicine, but if the physician prescribed a capsule that is to be swallowed, and someone breaks the capsule and attempts to snort the ingredients for a temporary ‘high’ of some sort, they have perverted the intentions of the creator of that particular medicine. It makes what the physician prescribed for good and the health of the patient into something evil which may destroy the health of the patient and possibly kill him. In other words, God made music beautifully as an attribute of His Holiness, but Satan and man have perverted it as something that would subvert Jesus’ creation mainly for monetary gain, rather than uplift the listener, cheering the heart of God and man.
We as Gospel Hip Hop artists are not to get discouraged because our music at the present time may not have become the ‘mainstream’ norm. We should not be anxiously concerned because our music is currently not in ‘heavy rotation’ on various radio stations and media outlets. There is nothing too hard for God! He wants His Word to reach the masses, even when Satan tries to hinder us (Genesis 18:14, 1 Thessalonians 2:18). We are to keep making great music that glorifies our Father and inspires the masses to want to know our God and come into an eternal relationship with His Son Jesus Christ. Our prayer should be as Jabez’s, petitioning Jesus to ‘enlarge our coasts’. This not only means having God place our musical compositions on worldwide radio stations, but also to bless us monetarily in order that we are able to take care of our church’s, families, and those who are less fortunate than ourselves. Sadly some Christian artist’s feel as if they are not worthy or somehow it is unholy to receive the blessing of monetary wealth from their musical endeavors. This is far from the truth. If you went to work every day at a 9am to 5pm job and received a healthy salary from your employer, would you tell your employer not to pay you as much as he feels you deserve? Obviously you would not do this. It is the same with your Hip Hop music. Whether you realize it or not, your music is a business investment. You have to pay for studio time or equipment, CD press-ups, copyrights, publishing, promotion, websites and a plethora of other things needed in order to have a successful release. Even if you have signed a contract with a reputable record company, you may get an advance, but you still have to reciprocate the money to them once your release becomes profitable. Don’t you believe that it is God’s will for you to get a return on your investment (St. Luke 19:23)? Remember God is a righteous God. Whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap (Galatians 6:7)!
You have all the tools and gifts needed to become a productive Holy Hip Hop artist. You have a God-given mandate and commandment to go into the entire world and preach the Gospel (St. Mark 16:15). You have decided your best way to accomplish this goal is through your music ministry. You have a God that is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that you could ask or think (Ephesians 3:20)! So why not believe all that you already know? Remember as the Prophet Elisha told his servant, ‘there are more with us than with them’ (2 Kings 6:16). When you realize that you have God Almighty in the Person of Jesus Christ and all the Angels of Heaven on your side having your best interests in mind, look to Jesus! Ask Him to enlarge your coast, and bless you indeed! He will answer your prayer, and you can with confidence and boldness tell the world that God is not only the God of Jabez, but He is also the God of Holy Hip Hop and its Holy Culture as well!
James Oliver Mc Morris II, a graduate of Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, is a man with first-hand knowledge of the faithfulness of Christ. His mobility, severely challenged in 2003 as a result of injuries suffered in an automobile accident, has not kept him from accomplishing his goals. An author of two major publications, and a former correspondent for ‘The Daily Local Newspaper’ (West Chester Pennsylvania), Mr. Mc Morris utilizes his talents to uplift, encourage, and inspire his readers. He is the CEO of JESUS CHRIST TRU VINE Entertainment, a company specializing in God-Glorifying Entertainment. After two spinal cord surgeries, and physical therapy, Mr. Mc Morris is able to walk with the assistance of a walker. He firmly believes that by the power of God he will walk again.