“I want my art to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable,” declared rapper Andy Mineo on “Sway in the Morning” with rapper, journalist, and radio host Sway Calloway. As a rapper who is a born-again Christian, Mineo is spreading a message of love, hope, and devotion to God in a genre (hip hop & rap) that is monopolized by sex, money, and drugs. He is signed to Reach Records, a record label that is dedicated to reflecting the nature of Jesus Christ into culture, and it features God-serving artists like Lecrae, Trip Lee, Tedashii, and KB (Kevin Burgess). With his new album Uncomfortable (released on September 18th), Mineo has constructed a project that challenges Christians to stretch themselves beyond the comfortable domains of their walk with Jesus Christ and to search for the fullness of God rather than the easy and cheap lusts of the world. Mr. Mineo’s message dovetails with the heart of God, who desires for us to continually seek a fresh outpouring of intimacy with Him as we mature in our walk.
It’s rare to see a follower of Jesus Christ who hasn’t suffered through a season of testing and trial during their lifetime. Brokenness comes in all forms and once God shows us there is a route to wholeness, we jump to attention at the possibility of getting patched up by our Father. However, the climb to wholeness is not one marked with ski lifts. We all are disintegrated disciples, and more often than not, we slip into mindsets, patterns, of sin, and obstacles that deceive us into stagnating in our walk rather than pushing against the glass ceiling that is separating us from another untouched piece of who God wants us to be in Him.
Instead of scaling the cliff towards our Father, we like to stick around at base camp and drink coffee in the lodge, thinking that we’re as close to God as we’re ever going to get. We don’t like elevation because with elevation comes the unknown, and the unknown makes us feel insecure about what kind of disasters we could create or encounter. The familiar makes us cozy but stale, and we won’t move unless we’re forced to take a step out of the lodge and find a handhold at the foot of the mountain. Knowing the frailties of his children, God often calls us to elevation by providing opportunities for us to seek Him further, discard the thorns in our sides, and ripen our maturity. Unfortunately, many won’t answer the call, and will attempt to climb alone and apart of God, trusting that they can find their own way with their brains and brawn. As a respecter of our free choice (which is used all too much for foolishness) He has given us, God will allow us to go it alone. When we press forward without our Father, we get tangled up in circumstances that were tailor made by Satan to reinforce our fears and failures. That’s where the trial comes in, because at some point along the climb, we realize that we need God to get out of our mess.
Never one to be bland, God uses our trials not only to display His promises but to also teach us patience and how to purge certain mindsets and habits that are leading us into sin’s arms. Once we recollect that God always redeems us from our most abysmal falls into the pit, all we want to do is have Him pull us out. That’s exactly what He does, but not in the way we want to. We want Him to pull us out with a coffee in our hand and feet stretched out as he picks us up. God knows if He allows us to expect that kind of leisure, we will never discern the instruction that He has for us so that we might know Him more fully and make Him known. That’s why amidst the trial, we must have patience, because God is speaking all the time to us on how we can navigate the climb. Patience allows us to listen, and that there is power in stillness before the Lord. Resting in God’s promises during devotions is a backbreaker for the devil. We want to climb away when we suffer, yet if we don’t find out what broken layers God wants to crack, we will continue to run around the same mountains. It’s a product of our culture: instant information and indomitable impatience.
At the top of every mountain that represents the testing of our faith, God waits for us and He’s holding an elevation. Faith is essential, because it allows us to see the upgrade in our relationship with Him despite the bleakness of the climb before us. While our own sins and Satan’s schemes will come to corrupt our elevation, our Father will use them to make us uncomfortable (as Andy Mineo says). That lack of comfort will cause us to seek God with every foot forward. Noticing these truths, Satan will recognize the righting of our course and attempt to subvert and pervert any attempt of ours to gain a thicker intimacy with the Father. However, God refines us through what was meant to defy us. When a farmer plants a crop, he till us up the ground. Tilling the ground means breaking up the soil and getting things messy. That’s what God does when He rolls up His sleeves and brings His lunchpail. He’ll lay a hand on your shattered heart and hidden torture in order to slip a seed of elevation through the cracks. Once you allow Him to heal you, the sprouting will begin. It’s when we get uncomfortable that God pulls our skeletons out of the closet in order to lay them before us so that we will make the choice to in turn lay it before God.
We can show our faith in action by practicing the precepts of these 5 verses…
- James 1:1-8 & 12= Have joy amidst the trial that is rooted in the salvation of Jesus Christ, and persevere. Ask and expect to receive discernment as you climb towards elevation in your relations with God and Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. The crown of life and elevation is waiting on the mountaintop for those who persevere.
- James 5:7-8= A farmer doesn’t grow a crop in a day and your elevation will not be instant. It takes patience to be stretched and understand that the uncomfortable will lead you to Christ our Savior.
- 1 Peter 1:6-7= Our faith is worth more than gold, and it gets there by being tested under trial.
- 1 Peter 4:1-3= Suffering leads us to discarding our fleshly desires because it forces us to seek the will of God.
- Philippians 3:12-14= Press forward and have humility when God wants to stretch you. He will take you where you might not want to go. However, we can’t reach out to God when we’re holding onto our demons.
Andy Mineo’s album Uncomfortable describes with brutal honesty how a life of bliss and ignorance will lead a Christian to decay. Despite those realizations, he goes on to show how the love of Jesus can put us back together and that a life lived for Him means that we don’t have to play the games that the world wants us trapped in. Mr. Mineo has poetically used rap to teach me about elevation and maturity in a life lived for Jesus Christ. He could do the same for you. His album Uncomfortable is available now, and its jam-packed with the motifs of godly remorse/repentance, grace, forgiveness, and most importantly, elevation.
Kevin Cochrane is an eighteen year old writer and blogger with the distinct purpose of radically restoring everyone with ears to hear to the original testimony of Jesus Christ. His mission is to live by the words he writes and develop his character along with the prose he pens. For updates on his latest blog posts, you can follow him on Twitter @RunFree_KC or click the follow button at the bottom of the page to receive notifications by email.