I am writing this after two Artisan prayer events in just nine days, the first one in New York followed by the monthly event in London – over the two events nearly five hundred industry people from many cities got together to dedicate their lives and industries to God.
The morning I was due to fly to New York the BBC news announced that the US security organisations had intelligence warnings of bomb attacks on the New York subway for that weekend. I’ve been to New York
so many times when huge obstacles like tube strikes, petrol fiascos and bombs have just happened to occur on the day of prayer events! On the Saturday people were naturally concerned about travelling on the subway, which was already running slow due to the terrible weather. Yes, to add to the security threats we were also deluged with the worst weather for ages (again reported on the BBC), and all this after a week of temperatures in the mid-eighties. I have to say that I felt as though these dramas could practically wipe out the prayer event numerically. I wondered whether to change the venue to my hotel room, which could have easily fitted a hundred people around the Steinway and the four plasmas! (Don’t tell the trustees…)
Amazingly, around two hundred and fifty of us came together from as far as Tokyo, Paris, London (eighteen of us), San Francisco, Seattle, Atlanta, Washington and, of course, New York. We had a great time together and plans are already taking place for the next event in March/ April. In London we meet on the third Monday of the month (except in December and August). See the website for details www. artisaninitiatives.org.
If this is your first read of Artisan then let me give you the brief rundown. Over the past few years the Artisan publication has focused on specific issues including Ambition, Rejection, Image, Money, Sexuality and Touring. In this edition we are looking at the issue of Success – finally an issue I can relate to! For all the editions of Artisan up to now it has been relatively easy to find writers (especially the one on rejection), but to find people to write about success is a different ball game.
However, I’m thrilled with the writers who have shared their journeys and insights, which I also hope will be helpful to you and where you’re at. The desire for success lies in all of us, a term which most articles naturally focus on in the context of our industries. However, as a foundation to this publication it’s my desire to unpack success in terms of our walk with God, which is the catalyst for everything. In the book of Kings, you know from the first few descriptive sentences as to whether or not a king was successful in his reign. The phrase ‘did what was right in the eyes of the Lord’ is the give away. Another common phrase that describes the life of a central character is ‘walked with the Lord’ – the measurement of success. John 15:4 also unlocks the truth saying, ‘Remain in me and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.’
I refer to this passage so many times because I can so easily sway towards independence and self sufficiency. Jesus, who is our ultimate model of success, clearly communicates the pivot on which everything else revolves. He goes on to say, ‘As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love’ (John 15:9). I want to remind you that this place of being ‘in Christ’ is incomparable – we open ourselves to the potential of drawing from all the fullness of God. Surely this is quite an exciting prospect as a creative: you have the potential to ‘be in’ the designer and architect of creation, who desires, more than anything else, for us to be as a child to a parent and also as close as lovers. What else on all the earth can provide us with such a sense of completeness, wholeness, security, identity and success?
Success = Dependency?
Dependency = Success?
Love to you all,