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for Tim

Tim wrote:

"Nice story, but what do you do if GOD asks you to lay down your very passion. I too am in love with Hsing-I, but I feel GOD has asked me to lay it down. I feel it is what I was made for, yet everytime I start to practice, things will be going good for a while but then I start to sense that I am disconnected from HIM.
I have been dealing with this issue for many years. I think I am going crazy sometimes. I know that there are many people who have used their talents to serve HIM. Is it possible that I am the exception and HE has something else in store for me?"
as a comment on my post on using your passion for Christ.

Here is my response:


It is nice to meet you, and I understand your situation. By chance, what associations do you have to hsing-i, what line or school did you learn from?

First thing we need to determine in this situation is what God wants you to do.

One question we might ask is is there anything in the practice of your hsing i that might retard your spiritual growth?

When a Christian is involved in any activity that has long been controled by the world, and even highly associated with the occult then there is a great need to redeem that activity.
What I mean by redeeming an activity is this: When we were redeemed by Christ, the bad was removed and it was replaced by something good. This is what the process of redemption means to us, and this is the process that we must submit our activities to as well. This means that every aspect of that activity must be put under the scope and any thing that is not honoring to God must be thrown out, and (very important here) replaced with something that is honoring to Him.

Another question we need to ask is this: How much do we love God? Is it more than anything else? Or maybe, our activity is loved by us more than we love God. If this is true, God may be asking us to prove our love. Much like God tested Abraham with Isaac by asking him to give it up for Him to see if we would.
Abraham was willing to give up his most cherrished possession, his only son (sound familiar?), in order to obey God. Because of this, God stopped him and blessed him ever more so because of his faithfullness. Also, if you remember the burning bush, you will recall that when God told Moses to be His emissary Moses said that he didn't have what it took to do the job. God asked him what he had in his hand, Moses replyed that he had a rod in his hand. God told him to throw it down, and it became a serpent. Then, God told him to pick it up again, and when Moses did so, it became the Rod of God. You see this same concept with Jesus and the feeding of the 5,000. When they gave to Jesus what they had, He took it and performed miracles with it. God is always asking us to give up what we have so He can give it back to us and make it His gift that we use for His kingdom. It is with this new perspective on our passions and our gifts that we can be used of God to perform great and mighty things.

Having said this, let me share my story. I have loved the martial arts since I was 5 years old. I determined at that young age that I wanted to someday master and then teach kung fu. At that time, however, I wanted it for my own selfish reasons. God knew this and did not give me my heart until years later, when I was ready for it. I was a teenager and still hadn't been able to learn any martial arts, yet still passionate about it, God began to deal with my heart. He began to ask me, "what do you want most, what you want or what I want for you?" I struggled with that question for quite some time before I finally conceded that I wanted what God wanted for me more than I wanted what I wanted for me. It was then that He asked me if I would be willing to give up my passion for Him if He asked me to. Once again I struggled for a while, finally submitting my passion willing to not study or train in martial arts if He asked me not to. It was then that everything came together perfectly for me to study under a Godly instructor. So, you see, I was tested exactly like Abraham, and like Abraham, I was blessed with what I was to sacrifice. Now, I cannot speak of what God will do with each individual person, it may be that He has some other testemony for you to have. the only way to see, is to look back in time. I know that in martial training, it is very easy for it to supercede everything as it demands attention, but we as Christians must fight against that and steadfastly maintain God as our Lord.

You are not the first martial artist that has voiced that same concern to me about their Christian walk and their martial arts. Fear not, and understand that God's path for us is the only path upon which we will truly be happy.

I would love to continue to interact with you and to get to know you better, so please keep in touch. I have two documents for you to read at your leisure to download. I hope that with what I have written they will help you to understand what it is that you should do with your passion.



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It's kind of like my singing. I love to sing, but I was enjoying it and using it more as a way to get recognition from others because as a SAHM, I felt isolated from others. When James was still young, I felt like I needed to stop. I didn't sing in church in about 5 years and now God is using my voice often for His glory and not for my own. One thing I've found that helps a whole lot is to pray deeply before singing, giving my voice and song solely to Him to use in the way He would. There have been days when I've known I couldn't have been doing it because my talking voice would be ragged, yet He gave me the ability to sing.

It's interesting this should come up. I gave up my passion for artwork when I was about 15. I was planning on pursuing a career there, but I just hit a wall with it. I couldn't do it anymore. Then God showed me He had other things in mind for me. I was pretty lost for a while, but now almost 6 years later I am committed to spending my life for God only. And then you talked about using our passions for the Lord. I hadn't thought about my personal passions in a long time. All this time it has been all about learning to turn everything about myself over to God. But now I'm thinking maybe God could be getting ready to bring them back into my life now because I am fully committed to using all that I am for Him. Of course I still don't know, but I still think it's pretty cool. I'm excited to see what happens.

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