I guess Sunday is a rest day in more than one aspect. I didn’t work out, I didn’t reach 10000 steps, nor did I post 1000 words yesterday.

Day 8. After Easter Sunday.

I finished Beyond Talent by John Maxwell through Audible last week, and so far today I went through the Art of War. It was a nice 1 hour listen while I walked to town. I wasn’t able to absorb everything (the General had a lot of lists on blunders, types of terrain, etc.), but I do appreciate hearing my favorite line from the book:

“If you know your enemy and you know yourself, you need not be concerned about the result of every battle. If you know your enemy but do not know yourself, for every victory, you will suffer defeat. If you do not know your enemy and do not know yourself, you will lose every battle.”

I tried my best, anyway. But yeah, knowing yourself is just as important as knowing anything else which has the tendency to engage you in combat in this reality.

As I kept walking and listening, I played with the ideas I gathered from Beyond Talent, against this book I’m re-learning. After wondering and imagining, I thought there was some value in twisting the titles, so we have the Art of Talent, and Beyond War.

The Art of Talent

Consider everything John Maxwell said that was important to supplement talent with. I believe we could combine some or all of these values – belief, passion, initiative, focus, preparation, practice, etc. – if we appreciated our talents as art.

For the Christian, it provides us with yet another avenue in seeing the awesomeness of our God, and our Creator. See, this is the same God who guarantees that no two snowflakes are the same, and are equally intricate in design, equally magnificent and beautiful. This same God who takes the time to create each snowflake one by one, yet all at the same time as they fall from the skies, is the same Creator who designs us with our talents with the same belief, passion, initiative, focus, preparation, practice, etc.

By taking the time to appreciate our talents as such, we would honor the Creator who gave us said talents. From a life-giving perspective we can say that talents are more than just tools for us to get ahead of everybody else in this reality; no, talents are a means created in each and every one of us to celebrate Christ and His finished work, that we may create, congregate, and create even greater things.

Each temple of the Holy Spirit has its treasures, none more or less adorned by its unique works of art: Talents.

Beyond War

Of course, we could not go anywhere near this sort of perspective if we’re still struggling to understand the finished work of Jesus Christ. God help those who are still struggling in the battles they choose to pit themselves in, actively refusing to believe that the war has already been won.

This isn’t the first or the last time I’m going to quote Marhabal: “Hannibal knew how to gain a victory, but not how to use it.”

Indeed, we ought to recognize what’s been won, who lost, and what persists.

Christ has won. Becoming sin and dying, He took the wages of sin, and drank from the cup down to its dregs. We just celebrated yesterday how we know that all sin was paid for, because He died, but rose again. If there was still death to take and endure, Christ would have remained dead. But imagine that – the borderless King of Kings would not be held in by death, the border of borders.

Being reconciled at the cross, we died when He died, so when He rose again, with no more death to hold Him down, and no more sin to take – so we rose with Him, alive as He is alive, righteous as He is righteous. As the Scriptures say, we are the righteousness of Christ. Christ won. We won. We are alive, and righteous.

Sin lost. Death lost. The tomb is empty. The grave is empty. Our bodies may waste away, but our entire beings have been reconciled and saved by Christ – in other words, sure, we may lose battles here in this reality, but the Truth is that the war has been won. It will take us beyond the limits of time to appreciate, much less grasp the magnanimity of the victory Christ won out of His everlasting love for us.

Christus Victor. Better to bask in it, while we learn more about it.

And here we are again, back to square one, in a cycle of worship that would have us in perpetual awe and wonder, finite beings with finite minds, enjoying the company of no less than the infinite Creator, saved by the Good Shepherd who loved us and lay His life down for us.

Indeed, the more we build on Christ as our Foundation, the more we appreciate the Foundation who is Christ. He truly is the Rock on whom we stand, the Rock whom I dare say we build our beliefs and bolster our beings upon.

This is what persists. We will always be worshiping Him.

And as we allow the Holy Spirit to continue working in and through us, tutoring us with grace, we come to understand that worship is not only limited to the words we speak and the songs we sing, but in every single breath we take, and in every beat of our hearts.

Every breath we take is itself a song of praise to the living God who gave us life to enjoy here and to celebrate beyond the confines of time.

Every beat of our heart is a proclamation of the faithfulness of our Father, who is with us forever, loving us with an everlasting love which is more real in the unseen, manifesting in what our senses perceive.

As I continue down today and this week, I pray that we would all just continue to build upon this Rock, and be a blessing to ourselves and to all we influence.


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