Clive: Choosing Joy

Clive

Clive plays drums in worship bands and played with the CCU band. Photo provided by Clive.

Anyone who knows Clive will tell you that they have never met someone whose relationship with God is so evident and whose positive attitude is so genuine. He has such a close relationship  with God that he even calls Him Dad. His faith is an inspiration to many, including me.

Clive grew up in a Christian home in the Cayman Islands, and has since journeyed across the globe in pursuit of God’s will for his life. He left home at age 18 to study medicine in Jamaica, and after a year of college, he traveled to Costa Rica to continue his studies. He then came to Colorado, where he attended Colorado Christian University studying worship arts.

While in Colorado, he felt God leading him to leave school and get involved in Youth With a Mission (YWAM), a Christian missions organization. Trusting God to provide the funds he needed, he bought a one-way ticket to Hawaii to participate in the music track of  YWAM’s 21 Project. The experience left him feeling “disappointed and discouraged,” unsure if becoming “a musician that spread the gospel” was really his calling. He then decided to attend YWAM’s 6-month Discipleship Training School (DTS), where he finally found his purpose: he would become a missionary.

Clive started our interview with a prayer. “Thank you that Ali saw something in me that made her want to do this interview, but whatever she saw, she is seeing You,” he said. He grinned widely and laughed out of pure joy and gratitude at being able to talk to God, the Maker of the universe, his Dad. 

Q: How did your relationship with God change your life?

A: “In my mid-teens I was a really angry kid. I took to heart all the things that happened to me and I became bitter. I visited some friends of mine in Colorado and they explained things about God to me, like that He actually is a great Father, and that changed my life. Finding out that God is my Father, and not just the God who created the universe from dust, kickstarted the kind of relationship I have with Him now. I grew to love Him because He is a great Dad, the lover of my soul, the One I can be most intimate with.”

Q: You have done a lot of different things trying to find God’s will for your life. How did you deal with God completely changing the plans you had?

A: “I wanna tell you that I was like, “Yep, Jesus, I’m gonna follow You,” the first time [He changed my plans], but that was not the case. My reaction at first was not happy. I wasn’t blaming Dad, but I was trying to figure out why things weren’t happening the way I wanted them to. But now I realize that [all the changes in my life] were exactly what needed to happen. Now I have so much peace, joy, and fulfillment. Everywhere I go, I’m in Dad’s hands.”

Q: How did you start to develop a strong prayer life and vibrant relationship with God?

A: “I became serious in my relationship with Jesus [when I told Him], “I want to be like You.” I started focusing more on Him in my day. I started doing more worship stuff and started singing things to Him. [I thought,] “wow! I can say these things to Him too,” and started doing that [through prayer].”

“The main thing He taught me [as I grew in my relationship with Him] is how to have joy and be who He made me to be- a joy bomb so to speak. There is nothing in this world more important to me than Him. My biggest aim is to be just like Jesus and concentrate on heavenly things instead of worldly things.”

Q: How does prayer impact your life?

A: “Prayer is literally everything. Every single day I pray. I talk to God about everything- money, food, girls- everything! There’s nothing too insignificant to bring to Dad. He wants to be our best friend. A big part of my prayer [life] is bringing Him everything.”

“I get to talk to Jesus. He makes time to talk to me because He created time. He wants to talk to me and He’s making Himself available to me, so why would I turn Him down?”

Q: What is your prayer life like?

A: “I just start talking and He’ll respond. [For me, prayer can be] having a question, asking God that question, getting His answer and being grateful to Him for it. I talk to Him like He’s my dad. You can call on Him anywhere and everywhere, He loves talking to His kids.”

“God wants relationship, not religion. In my relationship with God, I see Him as a Father who is worth being respected, and I speak with Him candidly. When I remember that He is God of the universe, the transcendent Being over everything, and I remember just how big he really is, [to know] that He lives inside of me… What an honor! He could have chosen to live anywhere else. It’s so humbling to think [of the fact that] I’m not a servant, I’m a son.”

Q: How do you approach praying for others?

A: “[I love praying for others] because I get to talk to Jesus. I get to see Heaven come to earth in that situation and I get to become more like Him. The more I communicate with Dad, the more I become like Him. I get to talk to Jesus on others’ behalf.”

Q: Do you pray Scripture back to God, and if so, how do you do it?

A: “[Praying Scripture back to God] is a great thing to do. In the Bible, people like Moses and Abraham would say to God, “remember, You said You were going to do this.” They were quoting Scripture to God even before the Bible was written. [When I pray Scripture], I say, “Dad, You said this, so I claim this. You said You would take me there.” And when God does take me [where He promised], I tell Him thank you for taking me there.”

Q: Do you have a favorite Bible verse?

A: “One that hit me hard recently was the last part of 1 Corinthians 13:5, which says that love holds no record of wrongs. [This verse reminds me of] the power of forgiveness and why God wants us to forgive. [This verse also] means that once we accept Christ, everything we did is forgotten and we now have the ability to become sons and daughters of God. It qualifies us to receive the inheritance of Christ.”

Q: How are you able to love people so well?

A: “You have to receive love from God, not just give love to others. When you receive love from the Father, you won’t be giving love from a place of “I have to,” but rather “I want to.” When you realize how loved you are and how everything you have has been given to you by God through grace, the devil can’t touch you. The Bible says that we love because He first loved us [1 John 4:19], and that’s the only way we can love others: receiving love from the Father. You are loved by God. Nothing you can do will make Him stop loving You. His love for You was there since the beginning, it will be there in the end, and it’s there now. His love for You can’t stop because it would contradict His infinite nature. If God loves you, I love you.”

“I speak truth [to others] because I am free to do so. The verse that says life and death are in the power of the tongue [Proverbs 18:21] is so true. What you say about a situation or a person shapes them.”

Q: How are you able to be joyful no matter the circumstances?

A: “I believe that joy is a gift that I’ve been given. I wasn’t walking in joy [when I was younger], but the chains of anger were broken off of me through the power of Jesus Christ. Be wary of what the enemy will do; he’ll take something that you’re meant to do and make you afraid of it. You can change the world [when you are doing what God made you to do].”

“Joy is more than happiness, joy depends on Jesus. If God is joy, I will be joy. I ask God to give me joy. I choose to be consistently positive. I don’t always get it right,  but I choose to speak life and truth.”

“People quote Romans 5:8 a lot, which says that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. But they sometimes ignore the first part, which says that this is the love of God for us that He died for us. I have no excuse to see anything in a negative way because God sees the positive in every single thing He made [even us, when we were still sinners]. I don’t have it all right, and that’s okay. Whenever I fail, I get to learn more about Jesus.”

 

Written by Ali

 

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