When Joyce Im Bartholomew began planning for her music video for "Battle Is Spiritual," the lead single from her new album, The Unveiling, she knew the visual has to support the powerful message of the lyric. The result is a modern artistic interpretation of the Prodigal Son story. The song itself is based on Ephesians 6:12, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Although the music video addresses drug addiction, which is incredibly prevalent in our culture, it is also a symbolic representation of the many aspects of spiritual battles we fight in our daily life.
We spoke with Joyce about the song and video and her desire to also thank the heroic emergency responders who oftentimes risk their own lives to save another. If or someone you know struggles with addiction, you are not alone, God is with you. There is help. Please reach out to someone you know to ask for help.
What are your thoughts on the current national crisis on opioids addiction?
I believe drug addiction is everywhere, hidden by many people, and debilitating. It can lead to psychological problems as well. It can ruin someone's life once they become addicted.
What do you hope viewers of the music video will experience after watching the music video?
Drug addiction has many dangers but it is a spiritual battle too. The devil wants to control you, and ruin your life by any means possible.
Tell us about the song that inspired the video.
"Battle Is Spiritual" is based on Ephesians 6:12. Although the music video addresses drug addiction and the spiritual battle involved there, the song is meant to apply to the greater spiritual battle all around us daily. I often see flesh and blood and get angry, but I forget that the demons and angels are battling for my soul and I cannot see this happening. But, once I realized it more, I was able to focus less on man, and more on praying in the spiritual realm for God to change the circumstance. It switched my focus from man, and onto the spiritual demonic attack that occurs daily in everyone's life. This requires great prayer.
What compassion message would you like to tell the families of addicts?
God is greater than our addictions. He can help anyone overcome any obstacle, addiction, or trial. Trust that they will turn to Jesus because He loves them as much as he loves you and me.
What message would you like to tell viewers who are unaware of the harms of addition?
Nobody wants to become an addict, but drugs are so easy to acquire and can quickly destroy your life. Don't even start. It kills brain cells, can make you psychotic, and can control your life. This is what the devil wants.
What message of compassion do you have for the current addict watching this music video?
The devil wants to kill you. Jesus wants to set you free. Turn to Jesus, cry out to Him and He can help you because He loves you.
What call to action do you have for policymakers?
Medical Marijuana should be strictly enforced by a physician, like morphine. Recreational marijuana is ridiculous because the states that have allowed this have seen an increase in car accident deaths and violence! I personally know someone who was prescribed this and drove "high," which was allowed, but she refused to do it again. It was like being completely drunk.
How would you acknowledge or express gratitude to law enforcement, NGOs and first responders who are daily in the frontline caring for the addict and overdosed patients?
Thank you for your compassionate and immediate service in helping these people, often putting yourselves in danger as well.
How would you call "the church" to action?
Get involved with or start a drug rehab type of program. Not everyone may be called to do this, but hopefully, someone will answer this call and help these people find Jesus Christ and get their lives back into order. If we don't reach them with the gospel, which changes everything, then they will only have symptomatic assistance. They need life-changing help from Jesus Christ.
Tell us about your new album, The Unveiling?
The Unveiling is a mainstream album with Christian messages. The Unveiling began because I had a dream to produce a crossover album, the night after I returned home from recording my debut Christian album called Songs From The Deep. I hope that God uses it for the mainstream audience, to convict them of their need for Christ. The heart is reaching the lost for Jesus. Unveiling means the hidden Christian meaning behind each song. It is about the current social issues, such as suicide, bullying, narcissism and more.
You write all of your own music; where do you draw inspiration from when you write songs and what's your favorite part about the process?
Yes, with co-writers, but the songs are my inspiration. I draw inspiration from the Holy Spirit's convictions on social issues for this album. My favorite part of the process is when the melodies, instruments, and lyrics start coming together and taking shape into its own life.
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