“I think God chose Justin Gambino to be an up & comer and make him known because he’s fully committed to following the call on his life and he’s passionate about going after reaching people outside the walls of the church.” —Jenene Stafford
Sacrifices quietly make bold statements. We don’t always talk about them—most times we avoid them altogether—but every time we make the choice to surrender ourselves for the Kingdom, we attract the heart of God. There’s no sweeter fragrance than when we choose Him above all else. Justin Gambino, a gifted musician, singer/songwriter and recording artist from Houston, Texas, has been on his Journey Within My Soul Tour for the bulk of this year. He’s been on the road significantly more than he’s been home, and the way he talks about the sacrifices he’s been making on a daily basis deserves to be highlighted. He says “Yeah, it’s definitely difficult being away from home, but what makes it not as hard is that this is a calling. This is a dream that God put in my heart. So, yeah, it’s hard being away from my family. It’s hard being away from [my wife], but what makes it worth it is whenever people are being ministered to by the music.” Justin’s dedication to live out the call on his life no matter the cost is a genuine example for us to follow, whatever season we find ourselves in.
Regarding his tour, Justin says “Overall, it’s going well. The first part of the tour was difficult. There was a lot of spiritual opposition. There were a lot of blows. I just think it kind of comes with the territory. When you’re doing ministry and Kingdom work, you know, you’re gonna have opposition. The enemy does not want [us to be] doing what [we’re] doing, so he’s going to try to throw everything he can at us while we’re doing stuff for the Lord. That’s just how it goes. Some people think ministry work is just a cakewalk and it’s sad that only people in ministry will understand ministry.” With this mature understanding, he is able to be real and vulnerable through his music that people can sincerely connect with and relate to.
Justin says, “I try to be authentic and honest in my writing. Like, if I’m feeling this spirit of darkness or if I’m in this season where I just feel darkness around me, I want to write about that. Because being a Christian and being a follower of Jesus—it’s not all daisies and roses all the time. It’s not skipping along in Candy Land. No, there are days where it sucks and it’s tough. And I think Christian songwriters and Christian music needs to be a little bit more real and authentic and honest in our writing, in our music. I’m not bashing any other Christian artist at all. There is great music out there that’s very uplifting and positive. But I think God gave me a gift to write some thought-provoking lyrics that would get people thinking to make decisions, and to ultimately (prayerfully/hopefully) encourage people to go out and be the hands and feet of Jesus.”
With such a heart to reach people, he says “Some of my favorite venues are not churches, because that’s where you find the lost. That’s where you find the broken. I would say that my music isn’t always meant for followers and believers. I want to reach people that are hurting and are broken. Like me, I’m not perfect, but I serve a perfect God. And I believe that He writes this music through me so that I can reach those that you wouldn’t find in church.”
It’s easy to talk about the dreams in our hearts, but to put in the work it takes to bring them to pass is another story. It took the span of 6 whole years before Justin released his latest album Journey Within My Soul. And it’s been a lifetime of journeying with the Lord for him to get where he is today. When he first started out, he juggled a full-time job and serving in the Navy, all while pursuing a career in music. He’s been paying a high price since before anyone really knew his name.
Now after all these years, the excitement in Justin’s heart to go big for the Kingdom is drastically growing. He says “I really see [God] expanding my territory across the world. Here in the next 5-10 years, I see God’s going to write a few more albums through me. The Philippines has been heavy on my Spirit. Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of people messaging me and tuning in to my Facebook page from Manila. So, I think God’s going to take my ministry to the Philippines. I think He’s going to take it outside the country. And that’s my heart—I want to reach as many people as I can with my music, and I know that God knows that. And I think He’s going to open those doors to places across the ocean and just anywhere I’m willing to go. I always tell Him, ‘Lord, rock my world! I want to be rocked!” Many have been prophesying over Justin that [his ministry] is going to go to a whole new level. He wholeheartedly receives and believes it, and his prayer this year has wildly been “[Lord,] I dare You to just blow my mind with what You have for me!” And He’s surely been doing exactly that.