I am certainly aware that if totally prepared or flying by the seat of our pants, God often steps in and does His perfect work through our music. We sit down exhilarated or defeated, we realize we had absolutely nothing to do with what He did. I also know that God honors work. He has given us “gifts” to develop, hone, and use for His Kingdom and to be a conduit of His love and grace to encourage the saints and witness to the unbeliever. (I know I have written on this subject at other times, but it is vividly on my mind tonight. For fifty years, and now at Level Grove Baptist Church, I have been surrounded by marvelous musicians with hearts to pour themselves into ministry. I am simply sitting at my desk feeling very grateful. Of all men, I am so very blessed.)
Anyone who knows me, is vividly aware I am no theologian. As a matter of fact, every time I preach, I know God has called me to sing….so does everyone else. Still, after being saved for nearly sixty years and being in the ministry for fifty, God has taught me a few things. I have listened to lengthy discussions of men far smarter than me concerning music, talent and gifts. Is music a “gift” from God or is it a talent that, when developed, helps us to manifest the gifts God has given us?
..Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith. Romans 12
…there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord……to each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. I Corinthians 12
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1
At the end of most worship services, someone will say to me or to one of our team, “Oh, God certainly has given you a wonderful gift.” These comments are true, are well meaning and heartfelt. We understand and appreciate it. Yet, as a leader, a minister of music, I am so very grateful that many wonderful people have taken their “God given gift” and taken the time to develop and sharpened their “gift” to skillfully play and sing. The musician is blessed, the saints are encouraged, the lost see Jesus, and God is “lifted up” and glorified.
Thank you to the literal thousands of saints who have partnered with me these many years.