New Covenant Ways – BT11
How does any of this ‘NEW wine and old wineskins’ relate to Christian music?
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I, like many Christian musicians, came from a long career of “might and power” flesh performance, even within “religions of this world.” I was secular music student from 1968 until 1980 when I became a Christian through the Church of Christ, and although they didn’t allow instrumental music, I did play for some parties they had! Since then, I’ve played with 100s of musicians in at least 22 secular groups and 15 churches. I honestly haven’t seen that much difference between most Christian and secular musicians – most are still performing for their own pleasure, money, ego, or desire to be “more right” with God. Many are very proud to be serving God by playing FOR God. Our rehearsals were often more fleshly with impatient, hot-tempers, worry, etc. than the other 22 secular groups. This was a terrible testimony to church music! This is ALL “by the flesh” (A) that can not lead –> to “by the Spirit” (B) music. It’s really no different than living under the old covenant – performance FOR God to be pleasing to Him. It’s all still “might and power,” no matter the motive.
But then a few of us were later blessed to be “enlightened and tasted the heavenly grace-gift [of the Spirit], and/coupled have shared in/by/with the Spirit, and/even have tasted the greatness of the directly-spoken/heard prophetic rhema words of God and/coupled the enabling-powers [of the Spirit] of the age to come” (a). The result was supernatural anointed, prophetic, spontaneous music WITH God. The real danger is if we then “have fallen away” from this and gone back to our own “might and power,” how can they “be restored again to repentance, since they would be again crucifying the Son of God, which would be to their own harm, setting themselves up to contempt?” (b). <Notes> a) Hebrews 6:4, b) Hebrews 6:5-6.
As for myself, after I started playing by the Spirit, I’ve only been hungry for more! I’ve played in so many secular bands, some that I just had to quit because they were so worldly, and some churches I also had to quit because they were just as worldly! And some secular groups are fairly neutral, and although as a hired musician they have been important for income, I would drop them in one second for an opportunity to play by the Spirit. However, I haven’t found too many churches or other Christian musicians that really want to go down that road! I’m really hoping that this BLOG ministry will foster more opportunities! However, an interesting thing has happened during my secular gigs since “I tasted the greatness of the directly-spoken/heard prophetic rhema words of God” to me that “You are an anointed musician who knows what it means to be filled by My Spirit, who knows what it is to play by My Spirit, and one day you will play in My courtyards with many others that I have chosen.” As I’m playing these secular gigs, I’m aware of this new identity, feel a inner joy, find myself smiling more, feeling more confident and less fearful, and often watching myself play so much more intuitively without as much analysis, yet playing so much better, and getting complemented every time. I just say I’m really having fun and feeling very grateful. I’m still trying to process this big difference!
Lord, I ask that your turn more of Your Christians musicians on to what I means to play their instrument under a completely-different-in-kind New Covenant, where they can now totally surrender their flesh’s “might and power” skill and simply allow You to play through them by the enabling-power of the Holy Spirit. Now instead of playing FOR You with can play WITH You. What a grand difference!