Supernatural skill and confidence comes from anointed music!
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Christian musicians should become like the anointed craftsmen in Exodus 35:31-35 who were “filled with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood to work in every craft” for every single detail for the Tent of Meeting, the Ark of the Testimony, the holy garments of the priests, oils, incenses, lamps, etc. The Lord is into details!
Should our confidence come from our own “might and power” or from Spirit-empowerment? King Solomon says, “Yahweh will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught” (a) and “In the reverential awe of Yahweh one has strong confidence” (b). Paul says: “Such is the confidence that we have thru-the-realizing-channel-of Christ toward God (the Father). Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has caused to be ministers of a completely-different New Covenant, absolutely not in fact of the gramma sacred letter but of the Spirit, for the gramma letter kills but the Spirit gives zoe genuine-life” (c). Finally, “in Christ Jesus our Lord we have boldness and access with confidence through trusting-relying-faith in Him” (d). <Notes> a) Proverbs 3:26, b) Proverbs 14:26, c) 2 Corinthians 2:4-6, d) Ephesians 3:11-12.
Paul rattled off a whole list of credentials for having “confidence in the flesh” and bragged that he “had even more” than the Christians he was writing to, but then concluded: “Whatever gain I had, I counted as complete loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of the gnosis info-knowledge of/belonging to Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him” (a). This is one of the rare times Paul uses gnosis positively (b). As a Pharisee under the great teacher of the Torah Law of conditional-favor, Gamaliel, he was an expert at gnosis info-knowledge of the gramma sacred letters that make up the graphe scripture of the old covenant. That was high in his list of impressive credentials. But he considered this scriptural gnosis info-knowledge to be pure rubbish! He threw this scholarly expertise into the filthy trash where many “unclean” things were put! Why? Because the gramma sacred letters killed us – it’s called “the Law of sin and death” (c) for a reason! Clearly, the gnosis info-knowledge that “belonged to Christ” was exceedingly superior but this is only found in the New Covenant ministry in/by/with the Spirit.” If you are looking for confidence anywhere else but Christ it’s not the paper it is written on! <Notes> a) Philippians 3:3-9, b) 1 Corinthians 8:1, c) Romans 8:2; 1 Corinthians 15:56. See the Knowledge, Surrender Control, Letting go and Letting God, and New Covenant Ways pages.
As an anointed musician playing in/by/with the Spirit, you may actually find yourself watching yourself in the 3rd person with wondrous awe wondering how you could possibly be playing so well, making such beautiful music, and doing all this without really thinking much about it or whether it sounds good or not. Professional musicians are always thinking about and preparing for what they need to do next, whether they are reading music or not, and working hard to make sure their instrument interacts with the other musicians well, and so they are usually very self-conscious. This can lead to performance anxiety, mistakes, and post-playing criticalness and depression. I’ve seen it in hundreds of musicians and myself! There is a lot of alcohol and drugs used to calm nerves or psych performers up. Christians aren’t exempt – they may just pound coffee or smoke cigarettes to get pumped, and drink a couple of beers or wine afterwards to come down.
But none of this is needed when you give the Holy Spirit complete control of your playing! He takes you along for the ride and you are just left in awe, inspired, and filled up with joy. Also, there is no need to be nervous before stepping out on the stage, because the Lord has flowed through you during your Spirit-practice. He will do it again as you surrender control! Also, there is no need to brag in your ability because you know that you were just being used. There is no need for arrogance because you know your identity is “in Christ” and that He has chosen to use you out of pure unconditional-favor-of-grace, with no consideration for your so-called “talent” whatsoever!
I would be interested in hearing your experiences with supernatural skill and confidence while playing in/by/with the Spirit.