Spiritual checklist based on the website’s BLOGs to prepare for Spirit-Practice
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Treat your time with God to practice your instrument as a holy time in a holy space. Prevent every conceivable distraction to keep you from being in koinonia fellowship with God, and open up in patiently waiting, watching, listening, and worshipful conversational-prayer to invite the presence of the Holy Spirit. Thank the Lord for the privilege to practice in His presence and to enjoy the exploration and creation of music together, even anointed, prophetic, and spontaneous music. Count your blessings one by one! What a privilege to be used by God to further His kingdom!
Press into the stillness and quietness of solitude with God! It’s not about “WHAT to do” more of “in your own way,” even if it’s “FOR God,” but “letting go and letting God” – surrendering control. Frank Sinatra was dead wrong singing “I did it my way!” You have to continue pressing in until there is nothing left of you or anything else to hold on to – no “might nor power” left! Psalms 37:7 says the same: “Be still (a) before Yahweh and wait patiently for Him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his own way.” Psalms 46:10 echoes this: “Be still and/thus relationally experience (b) that I AM Elohim (c).” The original languages bring out so much more meaning: We have to “go on a vacation from ourselves” if we want to experience for ourselves the real Spirit-power of God, not to get stuff from God but to BE with God to really get the experential knowledge of God! <Notes> a) cease all activity and be quiet, b) yada, ginosko, c) the plural majesty of God.
Press into Him! However, until you get to this place of peaceful rest it will seem like you are battling so many unseen forces of your flesh, your sins, your doubts, and all kinds of darkness that will come against you from so many directions. But don’t stop waiting upon the Lord, seeking His face, listening for Him, watching for His visions, asking to dream His dreams, and reaching out to Him with all of your being, all of your desire, all of your hope, and all of your strength for the presence of God Himself, to hear from Him directly by His prophetic rhema words, to continue being filled by His Holy Spirit, and to be filled by His anointing to play through you and your instrument anointed, prophetic, and even spontaneous music.
As you practice, keep listening in conversational-prayer for the Lord to give you directly-spoken/heard prophetic rhema words, watch with optanomai wide-open eyes to mentally ‘see’ to eido perceive, and feel the heart of God to genuinely, experientially, relationally epiginosko know the Lord, and keep a journal of this, so you can continue to practice what the Lord has revealed to you. Let Him give you “sophia wisdom and sunesis connect-the-dots understanding instead of leaning on your own, and He will make your paths straight and smooth.”
Routinely ask the Lord to show you who you really are, what your identity in Christ is. Is your mind set on the ambitions and desires of your flesh – your soul’s mind, emotions, and will or your body’s sensual desires, or is your mind set on the ambitions and desires of the Holy Spirit? Even as a Christian, what is your unique identity in Christ, your function or role in Body-of-Christ ministry? This will profoundly dictate what and how you practice, because wherever your mindset is, is where your actions will be – Doing flows from Being! This truth of who you specifically are in Christ will set you free!
Give the burden of being a skilled & professional musician in serving God to Jesus for Him to carry, and find your peaceful rest in Him at the foot of “The Old Rugged Cross.” Find your skill in Him by being devoted to patiently waiting, watching, listening, worshipful, conversational-prayer in the presence of His Holy Spirit. Of 5 early Church devotions to “conversational-prayer, koinonia fellowship, Lord’s supper, gospel ministry, and our witness of good works,” it is conversational-prayer that is mentioned the most, then our obedience of good works, then the Body-of-Christ ministry of teaching, then koinonia fellowship, then lastly the Lord’s Supper. It’s just amazing how most churches reverse the order!
Let go and let God! Repent by opening up your clenched hands and surrendering control of your reliance on your own flesh’s limited “might and power,” and instead trust and rely that He will take this from your hands and instead give you unlimited Spirit-power in learning to practice anointed, prophetic, and even spontaneous music.
Place your trusting-relying-faith in the Holy Spirit of the Father and Son to guide you and teach you ALL things needed for music ministry – Christ’s “anointing gives you ALL eido mentally ‘seen’ to perceive knowledge so that you have absolutely in fact no need that any man teach you.” Jesus Christ is The Truth and His Spirit is the “One Teacher, so we are all simply brethren.” This is the “Worship in/by/with the Spirit and/coupled in/by/with The Truth” that the Father is seeking!
By trusting-relying-faith, rely on the fresh inspiration of the Holy Spirit’s anointed, directly-spoken/heard prophetic rhema words of God even through visions and dreams, grace-gifts and signs & wonders to minister to you and the music.
Insure you fix/gaze your wide-open eyes on Jesus as the “author and finisher of your trusting-relying-faith,” His perfect sacrifice that finished the old covenant’s Torah Law of conditional-favor, His completely different-in-kind New Covenant Way of unconditional-favor-of-grace, and His “Great News” logos gospel message of Christ as “The Truth” and “The Way” – the ONLY way to the Father for “The Life.” If you “borrow” anything from the OT, then you are laying the foundation for The Great Wall quenching the Holy Spirit in the Church! Water-baptism is when we receive the Holy Spirit of salvation to enter the Kingdom of God, which is also when we should be first Spirit-baptized to receive Spirit-power to minister with grace-gifts.
Be drawn to the unconditionally-loving arms of their Heavenly “Abba” Daddy, knowing that you can only be “transformed from glory to glory by gazing upon the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” So our focus is on Christ as the logos Word/Message of God instead of on religion’s special books, special knowledge, special rules, special places or buildings, special furniture or kitchenware, special artifacts or statues, special people with their titles of authority and clothes, special speech or wisdom, and special foods or days.
Keep your “rules” as simple as the NT and early Church did – only 2 commandments to keep track of: “Trusting-relying-faith in Christ” and “unconditionally-loving one another, just as I have unconditionally-loved you.” Any time we add even 1 of the 613 OT commandments, the pure white of the gospel is no longer, we are obligated to keep all 613, and have fallen from unconditional-favor-of-grace and thus being under the dominion of the Torah Law of conditional-favor of sin and death, we would then be severed from Christ.
Make sure we are “no longer ministers of the old, antiquated way of sacred gramma letters of OT graphe scripture but of the completely different-in-kind New Covenant Way of the Spirit.” Let us never return to the “elementary ‘abc’ principles” or “milk of OT oracles or prophecies of the things to come” but go onto the “meat of discernment by the Holy Spirit, distinguishing between good and bad by constant practice” – see New Covenant Ways – BT16, so that we are “taught by God.” It’s a deceptive “tradition of men” to think that through bible study you will acquire the knowledge of God. It didn’t work for 1000s of years for all the “wise and learned,” and Jesus said it “will be kept hidden from them, but revealed to little children.” It’s not about WHAT you know or even WHAT you practice, but WHO you know!
God shows no favoritism! So let us keep all ministry through us equally accessible, because “the least among you” shall be “first to mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know God” – little children, uneducated, poor, impaired, and slaves will enter before the “wise and learned.” Christ’s “yoke of discipleship” must be “easy and light” for anybody to “learn and carry!”
We have “One Teacher, and we are equal brethren,” and there is “only ONE Head over the Body, the Church,” and so only ONE who has ANY authority over anybody, who actually has ALL authority over EVERY body. So how much is left for us? Therefore, let us each of us “not think of ourselves more highly than we ought,” but instead “do nothing from self-ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than ourselves.” Therefore “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Like Christ, who came “not to be served but to serve,” will we lower ourselves and wait on others, even willing to be their slave? All ministry is to be a koinonia sharing of Body-of-Christ ministry where the “equippers” act more like coaches and facilitators of “the saints who are actually doing the work of the ministry!” The “One Teacher” of the Holy Spirit can use many grace-gifts to reciprocally Teach One Another. The “one-man show” is simply picking up “stones” from the world to build The Great Wall quenching the Holy Spirit in the Church.
Be so thirsty that you will come to Jesus to drink so much of the Holy Spirit’s “living water” that you will be “drunk” or Spirit-baptized. Be whole-hearted in your surrender of control and be as relentless as a little child for Jesus, His kingdom, and His Spirit-power to actually do “the will of God on earth as it is in heaven.”
Persist through the darkness until you receive! Don’t give up if you don’t get immediately “zapped” with divine anointing and Spirit-power. Be “relentless as a little child!” The spiritual enemies of God will do everything to discourage you to stop repenting and surrendering control of your “might and power” equipment, knowledge, skill, and control until you really are “at the end of your rope” and ready to “let go and let God.” This sometimes takes days or weeks to finally get to this point.
I’ve experienced this groping in the dark several times, but the first was in 1983 after my church split because of vying – which is vile – leadership. All I had known for 3 years was intense bible study, but now I wondered if I had just been brainwashed by the church and its bible to thinking Christianity was real. So I proseuchomai conversationally-prayed every day for 3 weeks at the top of the U of A stadium, calling out to God to let me know that what I was reading was actually real and not just a product of the religion of Christianity. I struggled for so long it seemed like nothing but silence. One day I told God, “I’m a good tennis player now; I play with real people, not just against the backboard anymore. Evidently, You aren’t real because I searched for You with everything I had and all I’m met with is silence. I guess I was fooled. I guess I will go back to my old life, because none of this is real.” I didn’t even get turned around to leave before I lost all strength and fell to the ground, vibrating with electricity flowing through my body. I immediately saw myself in an ocean with no shores as I was being pulled down into a large whirlpool. I was scared to death, but then I saw the swirling went right into my chest with boundless, unconditionally-loving acceptance that was so overwhelming that I cried out for it to stop because I was going to explode and die. And then I was overwhelmed with joy and I cried like a baby, still vibrating on the ground, unable to move. Then a peace came over me that made me so content that I didn’t get up for a very long time, just praising and thanking God in true worship. I still felt the residual of the shock in my skin the rest of the day and was on ‘cloud 9’ for many weeks after, experiencing other supernatural events. Nobody from my conservative Church of Christ could relate, so I had to leave and find a charismatic church that did understand. I also read books about Charles Finney and others that experienced such things.
Oftentimes, understanding comes after experience. It wasn’t until 1985 that I thoroughly researched in the bible about this Spirit-baptism experience I had, and after 8 exhausting hours I suddenly became extremely thirsty. I became so convinced I was asking over and over for more! As I turned to the refrigerator, I couldn’t move at all as I “saw” torrents of gold rush through my head like a localized shower, down my body, out my fingertips, and down my legs to pin my feet to the floor. Again, I was “zapped” with electricity and filled to overflowing with unconditional-love, joy, and peace. In both cases, and several since, it always came down to “being at the end of my rope” and really being ready to “let go and let God.” I had surrendered “trusting-relying-faith” in myself or my church or my bible gnosis info-knowledge or whatever, and “took a leap of trusting-relying-faith” into the darkness, trusting and relying on God to be there in person, to catch me and to reveal The Truth in person.
Be careful to no longer “try” by the flesh’s “might nor power but by God’s Spirit,” which will always produce the His [singular] “fruit of unconditional-love, further described as joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trusting-relying-faith & faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” and the Spirit’s grace-gifts and signs & wonders to “confirm the logos gospel message by God’s accompanying work.”
If you have something for others that you’ve learned while practicing in the Spirit, let us all know here so we can all “weigh in on it, learn from each other, and be encouraged” as 1 Corinthians 14:29, 31 advises.