a repost from Kenny of GUITARPRAISE. YFCs and MusicMin please Read! This is very true to us especially to the musicmin. Look forward not to your friends' praises, but to the Lord's delight in you!
The Bible names three angels - Michael, Gabriel, and Lucifer. The last angel is, of course, better known as Satan. Ps 103:20 tells us that angels are "mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word" - each of these angels represent the various ways we serve God.
Michael is known for being an angel of works, putting into action what is needed to help others ("then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me", Dan 10:13). He is also an angel of warfare ("Michael and his angels fought against the dragon", Rev 12:7), and represents the spiritual battles we fight for others in the community. The second angel is Gabriel, who is known for delivering God's Word. Gabriel is most well known for preparing Mary for Jesus' birth (Luke 1:26-38); he was also called to speak to Daniel about a vision (Dan 8:16).
The last (ex)angel, Lucifer, served God in worship, like many of us. I find it quite uncomfortable to be compared with the devil, but the truth is that we we need to keep on our toes against vanity and pride.
Ezekiel 28:12-14 tells us that Lucifer was a beautiful creature:
"You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.. every precious stone adorned you... Your settings and mountings were made of gold; You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones".
In the same way, musicians can look quite good on stage, and do get quite abit of attention from their friends. I do get abit of 'fame' in church, from people recognising (recognising, not admiring!) me from playing the guitar. When I meet friend's friends in church, I'm always introduced as the guy who plays the guitar on stage, like its something cool.
The attention can get to one's head, as was with the devil:
"Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor" (Eze 28:17).
Satan himself has walked down the path of pride, and tempting people into self-glorification could very well be his most powerful weapon against us. After all, it was what led to the first sin and the separation between man and God. As a result, musicians are very exposed to his temptations. We must guard our hearts and minds, and constantly walk down the path of humility. We must also see ourselves not as musicians, or worse, rock stars, but first and foremost servants of the Lord.
***please read this next lines..
Look forward not to your friends' praises, but to the Lord's delight in you. James 4:10 tells us to "humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you". Imagine finally coming before the throne of God - seeing His glory, we prostrate in unworthiness before Him. Yet, God comes to us, brings us back to our feet, and tells us that He is proud of us, for putting Him before our pride. Just as Ps 84:10 writes that "better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere", better is one word of praise from the Lord than to have fame amongst the multitudes.
On a more practical level, here are two tips:
- The small things matter. There's alot of 'menial' work in the ministry, like hauling amps and mixers around. You might also feel reluctant to serve for smaller services, like prayer meetings. Take up your cross and serve in these areas wholeheartedly.
- Deflect & avoid attention. Sometimes, my friends say I 'perform' on stage. I usually tell them, light-heartedly of course, that I prefer to use the word 'serving'. Also, don't do anything that gets you too much attention on stage, e.g. running to the front during a guitar solo.
To add - many of you were wondering if its a problem if you jump around etc. out of a sincere heart of worship to the Lord. 1 Sam 16:7 says that "The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart". As the Lord looks at your heart of worship, rest assured your actions are fine.
But you will also need to consider how this affects the congregation. Certain actions, like jumping wildly or bombastic solos, could distract worshippers. 1 Cor 10:32 tells us: "do not cause anyone to stumble". We should abide by this, and ensure that while our hearts might be right with God, we should not be a distraction to others.