I joined God’s Lighthouse (GLH) sometime in July 2017 on a Wednesday and I got born again later that month. On my first day at the church meeting, I observed something that seemed strange to me: while they were worshiping, I noticed most of the people there were crying and worshiping passionately but I wasn’t! I didn’t feel ‘involved’ in the worship and I was surprised that others were.
Another strange thing I observed was that they had no musical instruments [at that time]. I grew up in a church where there were instruments and that made me believe that one couldn’t gain access to God’s presence without the use of instruments. So, I saw the worship as boring in GLH even though a part of my heart wanted to experience what the others were experiencing. I knew though that I had to be born again first to worship God in Spirit and truth.
One Friday, I attended a tarry in church. After the meeting, I was prayed for by the leaders and prophetic words were gotten that I was called into the music ministry. Wow! I was amazed at how specific they were; I was a singer. The problem was that I had been singing to God without being born again. So, I felt that made all of the singing I did in my past unacceptable. After the meeting, a call for people who wanted to get baptized was made and even though I was initially double-minded, I got baptized the next day! The baptism was a turn around for me because after it, I began to have series of dreams. This was something I hadn’t experienced before then.
Losing My Idol – Me
In church, Pastor would teach the Bible for hours on end. I didn’t enjoy it then because of my mindset of what a church should be like. This was added to the absence of a ‘choir’. During worship sessions, I noticed that unlike where I came from where the ‘worship leader’ was the focus (especially if they sang so well), the goal was to get everyone to experience God’s presence at the same time. I noticed they could sing one song for hours in passionate worship to God while paying attention to the lyrics of the song. Since I didn’t understand then, I would get bored. So while people were seeing visions and having prophetic experiences, I would be aloof.
My voice was equally a major distraction to me, it stopped me from always connecting with God while worship was going on. If a person was close to me while the worship was going on and had a bad voice, I would get very angry with the person and raise my voice so it overwhelms that person’s own. Amongst the songs I didn’t like listening to were Jason Upton’s and Chris Delvan’s because they were very different from what I was used to. [But now I know better, I love them!]
Back home in my family church, I was one of the best singers and was virtually idolized in the choir. Let me explain: if there was to be a choir rehearsal or programme in church and I wasn’t there, almost everyone would call me to find out why I wasn’t around, express how they missed me and wanted me around. I still had that mindset even after I had been in GLH for a while so I would purposely run home at the slightest opportunity. I always wanted to be noticed, I craved to be known as the best singer. Anytime the microphone was given to me to sing, I would ensure my voice sounded really nice so everyone would notice; I was a big distraction!
But God has His ways. This continued in GLH too. Anytime Pastor gave the mic to another person, I would be sad. I wanted to shine. I know that Pastor was led in his actions because with time, I realized the glory should be to God and not to me. With the long hours of sitting under the Word, my heart and mindset started to change.
However, I dreaded my personal Bible studies; it was hard to read and understand. Anytime I heard a message during a meeting, I would make up my mind to read it but when I got back home, I would struggle. Thank God for brethren who checked up on me. Gradually, I started adjusting and obeying and it got much easier.
Adjusting My Ears To New Sounds
Another problem I had was listening to audio messages [and I had a lot to catch up because I was a new believer]. I hated it as I didn’t understand how and why my friend Q. would always do that. So, while she was listening to messages all the time, I was listening to music all the time. One day Q. rebuked me. She reminded me of Pastor’s counsel that listening to messages was equally very important. Especially with my case as I had a lot to learn and I was spending my time just listening to music because I was enjoying the melody and feel. Pastor has taught that we could use that time to listen to the words of God. This took a while for me to adjust to. At first, I didn’t appreciate what Q. did for me until I began to see the fruits. This is why it is advisable to surround yourself with godly people once you meet Jesus.
Prior to this time, I was receiving invitations to sing in other congregations. I knew my struggle with the idol of fame hadn’t been dealt with and putting myself out there would only continue to feed my craving. I sought counsel from an older sister in church who advised that I use my time now to sit at Jesus’ feet and learn His words. After her counsel, I stopped having second thoughts about going out to sing. I focused on surrounding myself with brethren and disconnecting from old friends who had music as an idol and this really helped me get closer to Jesus.
I lost my phone shortly after this which I believe was God’s discipline for my disobedience as I fell back to listening to music for long hours, neglecting the words of God which were very important. I stayed without a phone for quite some time during which I was ‘forced’ to study my Bible more because I didn’t have a phone to distract me with music.
The encounters that I started having during that period when I got serious with my Bible studies were beautiful! I would wake up in the early hours of the morning with a song which I understood most times to be prayers. Every song placed in my heart during the course of the day was a message, like an instruction from the Lord which I could make into a prayer point and pray. Songs began to make more sense to me. They were no longer toys for me to play with, rather they became weapons for war. I didn’t joke with them any longer. This lasted as long as I obeyed the instruction to spend more time with God. During church meetings, I would be hearing songs in my spirit while the message was going on. It always gave me a sense of feeling that God was with me and was speaking to me. When I did something bad, I would hear a rebuke through a song. This made me ponder more when any song came to mind. Every time I prayed for people, I would get a reply in songs not hearing scriptures or prophetic words as my other brethren would. I despised it at first but after speaking to my brethren about it, I realized it was something to hold dearly. I would pray for a sick person and hear a song and the moment I sang it, the person would get better.
I began to experience God’s presence more even in my singing as I spent more time with Him. Now I understand better what it means to worship God in truth and spirit, and not for show or to be noticed. I’m indeed grateful to God for renewing my heart and for my beautiful musical experiences.
© God’s Lighthouse 2020.