I have been going through the cover of my bible this morning and looking at things I have gathered in the sleeves through the years and found a note I made about 10 years ago which impacted me then and does again now. The note was a quote from a guest speaker we had at church by the name of Will Ford. I do not remember the entire message he preached though the topic was “influence”. The entire message was good but there was one line which spoke volumes to my heart then and still does now.
It was “You Summon what you serenade”.
I have found this to be very true and my own life experience agrees with this premise. When I was younger and into my thirties I was very fond of “Classic Rock” and that included anything from Buddy Holly and the Beatles to Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. Those familiar with the former will think mostly of love ballads and good feelings with the latter stirring up images of drugs and the counter culture. In the years since my heart has been to fill my ears and spirit with music which focuses on and glorifies the Lord. I have found that as I listen to this type of music I can sense His presence and find myself drawn towards Him in worship and love and as He draws near to me the heavens open and I can hear Him speaking to me.
I have also found that when I spend some time walking down memory lane and listening to the music that defined my youth I also draw a presence. This presence is very familiar as I lived under its influence for many years. I can start out with a simple happy melody again to the former reference and it will bring back happy memories from past days and that is fine. What invariably tends to happen though is that during the next few songs I migrate over quickly to the latter and find myself visited with desires that are no longer a part of my everyday life and which I do not want to entertain. I am soon faced with the decision to go with the flow (which is not an option) or stop it dead in its tracks. Going with it then pollutes my time in seeking Gods presence or just keeps me from pursuing it at all and stopping it cold once it has started leaves an anxiety that also taints my time with Jesus.
I have learned that what I listen too in music and in speech (teaching, news, editorial) draws whatever spiritual force (personage) was behind those who wrote and presented what I am listening too. If I want to pursue a deeper walk with the Lord and draw the presence of the Holy Spirit then I must be careful to guard what I allow into my ears (and Eyes) so as to not draw an ungodly spiritual presence into my life. This is personal experience not opinion speaking.
In 2 kings chapter 3 we see an evidence of this as Elisha was asked to inquire of the Lord about an impending battle and before he would he asked for a musician to come and play in order to set the atmosphere for the anointing of the Lord to come. 15 “Now bring me someone who can play the harp.” While the harp was being played, the power of the LORD came upon Elisha”. This principle is repeated throughout the scriptures and as I write this I am reminded of how David played skillfully upon the harp and was full of the Spirit of God and his playing in the presence of King Saul drove away the evil spirit that was tormenting the king (1 Samuel 16:14-23).
To add to this I also recorded a quote by a young musician who was serving in the International House of prayer in Kansas city prayer room daily worshiping the Lord. He spoke at a conference at Christ for the Nations institute about 7 years ago and told us something that the Lord had told him during prayer.
“To the man or musician without mixture I will pour out my Spirit without measure”.
That quote along with the other captivates my heart towards the Lord. I want to be pure in all I do and say and when I listen to or play music I want to serenade my Lord and draw his presence in.
I enjoy His presence but I become agitated by the spirits that come when I listen to the world’s music. I do not want to mix the two. There is a great reward in keeping my eyes and ears full of those things that glorify the Lord. The reward is Him. He comes, He dwells and He speaks and nothing else compares or has greater value. I will lift my praises to and serenade Him alone.
Psalm 27: 4 One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.
Psalm 24:3 Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in His holy place? 4 The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not set his mind[a] on what is false, and who has not sworn deceitfully. 5 He will receive blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation
Isaiah 33:14 The sinners in Zion are afraid; trembling seizes the ungodly: “Who among us can dwell with a consuming fire? Who among us can dwell with ever-burning flames?” 15 The one who lives righteously and speaks rightly, who refuses gain from extortion, whose hand never takes a bribe, who stops his ears from listening to murderous plots and shuts his eyes to avoid endorsing evil