Romans 6:20-23 “When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? The end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Like everyone else I started life out worshiping one thing: myself. This way of worship didn’t involve bowing down physically to myself, or even necessarily making loud boasts about myself, but was more like that of most people, an inward exaltation of my own ways and wants above those of others.
As I got older I became deeply infatuated with music. I suppose in my self-seeking way, I wanted to find something that identified with my own life experiences and feelings, whether they were good or whether they were sinful. I found this experience in music.
Music became to me my closest idol, and like a friend I could not find elsewhere. Was I heartbroken? Someone in music could relate; they could express exactly how I was feeling and help me to pour out every bit of anger, hurt, and hatred that I harboured inside.
Was I driven to get from this life all I could and do it with no reservation? So was the music. Behind closed doors I could fuel up on it with all the strength I had, and feel empowered to live recklessly and as the music would have me believe freely, by it.
Was I in despair? Most often; and something in the music had me worshipping at an altar of despair, as if there was something in it that was worth feasting on. It had me trapped in all the wrong feelings, and clinging to broken pieces of my life as if they were the only thing that kept me going. Unless you have had this obsession yourself, this sounds to you ridiculous, but if you have felt its grip on you than you know exactly what I am talking about.
All this is to say that I was in love with and wholly dedicated to music. All my money went to music. All my energy went to music. I spent great energy pulling others as deep into the trenches of music as I was, and you would be surprised how quickly and powerfully they became gripped by it too. I came home from school only to go to my bed and lay down to be lost in it hour after hour, and still I did not have enough. The hunger in me could not be filled.
You could find me sometimes at a show, worshipping music along with the others. They dressed music, talked music, breathed music. We all moved to the music, and jumped to it, and beat our fists into the air for it, in such a frenzy that I would submit it was likely not less fuelled by Satan than the worship of physical idols is. So there I was, gripped by its power, willing likely to surrender my life for music.
I am not saying that every person who loves music goes down this path- in fact it is probably unlikely most people will get to this point over music. But the point is this: Human beings were created to worship God, be known by God, and enjoy Him intimately forever. We were made to worship! Unregenerate man roams the earth craving something to worship- he looks to himself and he fails himself, he looks to a lover, to money, to sport, and it all falls achingly short of the glory of God.
I remember the day that my heart felt as if the Lord had gripped it and said “surrender all.” I was not yet a Christian, though God was drawing me, and I knew I could not have both Christ and the music that had my heart. I resisted for a short time, and yet I was becoming more and more aware that my music was like an enemy that constantly pushed me down and dragged me up again. The day I let it go and trashed it all felt like I had cut off my arm. The spiritual warfare I encountered was unlike anything else I have to this day. But God Almighty brought me through it, and it felt like a long road to salvation but he brought me there. Not only did he bring me there, but He later answered my prayers and delivered my two best friends from this obsession also and brought them into the Kingdom of God. I serve a great and awesome Saviour.
Along this path, God did another work in me and rid me of the drive I had to write so much that did not glorify God. I had an entire binder filled with dark and dreary poetry I had written, with lyrics to all my favourite songs hand written in between them page after page. I threw it in the garbage, and you may find it interesting to know that that is the day I pledged to my God: “I will only write that which is for your glory, now and as long as I live.”
My friends, it was not hard for very long. In fact, as I came to know Christ letting go of all else was no longer a burden. Jesus Christ shines so much brighter than anything this world has to offer. His fellowship is sweeter, His love is deeper, His ways are higher, and His power is stronger. One minute in His presence, is better than a thousand elsewhere. “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”
Isaiah 55:2 “Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live.”
Ephesians 4:22-24 “(You were taught in Jesus) to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
Luke 9:24-25 “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?”
You can forsake your life and find it in Him too. Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sins when He died on the cross. He willingly bore the wrath of God that should have driven us down like a tidal wave instead. I know that He has rescued me, and there is nothing that is not worth losing for Jesus Christ. If you do not know Him, but have been intrigued by this short article, consider reading “Why Should I Repent Of My Sin” on my blog.