This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
Relationships are hard work! Still, against all odds with the people, places, and things that distract us, we can enter into a forever relationship with God. The decision is a freewill choice. God will never coerce us to serve him. But if we choose to have a relationship, we must do our part to grow our seed of faith. Faith requires giant leaps. Letting go of worldly influences that instill doubts and fears is a godly requirement. And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. Hebrews 11:6.
Human Effort + Divine Intervention = Victory
To serve God requires perseverance. Human effort is continuous action on our part in the Plan of Salvation. We must possess:
Have you ever tried a new recipe and didn’t have the exact ingredients? You decided to substitute with items you had, and then your completed dish did not turn out as expected. With God, there are no substitutions. He tells us, “For I am the Lord, I change not….” Malachi 3:6.
Reflect on your lifestyle. Are you giving your all to God?
I can recall changing the ingredients in the way that I served God. My love for secular music outweighed my commitment to God. The genre did not matter. I loved everything from Jazz to Classical to Rhythm & Blues, Rock, Reggae, and Country. If the words conveyed a message and the beat was in sync with the rhythm of my heart, I embraced the music with open arms.
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
But God had other plans. A close sister-friend asked me a life-changing question, “Do you listen to gospel music?” My response was weak, “Yes, sometimes I do, but mainly on the Sabbath.” We were going for a girl’s day out, and before I started driving, she handed me a cassette tape. Yes, this was many moons ago. I remember the last song caused me to pull over because I had a “Day of Pentecost” experience.
From that day forward, I prayed for God to overcome the addiction that I had to secular music. Sin always has consequences. Although, I do not listen to secular music at home, it is impossible to avoid hearing songs that bring back memories. Still, it remains a struggle to resist the urge to sway to the worldly melodic sounds that used to be a significant part of my lifestyle. Because of my desire to have a deeper spiritual relationship, I was convicted to give up all music that does not honor God.
Many of the current songs that are under the label of Gospel/Christian, I cannot embrace. No, I cannot “Stomp” my way to heaven, nor will the feeble attempt of a gospel artist changing the lyrics to Prince’s song, “Purple Rain,” make me think of serving God. Music is so powerful that it can lift us out of hopelessness, soothe our emotional hurts, and decrease physical pain. But music can also influence us to turn away from God.
We can thank God for the gift of music which enhances our praise and worship to him. Certainly, music will be a part of our heavenly existence. Serving God requires continuous conviction, courage, and commitment. When the trials and sorrows are raging, or past losses consume our thoughts, the Holy Spirit will cause us to remember a song that reflects God’s love and Jesus’ sacrifice. Using our voice to sing praises and prayers is an act of worship that God will always honor.
Our desperation for a closer relationship with God and the desire to receive the gift of eternal life is worth every change we make. I invite you to change your life by getting rid of everything that does not glorify and honor God. You will be able to sing a new song that encourages you to love God with all of your heart, soul, and mind.
Holy, Holy, Holy
I Love you, Lord
Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus
What a Friend We Have in Jesus
Bow Down and Worship Him
Lord, Prepare Me to Be a Sanctuary
Draw Me Nearer
My Soul Says Yes
Oh, Friend, Do you, Love Jesus?
Peace Be Still
It is Well With My Soul
No More Night
His Eye Is On the Sparrow, and I know He watches me.
Bible Reading: John 14
Prayer: God, we ask you to give us a new song in our hearts, so we never forget your love and the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayer that we ask in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2021, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.