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Saturday, October 26, 2019

10-26-2019                       Who do we Represent?

                                             The lion of Judah?

Who do we represent?  Whose ideals do we reflect?  Our speech reflects our heart (Matt. 12:34).  When we look in the mirror, whose ideals do we reflect?  What does our heart have to say?

The sixties were and represented a dramatic time of change including styles of music, but changes in the music actually was kicked off in the fifties.

In 1954, Bill Haley opened the door for multiple variations of music which included “Soul” ‘Folk Rock”, the “Beach or Surfin’” sound (the Beach Boys), “Rock a Billy” to go along with already existing “Pop”, “Rhythm & Blues” and “Country”, jazz, blues and what was left of the ‘big band’ era.  Though Bill Haley ‘started’ the move with “Rock Around the Clock”, other artists emerged taking the limelight perhaps the most notable (until the Beatles era) being Elvis Presley.  Those early R n R songs were framed by the sounds of country, blues and gospel with a little jazz tossed in for good measure.  It shouldn’t be any wonder that those new sounds quickly overshadowed the current ‘big band’ sounds and pop with a liveliness that reflected the heart throbbing pulse of the Pentecostal churches of the day.  

Over the years Father has blessed me with many “song poems”.  Actually lyrics only, but tunes from those early years danced in my head as I was jotting down those lyrics.  In fact, Father even asked me at one point “What would some of those songs sound like had those early rock ‘n’ rollers sang to Me instead of the world?  So many of those song poems (Father gave me) were penned with those old tunes as a guide for the flow but written about or glorified the Lord or our relationship with Him.

Generally speaking, most music is good.  When it generates true love, peace, joy or hand clapping and toe tapping.  That’s a good “swing”.  But when it generates sexual gyrations, violence or negative attitudes, then it’s not so good.  Unfortunately with most music, the lyrics also do make a difference.  What is the song singing about?  What emotions does the song stir up within us, musically or lyrically?  When those lyrics encourage us to do harm to ourselves or others, when it encourages us to act immorally or contrary to God’s love - not cool. 

We know that the authorities over us don’t always do the right thing, but when lyrics tell us to retaliate rather than pray for those men and women whom God has set over us, we need to rethink our position.  After all, Father encourages us to pray for those in authority over us so it will be well with us (1 Tim. 2:1-3) and not just the leaders we like.  Remember, David would not lay a finger on king Saul (though Saul was messed up by an evil spirit) because he recognized that Saul was God’s anointed (1 Sam. 9:26 – 1 Sam 10:1, 1 Sam. 24:4-7).  God put Saul in authority over Israel.  So,Yep, I’m including the protest songs of the ‘60’s  and ‘gangsta rap’, which came later, and the like on the ‘nono’ list.

Father tells us to do that which edifies (especially the body of Christ) (1 Corinth. 10:23-24, 32:33 [OK, go ahead and read the verses in between, too!]). 

Now, in considering others, we can’t forget about ourselves for without a relationship with the Father (through Jesus Christ), it would be difficult to interact positively with those around us.  Yet, when we do interact with others, we should consider what results those actions might bring and those results should be positive. 

Our words change the atmosphere around us.  Whether we sing or listen, our music (instrumentally and lyrically) can impact things around us spiritually which in turn impacts the natural world.  How did God create everything?  He spoke words.  God created by speaking words (Gen. 1:1-31).  Then, The Holy Spirit (the breath of God) put those Words into action (moved across the face of the waters – Gen. 1:2). 

Think about movies.  The background music helps set the tone or the mood for the scene.  How many loves scenes have the heart-thumping music of the chase scene from Bullitt?  How often has anyone seen a scene where the monster is attacking and the background music is “Maria” from West Side Story?  Music is a mood inducer or changer. 

Just as God spoke, His breath came out and He moved the atmosphere to bring things into existence.  Hold your hand in front of your mouth and breathe out.  Feel the blast of breath?  Just like a stone tossed into a still pond, the impact of our breath causes a ripple in the atmosphere which continues to grow until that impact fades out.  How far does it go?  At least as far as the nearby ears.  Beyond that?  I don’t know.  Should we yell loud enough, people within a city block can hear us, but those across town will have no clue.  When God spoke, He moved the atmosphere.  I speak in the past tense, not that God has stopped speaking and moving the atmosphere but when He created all things, it happened some time ago.  And He’s still doing it today.  We just have to listen.   Through our speech, God has also given us the ability to move the atmosphere – for good, or for bad.  When we speak negatively, those negative words do impact the atmosphere, negative things will happen around us.  When we speak God’s love – that love moves the atmosphere and impacts those things around us positively.  Just look around at the world.  Which do you think is being spoken more often?  Do you think maybe we need to speak more love?  I can’t tell you how many times I have prayed for myself and others (even when they weren’t aware) and yes, I pray aloud (it moves the atmosphere).  After a time, Father will show me how He is answering those prayers.  Our words do impact the spiritual realm and then the spiritual realm impacts the natural realm.  Sometimes we see an answer almost immediately and sometimes it takes a while, but the world around us is changed by what we speak.
And don’t forget, the music we listen to can be a mood changer.  David played his harp before king Saul, the evil spirit which inhabited Saul, departed (1 Sam. 16.23).  When David played, Saul had peace.  So, not only do our words affect the atmosphere, so does our music.  What we put into our spirit gets buried into our heart.  What’s in our heart will eventually come out of our mouth (Mark 
7:20-23).  Music and words should be done, not to tear down, rather to edify.

So, what does all this have to do with ‘who’ we represent?

Back in 1970, James Taylor released a song called “Steamroller”.  A bluesy tune making fun of some of what was being put out at that time.  In his ‘live via satellite’ concert, “Aloha from Hawaii” (1973), Elvis Presley ‘covered’ that song but called it “Steamroller Blues”.  That’s how I became aware of it.  Father took the same song, using the same blues flow and theme from Elvis’ rendition (construction equipment) and produced a song-poem for me, a piece He called “I represent the Resurrection”.  Can you imagine, a song about steamrollers and steam shovels in respects to the resurrection?

A little more background.  I about croaked when Carmen (a noted gospel singer of the ‘80’s & ‘90’s) did a rap song in the mid ‘90’s.  How could a Christian sing rap?  With the right lyrics, no problem.  Father had been showing me about the variety of styles of our music since the ‘80’s and how many different styles of music can be used to glorify Him – even rap.  Conclusion?  There will be many styles of music when we are with Jesus in eternity, but not all will make it in.

Father has shown me that a broad spectrum of music can glorify Him, even some of that early rock ‘n’ roll which was supposed to be the devil’s music.  Grant it, some did morph into that which was not so good.  I say this because it surprised even me that Father could take a song like ‘Steamroller Blues’ and use it to glorify Him.  It wasn’t that there was anything evil about the song, but again, construction equipment? 

After being a Christian for a while, Father made it real to me that as a Christian, I represent Jesus in this world (2 Corinth. 5:20).  Mary, Martha and their brother Lazarus lived in Bethany, just outside Jerusalem.  Lazarus had become ill and died so Martha, when she heard that Jesus was coming, went out to greet Him.  When she had come to Him, Martha said “Lord, had you been here, my brother would not have died.” Jesus said “Your brother shall rise again.”  Martha countered “I know, in the resurrection at the last day.”  Then Jesus said “I am the resurrection and the life …” (John11:1-44).  So, if I represent Jesus in this world and Jesus is the resurrection, then I represent the resurrection – as all believers do!  What does our reflection show.  When we look in the mirror, do we see more of Lucifer or more of Jesus?  When we speak, do our words tear down or edify?  The more love we put into our hearts, the more love will come out of our mouths.

I’d like to talk about “I Represent the Resurrection” for bit.   

The song makes four statements:

1)         Because I follow Jesus, I represent the resurrection
I represent the resurrection because, in this world, I represent Jesus and Jesus IS the resurrection and because I have the Holy Ghost inside and Jesus is with me every step of the way, I can be like a steamroller, rolling right on over what Satan sets before me.

            2)         Jesus is the resurrection (let there be no doubt)
Like a steam shovel, Jesus has already ‘dug’ our way out of hell.  Giving our lives to Jesus qualifies us to represent Him in this world.  Let’s live like we understand this.  All we have to do is open our heart up to Him and let Him guide our steps. 

3)         We (all believers) represent Jesus, therefore the resurrection and this becomes more real as we walk in unity.

If you can envision it, Father has us in a huge cement mixer.  Cement is made from heating a mixture of limestone, shells, and chalk or marl combined with shale, clay, slate, blast furnace slag, silica sand, and iron ore to which water is then added to make it fluid (to pour).  When it dries, it’s a pretty solid chuck of ‘stuff’.  Father is bringing us (many components) into unity, making us one heart, one Spirit, one body, our unity.  He’s not building a mega church, but bringing many aspects of the body to the realization that, though we are unique individually, we function as a whole (body).  Working as individuals together to accomplish God’s will.  Father says this is not just each individual within a specific fellowship, but that each fellowship has a specific role and needs to interact with other parts of the “body” (other fellowships) to be fully effective.  Because man had become single minded (or focused), ‘all on his own’, (so to speak) and started building the tower at Babel to reach God, God confounded the language, so that they could not all communicate together to accomplish their task in unity (Gen. 11:1-9).  Man can accomplish things without God. What can the church, with God, accomplish when it works in unity?

4          Finally, the fact that we represent Jesus as the resurrection, we need to bring it home, make it up close and personal.  Not just singing about Jesus, but making it first person by singing ‘to’ our Lord and Savior.

All too often, we sing or speak about the things God does for us.  Too many times we sing or talk about God.  We put Him in the ‘third’ person.  Period!  But how often do we get up close and personal with our creator?  I mean, thank Him for what He does for us (me) personally?  Thank You Lord for doing ‘this’ for me!  When do we sing to God, or truly before Him?  If it were just Him and us?  “To God be the glory for YOU have saved me.”  Not saying we can’t share things with the world, but God looks for a relationship.  Remember the old movies where the gal is leaning out her bedroom window or on the balcony and the guy pulls out his ukulele or guitar and starts singing to her about his love for her?  He’s not singing about his love for her to a tree.  He’s expressing his love to her! 

God gives us so much, simply because He loves us.  Are we too good to give back to Him?  Singing to Him.  Dancing before Him, doing things for him (helping others).  What we do for the least in the kingdom, we do for Jesus (Matt. 25:40). 

When I worked for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), I gave my job to God.  I quit working for the FDA and started working for God.  I still worked my FDA job, I still had FDA bosses, but let Jesus become my supervisor.  When we pray or talk, do so as if God were right there in front of us, eyeball to eyeball (so to speak)? 

Father wants us up close and personal.  His desire to walk with us, as in the garden when He called for Adam and Eve.  The indication was that this was something He did regularly, not just the one time to ‘catch them in the act’ (Gen. 3:8).  Abraham was called the friend of God (James 2:23) and God spoke with him (Gen. 18:1-33).  God spoke to Moses as a friend, face to face (Exod. 33:11).  Yes, these were two great men of God.  Study them and discover why He called them ‘friend’.  Where is our relationship with the Lord?

You say “OK, OK, I get the picture.  You said God gave you a song.  So where’s the song?”  Can’t print it out because it’s unpublished.  I don’t mind someone else taking the credit, I just don’t want them blocking me from enjoying it.

However, I did want to let you know that there are a lot of ways we can praise God as we reflect our love for Jesus.  Be open and ask yourself “How do I feel, when I hear music?”  What kind of words come out of my mouth?  It can get you excited for the Lord.  It can bring you peace.  It can even be ‘just relaxing’ as long as it’s Father who gets the glory.  But more than that, it should be up close and personal.  Don’t be afraid to identify with our heavenly Father.

Our lives and living should reflect the same.  What we put into our hearts and let out should be the same and reflect God’s love.

What we put in will eventually come out.  When we look in the mirror, do our lives, our speech and our music reflect who we represent?  Actually it does, whether we realize it or not.  Bad or good.  The question is “just who do we represent”?  The enemy (Mr. negativity) or Jesus (Mr. Love and Peace)?


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