These are just a few lessons that I have learned the hard way from playing music for over the past 12 years. I just wanted to share these things with you because many of you are beginning musicians. If you’re not a musician, some of these words of wisdom can and will apply in any area or field you explore. Your success or failure in ANYTHING is dependent upon the amount of dedication and time you’re willing to put into it or the lack there of. No time…No success….Much time….Much success!! It’s a simple as that. We must realize that God has not equipped everyone to do or be successful at everything. For example, some people can’t sing no matter how hard they try. Whereas, other people have been gifted with a beautiful voice and can sing anything. So don’t expect to be able to just do anything. Now let’s go into the words of wisdom.
1. If you’re going to do something….do it right!! Don’t half do ANYTHING!! Either you want to do something or you don’t. Many times we expect to just hit or miss when it comes to doing things for God but you don’t want him to do you like that do you? If you ask God to bless you with a car, you don’t want him to give you half a car…do you? NO!! So don’t half do anything for him. Many times we pick up music because the musician leaves the church or just as something to do. If you have just picked it up as something to keep you busy, this doesn’t apply to you. What I am saying applies to someone who is ministering music for their church. I know you may have a job, kids, etc. I am a very busy woman as well but whatever you do for the love must be done with all you’ve got. God knows very well what we do every day but he also knows that we have to priorities things also. The things of God MUST carry more weight than regular things. Colossians 3:23 says: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.
2. Don’t allow a few negative comments to deter you! It’s a shame, but some of the meanest most inconsiderate people can be found in the church. I don’t mean other musicians, I mean people who can’t play dead but yet they have the most to say about what you do or don’t do. Keep in mind, this doesn’t just apply to being a musician…you could be an usher, preacher, choir director, financial advisor, etc. Sometimes people just love to hate on people who are doing something. Why? Just because they can, I guess. Either way, you have to be determined to not allow these people to stop you from achieving your vision or goals. I have had people tell me that I might as well quit because I would never be good enough anyway. I’ve been called out in front of a group of people and been told all sorts of mean and hurtful things. The worse part about it was my leader allowed this person to do this in front of everyone even though he knew I was just starting out. I must admit that I basically quit after that because I felt that what this person was saying had to be true if he allowed it. I have since learned otherwise but you get the point, words can be very, very destructive but you have to find a way to keep going. There’s been plenty said since then, but I’m never going to allow that stuff to stop me again. I’ll relocate before I allow anyone to stop me from using my gift. Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
3. Don’t allow a few positive comments to give you the big head! Allowing positive comments to get to you can be just as disastrous as allowing negative comments to get to you. Why? Because that is called the spirit of pride. Pride is when a person fails to give God all of the credit for their gifts or good deeds. You may think this sounds odd but I’m telling you…when people hear you play or do anything they tend to pat you on the back. The pats on the back themselves are not harmful, it’s how you receive them. Jesus was told all the time, how great he was but he always received those comments humbly. Even Jesus was humble…so what do you think about us. Jesus was able to turn water into wine before he went to the cross…he raised people from the dead before he went to the cross but yet he didn’t ignore the fact that God was the one working through him. We mustn’t forget this either. It’s all by the power of God that we even have our being. So don’t get too high or too low. Proverbs 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
4. Put time and dedication into your craft. This means you must invest practice. If you’re a musician, learn from other more seasoned musicians. Purchase materials that pertain to your craft. If you don’t have any money to spend, there are lots of tutorials on Youtube, my website http://www.chevonnereynolds.webs.com, as well as countless other websites such as LGM, Hearandplay, Gospelmusicians, etc. If you’re a preacher, learn from other more seasoned preachers. There are countless study websites and sermon search sites. Just put in the effort and God will bless your effort. 1 Corinthians 3:7-8 So then neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. In other words, whatever you put in, is what you’ll get out. Nothing from nothing leaves nothing. I have listed some practice techniques on my website for beginning pianists, organist, or drummers. No matter how slow your learning may seem to progress…you have to make up your mind to keep going. Those seasoned musicians you hear playing had to start somewhere.
5. You must have patience!! Your skills may not come instantaneously but it will come if you continue to make an effort. It has taken me a longer period of time than others because of many things but God has still blessed my effort. When you pick up a cd, it can be very difficult for a beginning musician. It sounds like those musicians have 12 or 13 hands and double the amount of fingers, but they don’t! They have put in the time, effort, practice, and patience. Anyone who gets or receives anything easily, will not appreciate it as much in the long run. Look at kids who get cars just for turning 16 years old. They usually go right out and wreck their new car but those who work for their car, cherish that car and guard it with every fiber of their being. The same principle applies when it comes to earning the things of God. Ecclesiastes 5:3 [Amp] For a dream comes with much business and painful effort, and a fool's voice with many words.
6. Pray!! This should have been listed number one but for purposes of this post, I’ll list it here. Prayer is IMPERATIVE!! Before you make a goal of achieving anything, you must pray first. You may have a gift of doing a particular thing but that gift came from God. James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Prayer gives you power, patience, and determination you don’t even know you have. I’m not going to go too far into detail but prayer is a conversation between you and God. When you pray, you are telling God, “I can’t do this with my own strength, I NEED YOUR HELP”!!! The most basic thing that you can do as a Christian is BELIEVE! You have to believe God faithfully and without doubt. If he gave you the gift, he will see it through. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing. Psalm 138:8 The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth forever: forsake not the works of thine own hands. So we have to remember to keep talking to God, not only about our gifts, but about EVERYTHING!! This is just a small list of things that you need to know as a musician or whatever you are, but if you put these things into practice, YOU WILL GROW and PROGRESS in whatever you do!! Not because I'm saying so, but because God say's so. If you include God in whatever you do, he will bless it!! Just keep in mind that things take times. Things are almost never going to come instantly and without great effort, but if you keep on keepin on, God will elevate you to heights you would never imagine.
More helpful scriptures:
Joshua 1:8-9 [Amp] This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good [b]success. Have not I commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
1 Corinthians 3:24-27 [English Standard Version]
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.