Some people I have shared this story with have responded by saying that God’s word already says He will provide for us. They say this as if it negates or disproves the fact that God spoke to me. But they don’t realize that they are actually PROVING it instead of negating it.
Last year (2013) Pearl and I went to visit family in Stutterheim in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. This is where I first met Pearl’s Uncle Vic, who is an AOG pastor in Port Elizabeth. When we talked about hearing from God, Uncle Vic told me how important it was to get confirmation. He used an analogy of a harbor with three lighthouses. He said that the harbor has only one narrow way to enter and that to be certain you are on course, you must line up the three lights to navigate safely into the harbor. If you go by only one of those lights, you will crash on the reef. This, he said, is also how hearing from God works.
There is a danger of thinking you heard from God, but you have actually heard from satan instead. Or maybe what you heard in your head was just an idea that popped up. How do you discern God’s speaking to you from thoughts and other less holy messages?
Well, the first way to be certain you heard from God is to go to the Bible and check what it says on the issue. In speaking to you, God will never contradict the Bible. Someone who tells me that God told him to lie probably wasn’t really hearing from God. Someone who says God told them to have an affair probably wasn’t really hearing from God.
In my case, the people who tried to refute my claim that God spoke to me were actually proving it instead. They told me that the Bible already says God will provide for all of our needs. Well there you go!!! Confirmation!
The third lighthouse for me on this issue has just been the responses I’ve gotten from the people God has placed in my life. There have been countless third lighthouses during my life long career as a musician. One of the most recent was from my new South African friend, Leonard Brandt.
Leonard recently asked me about my approach to writing music. He said he heard something different about my music but couldn’t quite put his finger on it. When I told him about how I seek God’s peace when I’m composing (Colossians 3:15), he responded with affirmation. He said that this is precisely what he is hearing in my music.
Almost all of the compliments I get for my music go back to God’s love shining through my horn. I remember when a producer for the first CD I did in Houston told me how much he liked my jazz playing. He said, “It’s modern, but it doesn’t repulse.” He was hearing God’s love!!!
On another occasion, a “chick singer” confessed to me that when she played in this one band, she always got nervous. But when I was there, my presence in the band always had a calming effect on her.
I could go on for hours giving examples of these kinds of compliments. I have always known that these people are not responding to me. They are responding to God’s love which is shining through my music.