I left certain things out of a crucial part of my life story to abide by forum rules. That will suit many just fine. Some may want to know more: This is for you. If you DON'T, GO AWAY. RELIGIOUS CONTENT.... you were warned!!!!
Key background items.
I got a presentation Bible (Revised Standard Version) when I was 8 years old. I actually read the thing, all the story or history parts:
Genesis through Chronicles (bogged down in the begats).
Psalms and Prophets made no sense to me at age eight.
Matthew through Acts. Paul's letters made no sense to me at age eight either!
But the story parts of the Bible made a huge impression. I was particulary drawn to the personality of Jesus of Nazareth.
In 1970, a year after my dad was killed in the car accident, our family was having a hard time.
About that time, all three sisters professed faith in Christ at various Christian concerts or meetings, and my mom had had some kind of repentance experience a few years earlier. The meetings they were going to were mostly Baptist oriented.
At that time, I started reading the Bible, reading some parts I hadn't before. But I also started taking "Bible Studies" from another group, and started getting very confused as to just who this Jesus of Nazareth fellow was. After eight months of this, I gave up searching for answers, and shelved the question for later, and just proceeded to make plans to travel to Europe and to play the kind of music I wanted to.
But my mom and sisters were praying for me during the following five and a half years.
Okay....back to the story. Walking away from the "crossroads experience" what did the second, new voice say?
"Repent, and give your life to the Lord!" (2 commands)
"Get down on your knees and pray!" (2 commands)
Four commands in all. I didn't want to do ANY of them. So, although these commands were coming to my mind (no audible voice, sorry!), I also knew they couldn't be coming FROM my mind.
Back at the house, the book talked about a pastor whose wife had divorced him, taken the kids, then the denomination takes away his pastorate because they don't allow divorced pastors. He may have been a clueless workaholic. Anyway, on a walk on an Oregon beach he knelt in the sand, and gave either his life, the pain, or the situation to God. So I went outside, knelt in the driveway, and somehow put my life in my hands, and gave it to God, saying:
"Okay, Lord- I've been running my own life, and I've been blowing it- here it is, you take it, I don't want it back again."
At that point, I felt this Fatherly presence above me, knew that "God is my Father, and He loves me", and then the voice said:
"Your Bibles.... get them, read them!" And I did.
After a couple weeks of reading, it was clear to me that Jesus of Nazareth was not just a teacher or a good human being, He was "God manifest in the flesh" .
New Years Eve, I was baptized. That's almost 39 years ago, and I still BELIEVE!!!!
Observation. My mom was a 12 stepper for years, and I've picked up some familiarity with them through her. One step says "committed ourselves into the care of God as we knew him". I committed myself to the God of the Bible, then he revealed his Son to me. I didn't do it intentionally that way, but that's how it worked out.
Other odd things that might not be obvious.
1. Satan overplayed his hand... he does that sometimes. "Using people and being used" actually sums up very well the way people act in the world, and has made me more sensitive to avoid doing that.
2. I knew Satan would have meant business with me if I'd gone his way..... paradoxically.... that helped me, because I was ready to mean business when I gave my life to God! So God actually USED Satan to improve the quality of my committment! Satan CAN'T WIN.... he's TOTALLY outclassed!
3. Since this happened with no humans involved (pastors, altar calls, etc.), it gives me a surer foundation. I'm accountable to God, PERIOD for my relationship with Him.... no humans can be blamed. I've heard sometimes if an evangelist backslides, the converts backslide too. Can't happen here!
4. I KNOW that God is REAL. This really helps like with the health situation I'm dealing with.
5. I'm not ignorant of the concept of spiritual warfare..... it's like I was BORN (or "born again") in it.
A key question, and Pogo's answer:
Is the fiddle the "devil's instrument".
For me.... it's a conditional "no".
"The music of the strings makes you (God) glad".
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the Heavenly Lights."
(if anything, I feel the development of the violin was blessed by God back in the 1500s and 1600s.)
And there is nothing in Scripture to indicate that any one instrument has a cursed status, or anything like that.
After two months, God showed me I could play for Him, and for others. If you belong to God, your fiddle belongs to God too.
However, if someone really has given themselves or sold themselves to the devil, well, yeah, that fiddle IS the devil's instrument just as much as the fiddler themselves. You could say the same thing of some rock guitarists and their guitars.
It IS also possible for the fiddle to become an idol or a false center of our lives. It's a fascinating instrument. But it's certainly not the only thing that can happen with.
Lessee, guitars, cars, knowledge, loved ones, money, alcohol, drugs, bunches of things can become WAY too important to people and in the process take over their lives. But just because of that, we never talk about them being inherently evil or "the devil's instrument". It's the relationship with the thing that goes wrong, not the thing itself. In fact, this is most likely to happen with GOOD THINGS.... things God has created and has gifted us with. God's dealing with Abraham about Isaac really spoke to my fiddling! He doesn't want us to give things up so much as to give them to Him so he can order their use and our love for them.
It is probably a good idea to fast on fiddling at times. While I didn't actually DO it for spiritual reasons, the fiddling hiatus proved to me for once and for all that I CAN live without the thing.... there is no addiction.
There is also the factor of timing. "To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven".
Anything you do "out of season" is an indication that maybe you love the thing too much. It's a great freedom to be able to focus on fiddling when it's time, and then forget about it and focus on other things when it's time for that.
Tuesday, November 10, 2015 @12:31:35 PM
Gosh, I don't know if I should "Report To Moderator", or ask for more..!! See, I told you that my story wasn't as interesting as yours...
Tuesday, November 10, 2015 @11:23:59 PM
Wednesday, November 11, 2015 @3:43:47 AM
I think this was actually the best part, and most important as well....thanks for sharing this testimony Michael and wisdom Michael!!
Wednesday, November 11, 2015 @7:37:34 AM
I just added a few edits in the middle.
Monday, November 30, 2015 @3:33:05 AM
Thank you for posting your story, and the extras! I passed it on to my daughter to read (going on 16) who suddenly is so passionate about music. She started with fiddle, taught herself banjo, guitar and my formerly "I hate all electric music" girl is now playing electric guitar. Anyway, your journey is fascinating and it is always a pleasure to know how God works in our lives and brings us closer. Have a great day!
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