Father God wanted me to share a really cool story that might help some people overcome their fears...
I started teaching myself piano a year ago. One of the books I started with has basic, child-like songs with an emphasis on only 10 piano keys (Middle-C). So, I started practicing and eventually I mastered all the songs except the last two in the book. The very last two songs went outside of the original 10 keys for some reason. I felt uncomfortable and frustrated because I didn't know where my fingers were supposed to go. The book didn't indicate it either but really, it was my fault. I was using a teacher's training book for children. Despite this, every day I'd play the same 10 songs and sometimes I'd play superfast, you know, like a maestro? But I was ONLY playing on same 10 keys albeit fluently. There are 66 on my electronic keyboard and 88 on some pianos. But, being lazy I guess, I had convinced myself that I could stop at 10.
When God Calls You to Do MORE
Almost every day, Father God would say, "Go play your piano" and I'd practice on the same 10 keys. He'd say it the next day and I'd do the same thing. The funny thing was, He was saying "Go play" or "Go practice" but I refused to accept that as "Go progress to the next level." By the time my mom and I went on vacation, I could only remember one song! I had an opportunity to play in front of a band who had taken a break and left their piano unattended. And, wow was it a different experience! The keys came alive and the sound was so loud and clear. But then the band came back in and I got all nervous and stopped. But, here's the thing.
When I originally ordered my practice books, I bought 4-5 books so I ALREADY HAD other piano practice books sitting around collecting dust. But they looked hard - seriously. And, in my mind, I had OTHER things to do that were EASY (like watching TV). Deep inside, while I didn't want to admit it, I felt saddened because I didn't KNOW how to go further. And, I wasn't pushing myself. I blamed the fact that I didn't have a teacher as my reason for not progressing.
One day after Father God prompted me to go play my piano, I sat down and opened the second piano book AGAIN! I started to study it and realized there WERE extra tips in this book that I needed! Lightbulb moment! It included directions on how to play maybe 25 keys instead of the first 10 with Middle-C. But I'd need to learn the lines and spaces and memorize F-A-C-E, A-C-E-G and other acronym tools. Again, Father God was there telling me to play and I deeply wanted to play for Father God so I practiced.
At another point when I went to play, I skipped what looked like a hard song and found the next two songs were easier. Although I had to go back to the tools page several times and it took me an hour to play a single song, I was learning something new. But I wasn't getting into it, you know? Like deep into it so I could advance my learning. I'd just quickly skim through the songs I knew and go watch TV. "Ah, I obeyed God and that's off my list" I'd think to myself. And, then I watched a prophetic message that described ME on my piano!
An Amazing Revelation
A prophet had a Word from God online. I think it was Lana Vawser or another prophet. And, when I watched it my mouth flew open. She said that she saw a prophet sitting down to her piano attempting to learn something new. And, she then said in so many words that God WANTS us to learn new things. I jumped up in excitement, rewound the message and played it again. Yup, I wasn't hearing things. She was talking about me and my piano. I ran to my piano and plugged it in!
When I sat down to play this time, I reminded myself of the tools or guide I had to help me. And, the strangest thing happened. I started with the first song (the one I originally skipped) in the hard book. I realized I now knew where the keys were. It took some time but I eventually played that song in its entirety. Then I played the next one and the next one and the next one. Whew! I was on a roll!
I then apologized to Father God because I was letting my own fears and limitations in my mind stop me from going further in Him. And, learning new things is something God wants for ALL His people.
They Hear but They Have No Changes
Covid and the pandemics brought a lot of testing for God's people. And, for some, this is new territory. People aren't used to working from home. They're not used to social distancing and all the inactivity. And, a lot of people are trying to do new things. Now, this isn't for everyone but some people DON'T want to change. They ONLY want to go back to the old way and that's understandable. I did the same thing.
I prayed that Covid would end real fast so we could get back on track. But God is trying to take us on a new track and in a new direction. So, we have on the one hand, people that WANT to follow God. But this Covid thing requires A LOT of faith, right? Then you have people that don't want to do a NEW THING with God (like me on the piano). But, in order to go where God wants us to we have to change our thinking.
A few times this year, Father God has said, "Don't walk away from me." He's also said, "Don't walk away when you see what God does." I did the same thing. I BARELY gave an effort so I could go back to the comfortable and familiar. However, that's not what God wants.
Hear AND Do What God Says
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves, James 1:22
In this season, as you move forward with God and you hear Him calling you, I want you to think about the railroad tracks. Picture this train that you've been on for a long time. You know the route and it's easy so you're comfortable with it, right? Now, picture a new course.
This new track the train is on is unfamiliar. You don't know where the stops are and God is only laying out one track at a time. You make a move in that new direction and THEN He gives the next track. Because God is sometimes like a cloud by day fire by night, we have to move when He says moves. So, here are a few tips.
Expect Divine Interruptions: Father God sometimes wakes His kids up early in the morning to talk to them or so they can get up and pray. Try to get to bed earlier so you can be alert and in tune to Him. I've had picture frames fall over promptly at 5:30 am and jumped up but realized it was probably an angel prompting me to get up.
I think it was Kay Nash or Lana Vawser who said to expect these divine interruptions - and don't think that EVERY disturbance is the devil. Sometimes God just wants us to get up and sing to Him so He can tell us something awesome!
Remember Why God Trains Us: Learning the piano might not sound like a big deal. However, it's God reminding me that I have other things to occupy my time than watching TV. He may ask you to pick a hobby that you enjoy and start doing things that add value. But, why do we need to learn new things? For starters, for me it was about removing stubborn pride. God didn't want me sitting ONLY in front of the TV during the pandemic.
Another point is I learned obedience to God. And, mastering a new instrument means I can play in front of others confidently. And, you know who else was confident? David in the Old Testament. God let him practice using his slingshot privately so he could build his confidence publicly. That's not saying that when Goliath comes along I'm going to knock him out with my concerto. But, I will know how to confidently do what the Lord commands because I studied and mastered smaller things. God also wants us to enjoy the desires of our hearts. He helps us fulfill these things AFTER we seek Father God FIRST.
Speak Over Yourself: Giving yourself encouraging words is SO important. You need encouraging. This is especially true if you've had a history where a family member or coworker or someone from your past was abusive to you. Rent the movie, I Can Only Imagine. The father was mean-spirited because HIS father was the same way. So, sometimes people repeat behaviors because they DON'T know another way until they learn about Christ.
Like me with the piano, I KNEW I could do the easy songs but I had to push myself with the harder ones. I'd remind myself that it's a process and not to beat myself up. So, be patient with yourself, too. And, reward yourself. Eat the cookie!
Ask For Help: Going through a new process with God isn't always easy (walking by faith, right?). Hence, we have the Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost and our guardian angel with us. When I went through a HUGE financial drought, Father God told me to ask the Holy Spirit for help.
Every morning I'd get up early and pray. He would tell me things like "Contact this creditor today" or "Don't forget your responsibilities" if I started to get frustrated or give up hope. My mom also taught me that it's okay to ask God for MORE information. He sometimes gives us limited information because He WANTS us to ask for more so we can get used to a dialog and conversation with God. It takes time so if you're having trouble, look for books or free YouTube videos on how to talk to and listen to the Holy Spirit. These can help you tune your inner ear to God.
Please Be Patient With Yourself and Give Yourself Time: Now, this is big. Don't stop trying and don't beat yourself up. We're in a stage with God so there's a lot that's unfamiliar. God KNOWS this. Maybe He tells you to call that creditor and say, "I'll have the money in soon." Don't give up or go back to the OLD WAY.
Ultimately, keep trusting God and keep trying that NEW THING that He tells you to do. Let Him SHOW YOU that it works so He can give you more tasks and assignments. Like me with the piano, I wasted SO MUCH time. I played the same 10 keys for maybe a year? All I had to do was turn the page. Now, did He TELL me to turn the page? No. I HAD TO want it for myself but I didn't want to give 100%. I wanted the easy way out - zip through the easy stuff and back to the TV. Give God 100% effort and see one train track after the next - He's NOT asking us for an express train.
To God be the glory!