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When The Music Plays

  • When The Music Plays

    When the Music Plays from Refreshing Hope Ministries on Vimeo.




    Transcript:
    Today I am going to be talking about something that the Lord taught me that is dear to my own heart called: “When the music plays.” As usual, I am speaking to myself as much as anyone else and I am going to be talking about the struggles that a Christian faces while we live here on the earth.

    I am going to be covering Daniel chapter 3, if you want to turn there and follow along in your own Bible. It is a pretty long chapter, so I am going to summarize most of it and you can go back and read it for yourself in detail if you are not familiar with it.

    Daniel chapter 3: King Nebuchadnezzar built an statue of gold 90 feet tall, and 9 feet wide. It was immense, possibly like the one that he had seen in his dream in chapter 2 which said that he was the head of gold, but instead, he made this whole image of gold. Perhaps it was a statue of him.

    After the image was setup, the king called all of the important leaders in the province together, anyone who was anybody, he invited to the dedication ceremony of his statue.

    After they all assembled before the golden statue, a herald proclaimed in a loud voice: “Attention, everyone! Every race, color, and creed, listen! When you hear the band strike up—all the trumpets and trombones, the tubas and baritones, the drums and cymbals—fall to your knees and worship the gold statue that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Anyone who does not kneel and worship shall be thrown immediately into a roaring furnace.”  Daniel 3:4–6 MSG.

    The band started to play, a huge band equipped with all the musical instruments of Babylon, and everyone—every race, color, and creed—fell to their knees and worshiped the gold statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

    What you should be understanding so far is this: Nebuchadnezzar set up a towering statue made of gold and commanded everyone to bow down to it when the music played. The rest of the time, they could completely ignore it, go about their lives like it had never happened, but when they heard the music, they had to stop what they were doing and bow down to this statue once again. It was a trigger, when you hear the music, you must do this. They could be at work, or in the market, or at their computer - when the music played, they had to obey their master’s wishes.

    There were three Hebrew exiles in the crowd whom Nebuchadnezzar had captured when he had conquered Jerusalem in 597 B.C., along with Daniel. That is recorded in 2nd Kings 24:10 and other places. Daniel is not mentioned in this story, so he may have been traveling, or in another province. Being that it does not tell us, his whereabouts are unknown.  

    Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego worshipped Yahweh, the God of their forefathers: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. As Jews, they had been taught the scriptures since childhood and they knew Exodus chapter 20:

    Exodus 20:3–5 (NKJV) “You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them.”

    While everyone else followed Nebuchadnezzar’s command to bow down to his image, for the Hebrews, it became a terrible dilemma. To follow the king’s command would be to directly disobey the word of God. To obey God would mean to disobey the king. What to do, what to do…

    They were in trouble, and this was not the “The TV in my bedroom is broken” kind of trouble, it was a choice between life and death. Looking at everyone else around them bowing to the statue, it would been easy to come up with excuses: “Everyone else is doing it. It is not that bad. Seems harmless enough. The Lord knows my heart.” Instead of making excuses, they stood firm and did not bow to the statue.

    Word got back to the king and he summoned them before him for questioning. He gave them a second chance to bow down to the statue that he had made, but they refused. They told king Nebuchadnezzar:

    Daniel 3:16–18 (NKJV) Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”

    King Nebuchadnezzar became furious and ordered that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than normal, and that the Hebrew traitors be bound with ropes and cast into the furnace. He was so angry and the soldiers were in such a hurry to appease him, when they went to throw the Hebrews in, they were burned to death and they all fell into the furnace together.

    Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego fell into the flaming furnace securely tied with ropes, but then God met them in the fire.

    Daniel 3:24–25 (NKJV) “Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, ‘Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?’ They answered and said to the king, ‘True, O king.’ ‘Look!’ he answered, ‘I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.’”

    Either an Angel, or Jesus Himself met them in the furnace and divinely protected them. When king Nebuchadnezzar brought them out of the fire, their hair was not singed, their clothes were not hurt, and they did not even smell like smoke. Only the ropes that had bound them were burned away in the fire. The king gave them a promotion and made a decree that no one should ever say anything bad about the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

    When the music played, the three Hebrews resisted the temptation to compromise. They chose to pass through the fire of suffering, the things that bound them were burned away and then they were promoted to the next level.

    Now the Lord speaks to us in ways that we can comprehend. In my life, He often speaks to me using computer language and terms. So in programming logic, Daniel chapter 3 would look something like this:


    LOOP {
       WHILE (Music playing = true) {
         IF (Compromise = false) THEN {
              - Pass them through the fire of suffering.
              - Burn away the things that bind them.
              - Promote them to the next level.
         } ELSE {
             - EXIT ; They are not ready.
         }
      }
    }


    I am fully convinced that before you are promoted in the kingdom of God, that you will undergo a test. Jesus Himself was tested in the wilderness for forty days before He began His ministry. The devil is only a tool, and God uses him to test His people.

    Have you ever had something that only popped up at certain times in your life and you felt almost powerless against it? You were so certain that you had beaten this and put it behind you. It hadn’t bothered you in a long time, but suddenly the music played, and you did it again. It is like the enemy has a small music box in our pocket that he can open, and then something dark drops over us.

    Those are the times when the breakthrough that we have been seeking is so close, right at the door, but once again it was delayed by our own actions. In Joshua chapter 5 verse 6 it tells us that Israel marched in a circle around the same mountain for forty years because they did not obey the voice of God.

    Make no mistake about it, our choices affect our progress in life. When you feel that pressure to do things that you feel in your heart are wrong, the music is playing. Will you compromise?

    If you will fight through the temptation, the things that bind you will be burned away, and you will be promoted to the next level. If you give into the temptation, then you will take another lap around the mountain.

    Now don’t beat yourself up about the past. God understands, and you are not the first one to fail a test. You will get to retake it again and again until you pass it. Once you do, hearing the music will no longer trigger an event in you. The hook is there because the enemy still has a foothold in your life in that area. When you are completely delivered from it, it will no longer be so difficult. I smoked for years, but the Lord delivered me from it and now when cigarettes are in front of me, I do not desire one.

    Now I am not talking about your salvation or being saved. I believe that if you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and are trying daily to walk with Him, that sin will not keep you out of heaven. You can watch my teaching on “Amazing Grace” if you want more details.

    When John the Baptist saw Jesus coming he said: John 1:29 (NKJV) “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! Jesus bore our sins on the cross and when we ask for His forgiveness, we are forgiven. We have many problems, but a sin problem is no longer one of them. Jesus washes our sin away with His own blood.

    Paul tells us in Romans 3:8: “that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.” Justified means “Just as if I had never sinned” and that comes through faith in Jesus Christ. So I am not talking about keeping a set of rules in order to be saved. I am talking about walking in the blessings of God on this earth, today.

    Examples:
    - When you start to tithe, financial pressure will come to make you stop. It is often a couple of months after you start, but it varies from person to person.

    - When you have quit a bad habit, pressure comes and you may want to start it once again. I have seen countless people go back to smoking or some other addiction after the pressure comes.

    Things that you have been delivered from, try and return to back to you. They crouch at the door waiting for an opportunity to come back into your life:

    Genesis 4:6 So the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” The phrase “lies at the door” is speaking of a predator lying in wait for prey.

    Jesus told us in Matthew 12:43–45 (NKJV) “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.”

    Things that you have been delivered from, still have a desire for you and they miss the time that you once shared together. If given a chance, the bad things in your life will return, when the music plays.

    I thought of naming this message: “Sometimes They Come Back” because that is exactly how it works. The man in the parable needed a new occupant, having no evil spirits living there was not enough to keep him free. He needed to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

    Some will say that when you become a Christian, you are instantly delivered from all bad things, that a Christian can no longer have evil desires living in them. That is what we would call in the South: “Hog Wash.”

    A drug addict that goes to the altar and is saved will continue to be a drug addict until they are delivered from it. They simply become a Christian drug addict. Yes, they are a saved Christian drug addict. I know that we like to think that being saved is a “fix all” but we still have a part to play in our life. God does not separate us from our friends, the bad things that we love to do, we get to keep.

    The Holy Spirit will move into a fixer upper and begin remodeling room by room, in hopes that He will fill the entire house. That is what I am, a fixer upper, and I thank God that He has mercy on people just as we are, because all of my rooms do not belong to Him yet. Yes, it is offensive to some to show that Christians may not have it all together, but what did Paul tell us?

    Romans 7:15 ESV “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.  Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.”

    Paul understood the struggle that Christians go through in this life, and we need to as well. I really want you to get this: Too often we make Christianity a “facade.” For those like me that grew up in a tobacco field instead of school, a “facade” is like a fake storefront. It is putting on your “church face”. It is defined as “an outward appearance that is maintained to conceal a less pleasant reality.” That is what Christianity is often made to look like, while on the inside, we are all a broken, messy, work in progress.

    The facade was a trademark of the Pharisees, who were the religious elite, when Jesus lived here on earth. Their outward appearance was perfect, while their inner spirit was a wreck. Jesus told them in Matthew 23:37, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”

    Summary:
    To sum this all up: we need Jesus to help us get it together. Without Him, we have no chance. Struggling against the flesh, keeping the old you behind you, staying free from the things that you have been delivered from, are things that you will deal with for the rest of your life here.

    Learn your weaknesses and recognize when the music begins to play. Know that when you hear the music, you are near promotion in the kingdom, and your choice will affect the outcome. Do you really want to take another lap around that mountain?

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I pray that You have mercy on me, a sinner. Wash me Lord and I will be clean. Deliver me and I will be free. Forgive me of my sins and the things that I have done wrong, for I turn to You today. Help me recognize the music playing and discern who it is from, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray.



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3 comments
  • 1
Deng Tembreza
Deng Tembreza

Thank you so much Pastor Dion for these beautiful message.  We all have the tendency to be back to where we were when OUR LORD GOD has forgiven us and bring us out in the pit and darkness.  I pray that I will not take another lap around that mountain again so please help me LORD GOD.

Pastor, it would be much appreciated that if you please do a praising song, to please have the lyrics written so I (we) could sing with when we read your Sunday Mass message.

February 23, 2017
  • 1
Dion Todd
Dion Todd

Hi Deng, the lyrics to the song are in the video as I sing them... You should see them. Or do you mean include them in the text of the blog post?

February 24, 2017
  • 1
Deng Tembreza
Deng Tembreza

Yes, please.  I scroll on the text script as I listen to you, so I am not with the video when you talk and sing.  Thank you so much

February 25, 2017