Crank up the Music

Have you ever read something and you just can’t stop thinking about it? Saturday morning, I read a passage of Scripture, I’ve read probably one hundred times, but I never saw it. I’ve spent a lot of times studying the book of 2 Kings. I have a profound fascination with Elisha. I have even considered writing a book about it but I haven’t done it yet….maybe soon. Still, despite the many times I’ve read this, I never noticed this simple little thing hanging out in 2 Kings chapter 3.

I’m a musician, as many of you know. I have been involved in worship ministry in one form or another for the last 40 years of my life. I’m only 43 so it’s pretty obvious that music and worship have been instrumental (no pun intended…okay maybe a little intended) in who I am.

In 2 Kings 3, the king of Israel, Joram, and the king of Judah, Jehoshaphat have teamed up and are going to battle against Moab. Side note – I’ve always liked saying Jehoshaphat! It’s just fun. I feel like Buddy the Elf saying “Francisco” over and over again, “Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat”, but I digress. They decide they should ask the prophet of the Lord what they should do. Good idea Jehoshaphat! So they go to Elisha, who honestly, isn’t thrilled about the idea of helping them at all. He isn’t a big fan of Joram, who is still doing evil in the sight of the Lord and says in verse 13, “I want no part of you. Go to the pagan prophets of your father and mother!”

Still, despite Elisha’s attitude toward Joram, he agrees out of respect for…wait for it…Jehoshaphat. See it’s just fun! Anyway, the thing I never saw is in verse 15. Elisha agrees to ask the Lord for them, and in order to do that he says, “Bring me a musician.” 2 Kings 3:15. “Then it happened, when the musician played, that the hand of the Lord came upon him.” 2 Kings3:16.

The outcome here isn’t what I want to emphasize. What I can’t stop thinking about is that when Elisha’s own attitude was not in a space to find the word of the Lord, he knew how to pull himself out of it and into the presence of God. He knew that in in worship, God would reveal Himself. The hand of the Lord moved as the musician played.

I was talking with a friend recently who said they cannot stand the “worship” part of church. She meant the music. She just doesn’t get it and doesn’t understand why it is so repetitive etc. I get it. I also acknowledge that everyone has a different style and various worship expressions are necessary because we are all different and God speaks to us in different ways. Still never underestimate the power and impact that worship and music has on the lives and spirits of mankind.

If the hand of the Lord came upon Elijah through worship and he, Elisha, the man with a double portion of the anointing of Elijah needed them to call for a musician to change his attitude and hear from heaven, then it only makes sense why I fundamentally need music in my life. I am designed to absorb music. I feel it deeply. I sing loudly. I feel the atmosphere shift around me through melody and rhythm. It’s a part of me. It’s obviously a part of others as well and it’s in me so I can help others find and hear from heaven.

My point is two-fold. Number one, if something is in you, let it out! It’s in you for a reason. I’m a singer for a reason so I better SING! Whatever you have to offer, don’t keep it to yourself. Be who you are! Go out and change the world. I know it sounds cheesy, but do it anyway. God created you for a purpose and it wasn’t just to hide in the shadows. Live BIG!

Number two, if you’re struggling today, crank up the music and see what happens. Allow God to speak to you. Meditate on His word and listen. You never know what He will do. Crank it up! Dance! Sing! Listen! God is always speaking, not always how we think He will. It may be through music. It may be through a butterfly flying by your window. You never know, but if you have eyes to see and ears to hear, He will reveal Himself to you. Don’t miss it!



As I was cleaning up smashed strawberries and bananas off of the floor under my son’s high chair this morning, it hit me…not just the peaches he was chucking at my head…also the realization that life is messy. There’s really no way around this fact. Sure, I’m in the thick of it, with four kids at home and a full-time job and ministry obligations. There’s always something more to be done and some inner voice telling me I’m not doing it all well enough. But I think all of us have an element of “mess” in our lives. It’s that stuff that always comes back, the house, the bills, the relational problems, whatever it may be.

I, for one, tend to rail against the mess hoping if I grimace enough, it will all go away and sparkle in the radiant light of my annoyance. This approach rarely works. Go figure…The better approach would be to realize that the mess has purpose and accept it. The mess serves to make me better and if I’m better at the end of the day, then it was all worth it.

For me, the mess tends to ‘mess’ with my psyche. I am my own worst critic. Consequently, I can be so hard on myself when the mess is too grand for me to tackle in a day. Sometimes, I find myself on my knees in the morning scrubbing day old fruit like this morning, as today’s peaches fly like rockets. And that’s okay.

There’s an odd little story in 2 Kings chapter 2:23-24. Elisha was going about his day and some young dudes decided to mock him and call him “baldhead”. Elisha turns around and looks at them and curses them in the name of the Lord and bears come out of the woods and eat them up. Elisha just keeps on going to where he was headed. Weird right? I’ve heard a lot of commentary on this passage, and honestly, I never thought too much about this passage and just attributed it to Elisha being sensitive about his receding hairline. Plus, how dumb to mess with the man of God! Today, I’m thinking a little differently.

We all have those things that we are sensitive about. Mine is my inability to “properly” quell the messes that confront me. I fight with myself regularly as my internal accuser tells me I’m failing. Today, I’ve learned to stop arguing and just pull an Elisha. When the mocker comes, I can stare it down and curse it in the name of the Lord. I can do this because I know who I am. Elisha was so much more than a bald guy. I am so much more than my mess. So I can boldly stand at the edge of the woods that would seek to drag me down and bury me deep in shame and insecurity and I can call on something higher than myself to deal with the problem. I don’t need to fight my own battles, I need to rest in who I am in Christ and keep going.

I don’t know what mess is mocking you today. It could be flying peaches, anger or even addictions, but I do know this, there is a defender who loves you deeply. He will help when you call upon his name. You never have to face this life alone. I pray your day is filled with cleaning, smiles and bear calling…and those flying peaches may be sticky, but don’t let them bring you down.

What to do while you wait

Photo Credit: Reuters

Photo Credit: Reuters

The thing about being in the Potter’s hands (Jeremiah 18, Isaiah 45) is that we don’t always know what he’s forming us into. Sometimes it might even seem like we’re sitting on a shelf and waiting until He’s ready to do something with us. Isaiah 45 taught us not to argue with the Potter about the final outcome, but what should we do while we wait?

In I Kings 19, God tells Elijah to go anoint Elisha as prophet in his place. God has a mighty purpose for Elisha. We have the benefit of being able to read the whole story so we know that Elisha will do mighty works for the Kingdom of God. God will use him to perform miracles, obliterate wickedness, speak the word of the Lord. His ministry will be great.

I’m sure Elisha knew God had called him too, even before that day when Elijah showed up. He was quick to recognize the mantle and anointing of Elijah and follow him when he called. He didn’t just follow him, he gave EVERYTHING to follow him. That shows me that he was already following the Lord with his whole heart. He was waiting for instructions and activation in his ministry. God was faithful to give it.


But what was he doing while he waited?

I Kings 19:19 “He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair.”

When Elijah found him, he was plowing the field, tilling the soil, planting seed. He was already using what he had to make something.

When it feels like you are waiting around for life to start, for God to use you to do something big, why don’t you use what you have in your hand to make something beautiful. Start plowing. Plant a seed. Speak words of life to those around you. Be a smile to a hurting heart. Be a willing ear to someone who needs to let it all out. Help carry someone else’s burden. Pray with a neighbor. Talk to a stranger. What’s in your hand? What can you do now?


Don’t wait around for something big to happen, start spreading life NOW. The big things will come but even if they don’t, your life is about right now. Today always impacts tomorrow so spend it wisely. Make like Elisha and grab a plow!