1 Corinthians 14:26
[ Orderly Worship ] What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.
Keeping Praise Alive~Part 1
(From the series: Ministering Through Songs)
By Janice S Ramkissoon
Having seen the hurt and the pain of many around me, I wanted to help bring healing to hurting souls. I asked God for something specific, via a song I wrote in 2006: “An Instrument for Thee”. God answered my prayer by providing opportunities for me to minister through my writing, singing and the spoken word. He also provided opportunities for me to minister to the hearts of little children, in my role as a midday supervisor, parent-helper (classroom assistant) in our son’s infant school, Sunday school teacher and youth worker.
Looking back to my childhood, I realise that I was being trained for this purpose as I cared for my siblings and other children within my community. However, as an adult serving in the church, the darts started to come in full force and I got wounded on the way. I then got side-tracked during a period of grieving and became ineffective in the various ministries I was involved in. I found it very difficult to keep my eyes on Christ, instead of the individuals through whom the attacks were coming. But I was determined to get back on track, being effective in the various ministries God had placed before me, and to continue on the path of righteousness. But it needed more than determination. There came a point when I had to cry out for divine intervention.
How easy it is to get contaminated:
I wanted to be sure to stay in God’s will, so I kept asking Him for direction and clarity each step of the way. I was warned not to get contaminated but over the last year or so, though I believed I was getting clear directions, fear took over. I side-tracked and somehow became contaminated. I got frustrated with individuals whom I knew had the knowledge and understanding of what to do and how things should be done, yet they continued to walk in their folly. Lacking spiritual maturity, I soon became angry instead of seeing the evil spirits at work and rebuking those spirits, so I could carry on doing what God desired of me. Instead, I focused on the negativities and soon enough I needed time-out to de-contaminate.
Looking back on the past two years, I realised that it was easy becoming contaminated, as I was going through a period of grieving, at the time. I saw individuals heading down the wrong path and tried to stop them, but I did not recognise the signs of the hardened hearts. Although I had the passion and the zeal, I was lacking in many areas, and edges needed smoothing out. The very people I wanted to help were the ones being used as stumbling blocks in my path, but I failed to see the enemy’s trick. I hadn’t yet experienced being polished and shined—I was still being moulded. The teaching was not yet complete for this area of my growth.
I struggled with my confidence, and not wanting to hide my gift, I kept seeking after individual’s help (though not forthcoming). Then I realised that God had already equipped me for the task and I just needed to step out in faith instead of doubting. I did not believe my voice was powerful enough to speak. I wanted to brush up on my vocal training to feel confident to sing again, so I could be a voice for God; giving words of encouragement or warning to others—ultimately bringing healing to hurting souls. So when help wasn’t forthcoming and I wasn’t able to afford to pay for the help I needed, I got discouraged, thinking I wasn’t doing what God wanted me to do. I felt like I was actually reversing and instead of helping others, I was the one needing help. I worried that if those who were to benefit from my ministry should die in their sins, their blood would be on my shoulder. That thought brought on the feeling of depression but it also acted as a motivator—pushing me into forward gear.
Knowing depression was knocking at my door, I was compelled to look back into my life. Looking back, I saw God’s powerful hands of protection and provision on me, and seeing how He brought me through, and kept me to this moment, I felt guilty for allowing fear to become a stumbling block in my path. I was now grateful, realising that He never left me nor forsook me. He was always there for me; being my all in all, yet I have been watching the years go by without taking hold of these opportunities and doing what I believe God wanted me to do. With this knowledge, I rebuked the spirit of heaviness and the spirit of fear, in the name of Jesus. I then spoke life into my mind and asked God to help me to keep praise alive and give me the boldness to do that which He desires of me. I believed His Word, in that, if I ask I shall receive and so I claimed the victory—knowing the answer was already on its way. I then thanked God for answering my prayer.
I felt it was necessary to write my thoughts down and share with others. I believe writing is one of the gifts He has blessed me with and is the tool He has equipped me with to do His work, for this season. I have learned that praying and fasting brings God’s direction much closer and with more clarity. Prior to this I was setting up meetings to share my thoughts and get ideas and help to move forward, but each attempt failed for one reason or another. Soon I realised that God was:
1. WORKING ON PERFECTING ME FOR THE TASK AHEAD; and
2. HELPING ME UNDERSTAND EXACTLY WHAT HE DESIRED OF ME;
Now I am ready to move forward and I am looking forward to growing even closer to God this year as He works through me to carry out His will. Though I was bent out of shape, while I was grieving, God was still able to use me in ways I did not even recognise. So now that I have received my healing, in part, I am more available to be used as I look forward to total deliverance.
Saints: Please continue to pray for me as I desire to grow closer to God and continue to walk in His Will. My prayer is that we will all find the time to get deeper in Christ in this season of our lives. I pray that you will open your hearts to receive from God this year. It is sometimes necessary to stop and re-evaluate, so that we are sure that we are walking in the will of God. Too often we get caught up with the things of the world, and those of us who serve in the church can sometimes get too caught up with church activities. When this happens, we fail to see the needs that are presented before us. But God desires worship first, and when we give Him our worship we will naturally move into service gear (they go hand in hand). If we become workers in the house of God, instead of worshippers, then we are at risk of losing our soul. ‘Workers’ strive on the activities taking place—they get exhausted and enter into auto-pilot, then find that there is no room for worship. At this stage growth is no longer evident and workers become stumbling blocks in the path of those who are striving for spiritual growth. So do take some time to evaluate today, and see if you are a ‘worshipper’ or a ‘worker’. Obedience is better than sacrifice; sacrificing your time to help, when you are not giving from a pure heart is a sacrifice in vain. If you find yourself in this position, as I once did, then hear what the LORD has to say to you today:
“Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.” –Jeremiah:18:2
The words you’ll hear in The Potters house are designed to bring healing to hurting souls. As a broken vessel, you will be mended. He will make you over, polish and shine you so that you can become a vessel of honour. The words you’ll hear are sharper than a two-edged sword; they will cut out the weeds that are in your life, dig up the earth (make it ready to receive the seeds that the farmer—your spiritual leader will plant). Then stay the course as you are tried in the fire—it’s a painful process but once tried and tested, if you endure, you will come out as pure gold. His praise will continually be in your mouth and you will begin to shine for Him. God bless you as you journey through.
© 2011 J. S. Ramkissoon
Your sister in Christ
Janice S Ramkissoon.
(In Service for the King)