The Squeezings of my Brain Grapes.
I Want To Sing, But Am I Just Being Selfish??

danyaalise asked you:
Hi Jed! First off, I love your blog and the father’s heart that you have! It totally blesses me every time I read one of your posts! Secondly, how do you know when you’re called to something? I really fell like I’m called to sing, like on a worship team in a house of prayer or something like that, and I absolutely love doing it, I love seeing the Lord touch people through music, but how do I know that my desires aren’t just selfish and wrong? How do I know that I’m hearing the Lord?

Jed Brewer replied:

Hi Danya Alise!

Sis, thank so much for your notes and your kind words.  I’m really glad you dig the blog!

So, you love singing, and you want to use that serve Jesus, and you’re wondering if there’s something wrong with that.

Nope.  There isn’t.

But I get why you’d wonder.  We figure some part of what we want has to be wrong.  And the truth is: it is.  You – like me – are a sinful person, and, so, there will always be some element of funky motivations in everything we do.  That will always be true, no matter what.  (Read Romans chapter 7 for a bit more on this.)

But, now, given that we will always have some amount of weird motivations, it also means we can relax a bit.  You’re never going to do anything purely out of selflessness, so, let’s no worry too much about it.

What I’m saying is: rather than asking if we’ve got the wrongness down to 0% (which we can’t do), let’s start asking how we get the rightness up to 100%.

On that front, I’d suggest three things for you to look at.  The first is to recognize that calling is a journey.  So, let’s say that God’s calling and purpose for your life includes music.  Cool.  If we could look at the totality of your life all at once (like God can), what we’d probably see is that music may provide something of a through-line to your life, but what you’re doing with music may vary massively through the years.  So, for now, maybe it’s singing in a praise team at church.  Maybe in a couple years it’s giving music lessons to underprivileged kids.  Maybe a few years after that it’s helping out with a hymn-sing at the local nursing home.  All of that is music, but it’s grown and evolved as you’ve grown and evolved.

The key thing is to be open to that growth and change.  And what will lead you through those changes – most likely – is the second thing to look at.  And that is asking, “How do use this thing to serve other people?”

Ask the Lord to given you a burden for the hurting people around you.  Talk with them.  Sit down and listen to their stories.  I bet that, as you do that, what you want to do with music and singing will change in order to be a part of bringing healing into these folks’ lives.

So, as an example, let’s say that as you talk with people in your life, the struggle you see keep coming up is shame.  They feel dirty for the things they’ve done, and that feeling of dirtiness is crippling their spiritual lives.  Alright.  Well, then that means that when you stand up to lead worship, you’re going after that sense of shame with a chainsaw.  Every word, and every song, becomes a weapon to tear down that stronghold of the Enemy.  You start using that music to set people free, and then you discover you’ve got the coolest job in the Kingdom.

And, lastly, let me know when I can hear some of your stuff!  My wife and I have got your back, and we’d love to hear the music you’re working on.