Those of you who follow my blog know my favorite devotional is probably my Streams in the Desert 1. No matter how many times I read the stories, they still move me to tears. And one of my favorite accounts is about the great violinist, Paganini.
He came out before his audience one day and made the discovery just as they ended their applause that there was something wrong with his violin. He looked at it a second and then saw that it was not his famous and valuable one. He felt paralyzed for a moment, then turned to his audience and told them there had been some mistake and he did not have his own violin. He stepped back behind the curtain thinking that it was still where he had left it but discovered that someone had stolen his and left that old secondhand one in its place. He remained back of the curtain a moment, then came out before his audience and said: “Ladies and Gentlemen: I will show you that the music is not in the instrument, but in the soul.” And he played as he had never played before; and out of that secondhand instrument, the music poured forth until the audience was enraptured with enthusiasm and the applause almost lifted the ceiling of the building, because the man had revealed to them that music was not in the machine but in his own soul.
It is your mission, tested and tried one, to walk out on the stage of this world and reveal to all earth and heaven that the music is not in conditions, not in the things, not in externals, but the music of life is in your own soul.Streams
The Apostle Paul also knew that the music was in the soul and revealed it to the world over and over. “Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of contentment in every situation, whether it be a full stomach or hunger, plenty or want; for I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power” (Philippians 4:11-13 TLB). Paul writes this great book of Philippians while in prison, not to gain sympathy or a following, but to express a joyful soul for each one spreading the gospel. Even when others preached Christ from envy or wrong motives, he rejoiced because Christ was being proclaimed. That’s a spirit-filled attitude!
As I continue to ask God for strength and power to fulfill another vow of the “no dairy, no sugar” fast, I am rewarded with snippets of pleasure. I am also reminded that the music is not in the sugary treats or creamy lattes but truly the filling of the Spirit propelling me to do my Father’s will.
Are you braving the stage and fulfilling your mission?