The Power Of Anointed Music
There is no power in the world like music, other than the preaching of the gospel. In fact, music and singing that is anointed by the Holy Spirit is the most powerful form of praise and worship there is. How do I know that? The Holy Spirit delegated the longest book in the Bible to be music and singing, and, of course, I speak of the book of Psalms. All one hundred and fifty of the psalms are actually songs that were originally written by the Holy Spirit and given to David and others.
Other than the preaching of the gospel, nothing can touch the heart of individuals as anointed music and singing can. If you will notice, I included the musical instrumentation. The Lord anoints me to play the piano exactly as He anoints me to sing, and once again, I give Him all the praise and all the glory.
Let Me Give You An Example
My cousin, Jerry Lee Lewis, was brought up in the same church that I was, and he was saved and baptized with the Holy Spirit as a young boy. When he was making millions of dollars and selling millions of records, something happened that would test my faith.
If I remember correctly, the year was 1958. While Frances and I had begun evangelistic work in 1955, we launched out full-time in 1958. However, I must quickly add that launching out created no headlines anywhere. At any rate, I was preaching a meeting at our home church in Ferriday, Louisiana. It was Sunday and, after the service, there was a dinner on the grounds which was somewhat common in those days. A table was set up at the back of the church, and the ladies of the church, what few there were, brought the food. Frances and I were standing, eating, and enjoying the fellowship, when all of a sudden there turns off the main highway and onto the side road that led to the church, a brand-new Cadillac.
Of course, everyone’s eyes were glued to this tremendous automobile, which was then the finest in the world. It drove up very close to where I was standing and stopped.
My Uncle Elmo, Jerry Lee’s dad, quickly got out of the car and, of course, everyone was glad to see him. Uncle Elmo was a gregarious individual, with such a personality that everyone who met him liked him. That’s the kind of person he was. I suspect that Jerry Lee got a lot of his singing talent from his dad because the man could sing. Be that as it may, as the people gathered around that beautiful car and were admiring it, my uncle walked over to me.
He said, “Jimmy, I have the greatest news.” I wondered what he was about to say. He said, “I’ve just left Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee, and I’ve come to get you. You are going to join the Sun label. They’re starting a gospel line, and you are to be the first artist. Sam Phillips has sent for you. I’m to have you in Memphis in the morning.”
At that time, Sun Records was at least one of the most powerful recording labels in the world, having started Elvis Presley, my cousin Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and a host of others. To be sure, this was good news, and I opened my mouth to say, “I’m ready,” when the Holy Spirit checked me.
I must have looked a little strange, because my uncle said to me, “Jimmy, did you hear what I just said?”
I looked at him for a moment and said, “Yes, I heard you, and I am very, very grateful. But I can’t do it.”
Uncle Elmo said, “Son, I know you need the money. Your car is falling all to pieces. Every time I see you, you’re wearing the same suit. As well, every time I see Frances, she has on the same dress.” He then said, “A week from now, you could be driving a Cadillac exactly like the one I’ve got here.”
A tremendous battle was raging in my mind. To be sure, this offer was very, very enticing. Besides that, how could it hurt, considering that it was gospel music? I didn’t really know what to say to my uncle, except what I had already stated. I didn’t understand it myself. Why could I not go, considering that it was gospel music?
I responded to him that he should thank Sam Phillips very profusely for the offer that was made. I tried to tell my uncle how much I appreciated it, because I didn’t want to seem ungrateful.
Uncle Elmo, who really wasn’t living for God, looked at me and said, “Jimmy, I think I understand.” He hugged my neck, and I thanked him profusely and asked him again to thank Sam Phillips for the invitation. Then he got in that Cadillac and drove away.
I wish I had the vocabulary to properly express exactly how I felt at that moment. My uncle was right. Our car was falling to pieces, and we really did not know where the next dollar was coming from. I overheard one of the dear ladies nearby say, “Did you hear what he just did? He turned down that offer.”
I walked away and went into the little church. There was a broom and mop closet there, and I stepped inside of it, to get alone with the Lord. For a few moments I poured out my heart to God, asking Him why I could not do this. It was gospel music, and, on the surface, it seemed like an answer to prayer, especially considering how much Frances and I needed the money. Yet the Holy Spirit had said no.
After a few minutes I sensed the presence of the Lord, and He spoke to me in answer to my questions. He did so with just two words. He said, “Trust Me.” That was all, just the two words. No explanation was given, no reasons why, just two words: trust Me.
When I was an eight-year-old child, the Lord had given me this talent, and He had the right to order whatever was to be done. I stood there that day by myself and said, “Lord, I will do exactly what You want.”
We must understand that, at times, the Lord will tell us to do things or not do certain things, which of themselves are not wrong; but the reason is, those things are not, whatever they might be, His will. The Lord wants to lead us; He wants to guide us, and we had better be careful that the offers which come from the world do not have strings attached, and they almost always do.
So what did the Lord mean when He said, “Trust Me”?
He did not explain it further then, but I was to learn through the years exactly what He meant. He meant that He had given me the talent, and He would do the promoting, would do the anointing, and would do the distribution, and He did not need help from anyone else. And that is exactly what has happened.
I’ve never signed with a company, even the Christian labels. I’ve always trusted the Lord, and He has helped us to sell multiple millions of recordings down through the years.
Above all, these recordings have been anointed by the Holy Spirit, which means that they have been a blessing to those who needed that blessing.
What a mighty God we serve.
Reprinted from from Amazing Grace, An Autobiography by Jimmy Swaggart