Interview with Jordan Vanderplate, electric guitarist
Interview with Jordan Vanderplate, electric guitarist
This is my second post in my "Prophetic Musician Interviews" series. If you haven't read the first one with Gabriel Hancock, be sure to check it out. I'm so privileged to have Jordan Vanderplate be a part of today's interview. Jordan plays with me on Justin Rizzo's worship team as our electric guitar player. We both used to play with Marcus Meier and Tim Reimherr's worship team (Merchant Band) last year.
Josh: So you've been playing guitar for a while now, and you've been a musician at IHOP longer than I have. You've been through ups and downs, many "good" sets and many "bad" sets, and several different worship teams. What keeps you going? How do you stay engaged and keep your heart connected to the Lord?
Jordan: When I'm on stage I simply think about the fact that It's just me Jesus there alone and I sing in the Spirit as I'm playing. So many times I get distracted and weighed down by the cares of life especially when I'm on stage but then I remind myself that God is so worthy of praise and so much greater and stronger than any of my problems so I need to just give Him my anxieties and worship Him. Especially when I'm on stage and leading people in prophetic worship and intercession I must remember that I'm standing in a place of authority and I have the an anointing to prophesy through music.
Josh: That's good. I think it's so easy to lose sight of the place of authority in the Spirit that we have as musicians. What's some of the ways you practically remind yourself of that and cultivate the prophetic spirit on your music?
Jordan: The most important thing that I personally do in my times off stage are simply asking the Lord to anoint my hands and anoint the musicians on the team. I acknowledge that on my own I have nothing to offer and then I simply ask the Lord to anoint my weak hands and words and that His Holy Spirit would take those melodies and move through them.
But practically, as we ask the Spirit for melodies and harmonies and rhythms we must also do our part to make sure we are able to play the music we hear. We must cultivate our talents through practicing them extensively. I personally try to practice my guitar an hour a day when I can. There are many other aspects to being able to play the things we hear from the Spirit such as knowing the different sounds our instrument can make and the sounds that we can obtain through pedals and programs but we must be skillful on our instrument to be trusted to be obedient to the melodies that the Spirit gives to us.
So many times I hear things (not necessarily just melodies) and I write them off as being just a random thought or a random melody only later to find out that it was from God. It's the concept of supernaturally natural where we hear things and we think that it is not from the Lord. But many times it is an impression from the Spirit and He is just waiting for us to be obedient and jump out there and play the melody. So we play the melody that we hear even though we think it's just a random melody or we give the prophetic word that we think is just a random word and the Lord anoints it and uses it to bless and encourage people. I always play something I hear because it definitely does not hurt to try it and see if the Lord will anoint it.
Josh: I'm convinced that what we let into our ears really has an effect on our ability to prophesy with our instruments as well. What do you think about that? What are your thoughts on secular music? Is it okay to just listen to the music and ignore the lyrics?
Jordan: I've grown up listening to Christian music and what I did listen to was very sparse so I don't have much influence on my style from music. But the music I did listen to I really did not pay attention to the lyrics so I would say it is possible to listen to only the music. But the issue with music is that all music has a spirit on it - which is only either of the Lord or not. That may seem a bold statement but I believe it's true because music is a universal language and conveys so much emotion even without lyrics. I personally have chosen not to listen to any secular music and very little Christian music not for the sake of "it's bad" but I have decided that I would rather have the influence of the Spirit than the influence of the world. I am not content with the fact that people are not healed and demons are not cast out when I play. I must have power in the Spirit and thus I must pursue righteousness and wholehearted love of Jesus and to do that I am willing to get rid of anything that hinders that pursuit!
Josh: You're a man of like heart! I love it. So if you could pick any one worship set or recording where you felt the presence of the Lord in a real manifest way and you knew the Lord's power was on what you were playing, what would it be?
Jordan: The most powerful moment during worship I've experienced was onething 2007 during ministry time after Allen Hood had spoken on the mercy and the Lord's delight in mercy. As we finished the worship session before the message I had a negative conversation with a friend that just "put me over the edge" of my emotions and I was sitting crying off stage realizing my weakness and I remember another friend talking to me and encouraging me to finish up the night and to do ministry time with the team. So as I went on stage just feeling my weakness and realizing I have absolutely nothing to offer the Lord except my sacrifice of praise we begin playing and the Lord almost instantly gives me a melody that ends up going through the entire ministry time and it was so powerful to me because in my weakness the Lord took that and anointed it so powerfully and everyone on the team said they felt the anointing on it.
Josh: I vividly remember that melody. I was weeping too! What struck me was that it was so simple, but it was so "perfect" for the moment. So often we think that the Lord will only give us those things when we are strong but I love how the Lord gave it to you in your weakness and your brokenness. If you could say one thing to encourage or exhort a fellow musician, singer, or worship leader wanting the spirit of prophecy, what would it be?
Jordan: I would encourage them to be patient in waiting for the visible manifestation of the Lord's anointing but to always be expecting things to happen. So many times I feel completely distracted and unanointed when actually the Lord is totally using me to prophesy life into people. You should have confidence and boldness that the Lord wants to anoint you and that He is already using you to prophesy.
Thanks so much for taking the time Jordan! You really encouraged my heart. If you want to bless Jordan, pray for him and buy him Chick-fil-a or IN-N-OUT!