Music, prophecy, and the Day of the LORD

June 4, 2010

A lot of musicians in the church these days are talking more and more about “prophetic” music. The very nature of a prophetic musician or singer is one who prophesies. What is prophecy? We’ve made it out to be an ethereal thing that only select few “super saints” can operate in, and that it is a gift that is rarely given. But Revelation 19:10 debunks this misunderstanding by saying that all true prophecy simply manifests itself in declaration of the identity, heart, emotions, will, and desires of Jesus. Just as prophetic preaching is instructive and provokes us to live as Jesus did, prophetic music is music that is instructive to its hearers about the person and life of Jesus. There is no secret formula for prophetic anointing beyond a heart of devotion to Jesus and a desire to make Him known in truth. The Holy Spirit takes the music of the loyal heart of the musician and uses it to invite the listeners into deeper devotion to the Lord.

Paul, a selfless minister of Jesus the Messiah to the Corinthians, says:

“[In] whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. [I am] not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.”
(1 Corinthians 10:31-33 NKJV)

A major focus of Paul in his letter was to encourage the Corinthians to live in community in light of the day of the LORD, the resurrection, and future kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:7-8; 1 Corinthians 3:12-15; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 1 Corinthians 5:5; 1 Corinthians 5:9-10; 1 Corinthians 6:14; 1 Corinthians 9:24-25; 1 Corinthians 10:11; 1 Corinthians 11:26; 1 Corinthians 15:20-58). He exhorted them to live righteously before God and learn the way of love towards one another. In chapter 10, his exhortation to do all to God’s glory and his perspective about his own ministry agenda is one thing that marked Paul as prophetic. He lived with the greatness of others in mind and a certain hope in another age (1 Corinthians 4:9-13; 1 Corinthians 4:16) and pointed others solely towards the identity, heart, will, desires, emotions, and Day of one Man. Paul understood rightly that bearing witness to this Man is the most prophetic thing we can be doing with our lives.

As musicians, we too can be prophetic in this same way. I use my skill on the keyboard in front of others because I want the church to be prepared for the day of the LORD, confident in the resurrection, and fully hoping in the age to come. A Day is coming when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus of Nazareth, the promised Messiah from God that will restore the created order back to its original perfection, is in fact Yahweh, God in the flesh. This is the fundamental issue that every human must wrestle with, and this must be the ultimate point of focus for any minister of the gospel of Christ. I pray that my music is selfless and prophetic, as the Holy Spirit uses it to bring your heart and life into full agreement with this truth!