Using Our Talents For God? - By: Lenny Chapman
There are many who believe that worship to God is not at its best unless musical instruments are included. They contend that since God has blessed people with the talent to play instruments, why not include them in the worship service. They further believe that it would be a shame if these talents were wasted by not giving back to God in the service. Many of these folks are the same people that we call friends. They are good hearted, God loving people who truly want to worship God the best way they know how. They truly believe that the beautiful music makes God even more appreciative of their efforts. However, when asked where they find the authority to use musical instruments in worship, they refer back to the Old Testament when David praised God while being accompanied by instruments. They must use that as an example, because examples of this practice do not exist in the New Testament.
What we do find in both the Old and the New Testaments are examples of worship that are either acceptable or unacceptable to God. Acceptable worship to God is only that which God has ordained and approved. One of the biggest mistakes that man makes is to “add to” the Word of God; this includes the act of worship. Why is it that man continues to believe that he can add innovations to the worship of God, presuming that these “new innovations” will give God what He “really wants,” even though there is no scriptural basis for this type of behavior?
The answer involves man’s pride. In Ephesians 5:19 we are commanded to sing. “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” Also note in Hebrews 2:12, “Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.” Man has come along and introduced the playing of musical instruments, believing that it fulfills and completes the worship service. He believes that his way is better than God’s way! Can you see the pride that is overflowing in this kind of a situation? Because man so loves and enjoys the energy and excitement generated by the musical instruments, he feels that God should also love them. God may love instruments, but He has not ordained the use of them in worship to Him.
So how can we use the talents that God has bestowed upon us to serve Him? The answer can easily be found in the scriptures. God desires us to use our talents to bring glory to Him, a much different approach than what we see when man’s pride runs amuck. We have been directed to be good examples showing love and kindness to all mankind. “No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us,” (1 John 4:12). We are to use our talents in teaching others of Christ as we read in Matthew 28:19, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” The abilities God has given us need to be used in this area without excuse. Some are more comfortable teaching in a one-on-one situation rather than in a larger class setting. Some would rather teach in teams than by themselves. Preferences will vary with everyone, but God expects everyone to participate in some way.
There are many other ways to use our abilities and talents to serve God. When preparing to use them, just remember that the end result is to glorify God. This can only be achieved by following the guidelines that God has already set forth within the pages of His Holy Word. Think about it this way imagine that you have told someone exactly how you wished to be treated. Yet that person ignores what you said, and treats you differently. What is going through your mind? This is the same thing that happens often with God. Some believe that the Bible is antiquated and that they can do things better “these” days. Well, there were musical instruments when the first century Christians were meeting together. If God wanted them to be used in the worship service, He surely would have recorded it for us somewhere in the New Testament.