Part 4 “More Precious Than Silver” – Reflections on the 40th Anniversary
Lessons Learned – As I began to reflect on all God has done in my life in the forty years since the writing of “More Precious Than Silver,” I prayerfully considered some of the important lessons I’ve learned over that time. What bits of wisdom might I pass on to another generation? Here are a few, as I understand them.
WHAT BEGINS IN GOD WILL BE SUSTAINED BY GOD
My songwriting took a distinctive turn following my decision to obey God’s directive to me to lay down my instrument. I believe I already had a natural gift to write songs that would develop as I continued to apply myself. Perhaps God would have blessed that to a measure, since all human abilities come from Him anyway. But I’m not sure it would ever have blossomed into anything remarkable, because it would have been entirely up to me to keep it going. On the other hand, as I entered the stream of what God was already doing – renewing the church worldwide in a fresh understanding and experience of His Presence in praise and worship – I joined a cause to which God was already committed. And so I say that what begins in God will be sustained by God. What began in God – my worship songwriting ministry in particular – has been faithfully sustained by God for many years and in ways I could never have imagined. My songs have traveled a lot more than I ever have and are sung in nations I’ve never visited. I thank God for that.
THERE’S AN ANOINTING AT THE PLACE OF SACRIFICE
Whenever I lead worship or teach, I want the anointing to flow because that’s how the power of God helps people and touches their lives. Music has a natural power to lift your mood, but it’s the anointing that breaks the yoke (Isaiah 10:27). So how is it that some ministers have such an evident and consistent anointing flowing to people through what they do, whether it’s preaching, leading worship, counseling, or you name it? I believe it is because of a significant spiritual sacrifice made by that person before the Lord, and a firm commitment to obey Him in every season and circumstance of life.
God called Abraham to Mt. Moriah and required him to sacrifice that which was most precious to him, his son Isaac (See Genesis 22). Thankfully, it was only a test of Abraham’s faith. Isaac’s too, for that matter. But you must understand that Abraham’s test was a foreshadowing of what our Father in heaven would do in giving His only Son as a sacrifice for sin. Now, anywhere in the world that the Gospel is preached, there is an anointing upon the message for people to believe and be saved. Why? Because there’s an anointing at the place of sacrifice, and that place is the Cross of Jesus.
Every believer in Jesus Christ who desires to be a fruitful disciple must come to the Cross, to the place of total surrender to Him and be willing to be made a “living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1). We are called to obedience, and God will test that in every one of us. Will we live by the strength of our own will, or out of obedience to His will for us? Education and training are important for anyone called to a ministry. But the anointing does not flow from curriculum – anointing flows from the place of sacrifice. This is one of the most profound things God has ever spoken to me. When someone says to me, “Lynn, there is such an anointing on that song,” or “I really sense the Presence of the Lord when you lead worship,” that is always a great compliment and very affirming. I’ll thank them for the kind words, but I give the glory to God. I remember my personal altar of sacrifice and the transforming power of the One who met me there. If there’s an anointing upon what I do, I believe it is at least in part because of this principal.
WARNING: THE ANOINTING MAKES YOU SHINE
The picture of anointing in the Scriptures is that of smearing or pouring on oil. If you rub oil on your skin, the oil makes your skin to shine. If you ever become known as an anointed worship leader, or songwriter, or preacher, I should warn you: the anointing makes you shine. The very power that helps you minister can cause people to see you as having more maturity, ability, or developed character than you actually have. Sometimes that means people will place expectations upon you that are really unfair. That can set you up to be misunderstood or, when you don’t meet their expectations, to be seen as insensitive or incompetent. It can also set up a lot of performance anxiety in your life. After all, no one wants to be a disappointment. You have to learn that it’s the anointing that breaks the yoke, not your personal performance as a minister. God told me once, “Yes, you carry an anointing, but it’s the anointing that carries you.” Hearing that affirmation took a lot of stress out of my life, especially when I was younger and traveling more.
There’s a good bit more I could tell you, but I’ll close my “memorial stone” reflections for now. It’s July of 2019, the same month that the song “More Precious Than Silver” was birthed in 1979, forty years ago. I never found my original copy, or I could tell you which day in July it happened. No matter. The important thing to know is that this little song was a gift from heaven to me, and the Lord used it to bless many, many people around the world. Its supernatural birth set me on the journey of a lifetime – and that’s what this stone means to me.