Updated: Sep 10
Last week a woman posted on my YouTube channel how a collection of songs changed her life. Michele said she was brought up in church and asked Jesus into her heart at a young age. Later she left the church and went down a terrible path of destruction.
She always knew deep down inside that God loved her "though I was breaking His heart with my choices." At 19, she became very depressed and desperate to escape the bondage she lived in and longed to be free from the darkness. Then something usual happened.
"He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear [with great reverence] And will trust confidently in the Lord." Ps 40:3 Amp
Michele said, "I pulled into a parking lot and a woman pulled into the spot next to mine. Her music was blasting loudly and she was singing her heart out. I could tell it was some kind of church music and I cynically chuckled to myself, even though I longed for change. As we both got out of our cars and I said something like “boy you’re really enjoying that music!” Full of exuberant joy she replied, “Oh yes, my life is full because I worship my Jesus!” Her words struck me to my core as I immediately longed for what she had.”
Without me saying anything, as if she heard my soul crying out, she ejected her tape and said, “Here, it’s your turn to find joy.” I began listening to the tape and couldn’t get enough. I played it constantly, in my car, and in my house. I sang to it at the top of my lungs with conviction in my heart and weeping with tears of gratitude,forgiveness, and mercy. This one tape, given to me by a beautiful stranger, changed my heart and the course of my life. It led me to run to my Jesus, just like the prodigal son I was accepted with open arms!”
“Over the years, the tape got lost. I searched for it but never found it. I thought about it so many times. I still know the entire tape, word for word. A few weeks ago, I was searching for it again online again, to my absolute delight, I was led to your recording of Arise, O God. Oh, the sweet sound of the worship music that changed my life!”
“One day I will meet this stranger in heaven and thank her for giving me that tape.It never dawned on me that I could find the one who sang the songs and thank him also. So, I just want to say, thank you LaMar for praising our Lord and being a part of changing my life. Your service to the Lord has resulted in much fruit!”
Michele’s story touched my heart and reminded me of the power of songs of praise. There was something in the live praise and worship that drew her hungry and hurting heart. The focus of the songs, the transcendent lyrics, and the witness of God’s presence pierced her dark and dry spirit and refreshed her soul.
Michele’s story was an example of power evangelism—the power of the witness of a worshiper. The Bible says that worshipers are contagious and the affectious joy the woman with the tape had oozed from her life and spirit. Michele witnessed her joyful singing and wanted the same. The Bible says many will see the songs of joy and will also reverence God and give their lives to Him. (Ps 40:3)
I encourage you to make your joyful worship of God public as a witness to others. Make your praise of God glorious and obvious. Fill your life with the worship music which lifts spirits to encounter God.
Our ultimate call is to love God with all our heart and to love others as ourselves. Michele’s story is an example of a worshipper loving God expressively and then loving a stranger by sharing the tape which was the catalyst for her joy and happiness. She gave selfishly to bless another. This is the perfect recipe of loving God, loving your neighbor and sowing into another person.
Thank you, Mike Coleman (executive producer), Tom Brooks (producer) and all those that were involved at Integrity’s Hosanna Music for the live worship album Arise O Godthat touched and changed Michele’s life. We never know the powerful witness our worship of God has. Thank you Michele for sharing your story and encouraging our hearts.
What are your thoughts? I welcome your impressions or stories.