On December 9, 2018 our father-in-law shared the following exhortation. \"Keep the gift God has given you! God does not take it away, but the devil tries to steal it. Put your mind, body and soul into whatever gift God has given you!\"
The Lord had already been dealing with me, about laying aside my musical gift, and making a move to pick it up and use it once again! As a young student, I began playing the violin in the 6th grade; and quickly fell in love with the instrument. During high school and college, I spent an average of 20 hours/week in rehearsals and practice with various symphony and orchestral groups. Before graduating from high school, my parents invested in a beautiful German made violin to replace the fiddle I had as a beginner\'s instrument.
Before finishing college, I identified the call of God on my life and took a decision to pursue seminary studies. Although I was well positioned to consider pursuing a career in music, I decided to continue playing for enjoyment and put in my application for seminary. After marriage, I learned to apply my violin skill to a worship band, it was quite a transition from the classical background but I enjoyed letting the violin \'sing\' for the glory of God.
Sometime in 2011, we entered our church property on a Monday morning to find the back door had been broken into sometime during the night. At first we didn\'t notice anything stolen, but after searching the property finally realized that our best instruments left in the church after worship on Sunday were gone, including my violin. We filed a police report, but of course violins don\'t have serial numbers! I was heartbroken, but after sometime I took the old fiddle which I still had in my possession and had it repaired and continued to play. For reasons perhaps only another musician could understand, I was never able to fully enjoy playing the old fiddle, it didn\'t have the same tone and playing quality and so I spent less and less time making music.
In December 2017, our church was flooded by a broken water
pipe, and the old fiddle cracked due to the humidity in the room. Gideon asked me from time to time if I was going to repair it, and get back to playing but I left it in disrepair.
\"Keep the gift God has given you! God does not take it away, but the devil tries to steal it.\"
The devil had certainly done his best to not only steal the instrument I used for worship, but my very desire to play! Sometime in the fall of last year, a friend asked me \'what are the 3 things you desire to do before this year ends?\' I almost surprised myself by saying number one desire, \"Get a new violin!\" I spoke the desire, but still did nothing about it. So when my father-in-law spoke this word in December, the Lord convicted me again, that I had not kept my gift, and was not using it for His glory.
My friend, and others in this season kept ministering encouragement over my life, to come forth, to step forward, to move in faith! \"For
you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged\" (1 Cor. 14: 31). This ministry of encouragement, broke off the bondage that was holding me back for years. The first week of January I set out to visit a violin shop, and was led to a shop I had never visited before called the \"Gold Violin Shop.\" Owned by a Jewish man who is born again and praying for revival, the visit itself resurrected by desire to play! Mr. Gold brought out several
instruments for me to play and try out, and shared his stories of Israel and prayers for this nation. I vowed to return the next week, and on January 15th made a final selection and paid a down payment for a new German made violin!
When the devil tried to steal my gift of music, it was not only depriving many of this God given ministry; but deprived my soul of its song! As I picked up the new instrument and began to play, a long-forgotten song in my soul was released for the glory of God.
If there is any area of your life, that the devil is trying to steal; resist the devil, move in faith, and keep the gift God has given you!
By Sarah Stanley