“I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” Revelation 3:8 NIV
Couple of years ago, I was asked to sing for the invocation in a company event however there were two words that I must avoid – God and Jesus. It was in respect of different religious beliefs of some guests and bosses who were attending. My heart was troubled because I knew I was stuck to sing at the same time I knew I had to take a stand for Jesus, even in this simple way.
In my prayer I was like, “Lord, you know my heart. I don’t want to deny you and You know that I love you. Please help me. Give me wisdom. I want to honor you but at the same time I want to be a good witness by respecting the authorities for you said, submit to authority (Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God…So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience. Romans 13:1 and 5). Ayoko ng eksena Lord. Gusto ko peaceful lang. Please help me.” (Something like that)
I was supposed to pick the song but I can’t think of anything that would fit the requirement. And to my surprise, they gave me this song. And when I read the lyrics, I was dumbfounded. I realized that even if I don’t mention God and Jesus, the lyrics points to Jesus and what He did for us. By God’s grace, I remembered the songs which talks about God but used other names and/or attributes of God. So we (together with the other guys who played the instruments) used ROCK for God (Psalm 18:2) and YOU for Jesus.
Although my mates and I were practicing the song, I know that it’s not an easy place to be at. In my mind, I want to speak Jesus because He’s too good not to be glorified in every way. On the other hand, I want to be a good witness by respecting the authority. I know that I must honor God but I also know that I can’t force my belief to them (Romans 14).
The day before I sing, I met with some of the ministry people for a practice. I was once again amazed because I am not really someone who can be picked in songs like this but eventually my name was suddenly remembered by Ate Lyz. So as close in prayer for the practice, I asked them to include my concern. After the prayer, Ate Lyz shared of how she was reminded of Revelation 3:8 in my situation. She, together with the others in the team, encouraged me to pursue it and allow God to reveal Himself to me.
Hours before the event, I got to catch up with the event’s host and saw the script. I noticed that it included a short prayer prior to me singing. The host explained that due to the recent calamity, the organizers decided to add a short prayer dedicating to the victims to be read. But what surprised me was the prayer ended with the phrase “In Jesus’ name.” Wow! All along we were careful not to mention the name of Jesus and God in the song during practice but there I was reading an approved script with the name of Jesus in it! To my joy, I asked permission from the host and the organizer in charge if I could just say the prayer prior to us singing – in my mind, so that the audience can resonate that it was Jesus in our song – and I was allowed too! Indeed, God made a way for me to glorify Him and He honoured my desire to proclaim His name.
Here’s the pic courtesy of a friend:
Being saved is only by grace and I know that as I follow Christ, He is my reward. But with God’s goodness and perhaps a sense of humor, it felt that He still rewarded me for my step of faith. You see, I’m not lucky with raffle draws. I can only recall one occasion that I won – but it wasn’t raffle but BINGO game and oh another out of obedience from the Lord too. Come the raffle drawn a month after, I won the raffle – first place! An 21′ Devant LED TV!
Indeed, God works amazingly. I won a TV just when our old second hand TV from surplus shop was about to burst. Truly, He is God who is who He claims He is! All glory and honor be to Him!