LIFE IN “D MINOR”
By Jeannette Haley
“Sing aloud unto God our strength:
Make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.
Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel,
The pleasant harp with the psaltery.” – Psalm 81:1-2
There is something about music in a minor key that touches the deepest recesses of the human soul. For some, (especially in western cultures according to information on the subject), D Minor evokes a sad, somber, depressing tone, while others describe D Minor songs, such as “Holy Is Our King” sung by Rita Springer, as “deep, beautiful, reverent, great and powerful.” Personally, I have to concur with these descriptive words for even in my childhood I gravitated to hymns and songs in a minor key, or at least with minor inflections because they resonate with my spirit, calm my soul, still my thoughts, and usher me into a place of holy awe, setting my spirit free to meditate on, worship and adore our Creator, Holy God, Majesty in the heavens, Redeemer, Savior and Lord.
Interestingly, out of 277 songs in one of my praise and worship music books, only three songs are in the key of D Minor while one song is in the key of B Minor; one in G Minor, four in the key of C Minor, and a whopping nine in the key of E Minor. One can only speculate (which I realize is not a good foundation upon which to form a solid opinion) that most people prefer to stay with the emotionally “safer” upbeat, familiar, and less soul-searching and challenging songs. We all enjoy the feel-good choruses, tunes, and jingles that soothe our ruffled emotions, but do little to feed the deep places in our souls with solid spiritual food. This is not to say that all music written in in Major keys lacks depth, but I do believe that the cultural “tastes” in music, art and literature are a symptom of our general overall immoral and increasingly blasphemous society. It is a sad fact that there has been a notable shift from the “faith of our fathers” to the contemporary, feel-good, weak, powerless “Christianity” of today. After all, we are living in the prophesied time of the “falling away” (from the Way, the Truth and the Life) and the proof is evidenced in the multitudes of professing “Christians” flocking to seeker-friendly churches where they hear, sing, and jump up and down to music that makes them feel good; soak up a message from a motivational speaker that makes them feel good; and participate in fleshly activities that make them feel good. It’s as if everything in their “song of life” has to be in an upbeat Major Key of “D” (delusion) so they always feel good about themselves. It’s just another twig on the branch of “positive confession,” mind-science religions that grow out of the tree of error, apostasy, Gnosticism, occultism, Hinduism, and every other satanic religious lie there is, all of which is rapidly developing into the One World Religion of the antichrist.
Tragically, the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit departed long ago and only a few committed saints have made note of it. The late Dr. A. W. Tozer, author and pastor, said, “If the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the church today, 95 percent of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference. If the Holy Spirit had been withdrawn from the New Testament church, 95 percent of what they did would stop, and everybody would know the difference.” David Wilkerson said, “If the Holy Spirit is at work in a church, then every song, every word of praise, every note of every instrument are all given unction by the Spirit to exalt Christ. The Spirit is doing what He has been called to do–presenting us to our Bridegroom in all His glory and majesty.”
Now it is a New Year, and we all hope that it will be a good one—a good one for this mess of a world, for our nation, for our communities, families, and lives. We’re marching in the Major Key of D to get a new sense of duty and make resolutions or decisions to accomplish certain things, to do better, and to be better. We’ve all been wished by people from various sources to have a “Happy New Year” and by gum, we’re going to do all we can to ensure that it is. The problem is, sooner or later all our decisions and doing end up in “D Minor,” which ushers in a certain somber tone, and a big dose of reality that most folks dread. On top of that, it’s January which means for those of us who live “up north,” there are a whole lot of dark, dreary, dismal days that can lead to depression, despondency, and lack of desire to do anything. It can be hard to even get off your derrière to go let the dog out!
By this time, you are disgusted with yourself, so you start digging around in your mind for the answer to your debilitating dilemma. You desperately need direction on how to escape from the reality of unfilled desires, continual distress, dead-end philosophies, daily duties and endless drudgery. At this point, some may feel like shouting in D Minor, “Give me delusion, or give me death!” The sad truth of the matter is, the moment a person chooses delusion (lies) over reality (truth) he or she has chosen death. Delusions may offer temporary relief, or a pseudo escape from the Minor Keys of life’s song, but as surely as the outgoing tide turns and rushes towards the shore, reality in the jaws of time swallows up every delusion and vain philosophy of man, leaving the naked soul standing alone to face the Judge.
There is only one place to look for the truth that can set the mind, the soul and the spirit free and that is to the Lord Jesus Christ who said, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” John 8:31, 32. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” Matthew 11:28. But I fear that in these last days of unbelief and apostasy most will choose their delusions, believing that the world and the worldly church has more to offer them than the God who gave His only begotten Son to die for their sins, and who calls them to be separate from the world and to follow Him. Such a choice is idolatry for God will have no other gods before Him, and that equally applies to inordinate affections of a person, or persons, family, the work of one’s hands, worldly pleasures, material possessions, a particular church, or even ministry. Our God is a jealous God; therefore, this is a good time to honestly reevaluate our perspectives, priorities and motives. If these things are wrong before the Lord, then everything we do will be “off key” and in vain because it originates out of a wrong premise. God can only honor that which is offered to Him out of a consecrated and pure heart of love for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Delusion is the work of devils upon the human mind and soul, yet people love their delusions that are built on false promises, a false presentation of God, false so-called Bible “versions”, false prophecies, false visions, false prophets, and false doctrines of demons. What the Holy One of Israel proclaimed to Israel in Isaiah 30:8-11 applies to the church in this hour as well. “Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever: That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.” How sad it is to read in verse 15 of this chapter, “For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.”
The high-toned, modern “prophets” of today preach a “gospel” that is alien and foreign to the Holy Bible (Textus Receptus) and to the pilgrim church. As Jesus and the apostles warned, false prophets abound. A. W. Tozer wrote in 1950, “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies … 2 Pet. 2:1. Whatever it may be in our Christian experience that originates outside of Scriptures should, for that very reason, be suspect until it can be shown to be in accord with them. If it should be found to be contrary to the Word of revealed truth no true Christian will accept it as being from God. However high the emotional content, no experience can be proved to be genuine unless we can find chapter and verse authority for it in Scriptures. ‘To the word and to the testimony’ must always be the last and final proof. Whatever is new or singular should also be viewed with caution until it can furnish scriptural proof of its validity. Throughout the twentieth century quite a number of unscriptural notions have gained acceptance among Christians by claiming that they were among truths that were to be revealed in the last days. The truth is that the Bible does not teach that there will be new light and advanced spiritual experiences in the latter days; it teaches the exact opposite! Nothing in Daniel or the New Testament epistles can be tortured into advocating the idea that we of the end of the Christian era shall enjoy light that was not known at its beginning. Beware of any man who claims to be wiser than the apostles or holier than the martyrs of the Early Church. The best way to deal with him is to rise and leave his presence!”
How do we escape from all the cleverly crafted lies and delusions that the entire world, and much of organized religion is wrapped in? How can we learn the lessons of life in D Minor? The answer is D-A-R-E. Beginning with “D” take a deep breath and then dare to believe deep down in your heart what the Bible says about daring to live “by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” Matthew 4:4b. Dare to trust God and toss out your list of New Year’s resolutions, daring yourself instead to “seek…first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things [necessities of life] shall be added unto you” Matthew 6:33.
Once we dare ourselves to step out in faith, step up to the challenge and step beyond our comfort zone, we need to act! It’s one thing to sit and dream about a new beginning in the New Year, but it’s another thing altogether to get up and get going, especially if you don’t feel like it. As for me, if I only did what I feel like doing very little would ever get done! I learned a long time ago that feeling follows action, not the other way around. I may not like the “tune” (or tone) of my environment, responsibilities, or how my “song of life” is going on a particular day, but God didn’t tell us to go into all the world and preach the Gospel if and when you feel like it. He tells us in His Word what He has called us to do, what He requires of us, what pleases Him, what works will be rewarded, and what our responsibilities are as an obedient Christian. We are to “redeem the time.
Therefore, we have no excuse for walking in confusion or darkness because we have the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit to guide and teach us because “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” 2 Timothy 3:16, 17.
Even though we may have decided to dare to believe and to act, there is a warning our Lord gave us that we as believers need to take very seriously. Jesus said in Matthew 5:37, “But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” This is serious! How often do we get ourselves into trouble by failing to stop and think, and count the cost, before we open our mouth and in a moment of heightened emotional euphoria, or feelings of infallibility, or passion, or sympathy, or inspiration, or even love, make rash promises or commitments to others that we all too often forget or fail to keep? How many times have we committed ourselves to help shoulder burdens, lighten the load of others, helped struggling Christian workers, or given hope to people who need someone they can count on to not drop the ball, and then miserably faded out and failed both God and man? In Ecclesiastes 5:4, 5 we are warned, “When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.” Therefore, as we begin a New Year with new resolutions for ourselves, we need to be very careful when making promises and vows to others and heed the words of Jesus, who knew how easy it is for us weak and fallen people to make promises that we will not, or cannot keep. It is a point of anguish to begin a joyful song in another’s life, only to leave it unfinished. In times past the payment of vows was part of repentance before the Lord. “I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all his people” Psalm 116:14.
After daring ourselves to come higher in God, and to know Him in the New Year, and acting on it in faith (dare to believe) and obedience (action), we come to the “R” in D-A-R-E which stands for repentance, righteousness, revelation and revival. We know that “There is none righteous, no, not one” Romans 3:11. The danger in familiarity is we begin to take for granted certain basic things that we know and believe as Christians. It is easy to let these vital truths concerning salvation slip into the “background music” of our lives where they remain without regularly coming forth into sharper focus where we can re-examine ourselves, repent of those things that the Holy Spirit convicts us of, and seek God for greater revelations of Jesus Christ and His work on the cross. 1 Corinthians 1:30 says, “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption”. Truly, without Him we are nothing. I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” Galatians 2:20. A. W. Tozer said, “Our error today is that we do not expect a converted man to be a transformed man, and as a result of this error our churches are full of substandard Christians. A revival is among other things a return to the belief that real faith invariably produces holiness of heart and righteousness of life.”
Finally we come to the “E” in D-A-R-E which stands for established for eternity. Eternity is a long time; in fact, there is no time in eternity. It is never ending, forever and ever, and something our finite minds definitely cannot begin grasp. Have you ever heard a piece of music that was so beautiful, so heavenly, and so utterly soul-satisfying that you wish it would never stop? I do believe the music of heaven (that some people who have had near-death experiences say they have heard) is far more glorious and beyond anything that we can imagine. In heaven there is eternal worship to the King of kings, and the Lord of lords with no sour notes to cloud the soul. The Apostle Paul wrote, concerning the future hope of the saints, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” 2 Corinthians 5:8
Therefore, as we enter into a New Year, let us pray that our Lord would prepare us for the opportunities and challenges that we will surely face, and that He will help us to make an eternal difference in the lives of others, knowing that “all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation” 2 Corinthians 5:18.
May our “life song” reflect the glorious music of heaven as we dare to believe God as revealed in His eternal Words of truth that shall never pass away; may the music of our lives be anointed to honor Him in our actions through obedience, keeping our vows, and living for His glory alone; may the “minor keys” of our life testify of His righteousness to the saving repentance and revival of others; and, may we retain an eternal perspective, never forgetting that we are citizens of heaven, pilgrims and sojourners in this world just passing through until we receive “an inheritance, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you” 1 Peter 1:4.