Glamour or Glory
By David Berg
Musical perfection is mathematical, but musical inspiration is divine.
There was once a famous actor who was quite an orator. The story is told of how he was invited to come back to the church of his childhood, which his old friend was now pastoring. So he came back and as his contribution to the service he very oratorically recited the Twenty-Third Psalm with all the perfection of the orator and the proper gesticulations and intonations, and so on. When it was done, the people applauded, "Great! Wonderful! Hurrah!" etc.
Then the pastor arose and he said, "If you folks will forgive me, I know you enjoyed that, but I would like to recite the psalm my way this time."
And so he began to recite the psalm, and by the time he was done the people were in tears--moved emotionally. They just lightly and superficially enjoyed the actor they were applauding, the orator, the instrumentalist, so to speak. But when the preacher got done, they were thinking about the Lord.
Watch performers, the difference between the truly greats and the mere perfectionists: The major difference is that the perfectionists, those who have great voices, etc., but who are more interested in their performance and are more conscious of how they are singing and looking and sounding, are often only interested in themselves. It falls flat, nothing but an egotistical display of self.
Whereas the truly great performers make you forget they're performing and make you forget their performance and even forget them, you're so carried away with the emotion of their message and what they're singing about or saying or portraying. They almost fade out of the picture and you're getting the message. These are the truly greats!
The greatest stars are those who don't know they're stars. The greatest men are the ones who didn't know they were great; at least they didn't feel great. What makes you really great is the greatness God gives you, the spirit, the inspiration.
What a difference the Spirit makes! It's the emotional thing: That's the thing that really counts, not a technical perfection.
You have to have the Holy Spirit, which people recognize as something great. You kind of swing with the drama of it and sort of fit in with it and ride the crest, but you have to remember it is not you; it's something divine, the Holy Spirit, so people recognize they're not seeing you--they're seeing the Lord.
We're showing God to the world. They don't know what He's like. The only way they're going to know is by seeing God in you, and that's not you. But if in seeing you they don't see you, they see the Lord, that's the difference.
That's what the world today calls charisma: a kind of a mystical charm, a divine anointing, a supernatural fascination. That's what every really great musician, singer, speaker, performer, or prophet must have: a divine anointing. It ought to really erase the performer in some respects and make you think of God, of the greater one behind the person--not the mere instrument.
When you're watching a movie, do you think of the actor as he is by his own name? No, if he's truly acting and it's great acting, you forget who he really is. He becomes somebody else. He becomes the part he's playing.
God said to Saul, "I will make thee another man" (1 Samuel 10:6), and to David too--God made him another man. He turned him into something he wasn't. It's almost like playing a role.
When God has given you a role to play and you can play it with divine anointing and real inspiration of the Lord and by the power of His Spirit, you become that creation of God. It's the power of God. But you have to have the faith to play the role God has given you to play.
If you're willing to be what God wants you to be--not what you are but what God wants you to be--then He can mightily use you. You might be able to relax and be what you are in private, but out there when you're facing your public, you've got to be what God has made you to be.
He makes the difference between lifeless clay and the alive, pulsating energetic body of a human being! It's the breath of God, the anointing and power of God that makes the difference. Without Him, you're nothing. You'll fall flat as a flounder.
I don't doubt God anointed Herod that day when he spoke as ruler of the people: They said, "It is the voice of a god!" Now there was nothing wrong with him speaking that way, but when he forgot to give God the glory and rebuke the people for giving him the credit, suddenly he was eaten with worms. He fell ill and died. God smote him because he didn't give God the credit (Acts 12:21-23).
One of the biggest dangers you have is to begin thinking it's you. It's God's anointing. If He withdraws it, you're just as flat as ever. It doesn't matter how technically perfect these bands are, they can be dead as a doornail if they lack the power--that supernatural thing, that mysterious mystical power that really reaches people.
A lot of the world's bands have it. The Beatles, for example, had a supernatural spirit that turned people on. "The letter killeth, but the Spirit maketh alive" (2 Corinthians 3:6).
That's what is wrong with some churches today: They've got everything, but they're a flat failure because they've lost the Spirit--no anointing or power, no real emotion, no dramatic mystical charisma. The fire's gone!
What good is the furnace when its fire goes out? It's cold and dark and useless. It's still all there--just no fire. Let the furnace go dead cold and dark and the whole house grows cold, and that's what happened to some churches. The fire's gone out, so the whole house has gotten cold.
It's not the furnace, remember; it's the fire. A bonfire in the back yard of fallen leaves and broken twigs and trash will do more good out there uncontrolled and give you more heat and light and warmth than this mechanical genius, the furnace, this mathematical perfection, without fire. It's marvelous, but without fire it's not as good as the bonfire of trash out in the backyard. It's the fiery anointing that counts! As my grandfather used to say, "If you'll just get on fire for God, the world will come out to see you burn."
I don't care how good the band is, if it's not got the fire, it's just so much "sounding brass and tinkling cymbals" (1 Corinthians 13:1). If you haven't got the fire, no matter how "good" a witness you are, how many verses you learn, how much you understand Bible prophecy and can describe every beast in the book and hang a label on every horn; if you haven't got the fire, it's just cold dead icicles of facts and figures--no warmth, no heat. You'll never set anybody on fire without it!
I think you can even be anointed and spirit-led in driving a car. It doesn't mean you have to climb a light pole to be inspired. But you're thinking and praying about your driving and asking God for wisdom, and He can inspire you. Anything you do--washing dishes, taking care of babies, no matter what it is--you can do it in the Spirit! But if you just have the letter of the law of duty only, it drags you down and turns you off.
If you've got that divine anointing, it makes every little task wonderful! You've got to have a glory in the thing you do, an everlasting glory that'll carry you through. I've had some guys polish my shoes who did it like they could have spit in my face instead of on my shoes. But I've had others get down and sing to the rhythm as they shined my shoes with glory. It was a glory to them and they had an anointing for it.
If your music doesn't affect people, you're just in the entertainment business. If your singing doesn't affect people, if your witness doesn't make them glad or mad or sad, it's just so much hot air and a waste of time. Unless it moves you, what good is it? The business we're in is moving people. We're trying to move them from one place to the other, one life to another, one spirit to another. We're trying to move them!
People not only have to see you, but they've got to see Jesus coming through you. But if it stops dead with you, they'll just go on and figure it was a waste of time. "Not by (thy) might not by (thy) power, but by My Spirit," saith the Lord (Zechariah 4:6). Jesus said, "The Words that I speak unto thee, they are spirit and they are life" (John 6:63).
The words the Pharisees spoke were well educated, but they were flesh and they were death. Why? Because they spoke from their heads and Jesus spoke from His heart--from the Spirit. That's the difference. Whatever you do, you've got to have the Spirit. The body without the spirit is dead (James 2:26). So is every song, every sermon, every witness, every book, every picture, every task, whatever it is, without the Spirit. But the Spirit can make anything glorious! It can make you even clean toilets with an artistic finesse and be proud of the good job you did, and consider it a work of art and a thing of beauty.
You've got to have a glory in the thing you do! The Spirit can turn it on, no matter what it is or who it is, and give it glory and glamour and life.--Beauty, joy and life and heat and everything. You name it. It's the Spirit that makes the difference.
Have you got the Spirit? Has whatever you do got the power, the fire of God? If not, it's dead works. And it'll never set anyone else on fire either. God help you to have the firepower of God's Spirit in all you do. Amen? Praise the Lord. Don't try to work up glamour--pray down glory. Hallelujah!