March 7, 2023
“You may say to yourself, ‘My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,’ but remember that the Lord your God gives you the power to gain wealth...”
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“You may say to yourself, ‘My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,’ but remember that the Lord your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm His covenant He swore to your fathers, as it is today.” Deuteronomy 8:17-18 (HCSB)
I have been in the music business all my adult life. Since 1990, I have been recording music for commercial release, and I suppose I will do it forever. So much of my identity, how people know and value me, is due to my success as an artist.
My most successful season in the music business was with a band called “Big Tent Revival.” Having been the chief songwriter and lead vocalist of that group, it seemed logical to me that when we disbanded for a season (2001-2012), I would have success as a solo artist. Not so.
In 2002, I released a solo project. “SO-LO” is right! It was “so low” on the charts that almost nobody knew I had a CD! I remember thinking, “It’s the same voice and songwriter people were buying last year, so what’s the deal?” While there may have been more strategic marketing things we could have done, the bottom line is that the Lord didn’t prompt favor for my CD in the marketplace. It took a long time for me to accept that.
At the core of God’s lessons for me during that particular “wilderness” period was the reality that my success never had anything to do with my “talent.” Sure, God has gifted me to see things from creative angles, and He has given me the ability to sing, but success (or lack thereof) is completely under God’s sovereign control. Here are a couple of verses to back up that thought:
“It’s not by might or by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord.” Zechariah 4:6 (NKJV)
“Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it” Psalm 127:1 (NKJV)
Why would God keep me from selling records? I don’t know, but I’ll ask Him when I see Him if I’m not caught up worshipping Him for all eternity! Personally, I believe He “dried up my stream” to teach me some lessons and direct me to where I am now, writing you this devotional. Years ago, I never would have chosen to work for churches, teach coffeehouse Bible studies, or any number of other things I have done recently, simply because I am not consumed with the music business anymore. And He has led me here, sitting at my computer, sharing my wilderness lessons with you.
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©Steve Wiggins 2021