God told me to sing to Him, so I asked Him to give me the songs. He did, and they're still coming. I completed a CD, "Now I See", and He told me to evangelize. I looked up the meaning of evangelize, as I was a bit freaked out by the idea of becoming one of those slick prosperity dudes on TV. Turns out, that's not what evangelize means. It means to share the good news, or the gospel. So, I went out and started booking places to play. One of my first stops was very interesting, and could have stopped me in my tracks, except that I knew God told me to get out there and share the music and message He'd given me.
I visited a church one Sunday. The pastor delivered a great message about taking risks and doing what God had called you to do. I thought I'd found a great place to play. So, I talked with him after church and told him I'd like to sing the songs I'd been given and share God's message there sometime. He said he wouldn't let me do that. I told him that was fine. He backpedaled a bit (I guess he was taken aback by my lack of concern for his strong "no") and invited me to join his worship team for awhile so he could get to know me and maybe let me play one of my songs later. I told him God didn't want me to play on a worship team, so I wasn't interested. I thought that ended it.
Later that week, I received an email from the pastor. He said he'd like to help me with my ministry. I figured I'd visit his church again and see what this change of heart might be all about. He preached another sermon along the same lines as he'd delivered the week before. I spoke with him afterwards and he again contradicted what he'd said in the pulpit. He told me that no one would want what I have, because people want the canned worship songs all the churches are currently doing. He said that I wasn't unique, because God never raises up just one person to do an original thing; He always raises up several people in different areas to do the same kind of thing (hmm...what about Joseph, Moses, Gideon and tons of other one-of-a-kinds?). He also said my music and message probably weren't even meant to happen this year. He felt I should join his worship team. Then I told him a story about Ornette Coleman.
I asked if he'd heard of him. He said no. I told him how Ornette was a total original. The father of free jazz, he played a plastic saxophone because it sounded right to him. He invented his own music theory system, and when a classically trained theorist was called upon to teach Ornette how to understand "proper" theory, Ornette walked out of the room and vomited because it was so foreign to his way of thinking. I told the pastor that when he insisted that I join his worship team and forsake the original music God had given me, it made me want to vomit as well.
He stopped sending me emails. I went out and booked five gigs within a few days afterwards. Had I listened to him, I'd be doing nothing God had asked me to do and going nowhere because of it. Since I chose to ignore him, God opened the door to five gigs that are consequently opening the doors to more.
The moral of this story? Always listen to what God says. Always ignore those who contradict Him.