How Music Changed Me - Aberlet Negussie

God blessed me with a Christian family who always encouraged me to stay strong in my faith in God and to always fix my eyes on Him. Still, I used to lack something in my Christian walk. Then, at a certain point, Hillsong started to become one of the biggest influences in my life with their large-scale music that was, and is, greatly being used by God. 

I remember it started when I was 14 or 15.  I wasn’t really into music at that time of my life. One day, when I got home from school, two of my beloved sisters were watching one of Hillsong United’s top rated DVDs of United We Stand in the living room. That was when I saw Hillsong for the first time. I wasn’t really stunned by it, because as I said, music didn’t really mean much to me back then.  I was also very tired from a long day at school. So I headed straight to my bedroom and got busy on my home works. I could hear the music coming from the living room as I was studying; I tried to not pay it much attention. But then, subtly, something started to happen in my spirit, soul and flesh all at once. I started getting goose bumps all over my body. No matter how much I tried to resist it, something was being stirred up in my spirit. I couldn’t study anymore. I gave in, left my home works behind and went to the living room to join my family. 

That day, as I sat down and watched, God opened my ears to real music. I was exposed to a lot of different kinds of music back then. But I knew this one was different because it pulled me in even when I wasn’t interested to give it my ears. It was later that I realized what pulled me in was no ordinary thing; it was God’s holy presence that was being manifested through the music. 

The main thing that caught my heart’s attention was the amazing freedom they had, a freedom I had never encountered, seen or experienced before. Watching that freedom had a great impact on my spirit at that moment, to the point where I eagerly wanted to take part in such a worship.

My whole perspective of God and His kingdom completely changed that night. God really opened my eyes to things that I’ve never seen through my spirit before. The music was so powerful to my ears that I felt like it was carrying something out of this world—His all-consuming presence. My mind then understood what true worship really meant.

Surely, I knew that I wasn’t the same person that came in earlier because that was the first time I felt God’s presence consuming my whole being from inside out, from the very fiber of my hair to the soles of my feet. I stayed in the living room and finished the whole DVD. Ever since then, God gave me this freedom by changing me and the way I lived. This freedom is not the kind of freedom as defined by this world. It’s a unique one. It not only frees us, but also delivers us from whatever issue, addiction or corrupt ways of living. It sets our hearts, minds and souls free! It is through the freedom that He gives us that we draw closer to Him and know His true self.  This freedom teaches you what God’s unending Love is all about. Most of all, it sets you free from its opposition—religion.

Now, I play bass, guitar, lead worship at my youth group and exercise this freedom in true worship regularly. 

”Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Freedom.”—2 Corinthians 3:17.