In early 1961, when working at the Naval Base at Bombay, I saw an accordion in a shop-window of a music shop. I thought of buying it to learn how to play it. I knew however, that as a child of God I should seek God's will in all matters - both great and small. So I prayed and sought God's will. But I did not know how to find God's will in such matters. So I asked God for a sign. I told Him that if the price of the accordion was within a certain amount, then I would assume that it was His will for me to buy it. If it cost more than that amount, then I would assume that God did not want me to buy it. Since I was very eager to buy the accordion, I eagerly hoped that it would cost less than the figure I had quoted to the Lord.
But the lowest price the shop was willing to sell it for, was slightly above the amount I had quoted to God. I began to think of a number of factors. First of all, I did have enough money with me to buy it. Secondly, the government had banned the import of accordions and so this was probably the last accordion available in any shop in Bombay. Thirdly, I wanted to learn the instrument only for use in Christian meetings.
But all these factors were overruled by the fact that I had asked God for a sign and the sign was not fulfilled. So I decided not to buy the accordion - and walked out of the shop. I was disappointed that I could not get the accordion but happy that I had obeyed the Lord.
A few days later, I was witnessing about Christ to one of my non-Christian colleagues. He asked me a question from the Bible for which I did not know the answer. I was ashamed that as a Christian, I did not know the answer to something from the Bible. I went back to my room and decided to study the Word thoroughly, so that thereafter, I would know the answer to every question for which there was an answer in the Bible.
From the time I received assurance of my salvation in 1959, I had found a desire within me to read God's Word daily. First of all, I had decided to read through the whole Bible quickly - and had done so in about 6 months. I understood very little of what I read - but my faith was strengthened by whatever I read. But I was not a deep student of the Word.
But now, the study of God's Word became my passion. I began to spend hours with the Bible, day and night, in my spare time. I saved some money and bought a Young's Concordance and used it to study the occurrence of different words in the Bible. Very soon I, who knew almost nothing of the Bible, began to understand deep truths from the Scriptures.
Then I realized why God had not wanted me to buy the accordion. If I had bought it, I would have spent many hours learning to play it more and more perfectly. And as all musicians know very well, there is no end to being perfect in playing any instrument. That is an endless pursuit. I would have become a slave to the accordion.
Interestingly enough, six years later, I was able to buy an accordion from someone who sold his instrument to me. But by then I had become so deeply devoted to the Word that the accordion could not master me. It was my slave. I never became an expert musician, because God had something better for me, which I never knew in 1961. Today, how thankful I am, that I am a Bible-teacher and not a musician and that I spent my life studying the Bible and not music. There are many good Christian musicians but not many anointed Bible-teachers.