11 Jan The Songs We Sing
Worship. When you hear the word, what do you think of? If you’re like me, you may be picturing something like this:
Many times, I automatically think of the part of a church service where we stand up, and a leader or a band sings and plays songs, and the congregation sings along. Usually, when I begin this train of thought, the next stop involves recalling a good message about how worship is more than that. It’s a lifestyle devoted to Jesus; all our words and actions pointed to Him and His kingdom.
All of this I fully agree with! What good are the songs we’re singing if our hearts aren’t aligning with His? You’re probably familiar with this scripture-
“These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” (Matthew 15:8 NLT)
It’s so important for our hearts to be in the right place, and I would challenge that if you’re just going through the motions in your relationship with God, that you would, as Matt Redman sang all those years ago, come “back to the heart of worship.”
But that’s not what this blog is about!
You see, sometimes when we begin to talk about the big picture of worship, I think we can begin to discount the importance of that part of the service where we stand up, and a leader or a band sings and plays songs, and the congregation sings along. Yes, let’s return to the heart of worship, but let’s let the songs we sing help us to get there! Because, while God knows the reason why, music and songs can have a powerful effect on us!
Have you ever heard “The Hand Song” by Nickel Creek? Well if not, click here and get the tissues out! Try listening to Pharrell’s “Happy” without tapping your foot and singing along. How many songs have you heard on the radio and thought, “They wrote that song about my life!?” How often have you been in conversation and a song lyric came up?
If songs like this can cause us to feel emotions, remember moments, and inspire us, then why can’t the songs we sing in a worship service do the same thing toward God?
I think David recognized this, because as we read the words to the songs he wrote in Psalms we see triumphant joy, outlandish praise, tremendous heartache, and extreme hopelessness. And, we see his trust in God through all of it.
Something happens when we sing songs to God. They become statements of truth about who God is and who we are in Him. Here are some examples of what singing songs to God can do in a believer’s life:
1. Put God in His rightful place
God is God, and we are not. Sounds easy enough to say, but oh how often we forget! Our flesh naturally thinks things like, “I’m awesome and worthy of praise,” and “I’m so powerful and trustworthy!” As much as I might agree with you that you’re awesome, there’s nothing and no one that compares to God’s awesomeness!
I’m preaching to the choir about that profound truth, but I bet you’ve forgotten that a time or two as well! When we sing phrases like “There is none like You,” and “You are Lord of all,” it puts all of that in a right perspective.
2. Put ourselves in our rightful place
That is a place not equal to or above God. In fact, it is a place of humility and acknowledgement that we can’t do anything apart from Him. “I’ll never know how much is costs to see my sin upon that cross,” is a line that admits our shortcomings and simultaneously honors God for His sacrifice. Sometimes we’ve got to be reminded that we don’t have it all together and can’t do it on our own. We need God in every area of our life.
3. Honor the King
When you think about kings and kingdoms, or even in our modern day presidents and prime ministers, have you ever wished that you could meet them, shake their hand, thank them for their leadership, and maybe even take a selfie? We are in a unique place as believers. We serve the King of Kings and He is close and personal all the time, everywhere! When you sing, “I Rejoice in You, mighty King,” God is present, He hears it, and He is honored directly by you! Every time!
4. Focus on what’s important
According to the Pew Research Center, 1 out of 5 Americans reports going online “almost constantly.” The average teenager spends 7.5 hours online, playing video games, watching TV, or listening to music every day. Technology alone keeps us quite occupied, not to mention all of our real life responsibilities with work and family. It’s easy to get caught up in distractions or in pursuits of worldly things, but singing songs of worship brings us back. Singing words like, “All I need is You, Lord,” and “All I’m after,” help us fix our thoughts on Jesus instead of all other things.
These are just a few of what could be a very long list of amazing things that happen when we sing songs of worship and praise to God.
One of the coolest moments I’ve been apart of was at the New Life Worship Conference in Colorado Springs this past year. The worship leader from Vertical Church Band asked the congregation to shout out worship songs that had ministered to them throughout their walk with God. Many came to my mind, and people all over the room began shouting out songs that had drawn them close to God at certain seasons in their lives. We had a sweet time of worship singing these songs-many of them long gone from our modern worship sets-that brought up memories of God’s faithfulness, power, and forgiveness!
Yes, worship is more than a song, but the songs we sing can play a crucial part in helping us refocus our hearts on the one thing that matters: Jesus!
Have you been inspired in your relationship with God through a song? Have you been comforted through tough times by the words you have sung to Him in a worship song? Share some of the songs and stories in the comments below!
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