There is no doubt that part of the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:1-2) the apostle Paul writes about will affect and challenge things we enjoy, have enjoyed, and things we hold dear. Some of those things are just fond memories and others we likely hold rather close, not expecting…wanting…or willing to let go of too readily.
For some of us this hits home in the area of music…specifically the lyric of our songs. We’ve each accumulated a lot of songs in our lifetimes, some more than others. Are they good songs? Do they bring light to our souls? Do they lead us in spirit and truth to worship(John4:24) the Giver of every good gift and every perfect gift (James1:17)?
This week one of ‘my’ songs got stepped on…Ouch! In truth, it really isn’t one of ‘my’ songs as it is a song I haven’t sung (to my recall) since my youth group (or camp) days…a few years back (grin). Does anyone remember the chorus ‘I’m so happy and here’s the reason why…He took my burdens all away…’? So, what’s wrong with that chorus?! Really not so much if viewed with proper context; I actually still like the song even if it was used to illustrate a negative point in a sermon I listened to recently. But what about the songs that we do sing, individually and corporately? Are we careful…watchful…discerning in our song choices, reading choices, movie choices…’other’ choices?
The truck I’m driving these days currently has XM Radio. I’m not paying for it, but as long as it’s there, I’ll enjoy some of the programming. I like country music…but, I have to admit that having been away from it for a few years and now listening in again…it just doesn’t have the attraction for me anymore. I still like the music. I enjoy the sound of country music very much, but I find (much of) the lyrics to be the hopeless words of dead men/women living a dead life and expressing a deadly lifestyle. (Pray for soldiers of Christ to effectively impact that battlefield much in the way that Paul Overstreet had done a while back).
There are alot of good songs available to us today for individual and corporate worship. Are we being good stewards of the time we spend together in corporate worship or in quiet personal meditation in the selection of our songs? Do those songs rightly reflect the glory of God? Do they lead us to worship with a correct view of God and a Christ-centeredness or do they bring our focus onto ourselves and our feelings about this life? Clearly, from the Psalms we can see that you and I are not omitted from the relationship Christ came to restore, but do our songs celebrate the truth of that relationship and do those songs carry the right context of understanding that the Holy Spirit will freely empower to help us fix our eyes on Jesus Christ? (John 14:26; 16:13-15) v14 ‘He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.’
We sing songs that truly express the wonder and delight of who God is; we also sing songs that we probably could do without and others that we should lay aside. Are we available for pruning? Do we want to lay aside every non-essential…anything that might tangle our feet and delay our journey?
We know the impact music has on our lives. The word(s) carried on that music does and will impact us and our culture. What will we celebrate with? What songs will lead us in worship (and battle) to rejoice in the God of our salvation?
Philippians 1:20 ‘Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.
Let’s advance the gospel boldly and without fear (and without shame), speaking the Word in our music, ascribing to the LORD the glory due his name!