Stop singing and start listening
So tonight on my way home I was listening to Chris Tomlin’s Live at Austin Music Hall CD. I’m not sure what it was, but tonight that CD and all the songs on it struck me particularly hard. It’s like the Lord breathed new life into them for me, which is not an unusual thing after a long hiatus from listening to them. It seems that every time I take a long break from listening to a worship CD, the next time I pop it into my CD player, I realize how wonderful the messages in all the songs are and am moved to tears 9 times out of 10 (contrary to popular belief, crying is not a sign of weakness because even Jesus Himself cried, and He’s one of the strongest people who ever lived if not the strongest).
One song that particularly struck a chord was “How Great is Our God.” If we only knew just how great He truly is, our lives would be completely different. Moses merely saw God’s back, and his face still glowed so brightly that He had to wear a veil to keep from blinding the people of Israel. Ezekiel saw a vision of the Lord in the sky in all His glory and was so blown away by what he saw that he just sat astonished beside a river FOR A FULL 7 DAYS. THIS is the greatness that song talks about. If we were to see even a small fraction of Who God truly is, we would be absolutely wrecked by the realization of how sinful and unclean we truly are, much in the same way as Isaiah was after he saw the Lord seated on His throne.
We sing all these wonderful “praise and worship songs” in our churches and youth groups, but do we really take to heart the power and truthfulness of the lyrics? Do we just sing them because they are good songs, or do the lyrics reflect our true attitudes? Do we just sing them because we can, or do we truly allow the lyrics to penetrate our lives and change us? I’d venture a guess and say that 9 times out of 10 (I really like that phrase tonight, haha) we are just giving God lip service. Sure He loves to hear His children sing about Him, but He loves it even more if they truly sing to Him from the depths of their hearts. It says in the Bible that “God inhabits the praises of His people.” Do we realize just what it is that we’re singing?
Furthermore, worship is not merely an act that we do every time we sing songs, but it is an attitude that should permeate every area of our lives. It’s an awful misconception to think that worship simply means singing songs in church every Sunday and Wednesday. Singing is just one of the ways we express the attitude of worship that is in our hearts. Other acts of worship are prayer, reading your Bible, sharing the Gospel, or even just encouraging someone who’s having a bad day. There is no one right way to express the attitude of worship. This can be clearly seen in the way people act during the “worship service.” Some people raise their hands, others clap and jump around, others stand still, some fall to their knees, some sit silently, some have their eyes open the whole time, others barely open their eyes, and so on. Every person has a different way of expressing their gratitude and praise to the Lord, and the Lord loves every bit of it.
The next time you go into a “worship service,” be sure to not only focus on hitting the right notes, but focus on the lyrics themselves and come before the Lord with an attitude of worship. God desires us to worship Him in Spirit and in truth. Let us strive to do so. Until next time, Godspeed and God bless!!