We sang one of my favorite songs yesterday at church services. It is a song about the greatest commands of God to love God and one another.
Though my voice is not as strong or clear as it was in my younger years, there is something so amazing and wonderful about singing and praising God and hearing others sing too, even when I miss some notes.
In Ephesians 5, Paul tells Christians how to live and specifically in verses 15-20 says, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
In Colossians 3:15-17 Paul says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
In James 5:13 we read, “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.”
God wants us to sing! God commands the Christian to sing! It is not a suggestion! It is a clear command seen throughout the Bible, yet more and more congregations have become silent or selected a chosen few to sing in worship for and to us. This is not good. God commands all of us to sing and praise Him. He commands us to speak to one another with songs, hymns, and songs from the Spirit.
We are to make music from our hearts always giving thanks to God the Father for everything through His Son and our Lord, Jesus Christ.
I know that we as Americans don’t want to be commanded to do anything and sometimes the commands we are given are the very last things we will or want to do. Like a toddler, even adults say, “You can’t make me.”
Why is that? I think the answer is three-fold — pride, fear, and selfishness. Pride says that we don’t have to do what we don’t want to do. We sometimes feel autonomous and this makes us idolatrous – putting ourselves up and in the place of God. Sometimes we fear others will be critical of our ability or lack thereof to sing. That is their problem and not ours. God calls us to make a joyful noise unto Him in Psalm 98 and to make a melody in our heart to God in Ephesians 5. No where in the Bible does it say we have to sing perfectly to sing to and praise God with song. No where does it say that if you can’t sing well, you are excused from the command. When we think this way, we are thinking more of ourselves and not about God’s good and perfect will for us. When we refuse to sing, we are selfishly refusing to encourage and admonish one another in our congregations. Sometimes a song can speak to a brother or sister where a sermon can’t. Let us not withhold the blessings of song from one another.
Faith in God and Jesus requires action on our part. It requires a change in our behavior. It is not that works saves us, but faith without works is dead. (James 2:14-26) Faith in God means doing what God commands. Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love me, keep my commands.” To be faithful to God means following His will —whether we like it or not — whether we think we have a better idea or way or not — whether we are comfortable with the command or not — whether we want to obey or not.
Most preachers and Bible teachers today won’t touch this subject out of fear of offending or hurting someone’s feelings. I think some of our congregations are sick and less healthy than they could be because of an attitude that says participating in the song service is optional by the Christian members present.
How much of God’s will do we get to select to submit to in our lives? What parts of the Bible will we agree to go along with and submit ourselves to obey? What about if we don’t like a particular song, and we’re not talking about songs that are unbiblical or teaching error here?
What does God say? What does He want and command for us to do? What authority do we, as Christians, have to disregard God’s commands and disobey Him? To disobey God’s command is sin, and sin separates us from God. Let us not choose to sin when we know His commands.
We all struggle with pride and selfishness, but these are sins we must resist and remove so that we can fully follow our heavenly Father. He made us. He knows what is best for us, and He wants us and commands us to sing. Don’t let fear stop you from doing what God commands. It is said that one of the most common statements and perhaps it could be said commands in the Bible is to “fear not.” Let us not fear our fellow man or what he or she may think or do or say, but have the appropriate fear (reverent respect) for God first and foremost.
When singing songs, hymns and spiritual songs, we do the following things.
1. We are obeying God’s will
2. We are teaching one another.
3. We are admonishing one another. (Meaning – To counsel (another) against something to be avoided or warn (that something is dangerous)
4. We are engendering gratitude in our hearts toward God.
5. We are giving thanks and praise to God for everything through Christ.
There is nothing bad in this list. All these things are good and good for us and for those around us. So let’s put aside whatever has suppressed our ability or willingness to obey God’s command to sing. It is good for us and with practice, it will grow on us …
God wants to hear the songs of our joyful hearts. God wants and deserves our praise. Our fellow brothers and sisters need the encouragement and admonition of our singing.
Let us commit this week and every week and with every opportunity to singing out loud and with joy to God and one another. It is God’s will. It is His command. It will be a blessing for you and others.
Think on these things…
64 Bible Verses on Singing