“So the number of them, with their brethren who were instructed in the songs of the Lord, all who were skillful...” 1 Chronicles 25:7
As I was reading in 1 Chronicles this morning I came across the verses which signify the families who were set apart for a special service in the temple – the service of music. Maybe on any other week I would have read right through these verses without a second thought, but this week it caught my attention because I have been working on bringing together a solo I will be singing at church this Sunday.
Growing up in the church and having a mother who trained me in the technical aspects of singing as she had learned through voice instruction classes, I sang many solos in my youth. As I grew older though I found myself rather prideful of my singing ability and therefore I chose not to sing anymore in the church and instead focus on things I knew were completely God glorifying and would not allow me any indulgence in my own pride.
But, just because I was not singing in the church did not mean I was not singing and praising God in song. Music has always been a wonderful part of my worship to the Lord and at times it was been what has brought me closest to God, especially when I find my heart cannot find the words to express how I am feeling.
As I thought about how music has so greatly ministered to me I realized that God has known our need for song since the beginning of time, and in the assembly of people in worship He knew how important it was to dedicate a specific group of people who would create, sing, and play on instruments music that brought His people closer to Him.
Out of the human heart music is born and sang, and that is why we connect with it so well. If you listen to a Christian radio station for just an hour, you will hear songs that cover the full range of human emotions and how God is in each of those places we find ourselves in. Paul sang and talked about singing much in his writing. I am not sure if he was a good singer or not, but either way he did not seem hindered nor did he hinder in urging on others to sing as part of their fellowship and worship.
“...speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord...” Ephesians 5:19
“But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25
Do you know that the word “listening” in the Acts 16:25 verse means “listening with pleasure”? Just think how the songs Paul and Silas were singing were ministering to the hearts of those who were listening. I wonder how long those tunes carried on in the hearts of the prisoners who heard theses songs uttered by these faithful men. Maybe these songs carried them to their deaths and into the arms of Jesus.
Music is a powerful way to reach the heart, and unfortunately it can be used to corrupt the heart also when the purpose of the song is not to exalt the Lord. For that reason, I spent many months praying about the song the Lord would want me to sing as a special selection for one of our services, and within His timing I was finally led to “Your Great Name” which is sung by Natalie Grant. I want this song on Sunday to touch the hearts of those who hear it in a powerful and moving way. Not because of how I sing the song though, but rather because of the way the music is meant to moving the hearts of the hearer into understanding the absolute power and majesty of the name of Jesus.
As I practice this week and as I sing on Sunday, my singing will not be coming from a place of pride but instead from a place in my heart that wants to express the joy that Jesus has given to me for all He as been in my life and all He has rescued me from.
I hope your day may be filled with songs for the Lord and your heart will be blessed in singing along with them.