“Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.” Psalm 100:1-2
“Sing praises to God, sing praises!
Sing praises to our King, sing praises!” Psalm 47:6
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Col. 3:16
“But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.” Acts 16: 25-26
Never ceases to amaze me how I can read a passage in the Bible over and again for years and all of a sudden notice something I’ve never noticed. And hear a message I’ve never heard. Not from a preacher. Not from an online sermon. Not from a Christian author. Not from a Sunday school teacher. Not from a commentator in a book or magazine. From the Spirit of Christ who lives inside His followers.
Like this. Paul and Silas, imprisoned and persecuted for proclaiming the Gospel message and God’s Word, were miraculously set free by God from their imprisonment when they prayed and sang hymns. Their prison guard and his family ended up getting saved by the Lord through them. Know what I missed for years? TWO WORDS. Know which ones? TO GOD. They didn’t just sing hymns. They SANG TO GOD.
When we sing worship music, praise music, whether in the church building, in our homes, in our cars, at church events, at Bible studies, as we take walks with the Lord, as we walk down the beach or down the street or in the country fields, wherever we are, no matter the circumstances, easy circumstances, joyful ones, hard, hard ones, we are TO SING TO THE LORD. TO GOD. TO CHRIST. To praise and worship HIM.
We need to be careful. Choir rehearsals, the way we set our stages in church buildings, the money we pour into stage effects, the cameras, the lighting, the video screens, the way the choir dresses, the fancy lights and background settings, the way we sound, the way we may feel good when we sing, how good we or others may sound when we sing all together or all alone, the intention of praise and worship in song is NOT ABOUT US. Yes, we may be deeply blessed in our hearts as we sing. We may feel good! We may feel better! We may feel joyful! We may feel emotional! We may draw closer to the Lord! BUT THE INTENTION IS TO HONOR THE LORD. TO THANK THE LORD. TO HONOR THE KING. TO BLESS THE LORD. IT’S TO BE ABOUT THE LORD.
I talked to a woman once who said she was gifted in song but was afraid to sing with the church choir because she didn’t have a good memory and knew the choir didn’t want the choir members using the special technology to help them see the words they needed to sing. Why? Apparently it wouldn’t look good to the church congregation. So the woman gifted by God in song refrained from singing to Him as part of the church choir.
Friend, the Bible is filled from start to finish with examples of people SINGING TO THE LORD. It’s not about the people. It’s about Jesus. Let our singing be the same. May we sing to glorify and to thank and praise and magnify God almighty in Christ, hallelujah, AMEN!