Speaking of worship............isn't it something the power that music has? I remember the first time I heard Christmas Carols after I came to faith in Jesus. I wept. I couldn't believe the richness and beauty of the words. It was like hearing them for the first time. All those truths, set to such beautiful music. How had I missed it before?
Since then, I have gone through many "stages" of what kind of "Christian" music I enjoy. Gospel quartet, hymns, contemporary worship music, classical (such as Bach's St. Matthew's Passion), choruses, I like them all. But music doesn't have to be intentionally "Christian" to move my heart toward Him. A lot of classical music does that, simply in its beauty and complexity. Sitting at a concert by a very talented Spanish guitar player, I made up words (in my head) as I listened to the guitar; they were praise songs to God. The music was so beautiful, that I was inspired by it to do so.
Music is a wonderful element of praise and worship. How blessed we are to have it so available to us every day. I can listen to the radio, pop in a tape or cd, or bring along my MP3 player as I go for a walk, exercise, or do housework. It can lift my spirits when I am discouraged, and focus my heart and mind on the beauty of Christ. Truly it is a gift from Him!
But it's not only sounds made by man made instruments that can be praise to God. Something my granddaughter said once has stayed with me. As we walked along on a sunny morning, I remarked to her how happy the birds sounded. The air was filled with their song. "Maybe they are singing songs to God," she replied. "Yes", I said. "I'm sure they are." And in my heart, I am. They may not have the capacity to know God in the way that we can know Him, but I wonder if God has not somehow placed a "knowing" in them that means their songs can be a response to that instinctive knowledge. And what about the sound of the wind through the trees as you walk along a forest path? Or the sound of waves gently lapping against the rocks along a river's edge? Can't all of these things be understood as nature giving praise to God?
We were created to worship, to worship God. Sin entered, and ruptured our relationship with Him, and our natural desire to worship Him became warped. So we ever will worship other people and things, until that relationship is restored by the blood of the Lamb. And then He gives us a new song, a new desire, and new ways to worship.
"Sing to Him a new song;
Play skillfully with a shout of joy." (Psalm 33:3)
There is so much in the world, and in our everyday lives, that can distract us from the realities of "things above." I love this verse; it can be a remedy to all the noise and chaos that we are often confronted with:
Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Col. 3:15)
I hope you are singing in your heart today, knowing the true Word, and letting Who He is inspire you to praise Him. Precious Jesus.