We live in difficult days. Perhaps like never before do we have access to so many things that compete for our attentions and affections. Relationships, finances, health, material
possessions, status, sports and social media are a few that quickly come to mind. Granted, none of these things are innately bad, but how quickly do these things root out our attention and affection for the Lord? The war for our souls is a minute by minute battle and we have to arm ourselves with spiritual weapons intended for such a battle. More than keeping a list of rules, the Christian life is a matter of the heart. So, how do we combat this tireless assault for our affections?
I’d like to focus on one particular aspect of the Christian life that I fear we often neglect as a powerful weapon in the fight for our faith, singing. Now you might say, of course you’re going to talk about singing — you’re a worship pastor! But I think the Apostle Paul has something to say about it as well. Let’s take a look at Ephesians 5:
Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,
addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart. -Ephesians 5:18-20
The big idea Paul is conveying here is that we should be filling ourselves with the Spirit and not filling ourselves with wine. The filling of the Spirit combats any false promise that the filling of drunkenness, or any other substance or object, might bring. So, how are we filled with the Spirit? Paul knows that one of the best ways to be filled with the Spirit is through the act of singing. When you sing, you are filled with the Spirit. Singing about God and to God stirs our affections for God by filling our hearts with right thoughts about God.
The work of spiritual singing is to fill us with spiritual joy — joy in God. When we are faced with temptations that seek to lure us away from God and we must find a way to find delight in God, singing should be our go-to response. Singing about God helps us to focus and direct our attention away from sin and towards holiness.
The Puritan writer Thomas Manton puts it this way, “They that joy in the Lord delight most in singing, because everything that brings God to remembrance is sweet and acceptable to them.” We live lives of remembrance. We remember everything that Christ has done for us to bring us into right relationship with Him. Singing helps us to remember. The flames of our affections for God are stirred when we sing and Manton says, “Singing is the vent of our joy.”
I would love to encourage you to pursue singing, even if you don’t fancy yourself a singer.
Singing needs to be a discipline in our lives just like prayer, Scripture reading and witnessing. Take it seriously. Make a playlist full of songs about God. Listen to it often. But most
Worship is a war. We worship all day long. With every active or idle action and thought, we worship at the altar of something. Let us fight well in the battle for our souls by singing loudly the worth of our God. As the psalmist says, let us sing for joy!
Night of Worship
Sunday, May 19
Worship Center at the West Campus
Night of Worship is a special night for the entire West Campus to gather together! Our hope is that the night stirs your heart toward a deeper love of God and provides an atmosphere for a fresh experience of His presence in your life. After the worship service we’ll have food trucks, bounce houses and fun for the whole family. Join us for Night of Worship!