Psalm 59:16-17 – But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress. O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.
THEME OF THE DAY. THE IMPORTANCE OF MUSIC AND SONG. I love music. I don’t know music. I love to listen to singing. I cannot sing. I love to hear God’s people use their gift in music. I am not gifted in music. However, I sing. Mostly alone. Sure I sing in church, but I won’t be asked to sing a solo or be a part of a duet. Yet, music and singing are extremely important in both the corporate life of the church and that of the individual Christian life. Worship is enhanced by music. We don’t need music to worship, but it sure is a great accompaniment to corporate worship. I think that statement is important. It is easy to fall prey into a misunderstanding of worship. For instance, in our worship services on the Lord’s Day, we don’t start worshipping when we sing. All things are elements of worship from the call to worship, to the reading of Scripture, to pastoral prayer, to giving of tithes and offerings, to the preaching of the Word, to the benediction. Don’t just reduce worship down to music and singing. It is far, far more. And that far, far more is its application in the individual Christian life.
As important as music and singing is for the corporate setting for worship, it plays a very significant part in our understanding of the individual Christian life and our walk with the Lord Jesus under the power of His Spirit.
In the fifth chapter of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesian believers, he writes, “And 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, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:18-21). What he is doing is providing the evidences of a person who is filled by and walking with the Holy Spirit. Let this sink into our thinking. Being filled with the Holy Spirit and walking in His power is not some “mountain-top experience” we get from a concert, a great sermon or church service. No. Being filled with the Spirit is a work of God in His children empowering them to witness for Christ, pursue holiness, defeat sin, crucify self, and put the interests of Christ and others ahead of our own. And the way we know we are filled with Him for these purposes is not by some expression of giftedness or sign; nor some feeling of exuberance or some great act of service. Not at all. The Apostle Paul gives us four evidences of a person knowing the filling of the Spirit of God. Let’s identify the last three and save the first piece of evidence for last since it ties into today’s theme.
A person filled and walking in the Spirit will be a thankful person – “give thanks always”. There will be a sharp spiritual awareness of God’s goodness in everything that produces a heart and tongue overflowing with thanksgiving for all things in all things. Another evidence of this filling is mutual submission to one another – “submitting to one another”. That means we won’t need to get the last word in with another believer when in a heated debate nor will we need to have our way and preferences in anything. Still yet another mark of being Spirit-filled is walking in the fear of the Lord – “out of reverence for Christ”. This means hatred and avoidance of all sin out of love for the Holy, Holy, Holy God we obey and adore. The fourth mark of the Spirit’s filling is the first one Paul mentioned – “addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart.” A Spirit-filled heart is a singing heart, but remember, that doesn’t mean just because we sing Christian songs we are filled with the Spirit. These are not evidences to pick and choose. This is a package; we must have all to be truly Spirit-filled; singing, thanking, submitting, and fearing. And when they are all in place and growing in us, we will have a greater understanding of music and singing in the Christian life. It is far, far more than we may think!
PRAYER: “Father, help me to start my day in heaven, not in earth, with a focus on You, not me”
QUOTE: “If we start our day in heaven, there is a good probability we will keep our minds there throughout the day”