Three Ways Singing Will Change Your Life
Three Ways Singing Will Change Your Life
Why do you go to church? You could just listen to a sermon podcast. There are a thousand preachers on the internet who are way better than some knucklehead in a cafeteria in Kaimuki. You could stream some worship music on Spotify, and it would be way better than what a little local church band could ever pull off.
Maybe you go to church for the free food. I can respect that, but let’s be honest: you can get free food at an AA meeting. You can get free food at Costco. Why don’t you go there on Sunday instead?
Hopefully you don’t just go to church out of tradition. “I’ve always gone to church since I was a little kid, and if I stop going to church, my mom won’t be happy about it.” Hopefully it’s not out of duty. “If I stop going to church, God won’t be happy about it.”
No, hopefully you go to church because there’s something you can experience there that you can’t experience anywhere else. The body of Christ. The Bible says that when there’s some people who love Jesus, and they get together with some other people who love Jesus, then in some way they become Jesus. We become the physical manifestation of Jesus himself. His body. So when you go to church, you’re experiencing Jesus himself.
As you sing and worship with other people, you’re hearing them pour out their hearts to God. You’re hearing them celebrate what God has done in their lives. And hopefully that inspires you to celebrate what God’s done in your life.
The authors of the Psalms talked a lot about how much they enjoyed getting together with God’s people to sing. When one of the sons of Korah was deep in despair, the one thing he looked forward to was going to the temple to worship:
These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival. (Psalm 42:4)
Going to church and singing with fellow believers is powerful. I can think of three things singing does in your life.
1. Singing helps you remember God’s goodness.
A worship song is a sermon that you actually remember. If people remember the main point from my sermon, I’m pretty happy. I know it will probably be tough to remember much else. But I also know they’ll go home singing one or two of the songs we sing on Sunday. There’s always one song that sticks in my head all week.
And those songs come straight out of Scripture. They could be straight Bible verses, or themes and ideas that come straight out of the Bible. And when we sing the Bible, it cements the good news into our heads. That’s why Paul said, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly … singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Col 3:16). If the word of Christ is going to dwell in our hearts, we need to sing it. So when you sing at church, you’re engraving the good news of Jesus Christ onto your heart.
This past Sunday, we opened with the hymn, Come Thou Fount. We sang, “Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God.” And all this week I’ve been thinking, Yes, I was a stranger. And I do wander from the fold of God.
“He to rescue me from danger, bought me with his precious blood.” … Yes. I’ve been rescued by his blood! He died so I could be saved! Just like the police officer in Nashville who dove into a freezing river last week. He was trying save a woman who was trying to commit suicide by driving her car into the river. She lived, and he died. It’s a tragic story, but it’s exactly what Jesus did for me. I was driving my life straight into a freezing river, and Jesus dove in to save me.
He to rescue me from danger, bought me with his precious blood. So why would I go back to what he saved me from? How could I not enjoy what he’s given me? When I sing, that helps make sure that I do. I remember God’s goodness.
2. Singing helps you get through trials.
Singing gives you strength. Like when Paul and Silas got thrown in prison for preaching the gospel, in Acts 16. It says they were “praying and singing hymns to God.” At midnight, loud enough that the whole prison could hear them. And it says the prisoners weren’t yelling at them to shut up, they were quietly listening. Even the guy with the tear drop tattoos. Even the guy with the shiv under his pillow. Because singing gives you strength.
Last year, one of our sister churches in Southeast Asia was about to start their service when the police showed up. They told the pastor that he had to send everyone home, or they would arrest everyone in the church. But when everyone in the church saw the police come inside, they just started spontaneously singing as loud as they could. The pastor looked at the police, shrugged his shoulders, and said, “Sorry, I can’t stop them from singing.” [perfectpullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Singing is a form of rebellion. You’re saying to the world, “You can’t make me be quiet.”[/perfectpullquote] What could the police do then? They listened for a minute, and slinked out with their tails between their legs. And they’ve never come back.
Singing is a form of rebellion. You’re saying to the world, “You can’t make me be quiet.” You’re saying to Satan, “You can’t push me around.” You’re saying to life, “You can’t hold me down. I’m going to sing!” That’s what you’re saying every Sunday when you go to church and worship. And so that helps you make it through tough times the rest of the week.
3. Singing helps you kill sin.
In Ephesians 5, Paul gives a long list of sins: “Sexual immorality. Impurity. Covetousness. Filthiness. Foolish talk. Crude joking. Drunkenness. And he says exactly what you would expect him to say: don’t do that! Stop it! But he doesn’t just leave it there. He says, instead of doing all that, “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” (Eph. 5: 18-19).
Is there some bad habit that you can’t kill? Something that keeps dragging you down? Something that’s affecting your joy? Affecting your work? Affecting your family? Affecting your relationship with God? Here’s how you get rid of it: You sing.
You worship your way out of sin. You worship your way into enjoying God more than you enjoy whatever it is that’s taking you away from God. Singing will change your life.