Can you remember the songs that you sang this morning at church? Can you remember the words? Being a musical person, I love songs with meaning. I mean, I like a *pretty* song, but the songs that mean the most to me are those that have words that touch a place in my heart that the Lord has worked on. You know, like…
Amazing grace, my chains are GONE…
Great is thy faithfulness…morning by morning new mercies I see…
My Jesus, My Savior, Lord there is none like You…
He gives and takes away…my heart will choose to say, blessed be Your name!
Then sings my soul…how great Thou art…
Oh no, You never let go, Lord you never let go of me!
I could go on and on…and I’m sure you could name a few of your favorites. But, when is the last time you sang those songs with a heart so full you just felt like you would burst? When was the last time you sang those words with a heart so thankful that tears streamed down your face? I pray that the last time was this morning or even this evening! But, if not, I challenge you to take a few minutes the next time you hear a song and truly listen to those words.
And if, by chance, you don’t like the sound of the song, perhaps you can still find meaning in the words. Perhaps you can still find a reason to praise Him, because truly He is worthy. Despite our favorite worship style; despite the problems we see all around us…HE IS WORTHY. Amen.
Why do I say all this? Well, this morning (at our Southern Baptist church, by the way) our service opened with this song.
Folks, this is an upbeat song. I saw 1-2 people even half-dancing. (You know the kind that are bursting at the seams but afraid to um, dance in a Baptist church!) The lights and spotlights were swirling around the sanctuary. I’ll just tell you, I was excited.
You see, the words to this song make me want to cry. No, this isn’t one of those really “sappy” songs that brings tears to your eyes because of the way it sounds. And, I guess I could say that not too many people in our congregation seemed impressed. (at least by outward appearance.) But, as for me, I wanted to jump up and shout Hallelujah. (but, I didn’t. Maybe I should have!)
I just wanted to say…THANK YOU Jesus that my shackles are GONE. Thank you that I am free in You and because of YOU. I am no longer bound by sin. Thank You that You have freed me to praise You.
I would not have even thought about blogging on this topic (or song) had I not been working on my Beth Moore study tonight with this song still on the brain. We are finishing up Beth Moore’s Psalms of Ascent this week and I was working on some of the study. (as an aside, if you get the chance to do this study, I suggest you jump on it!)
Tonight my study was on Psalm 134.
Now praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord who stand in the Lord’s house at night!
Lift up your hands in the holy place, and praise the Lord!
May the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth, bless you from Zion.
Beth asks us to recall the first word in this psalm: NOW. Beth goes on to say that we shouldn’t dwell on the journey, the people who made us mad earlier, the style of worship that we don’t care for…but do what we were made for: worship. She goes on to say; “Worship has endless side effects in the life of the everyday psalmist. Among them, it exalts God to the highest place, thereby relieving the sojourner of the backbreaking burden of ego. It defeats our enemy. It answers grace with gratitude. And it ends in joy.” She also reminds us that the tempter tempts you to praise God the LEAST when you need it the MOST.
Ouch. I feel just a bit of conviction as I think about the distractions I feel in worship from time to time. And how much like the enemy to get us not praising when that is not only what brings God the glory, but is often what we need the most to get our heart in the right place!
Just a few thoughts tonight from an everyday psalmist…that’s you and me you know! Worshipers! It’s what we were created for…and I hope that when you read this you will be reminded to mean what you sing.