by Steve Hall
God wants His children to sing! It is a fitting and beautiful thing when the redeemed, those made righteous by the blood of the Lamb, can’t help but to rejoice in their Lord with the God-given creation of singing and music! (Psalm 33:1-3)
But, what is it that keeps His people from singing? I don’t mean simply vocalizing through the mouth, but really singing and serving, with the power of God upon our voices and lives. Singing from the overflow of the joy of our salvation, and from the testimony of the Lord working in your life. Singing as the Lord opens your lips and allows you to truly show forth His praise. Serving the Lord with inner joy and gladness that comes from a heart of gratitude toward God and God-given love toward your neighbor. This kind of singing and serving does not happen by accident, and sadly, is not common in our modern churches, and homes, and lives today.
We can all “fake it.”
We have heard a lot lately about “fake news.” It’s becoming harder today to discern what is “fake” and what is real. In so many areas, the “artificial” is becoming so much like the “real” that it’s getting hard to discern. And so it can be in our “Christian” lives– fake singing, fake praying, fake serving, fake giving, fake teaching, fake preaching– just doing our job, what we’re suppose to do, without the power of God. And, sad to say, we can get pretty good at that.
What causes us as Christians to fall into this state? One cause is the same thing that caused David to “keep silent.” It is unconfessed sin. Listen to the words of David in Psalm 32, “When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring (groaning) all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me:”
Have you ever been there? Are you there now? David, the great song writer and singer of Israel had been caught in the trap of sin, and he testifies that he “kept silent.” Sin will always keep us from truly rejoicing in our relationship with God, often expressed in song. Oh, we may go on “doing our thing” and living our days, but inwardly, toward God, we have become cold, hard, and silent. Aren’t you glad for the transparency God has given us in the lives of some of His greatest servants? So that we may be encouraged that we are not alone in our struggles? It’s one of the many reasons it’s so much better to saturate your mind with Scripture than with social media…
Like David, have you been caught in the trap of some sin? Maybe you are not presently. If so, thank God for helping you and ask Him to give you strength to press on for Him. But if you are caught, then you must not “keep silent.”
Our God, Who has given us the reason to sing as Christians, is also the One Who keeps us singing. Not only have we been given salvation through the blood of Jesus, but we have been given a wonderful promise that our transgressions can be forgiven and our sin covered! (Psalm 32:1) We must go to the Lord and confess our sin, admitting that we are guilty. We must forsake our sin, desiring to never come near it again with the Lord’s help. And then we must trust in our faithful God that He will keep His promises and will forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. And keep us singing.
It is a shame that so many Christians are continuing to “fake it,” “silently serving” through a life that’s defeated by some sin, when God has given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
David pleads with the Lord in Psalm 51, “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with they free (willing) spirit.” Now watch this, “Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation; and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. O Lord, open thou my lips: and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.” Isn’t God good to allow us to be forgiven through Jesus, and to continue serving Him!
Sin’s power is strong. No breathing Christian who’s desired a life of holiness for more than a few days would deny it. But God’s power is stronger. He has promised us victory. He wants us to be overcomers. He wants to use us in His service. Like David, let’s humbly ask for God’s forgiveness, getting our eyes off of ourselves, and trusting Him to keep His word. Then, as a good soldier, let’s pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and as He empowers us, keep singing to Him and for Him!
All my life was wrecked by sin and strife,
Discord filled my heart with pain.
Jesus swept across the broken strings;
Stirred the slumbering chords again.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, sweetest name I know.
Fills my every longing,
Keeps me singing as I go.
-Luther B. Bridgers