I heard someone say these words recently, “I don’t really care about the worship, I just want the Word of God.” This person is a good friend of mine, and I know they didn’t actually mean what it sounded like they meant…but I haven’t been able to get those words out of my mind because…
I think some people really feel that way. I’ve heard people say that they just aren’t “music” people, so they aren’t really into that part of the worship services, they’re just there to hear the Word. While I don’t judge the motives of their heart, this phrase burdens me because I know how important it is to worship with music.
While music isn’t the main or only ingredient in worshiping God, it is an ingredient. And it is one that I believe, if left out, would be seriously detrimental to our churches and our individual lives of faith.
The matter isn’t so much about style (though I think there are important things to consider here), but more about what Scripture teaches us about music in worship.
From experience, I (and many others) can say that music in worship holds a place in my relationship and intimacy with God that cannot be replaced. Although I was a lover of music before I became a Christian, it has been through studying the Word of God that I have come to believe so strongly in the place it has in worship.
There are hundreds if not thousands of times Scripture strongly exhorts (dare I say commands?) us to bring our adoration, worship, thanks, praise, proclamation, and love to God through singing and playing musical instruments. Have you also heard the many stories of how the “singers and players” were FIRST in line in battle marches as the people of God believed their victory was connected with their worship? Or that time a couple of jailbirds starting singing to God and chains and prison bars broke?! Or, the stories behind the timeless hymns and contemporary worship songs of generations past and present? Seriously worth checking out the stories behind “Amazing Grace” and “It is Well”.
See, I believe when we talk about music in worship, we’re talking about a God-given institution intended for God’s glory and our edification to move more closely to the heart of God–and to stay as close as possible– both individually and corporately.
So, keep on worshiping, Church. Keep on marching to victory as you praise God.
Keep on filling your mind with His Word in the music you play and sing. (Anyone have Scripture memorized because of the songs you sang? Yeah, there’s some serious science behind that, too! )
And if anyone tells you that music in worship isn’t really that important, here are some reminders:
“About midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God…”(Acts 16:25)
“sing to one another with hymns, psalms, and spiritual songs, making melody in your heart to the Lord”(Ephesians 5:19)
“Praise Him with a new song! Play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts” (Psalm 33:3)
“Come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation” (Psalm 95:1)
“Praise His Name with dancing accompanied by tambourine and dance”(Psalm 150:4)
“Come into His presence with singing” (Psalm 100)
“Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise” (James 5:13)
“In the midst of congregation, I will sing praise”(Psalm 22:22)
“Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens! Praise Him for His mighty deeds; praise Him according to His excellent greatness! Praise Him with trumpet sound; praise Him with lute and harp! Praise Him with tambourine and dance; praise Him with strings and pipe! Praise Him with sounding cymbals; praise Him with loud clashing cymbals!” (Psalm 150:1-6)
I don’t know about you, but I’m fired up to worship God. There’s a battle every day, and even God Himself is rejoicing over us with SINGING (Zeph. 3:17) and surrounds us with SONGS for our deliverance! (Psalm 32:7)