I was travelling in the bus and listening to the music playing on the radio… It was instrumental only but the music seemed to be communicating in a language of its own. The music had a ring of joy – the kind that can uplift a heavy laden spirit. There are tunes where one can feel anger or sorrow or anxiety… the list goes on. Yes there is a certain level of communication.
Likewise with colours, they induce feelings. For example, red represents fire or danger inducing anger. It also may even have sexual connotations (hence red roses signifying passionate love). Blue tends to mean serenity or truth and thus pale blue is chosen to paint bedroom walls to induce relaxation and calmness. Purple represents nobility or intelligence. White represents purity and thus induces calmness. Yellow indicates brightness and warmth (which leads to friendships and thus the yellow roses representing long lasting friendships!). The list goes on…
Music and colours induce feelings and emotions, and convey stuff in their own way. Like with everything else, they can be used or abused!
The very music that can help us concentrate on praising God and then lead us into worship, can kill the very same worship if not handled correctly… Heavy beats or strong strumming can jolt us right out of worship, it can distract us from realising the presence of God (which is always there). Yet softened music during worship aids the worship.
In communication, body language and tone of voice speak louder than words. However it takes words to clarify the precise meaning. I know the complications in communicating with someone who doesn’t share the same language… Frustrating to say the least! It’s hard enough at times with the same language and especially when the intellectual levels or exposures are different!
Words add meaning to the language conveyed by music. It can be a sacrifice of praise – offering thanksgiving despite the trials, the storms, the difficulties surrounding us… It can be a commitment of continual yielding to our Heavenly Father’s perfect and pleasing will… However these words uttered from the tip of our tongues is displeasing to God…
Jeremiah presents his complaint to the LORD,
Why do all the faithless live at ease? You have planted them, and they have taken root; they grow and bear fruit. You are always on their lips but far from their hearts. (Jeremiah 12:1-2)
These “faithless” referred to here are those who have grown in the Lord and even bore fruit. Yet Jeremiah recognises them to be always talking about God yet God is far from their hearts… They offer lip service, without sincerity and end up fooling many others too.
The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honour me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men. (Isaiah 29:13)
In fact Jesus refers to this prophesy uttered through Isaiah and calls such people “hypocrites” (Mark 7:6). We can actually be lying to God with these very words that we utter under the pretence of praise and worship. Our motives could be wrong… we could be praising and worshipping simply to show off our skills taught by men, to entertain others, to make people think we are pious and thus respect us, let alone as a habit, a ritual where we simply sing without meaning any of the words we utter.
When we offer our all to God, our talents, our time, our words and yield to His leading… we will begin to handle them correctly as we will be led by His wisdom.. which is far greater than our own wisdom. The fruit of the Spirit will be increasingly evident in our lives, there will more and more
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
We may fool others with our outward show and our hypocrisies but God sees the heart… and over a period of time, people (especially those who genuinely walk in the Lord) will be able to discern the fruit…
Where do you stand today?
Where is your heart and where are your lips during time of praise and worship?
What are your motives for praise and worship?
- Do you worship Him with meekness recognising that these talents were bestowed upon you by Him in the first place?
- Are you able to freely worship without worrying about whether you have a good voice or not, as your sacrifice of praise?
Do you praise and worship to join with the crowds or are you able to truly reflect on what you are singing?
- Do you sincerely worship God to the point that you can refuse to sing songs where you believe contradict God’s Word? Are you even able to recognise such discrepancies? Or do you think that every song that is “Christian” honours God?
Yes, we can worship God without the words with the music alone… Yet when we want to go into deeper communication, words become the icing on the cake.
He wants our all, not our ‘somes’!
Love your God with ALL your heart, with ALL your soul, with ALL your mind, with ALL your strength!!