The Lord calls us to sing to Him, to sing before Him, lifting up our hearts and voices. In the never ending discussions about what is appropriate for music in the worship service, it is very true that many people have many different ideas and opinions on what makes for good and right worship music. What we must avoid is thinking that our opinion or preference is what matters first. And so, here is a charge to sing to the Lord like you mean it – loud and uplifting, skillfully as you can and in such a way that your neighbor, the people in your row, and together the ends of the earth, believe that you believe that God is truly listening – because He is.
First – your decision to sing should be a response to God’s command to do so. He wants you to sing. He wants to hear you. He wants to hear us. In His providence, He has selected these psalms and hymns to sing before Him. And so do so – like you mean it – to the glory of God.
Second – your decision to sing and to do so like you mean it should be because God tells us that we are to listen to one another as we sing. We are to be admonished and taught by the hearing of these psalms and hymns and spiritual songs – we are to be moved by thankful hearts around us lifting up their voices to the Lord. He says He will do this in the congregation of His people. So you should sing – loud and full and boisterously – because together with all of the other voices, God may just use it to convert someone here, to turn someone away from despair, discouragement, temptation or doubt. He may use our singing to glorify His name by changing the hearts of others here. So sing with this in mind.
Third – sing because you love the music. And if you do not love it – ask God to help you love it. Ask Him to help you love the words, the tunes, the styles – even if they do not immediately sit well with you – even if they do not for some time. After you have done so, feel free to talk with me or the elders or Jordan about how we might choose, write, arrange, and sing and play these in ways that may be more to the Lord’s pleasure and to His children’s – but only after.
So come and sing to the Lord – with all of us – and change the world as you do so.