A couple of years ago, I met Jan Smith, Justin Bieber’s mentor and vocal coach. Jan said something that’s riveted to my brain. She said
“Music gets access to your soul without your permission”.
I think she spoke truth….profound truth.
Think how a little ‘ditty’ gets stuck in your noggin and plays over and over? That song is penetrating your soul without you knowing it.
Like most things, this can be bad….or good. The tunes I latched onto as a kid, like “Double shot of my baby’s love” and “Can’t get no satisfaction” didn’t do a lot to build my character. Compared to what’s out there today: pretty tame.
But the good can be really good. Better than good.
Matt Chandler (www.thevillagechurch.net) just did an awesome sermon called “Under the Faucet” where he talked about worship with music.
He says there’s two versions of God’s “presence”. “Omnipresence” which is God’s being with us everywhere all the time, and His “special” or “manifest” presence which is….uh….special. He says God’s ‘special presence’ is attracted by praise and worship, but repelled by pride and indifference. He visualized a faucet. We can’t turn the water on….only God can do that. But we can only get wet if we’re under it when He does. Praising God is putting ourselves under the faucet.
The Souly Business retreats have a reputation for God “showing up”. I think I’ve figured out why.
It’s the music. The praises of His men.
In the 48 hours of this retreat, 100+ men are singing and worshipping God at least 10 times. That’s like two and a half months of church jammed into two days. And the songs are passionate songs with words of fervent praise for our Father. Men are saved. Healed. Changed forever. All by His presence. That’s it. His presence.
Even when we aren’t healed…when we leave His presence to again face our desperate situations, we can persevere because we were in His presence. He’s fuel for our souls….and our obedience.
C.S. Lewis said in his book Reflections on the Psalms that one of the great obstacles in coming to believe in the God of the Bible was that when he read the Psalms, the constant demand from God to praise him seemed (to him) to picture God as craving “for our worship like a vain woman who wants compliments.”
Later on, after God found Lewis and captured his heart, he wrote…
“The most obvious fact about praise, whether of God or anything, strangely escaped me. I thought of it in terms of compliment, approval, giving of honor. I had never noticed that all enjoyment spontaneously overflows in praise, unless sometimes we bring shyness in to check it. The world rings with praise: lovers praising their mistresses, readers their favorite poets, walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favorite games, praise of weather, wines, dishes, actors, horses, colleges, countries, historical personages, children, flowers, mountains, rare stamps, rare beetles, even sometimes politicians and scholars. My whole more general difficulty with the praise of God depended on my absurdly denying to us, as regards the supremely valuable, what we delight to do–even what we cannot help doing–with regard to everything else we value.”
And then the key sentences:
“I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the joy is not complete until it is expressed. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are. The delight is incomplete until it is expressed.”
When I put my smallest granddaughter to bed, she asked me for the “do-do-do’s”. I had no clue what she was saying. Come to find out her daddy sings to her each night…the tune to “It’s a wonderful world” but with just “do-do-do’s” instead of words she doesn’t understand anyway. She loves it. She loves him for singing to her.
Have you ever had someone sing to you? just you? It has this amazing affect I can’t explain. Can you imagine our Heavenly Father as He ‘feels the love’ of His kids singing to Him?
Here’s what He asks….
“Worship the LORD with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy.” Psalm 100:2 (NLT)
“Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.” Psalm 95:1-2 (NIV)
When you go to church on Sunday, sing.
As soon as you read this, sing.
All day long today, sing.
You’ll be glad you did.
Question: Will you humble yourself and sing to our amazing God? With all your might?