When you hear something inspirational, do you just think ‘how cool!’, or do you change the way you live?

When you hear something inspirational, do you just think ‘how cool!’, or do you change the way you live?
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Second Chronicles 7:6

The priests stood at their posts; the Levites also, with the instruments for music to the Lord that King David had made for giving thanks to the Lord—for his steadfast love endures forever—whenever David offered praises by their ministry; opposite them the priests sounded trumpets, and all Israel stood.

Music and Worshiping God

There is something special about music. When it is worship music, it reaches down into our innermost being and changes our hearts, at least it should if it’s biblically sound and theologically grounded. The best worship songs and those which have the greatest chance of changing the way a person lives are ones that contain words from Scripture. We know that the Word of God has power (Rom. 1:16) and never goes out without having at least some effect on people (Isaiah 55:11). God guarantees His Word will go out with power and effectiveness and change the listener. Whether or not it changes the person on a permanent basis, or in other words whether it changes the way a person lives, is up to the individual. God and His Word never change, but we have need of change. The Word both changes us and serves to sanctify us (John 17:17) and washes us (Eph. 5:26). Sanctification is the process where we become more and more holy and more like Christ, although, of course, we never reach perfection in this life. It takes a lot of time–a lifetime, in fact.

Music Changes Us

We have already seen that the Word changes us, and we are commanded to be holy, as God is holy (Matt. 5:48; 1 Pet. 1:16). Knowing God changes us by His Word. We also know that when worship songs have Scripture, it can also change us. When we listen to good, accurate worship music, it should change us. For me, it makes me fall down on my face and worship God, often bringing me to tears. I think God loves that. When He sees us broken and contrite in spirit, He is nearer to us, and these are a sacrifice to God (Psalm 51:17; Isaiah 66:2). The word “contrite” actually means “crushed, crippled” or “broken.” God cannot fix us until we are first broken, anyway. For some reason, worship music makes me break down and weep and confess my sins and humbles me before the Mighty God. Worship music also makes me see just how far short I am from God’s holiness (Rom. 3:26). God says He does not change (Mal. 3:6), but I have much need of change. Good worship music can do just that.

The Words Over the Music

I’ve heard a lot of worship music, and when it seems to drown out the words or I can’t even hear scriptural references, then I think I’m wasting my time. Songs might have an impressive drum set, a great electrical guitar, and a fantastic light show, but if it’s all pomp and circumstance to simply entertain me, then it’s not for me. I need substance over glitter. I need theology over appearance. When I hear something inspirational and it’s great, then my question is, does it change the way I live? How about you?

A Closing Prayer

Father God, You are worthy to be worshiped. Please help me to change and use worship music to help me live a life reflective of my calling in Christ so that I might be changed from the inside out. In Jesus’ most glorious name I pray.

Amen

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