Why do I sing?

Perspectives, Podcast

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I enjoy singing. It’s fun. It’s been a big part of my life and I take satisfaction in using it to express my heart and as a tool to explore my relationship with God. It’s good for me. But that’s not why I sing.

Singing connects people. It’s an activity we do together that is an important part of the glue of what we do when we gather. It’s an expression of our identity and our relationship with one another. But that’s not why I sing.

Singing is a way of serving the Lord. I honor Him by doing my part in providing the congregation with an environment, an opportunity, and an invitation to worship our King. I honor Him by setting aside my pride and trying to model worship and to be willing to make myself vulnerable by showing others my heart as I interact with Him publicly. But that’s not why I sing.

Singing impacts my mind. The lyrics of songs teach profound truths about God. Songs reinforce biblical values and are part of transforming my mind by moving my thoughts beyond myself to focus upon Jesus. But that’s not why I sing.

Singing is a way of my giving back to God. It’s part of my sacrifice of praise that I prepare and offer to the Lord. Preparing an offering of music is like raising the sacrificial lamb to present at the altar as a special gift only I can give to the Lord. But that’s not why I sing.

Singing is a form of prayer. The songs provide us with a vocabulary to express and explore who God is and to declare what He is doing in our lives. Moments during a song when I’m not singing provide little pauses to pray my own thoughts to the Lord and to listen to what He has to say. But that’s not why I sing.

Singing is tied to the promises of God. God promises to show up in a special way when we gather in His name according to His purposes. He literally “indwells” the praises of His people. He promises to draw near to us as we draw near to Him. Scripture ties music to spiritual and physical freedom from bondage, to healing, miracles, repentance, and other holy actions by the Lord. But that’s not why I sing.

Singing impacts my body. It forces me to become physically involved when I express worship. This reminder of my own weakness and flesh is another part of giving myself as a living sacrifice to the Lord. But that’s not why I sing.

Singing is something the Bible commands us to do. We are far more often commanded to sing that almost anything else in the Bible. God build us to sing. He invented music before He even created us, and we are specially crafted so that it powerfully impacts us as well as the spiritual realm. When I sing, I obey God’s command. But that’s not why I sing.

Singing affects my emotions. Music bypasses my mental filters and stirs my passion. It challenges me to from the depths of my emotional slumber and coldness, fanning the flames of my heart to burn brightly for the Lord. But that’s not why I sing.

Worship is one of the few things that we know goes on in Heaven. It’s powerful enough to shake Heaven’s very gates. Music accompanied many major events in the Bible. It led His people forward in battle. Even Jesus’ birth was announced through song, as will be His triumphant return. But that’s not why I sing.

Why do I sing? One simple reason. God deserves my praise. This is good and right and true. But worshiping the Lord is something that only I can decide to do for myself. I choose to sing. Am I going to be so arrogant to decide that He should not receive something that He says He wants? Do I know better than He does whether the noise I make is good enough when He says it is? Who am I to judge my worship – when that right belongs only to Him.

I will not be guilty of withholding the glory due to the Lord from me.

That’s why I sing.

-TJ Miller

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