For ages the Church has worshipped God through song. While this is not the only way to worship God, I do believe it's one of the most powerful and emotive. And while I love music and singing, I've asked God through my years of leading worship... "Lord, why do we sing?" Why is it that we sing songs to God? In most secular contexts, singing songs in a big group can come across cheesy. So why do we do it as Christians?
If you've ever found yourself asking the same questions or if these questions have been asked of you, this blog post is for you.
Here are the answers God gave me as I have continued to study His Word and listen to His voice.
1. Because God Tells Us To Sing
"Sing to The Lord with grateful praise; make music to our God on the harp." Psalm 147:7
"Praise The Lord. Sing to The Lord a new song, His praise in the assembly of His faithful people." Psalm 149:1
The Bible is filled with scriptures that repeat the phrase "Sing To The Lord" over and over again. The Psalms especially celebrate the method of singing as worship to God. If nothing else, we sing out of obedience to God's Word.
If you don't sing with the rest of your church's congregation out of fear of embarrassment because it's not your gift, do not to let that stop you any longer! I think God loves it and it touches His heart when we sing to Him whether or not it sounds great to everyone else. I call that making a joyful noise!
"Shout for joy to The Lord, all the earth. Worship The Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs."
2. Because Singing Sets Us Free
I don't know what it is about singing, but there's something about it that tears down some of our walls and helps us to move past ourselves. Because of this fact, I believe music harbors the potential for an emotional connection. I think most of us have experienced the fact that music touches our hearts in a way that words alone can't do. The Bible has a few things to say about this as well:
"God sets the lonely in families, He leads the prisoners out with singing..." Psalm 68:6
"About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose." Acts 16:25-26
Music does have a mysterious quality that is able to touch our emotions but the true, freedom-bringing power is when we use music and singing to worship and honor God. THAT is when we see chains loosed in our lives as Paul and Silas did when they were in prison in Acts 16.
I don't know about you but I want to live unhindered by life's burdens. God has used singing as a powerful way to set me free, and I know He can do the same for you!
3. Because We Need To Hear Ourselves Confess God's Word
There have been many studies done (both biblical and scientific) on the power of words, and one of the main things I've heard and read in these studies is that we most believe what we hear ourselves say. That means, if I say "I'm God's child", I'm more likely to internally believe it than if you tell me "you're God's child." I don't have time to get into all these studies (that would be a whole series of blog posts!), but take some time to check out https://drleaf.com, https://www.marthafry.com, and the book The Power Of Your Words by Robert Morris.
Not all songs confess God's Word in the lyrics, but the best ones do. In our church we are very careful to choose to sing only songs that line up with the Word Of God because, when people sing them with us, we want them to be singing God's truth over themselves.
“So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding” 1 Corinthians 14:15
We're not just to sing from the heart, we're supposed to sing with the full understanding of what we're singing.
When I read this, I instantly begin thinking of worship lyrics like "Who The Son sets free / Oh, is free indeed / I'm a child of God / Yes I am" and "There is power in the name of Jesus / To break every chain". These songs declare God's truth in our lives and, when we're at our worst, to find ourselves singing these powerful words can do something unexplainable. It can bring life to the places in us we thought were dead. We begin to understand just an inkling of how much God loves us and wants to pull us into deeper relationship with Him.
All of this is by no means an exhaustive list of why we sing. God's Word is chock full of reasons, but these are the ones I wanted to share with you. Hopefully next time you find yourself singing in church, you'll remember the scriptures from this post and sing maybe just a little louder and from a little deeper part of your heart. The heart... that is ALWAYS what God is after.