We had another awesome Sing Fest this past Saturday. I love when we gather together to sing praises to God – it’s always been a favorite part of our gatherings for me (even though I am not the best singer). One Sunday night a month, the church I first attended would have a singing service where anyone who wanted to lead a song (or 3) could get up and lead, and this was always my favorite service!
A big part of my love for singing praises was spurred on by my youth group who just loved to sing together. On long bus trips, we would almost always start worshiping God in song; every Sunday morning before worship we would sit down at the front of the auditorium and sing some of the youth songs before service (and anyone who wanted to join could); I remember a lock-in shortly after I became a Christian where a few of us (I think about 4) just gathered in a room and sang for an hour or so; one time when we were with another youth group waiting outside an Olive Garden to be seated, we just started singing right there at the entrance as people came and went (and I believe our 45 minute wait became more like 20… I don’t know if there was a correlation there). Their enthusiasm for singing praises to God rubbed off on me and never stopped!
One thing I try to encourage others to do is to sing out with enthusiasm to our great and awesome God – both when with other Christians and as private moments of worship! I am saddened when I see Christians have a lack of enthusiasm to worship this awesome God that we serve – whether it be because they feel they can’t sing well, or they just don’t want to sing out. When we worship God in Spirit and in truth, it always sounds beautiful to Him (and that is all that matters), so don’t let lack of musical ability stop you! And if you just don’t want to sing, then I don’t know how much you’re going to enjoy heaven because I get the impression that singing praise to God is going to be a big part of our time there – singing praises to God is mentioned again and again in scenes of Heaven in the Bible.
Also, the Bible constantly encourages us to praise God in song from verses like Ephesians 5:19: “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;” (NASB) and Colossians 3:16: “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (NASB) to the Psalms which speak about pouring out our hearts to God in song so often. Take the start of Psalm 105 for example:
Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
2 Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works!
3 Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
4 Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his presence continually! (ESV)
After all God has done, we should desire so much to praise Him in song with all our hearts as often as we can! He created us; He created this world; He blesses us in so many ways that we don’t deserve; He gave His only Son to die for us (and since Jesus is God, then we can actually say He went through a horrifying death for us). He forgives us even when we fail Him far more than 70×70 times! How can we not sing with great enthusiasm for this awesome God we serve who loves us so much?
I will admit I have favorite types of songs. I really love to sing songs that are either about praising God, or that feature us pouring our hearts out to God to help us… and a lot of newer songs have these themes to them. One of my favorite newer songs (or really a renewed song) is “Just As I Am (I Come Broken).” It starts out with the verses of “Just as I Am,” which speak about coming to God just as we are for healing and forgiveness, and breaks into a chorus:
“I come broken to be mended; I come wounded to be healed; I come desperate to be rescued; I come empty to be filled; I come guilty to be pardoned by the blood of Christ the Lamb. And I’m welcomed with open arms praise God – just as I am.”
Songs like this that admit our brokenness to God and our need for help from Him are among my favorite songs. I also really love songs that just straight up praise God and songs focused on His love, mercy, and grace, and songs that focus on His power and wondrous deeds. And there are many that I love both old and new that focus on these themes.
However, I always try to sing out, even when they are songs that are not my favorites – even songs that I don’t know well or really do not like (so long as I don’t completely disagree with the theology of the song… and even then I try to sing the parts that I do agree with). I know that if someone is leading the song, then it means someone likes that song and it is a source of encouragement to them, so why should I just sit there and not sing or mouth the words when I could be encouraging others – not to mention singing to my God!
If there is one thing I want you to get from this blog it is this: Sing out to God with all your heart and with thankfulness in your heart as often as you can! Praise God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind! God deserves your wholehearted praise! Also, you will be encouraging others; you will be encouraging yourself through the words of the songs; and you will be preparing yourself for Heaven!
“Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom.” (Psalm 145:3, NIV).
The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you. The Lord lift his countenance upon you, and give you peace!
– Damien Barber