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Why We Sing (Part 3): It Makes God Smile

WHYWESING

This is part 3 of a blog series on why we sing.  You can check on the other posts here.

WE SING BECAUSE IT MAKES GOD SMILE.

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Obedience is when we do something God says we should do.  The Bible repeatedly instructs us to sing in worship.  So when we sing, we are obedient, and obedience makes God smile.

Did you know that the command to sing is one of the most, if not the single greatest, repeated command in Scripture?  Do a word search for “sing” or “worship” at biblegateway.com and see what you find.  You will find passages like, “Sing for joy in the LORD, O you righteous ones; Praise looks good on the upright” (Psalm 33:1).  “But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength; Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning” (Psalm 59:16).  “Sing praises to God, sing praises; Sing praises to our King, sing praises” (Psalm 47:6).  Did you catch the point of that last verse?  I think someone wants us to sing!

Sometimes we come to a service and sing because we feel like it.  The joy filling up in our souls call us to praise Him through song.   Christians sing because they just can’t help it.

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Sometimes we sing until we feel like it.  In Psalm 71:23, the Psalmist states, “My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to You; And my soul, which You have redeemed.”  It is interesting that he writes that his lips will shout for joy when he sings.  Sometimes we discipline ourselves to sing and joy gradually comes.  We may look at our present circumstances and cannot find a reason to sing, but when we look at God’s past work and His attributes, we sing in faith.  We sing in remembrance.  We sing in hope that things will not remain how they are now.

I have had people tell me that they don’t sing because they worship listening to the voices leading them.  I get that.  I have been moved by listening to a great voice express praise, but I can’t get away from the fact that the Bible repeatedly calls all believers to song, not just the ones with good voices.

I often hear people say they don’t sing because they don’t have a good voice.  Singing well may not come natural to you, but you do have a good voice.  Even if it is not the most naturally pleasing, it is pleasing to God.  We are called to make a “joyful noise” unto God (Ps 98:4).  Even if certain noises are more appealing to listen to, God can hear behind pitches right to the tunes of the heart.

I remember running sound for my wife’s elementary chorus’ PTO meeting one night a few years back.  I was stationed beside the children singing.  One of the girls I noticed singing near me, was singing with a reserved voice.  Shyness took over in such a large crowd, but her eyes were fixed on someone in the audience.  I realized that she was looking at her father in the back for approval.  When I found him in the crowd, I saw him with a huge smile on his face as he proudly videotaped his daughter.  His thumbs up directed towards her did something to her voice.  I noticed that she began to sing out louder and more expressive than before.  Her audience changed and so did her quality.

When you sing on a Sunday, you are not singing to obtain the approval of those sitting in front of you.  Your audience is God.  The worship leaders are not performing for the congregation.  We are all singing for God and to God.  He sees our heart, but obedience expresses itself through song.

And when you sing with our church, your Father is in the back, giving you the thumbs up, and He is the one we want to see smile.

Sing.  And sing like you mean it.

Because He is worthy of all the songs we could possibly sing.

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2 Responses to Why We Sing (Part 3): It Makes God Smile

  1. Ann February 26, 2010 at 8:42 pm #

    Sometimes the reason we don’t sing is because we are watching a performance. The songs being sung are more for band singers and not congregational singing. Please go beyond your personal preference and mix in some hymns, choruses,
    gospel, contemporary. We love you and the group singers.
    Would love to do a Sunday of just worship songs. Songs that has the phrase “I worship You,” or “we worship You.” If you are having to write a paper on “singing” there must be a reason….keep looking deeper.

  2. Travis Agnew February 27, 2010 at 8:03 am #

    Hey Ann,
    Thanks for your comment. I hate that you feel that way. Honestly, what we do on Sundays is far from my preference, but as I study our congregation, it is about the best middle-of-the-road that I can get. In the last year, I think we have done 1-2 songs that were a performance and the rest have been worship songs. Most people have a preference of music or types of songs, and while I understand that, we shouldn’t have to wait for a certain type of song to be able to worship.

    Also, we do mix in all of those types you mentioned. Sometimes people miss certain types if they are not there every week. For example, we are doing a very different type of music this week that most everyone will love, but not everyone will. For those who miss tomorrow, they will think we never do a certain style, but in actuality, they just missed it.

    It goes back to that consumer mentality we all must battle against. I should be able to worship in any type of setting with any type of music. And we do sing plenty of songs with the word “worship” in it, and every song we do is worship based. Just because “Amazing Grace” doesn’t have the word “worship” in it doesn’t mean that it isn’t worship.

    I’m writing a topic on singing because that is what our monthly training has been with our worship team. I recently was asked by a maturing believer why we sing every week in our services. I began to write on it as I had conversations with him. We also decided to put it in the next edition of the Compass because I think most people have always sung in church or listened to singing in church without ever thinking of the theological reason behind it. I have seen more progress in our church’s singing over the last 6 months than in a long time. This wasn’t written out of defense as much as education.

    Ann, whoever you are, I am glad you love me and the rest of the group, that helps listen to your comments. But if you still have issues with what we do, please email me or let’s talk sometime. It’s hard to address the real issues of your question without knowing who you are or how to contact you.

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