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.
[Tweet “Sometimes we sing because we feel like it, and sometimes we sing until we feel like it.”]
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.
[Tweet “Sing like you mean it, because Jesus is worthy of all the songs we could possibly sing.”]
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Distinctive Discipleship. He is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. Travis graduated from North Greenville University with a B.A. in Christian Studies and earned his M.Div. and D.Min. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with his doctoral focus on family discipleship.