We’re continuing our quest to increase, or perhaps reinforce, our awareness of how we encounter God’s Presence in this edition of Wednesday’s What-Not.
One way we enter into God’s Presence is through worship music. It is a powerful encounter when we open up our hearts to songs God desires to serenade us with. He also wants us to serenade Him in song. Scripture is riddled with directives for us to sing thanks and give praise in worship to God.
Zechariah 2:10 states,
Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold I come and I will dwell in your midst, declares the LORD.
God tells us in His Word that He will come and dwell in our midst when we sing to Him. We can pray this Scripture as we request that we encounter God’s Presence.
Lord, Your Word says that when we sing and rejoice we will behold Your Presence and that you will come and dwell in our midst. Lord, we thank You that You will show Yourself when we seek You in song. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
In her book, Girls With Swords, How To Carry Your Cross Like A Hero, author Lisa Bevere states,
As you sing, the environment of your life will literally vibrate with a new frequency of expectancy, as the enemy’s progress is arrested and you are ushered into God’s presence.
Think about the significance of arresting the enemy’s progress. You can thwart the enemy, all for a song.
The author refers to worship music as a “sword of song”. I know worship music makes me feel better when I listen to it, but I never thought of worship music as a sword. My dear friends, by ushering in God’s Presence in a song, we are slicing the serpent to smithereens with our sword.
I recently received daunting news about someone in my close circle. My heart was grieving with the news I heard. My heart was breaking for the pain I knew this person was feeling. I also knew in my spirit that I couldn’t let those feelings creep in and overwhelm me. I cried for just a moment, because this felt scary, but then I began to thank God for what He was doing in this situation. I knew I had to praise God for what He would do in this trial, the healing only He could bring.
Even though I had prayed a faith-filled prayer, I could feel the pressure from the enemy as he desired nothing more than to attempt to annihilate my family and me. But again, I knew to stand there and resist that feeling. I was not going to let the enemy debilitate me, rendering me useless in despair.
My husband and I went for a walk in the forest preserve, as we let our surroundings attempt to settle our spirits. Being submersed in tree covered trails with bursts of sunshine breaking through the clearings, normally is a rapid response to remedy whatever it is I’m struggling with.
However, this day I wasn’t feeling as settled as quickly as I normally am by the peace of God’s Presence in the forest preserve. I was in need of more. Sam even inquired about me in concern, because he knows I normally settle into a pretty good place when I’m outside in God’s creation.
There was a song lyric that had reverberated in my head over the course of the day. I didn’t know all the lyrics by heart, but the chorus kept repeating. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, O my soul. Worship His holy name. Sing like never before, O my soul. I’ll worship Your holy name.”
Until this day, I had never mixed these two spiritual disciplines to connect with God:
- Being out in God’s creation with its songs of nature
- Singing worship songs with divinely inspired human words
This day was a different day. Today was a day to couple these disciplines.
As I trudged along the trail, I pulled out my phone. Normally, I would not allow technology disruptions on a quest to connect with God in nature. The two seemingly don’t go together. Like Sesame Street’s montage, “one of these things does not look like the other”.
Yet I was led to listen on my phone to Matt Redman’s song, 10,000 Reasons. As the words wafted through the air, they fell upon me like a mist. In the concert God had created, there was a crescendo for my eyes to feast upon as they focused on nothing in particular, but everything in general. God had pulled together a visual and auditory chorus for this particular encounter with Him.
♪Tranquil blue skies contrasting the wheat colored wild grass♪
♪Puffy white clouds hanging in the sky♪
♪Velvet cattails swaying in the wind♪
♪Yellow wild flowers that towered taller than me♪
As my eyes took in all of these sights, I held my phone up close to my ear to hear 10,000 Reasons in its entirety. I sang aloud “Bless the Lord, O my soul, O my soul. Worship His holy name. Sing like never before, O my soul. I’ll worship Your holy name.”
As the music drowned out the news of the day, I felt much better. The situation didn’t change, but my outlook did.
Sometimes when we feel overwhelmed, we are called to sing as never before. We are called to worship. We are called to worship His holy name. When it doesn’t seem logical that our first response would be to sing a worship song, maybe that’s when we should sing most.
As we encounter God’s Presence through song, we know we are not alone. Because we are not alone, we can persevere. “And on that day when our strength is failing. The end draws near and my time has come. Still my soul will sing Your praise unending. 10,000 years and then forevermore. Forevermore.”
So let’s all pick up our sword of song and worship God’s holy name.
Questions / Actions
As you think about God’s armor, have you ever considered song to be a sword?
What songs has God used to usher you into His Presence?
What about those songs opens the door for you to enter into His peaceful Presence?
The next time the enemy tries to come against us, let’s remember to sing and rejoice and behold God’s presence in our midst. (See Zechariah 2:10)