How often do we feel sad, disconsolate, or lonely and turn on music to make us feel better? How often do we turn to music that we can relate to, that speaks about our pain, and that seems to be on point with how we feel or what we are experiencing at the time? What’s more, how often have you sat in your car and the perfect song describing everything you’re going through comes on the radio?
Oftentimes, when we are not feeling our best or when we are experiencing something difficult in our lives we turn to R&B, rap music, or some other form of tunes that provides temporary relief for our pain. The words written in these songs seem to describe everything that’s going on in our lives and sends us on a journey through our emotions and our soul. Even if we are experiencing a “good” day, we frequently listen to the same music, this time more upbeat.
Some would ask “Well, what’s wrong with that? I like my music and I don’t see anything bad about it. It contains no curse words, foul language, or derogatory comments. It is just speaking about life and the things that we go through on a daily basis.”
When we listen to music that satisfies our emotions or our will (which lies in our soul realm), our spirit suffers. Sure, we may experience some temporary relief from our anger or disappointment, but it will be short lived. We may also feel the high of being in love after listening to a great love song, but that song may reinforce what our will and emotions desire and not necessarily God’s perfect will for that relationship.
Praise and worship provides a pathway to fellowship and communion with God. When you praise God, you exalt Him above your problems and your temporary situation. You put Him in His proper place so that He can be Lord of your life and direct you in the way that He desires for you to go. Likewise, when you worship Him, your heart opens up and you can release joy or the worry that has otherwise stuck to you like a security blanket.
This is why continual praise and worship is necessary, and why this form of music is so healing and powerful for the spirit, soul, mind and body. For when you listen to other things, your emotions (which are temporary and change like the wind) begin to guide your decision making, making it difficult for the Word (which is permanent and speaks to your situation, not about it) to permeate and have its way in your circumstances.
Have you ever been in the car or at home listening to a particular brand of music, and felt led to turn on your gospel or Contemporary Christian music? That is the Holy Spirit, prompting you to listen to music that speaks God’s word and that provides a permanent solution to your temporary circumstance. When you go through that trial, the Word that you heard (e.g., “Take Me to the King,” “We Fall Down, but We Get Up,” or “Jesus At the Center Of It All”) will rise up in you and cast down any emotion or feeling that is not like God or meant to keep you down.
Lesson for the day: Listen to music that feeds your spirit and not your emotions, so that you can remain anchored and grounded in your walk with Christ. Don’t ignore the Holy Spirit when He invites you into praise and worship. Praise and worship is not just for Sunday mornings; rather, it is a means to enter into the Lord’s presence and to receive the love, joy, and peace that we need to live this life. If you are lonely, listen to “I Am Not Alone” by Fred Hammond. If you experienced a recent divorce or a break-up, listen to “Afterwhile” by Kirk Franklin and Yolanda Adams. If you are financial challenged, listen to “Hold On” by James Fortune. There are many wonderful songs to listen to, so explore ITunes or your favorite record store for more ideas.
Let’s learn from the man healed of leprosy in Luke 17:11-19. There, Jesus healed ten men with leprosy, but only one man (who was a foreigner from Samaria) came back to Jesus praising Him. He threw himself at Jesus’s feet and thanked Him. Jesus asked “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” He then said to him “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
God is looking for your praise. He longs to hear your voice and to speak to your situation. So sit back, relax, and put that favorite Gospel CD on repeat. I guarantee you, you will not be disappointed.
Yours in the Journey, Anique