Often when I’m leading worship, as I look out into the congregation and see blank stares and crossed arms, in my head I’m shouting “it’s true! it’s true!” “These magnificent words of life that you are singing are actually true!”
I’m not sure sometimes if people realize that they have literally moved from death to life. That they are proclaiming that life for themselves in those moments. Or perhaps they’ve become so religiously minded that they are just going through the motions, “playing church.” I’ve been there. I’ve been in church for well over 25 years and I’ve seen plenty of mindless singing, plenty of emotionless worship. I’ve engaged in it myself.
The longer I do this, the more I yearn for people to truly grab hold of the fact that what they are singing is real, for them. They are not just singing about good ideas or religious platitudes. They are singing real truths that have real impact on their life!
We must understand that what we sing on Sunday has real power. It is truth that will move us to behave differently because we believe differently.
We are singing words of life that challenge the dead things in our hearts. We are singing truth that changes us, that changes our attitudes and our emotions. It changes our disposition toward whatever we are facing. It brings real, living hope, because it’s grounded in a real, living person.
You can’t find anything better than this!
We are singing words that have eternal significance and I’m becoming increasingly convinced that we cannot take that lightly. How many years I’ve wasted not taking seriously every word of eternal truth spoken or sung in a service! Our hearts need to wake up to this reality. Dare we believe in the self-proclaimed power of the Word of God?
As we sang on a recent Sunday morning these words: “And day by day I know He will renew me until I stand with joy before the throne,” I thought to myself (with rising excitement) “yes, church! we will literally do this very thing!” Friends, if this is true (and that’s a very challenging “if” that you might need to wrestle with), then it changes everything. It speaks to who I am today and who I will be tomorrow. And that voice sounds very different than many of the other voices that try to define who we are.
When we sing that one day “sin and death will be destroyed,” we need to consciously remind ourselves that this will literally happen. That our afflictions, our pain, our tragedy, our trauma, our fear, and our anxiety is all temporary. Again, this is eternal truth and has impact for us outside of our physical lifetime. From the moment we pass from this life, we will see the glorious truth that we are now singing with such limited understanding.
If we would just grasp the tiniest fraction of the power behind this truth, it would change everything. This is truth that gives us strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow. This is truth that blesses us now, not just when we die.
So if I haven’t made it clear yet, I want to proclaim something loudly – I want you, the Church, to hear this clearly! The truth you sing every Sunday morning is eternal truth.
It isn’t going away. It’s bigger than you and even bigger than your sin.
When you wake up on Monday morning, it’s still true. When you lie on Tuesday, it’s still true. When you covet on Wednesday, it’s still true. When you hate your brother on Thursday, it’s still true. It’s bigger than you, even if you don’t believe it. Even the world will pass away, but the truth of God’s word will not pass away (cf. Matthew 24:35). It is the antidote to every struggle, every fight of your life, every evil you face.
Because it is the gospel.
When you realize how true it is,
It will change you from the inside out.
It will renew your focus.
It will renew your hope.
It will renew your outlook on life.
It will renew your peace.
It will renew your endurance.
So when you sing the eternal truth about who God is and who you are because of Him, wake up to the spiritual and eternal nature of those words and watch them change your life.
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