Psalm 59:16-17 “But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble. Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing: for God is my defence, and the God of my mercy.”
The gifts of God, when used for His glory, are truly something to behold! But when those gifts are used for something other than for what they were given, there is either little or no fruit.
I have been given a voice to sing. Please understand, I do not say it pridefully, with condescension or to the exclusion of anyone. There are those who have different gifts and can do marvelous things. I wish today, to share what God impressed upon my heart when reading this passage in my Bible.
Music was created by God. When He created the angels, He made some to worship Him in song and with instruments. Lucifer was set over the throne of God to cover it and to oversee the seraphim – the singing angels.
Ezekiel 28:13-15 “Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.”
And in Isaiah we find:
Isaiah 14:12-14 “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”
The opportunity for us to be deceived in this area of music is truly far more important and farther reaching than we could ever imagine. If you want to see just how personal and divisive it can be, just challenge someone on their ‘taste’ in music. Satan is expert in the use of it to influence. He saw firsthand how music affected those in the presence of Almighty God. He saw how leading those who were especially gifted would follow him.
Today, we do not preach or teach much in this area because it crosses lines between personal and corporate, style and preference.
As I read of David and his cunning at how he played, what he played and sang, and also the influence or fruit that it produced, I believe it can help us understand the importance today. I referenced the scriptures regarding Lucifer; Satan, because music has the power to become a tool of worship or weapon of destruction. The spiritual warfare regarding music is raging today and we all feel ill-equipped to address it.
God, the Father said through His Son:
John 4:24 “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
Many will define music as worship. That’s like saying baking soda is food like steak is food. I can eat a steak and be satisfied. I must combine baking soda with other ingredients for it to be edible.
What I mean is this: music can be used as a component of worship, but the moment it becomes how I worship or what I worship, we have departed from what God designed it to be. Music affects my spirit and is used to ready my heart to worship – it is not the sole vehicle with which I worship.
Many churches today have worship leaders, worship services, and worship teams. I only ask that if God desires to be worshipped in spirit (our spirit) and truth (“I am the way, the truth…” John 14:6), where is the fruit of that worship? Is it the good feelings after I leave? Or is the truth of what is being sung cause hearts to be convicted, lives transformed, altars to be tear-stained and lost souls won to Christ?
Back to David… Saul was visited by a demonic spirit. The oppression he felt so altered his spirit and attitude that he took up hatred, anger and murder in his heart. When David came to play, it brought peace to his soul and it is said:
1 Samuel 16:23 “And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.”
The balance of worship is as God prescribed: in spirit and in truth. Ask yourself while the music you are listening to or singing: Who is the subject of the song? What is it saying about God? Is there a decision I need to make because of the truth of what I’ve heard? Am I more aware of my emotions or God? The Word of God has further delineated songs and their subject matter:
Ephesians 5:18-21 “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”
Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. I put it here in its context because when I am filled with the Holy Spirit, and speak to myself in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, it humbles my heart to give thanks and submit myself to whatever it is God would have me do.
Much of what is called worship in our churches today is spirit filled – but not with the Holy Spirit. Already, I can feel some whose spirit is angered by that statement. You prove my point about the divisiveness of music. We take it personal. It becomes a fabric of who we are; and for some it defines us.
You don’t see someone who love country and western wearing grunge clothes and black makeup, hair and fingernails. You don’t see a classical music aficionado with heavy chains and all tatted up wearing a baseball cap sideways on their head. If we could step back and truly ask God – “What is the type of music You would have me listen to, or have me sing?”, we might be shocked at what God would reveal to our heart IF we are truly seeking to be right in this area of our music.
As a part of a gospel quartet, I have been in meetings where the Holy Spirit of God moved through the truth of what was being sung and people began to flood the altar under conviction. No special formula here – just four men, sold out to use their gifts to honor the Lord Jesus Christ with their gifts; coming to a church to be a blessing by adding our music to help that pastor and that church and point to the preaching.
If Satan, formerly Lucifer, is an expert in this field of music, it would behoove us to honor God in this area lest we be beguiled into thinking just because I am moved bodily or emotionally that it is the Holy Spirit. Simply, what is the fruit of what you sing?
David’s music could expel demons – can ours?