“Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.” Psl. 100:2
It would seem to me that singing in the Word of God is always connected with joy and victory. This jaded world loves to immortalize mournful, defeatist music that gives voice to our sorrows, frustrations, and failures; and even some Christian music can leave one with more tears of sadness than tears of joy. I’m thinking now of such songs as “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen,” when clearly 1 Corinthians 10:13 teaches that troubles, trials, and temptations are common and curable, by the grace of God. I’m not saying that such songs are all bad; but I do say that this world expects the songs of Zion to be songs of “mirth” (Psl. 137:3), and the Psalmist says, “O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation” (95:1).
It is evident from even a cursory reading of the Bible that singing should have a central place in our praise to God. He is the highest and ultimate recipient of our praise in whatever form it takes. As I read recently on the entranceway to the Fine Arts building at a large Christian University, “Come sing, come play, but know this; your audience is but ONE.” If this is true, talent and ability have little to do with it. Understandably, you and I may be especially moved by someone to whom God has given a beautiful voice, but I cannot think He would be any more impressed, since He is the one who gave the individual his or her ability. This must be the case, since He expects every one of us—with or without talent, possessing perfect pitch, or tone deaf—to sing praises to Him (Psl. 100).
As with all things in the Christian life, it would be nice if spiritual maturity coincided with the peak of our abilities, including vocal prowess; but this is not always the case. Fortunately for me, I was blessed to have a voice instructor who not only gave me excellent vocal training, but who taught me the significance (and potential power) of a particular song I was singing. We studied the message, and pondered the best way to get it across, making sure any ability or talent I might have never overshadowed that. I learned in my many hours of practicing, I was perfecting the instrument for praise God had given to me.
Still, with all the insight that good man passed on to me as a young girl, I find that the message of the songs I sing today (in some cases, the same songs) now burst from my soul, past aging vocal chords, in a way the young singer, worried with correct intonation, etc., could never have imagined. And perhaps, that’s as it should be, for as I often say, I’m only rehearsing for heaven anyway. And, no doubt, by the time I get there my heart will be so full, and my love so overwhelming, I’ll be ready to take my place with the others with complete confidence. I’ll come before His presence then, as now, with singing. And I promise you; I’ll know the song!
“Then in a nobler, sweeter song I’ll sing thy power to save,
When this poor, lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.”