Music is something that has done more than almost anything else to bring me closer to God.
Maybe this is surprising. After all, we normally think of things like prayer and meditation or teaching or serving as being things that bring us closer to God. And they do–all of them. But in a mysterious way, music surpasses them all at times. Why?
I don’t understand the way in which music causes an emotional reaction in me, but I know it does. I am a person, quite honestly, who does not always have the easiest time getting in touch with my emotions. Furthermore, I sometimes distrust them. I know they can be played upon, because I’ve seen it happen.
I believe God created us to have an appreciation of music. It’s one of those things that is deep within us, a thing that we don’t always understand. Looking back to the earliest times in scripture, music is present. People worshipped, danced, praised, and music was part of it. It is a way to emotionally connect with God and others. I don’t know any better way of doing so.
When I worship, the sum is greater than the parts. The words focus my mind and attention on God. The tune brings about an emotional reaction. Together, they elevate my mind and heart, and everything else seems to fall away. In these moments, God often communicates with me more strongly than at any other time. I’ve had some of the best ideas for my writing in the middle of worship, ideas that I feel God has inspired. I’ve had realizations, epiphanies, and moments of clarity while singing. My voice doesn’t sing well, believe me. But my heart does.
I don’t often cry, but if I’m going to have such a release of strong emotion, music usually has something to do with it. Music can often move me like nothing else can. Sometimes, a song can express how I’m feeling better than anything I could say to express it. It hits me on a deep, visceral level.
Over time, I have learned that when I feel low spiritually, I can listen to worship music or any faith-based music, and it lifts me up, refocuses my mind, and changes my entire perspective on life. Thank God for the local Christian radio and for music apps that make listening to Christian music possible wherever I am. There is so much good Christian music available to match any taste. If you don’t listen to any, I encourage you to try it.
God’s word says that our worship is like sweet incense to Him. But like everything else about our relationship with God, He gives far better than He gets. What I have received from worship–spiritual understanding, communication from God to my spirit, and countless moments of sheer joy–far surpass what I have given.
While I often listen to music and worship God when I am alone, there is a corporate dimension to music that cannot be denied. Which is more satisfying, listening to the radio or being at a concert with hundreds of other fans? In the same way, having times of worship in a group with others is important to your spiritual growth. There’s something about coming together to worship God that cannot be matched in any other way. And while I won’t say corporate worship is always more meaningful than private devotional times, I think both are necessary to an active faith.
If you need suggestions or want to read about Christian bands/singers I like, leave me a comment and I will respond.