My Heart Sings

by | Oct 17, 2023 | Life Advice, Wisdom

My Heart Sings

But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble, you are my strength, I sing praise to you; You, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely. Psalm 59:16-17 

I grew up in a household where music was a constant. Raised on gospel and country music, I once dreamed of being a backup singer to Ronnie Milsap, a country music artist born blind. Although I lost sight of that dream, I did get my picture made with him as a teenager when he visited the local K-Mart.  

From country to gospel to contemporary worship songs, God often ministers to me through music. Music pierces my heart, speaking to the deepest parts of my soul.  

Worshipping the Lord through music moves me. It connects me with God and people as we enjoy music together. It sustained me through the death of our infant daughter and then later through the death of my husband.  

The power of music provides direction, especially during difficult times.  

God Shows Up When Praise is Offered 

King David began the first ministry of music. We see in the book of 2 Chronicles that God actually commanded him to do it. Years later, King Hezekiah purified the temple and once again incorporated music into their worship.  

“He stationed the Levites in the temple of the Lord with cymbals, harps and lyres in the way prescribed by David and Gad the king’s seer and Nathan the prophet; this was commanded by the Lord through his prophets.” 2 Chronicles 19:25 

Often, we are told to praise and worship God throughout Scripture. God Almighty, the God of the universe, the Alpha and Omega, says music plays an important role in our worship. Scripture tells us God acts in response to praise through music. King David’s life epitomizes this. David praised God often. The result? 2 Chronicles 18:13 tells us that the Lord gave David victory everywhere he went.  

The presence and power of God often present themselves through music. This happened with the prophet Elisha. Music ministered to Elisha before prophesying. It was common at that time to call upon musicians to calm the mind and ease stress. He would need to think clearly to discern the voice and will of God.  

Elisha requested a harpist and when the harpist played, God’s power was released on Elisha.  

But now bring me a harpist. While the harpist was playing, the hand of the Lord came on Elisha.” 2 Kings 3:15  

Wow. Did you see that? I know exactly how this feels. Sometimes, while listening to a song, I can sense God’s presence and He impresses upon me very clearly what He wants me to hear. I may not hear audible words, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is Him speaking. Worship takes us from focusing on ourselves to focusing on God.  

Praise Delivers Us in Battle 

Praise is a force to be reckoned with. Jehoshaphat was the fourth king of the Kingdom of Judah. He campaigned against idolatry and led the people to renew their worship of the One True God. He championed peace between Israel and Judah. In his desperation for God to be with his army, he appointed singers to go out before them. Their only job was to praise God through song and the playing of holy instruments.  

After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: 

“Give thanks to the Lord, For his love endures forever.” 2 Chronicles 20: 21-22 

As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seer who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. Don’t miss this — they hadn’t even won the battle yet, but they knew they would because God had told them He would deliver them.  

Oh, that we would worship like that, pray like that. It may seem like we are walking right into the battle of our lives. How can we react like Jehoshaphat? As I write this, I am praying for a dear friend who will undergo double mastectomy surgery in only a few hours. I want to pray in desperation — not that God will show up because I know He is already with her, but to pray thirsting and longing for more of His presence in her life and in mine.  

As the Israelites did before battle, I want to rejoice in what God will do before I even see the results.  

God Moves Through Song  

Another story in the New Testament illustrates the power of praising God even in the midst of a great trial. Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown into prison in Rome for casting out a spirit from a slave girl who earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling.  

While in prison, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns. They were in a desperate situation — unjustly locked up for preaching the gospel — but they still praised the Lord. They were beaten to the point they thought they would wake up in Heaven.  

Here’s the point. They chose to praise the Lord. They may have been in chains, but they were free to praise His name. As a matter of fact, they praised the Lord until the walls began to shake. Let’s take a look at the account from the book of Acts.  

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. Acts 16:25-26 

I’d say that moment of audible worship completely changed the atmosphere in the walls of that prison. The men there could not have missed the power and glory of God in that moment.  

And we don’t want to miss the glory of God either. But for many, seasons of grief and loss are symbolic of Paul and Silas’ time in prison. A place of confinement, a prison can represent different aspects of our lives like grief, sadness, bitterness, fear, worry, and anxiety. We can be bound by our own feelings and negative emotions. They can become a stronghold in our lives, trapping us in our circumstances. 

But that is not where God wants us. The good news is that we don’t have to stay bound by negative emotions or our circumstances. Our worship can move us from being bound to raising our minds and hearts above the stress of our circumstances and focusing on God.  

The Lord is able to deliver us from every battle and trial. Let’s worship Him in song and experience the power that can break our chains and make a way for God to move in our hearts.  

Music Changes Your Life  

Music can change your life forever. Countless times in my life, God has unequivocally carried me through difficulties with music. When my husband and I found out in 2001 that our unborn baby would not live once I gave birth, God used the song by Greg Long – In the Waiting – to help me make it through those four heart-wrenching months. 

And also, as a widow, there have been many special songs that have ministered to me during my grief journey. Lauren Daigle’s Trust in You is another one that encourages us to let go of our worries, our trials — even our dreams — and let God have His way in our lives. When we lay them at the feet of Jesus, we have the capacity to receive His best for our lives.  

God gave us the gift of song.  

From King David to Paul and Silas to your own version of worship in the car, music with Biblical messages and scripture soothes our minds and soul. The Word of God is our most powerful weapon against the enemy, but we must know it for it to help break down our prison walls. Many praise and worship songs quote Scripture directly. Listening to it can also be a big help in learning scripture.  

Music was first ordered by God himself. It is powerful. It is healing. And it produces results.

Raised among the cypress trees and bayous of the Louisiana Delta, Patricia Cameron learned early on to cherish God and family. After her biggest trial tested her faith, she now aspires to help others see that God is worthy of praise, even in times of grief. Patricia’s debut book Grief Unwrapped: Discovering Joy in a Season of Sorrow published in November 2022. Connect with Patricia at patriciacameronwrites.com.

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