It might seem to be fairly insignificant. We come together each Sunday to worship God, remember the Son and His sacrifice, to encourage one another to love and good deeds, and in the midst of that we sing. Sometimes our minds wander through the events of last week or the coming demands on our calendars. Life is so busy; it makes it easy to disengage and thoughtlessly sing the words. We make sounds with our lips while our hearts are sleeping.
It’s just singing. We might read the bulletin, write a check, make a grocery list or simply daydream. None of those are bad things but inappropriate for the important assignment of singing. God notices, “’THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. ‘BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN (Matthew 15:8-9.’” It is a thought brought forth from Isaiah. If Jesus addressed a problem that God through the prophet pointed out hundreds of years before, it must be significant to Him.
Singing is much more than just an attempt to be melodious. “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord…(Ephesians 5:18-19).” The very first indication of a Spirit-filled life as described by Paul is singing which hardly makes it inconsequential. Skill is not emphasized. In fact, it isn’t even mentioned, but the heart is. The Lord is listening. Are we?
No, not to how well others produce a melody but to the words that are traveling off the page and out of our lips? Are they coming from within or are we offering them superficially? “I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also (1 Corinthians 14:15).” Do we? Are we soul-searching as we sing? Do we really mean it when we sing, “All to Jesus I surrender?”
The Lord’s people must pay close attention to His message lest we get off track. Drifting is subtle, dangerous and awfully easy (Hebrews 2:1-4). Singing is one of the safeguards against it. “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God (Colossians 3:16-17).” Embodying His word, sharing it with others and filling our hearts with gratitude are all powerful measures to maintain our focus.
Singing may seem to be just punctuation between the other elements of our assembly, but that is not an eternal perspective. Our audience is far larger than those in the room with us, and He is listening intently to our hearts.