Sunday, September 22, 2013

Music That God Likes

Have you ever wondered what music in heaven will sound like?  People who go to mainline traditional churches might assume they will listen to organ music or angelic choirs for eons.  Others might believe they will hear Black & Southern Gospel like they do now in their congregations.  On the other hand, individuals who received glimpses of eternity testified of hearing sounds unlike anything on earth. 

There’s an old saying, “Music soothes the savage beast.”  This is some truth to that.  Songs played by God’s people can dramatically change the atmosphere we are in.  1 Samuel 16:23 mentions “…that David would take a harp and play it with his hand.  Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him.”

On the other hand, music played for ungodly purposes can have a negative effect.  During the late 1980s and early 1990s I listened to a lot of New Age music.  The genre’s dreamy mixture of natural and electronic sounds is intended to bring serenity to the listener.  Unfortunately most musicians categorized as New Age promote ideas contrary to Scripture.  A couple years ago I was sharing some old New Age favorites with a friend via YouTube.  Then one afternoon, a pastor pointed out I was acting tense and pushy at times.  When I sought the Lord about that, He reminded me how I must be cautious of the music I listen to.  Jesus warned us in Mark 4:24, “Take heed what you hear.”

This is not to suggest believers must boycott all secular music.  John Scotland says, “God can put His anointing on secular.”  The Lord has sometimes used popular songs to minister to me especially in my dreams.

Throughout history, believers have debated whether or not it’s okay to listen to certain styles of music.  What make songs “holy” are not so much the actual sounds but the lyrics and the intent of the musicians playing.  One of my favorite bands is ApologetiX.  This Pittsburgh-based group specializes in taking secular hit songs and rewriting Christian lyrics to them.  They have received testimonies from people who came to know Jesus through their concerts and recordings.

The Bible says in many places to “sing a new song” (Psalm 33:3, 40:3, 96:1, 98:1; 144:9, 149:1, Revelation 5:9, 14:3).  Whatever genres of music you enjoy, any of them can be used to glorify the Lord.  Don’t let religious people tell you otherwise!

“Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives.  Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives.  Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.” – Colossians 3:16 (NLT)

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