I was trying to reign in my anxiety over a professing Christian who seems to be walking in lock step with the world rather than Christ. K-Love was on the radio calling my heart to worship, to trust God, to not despair, to trust in future grace–the grace I will need if this person’s life continues to go south and become an open dishonor to the Savior.
I began to sing. Chris Tomlin’s “AT THE CROSS (LOVE RAN RED)“. It shouldn’t surprise me but it always does (wonderfully so) how great lyrics and soaring melodies can lift and direct and guide my heart into healthy paths to beat down the drums of anxiety and fear. What a gift music is to the soul!
The heart is capable of running in so many different directions at the same time. And my heart ran back to what I preached on Sunday (Matthew 8:18-27) [“What will it take to live a significant life?]. When Jesus is calling disciples to count the cost concerning following Him. He wants His disciples then and now to know that if they call Him Lord, He must take precedence over every other relationship in life at every moment of life.
So the preacher, filled with anxiety and fear, is rolling down the highway remembering what he told the congregation Sunday morning, and being directed by the music coming over the radio to take his heart in gear with the truth of the gospel with tears filling his eyes, started to pray.
“God, I will not turn my back on You. No matter what happens, I will trust You. I will trust that your grace will get me through whatever comes. I’m not laying out fleeces. I’m not going to lay out my conditions for what You must do to earn my love. You have my love. You purchased my heart at the cross. I love You, Lord. But Lord, I’m begging You, save them, rescue them. Don’t let them wander away from You. Draw them to You. Show them the wonder of Your love. Mesmerize them with your mercy and grace. Please, Lord. I trust You.”
And then, five thoughts come racing into the void:
We sing because . . .
- He is worthy. He who died for us and rose for us and who is coming back for us is worthy of all honor and praise and glory and majesty for He has demonstrated His love for us in that while we were shaking our fist at Him, He died for us (cf. Romans 5:8)
- We Believe. We sing because we really believe the gospel. It fills us with joy to know the facts of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ are established beyond any reasonable historical doubt. And singing the truth over and over moves us to deeper conviction.
- We Don’t Believe. We are weak. We believe but sometimes we waver. Even though we know it is true, sometimes we need the encouragement of “tell me again.” Like the wife or husband who suddenly pinches herself or himself and blurts out to their spouse, “tell me again that you love me” we need to tell ourselves, and tell one another that “yes, it is all true–we are loved by the Living God of Creation.”
- To Teach. We sing our songs because great music coupled with great lyrics teach us sound doctrine. Sound doctrine is the basis for all true worship. Good worship music teaches us what is true in memorable words cemented by tunes that match the beauty and majesty of the truth we profess.
- To Testify. We sing to testify to a watching world the transforming power of the gospel, the beauty of a suffering-Savior, and the essential truths of the Christian faith.
May you sing your heart through the anxiety and fears of your life. May you run to Him and find His grace sufficient for every situation.