Jeremiah 24:7 – I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart. (NIV)
I recently visited a worship website on the Internet, where there's a discussion going on about the proper use and place for praise music in Sunday worship services. This type of discussion has been going on for decades, and will probably never be resolved until Christ returns. Then we'll all get to sing His favourite music, for Jesus will be the One doing the choosing.
One of the bloggers bewailed the use of traditional music in services and stated that his choice of music was more meaningful because it brought a distant, transcendent God into the hearts of immanent people. This annoyed me, because all worship music is supposed to do the exact opposite: it is used to bring our hearts and spirits closer to God.
At worship services in our church, we sing and play different types of hymns and music. One of the most important parts of our worship occurs when our organist plays the prelude. It's supposed to be a time when we sit quietly as we enter into God's presence. At that precious moment in time, I personally feel connected to God and seek to please Him with my prayers, preaching, and praises.
When Jeremiah was given the vision of the figs, his people were undergoing a terrible time. Their nation had been annihilated by their foes, and most of the people were taken hundreds of miles away to become captive slaves. There was not much hope in their hearts, and they felt as though God was punishing them for not being faithful. But God gave Jeremiah His word that there would be a precious time when the hearts of the people would be filled with God's love and they would return to Him.
Worship can do that for any one of us. We are called by God to come to church, to be restored to His favour, and to be refreshed by His Spirit. Whenever we sing hymns or play music, we are drawn closer to God's holy and sacred presence — the place of peace, hope, and renewal.
Prayer: Lord God, music has always been a part of worship. It is a great gift and a wonderful way of bringing us closer to You. Whatever we sing or however we play it, may our hearts be filled with love and adoration, reverence and exaltation of You. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.
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