– By Pastor Robbie Cheuvront
When you go to church on Sundays, do you wake up and think about what the day is going to look like? Do you ever wonder why we do the things we do? For instance, do you ever wonder why we have a coffee bar? Do you ever wonder why we do a pastoral prayer? Do you wonder why we do a big scripture reading every week, outside of the teaching passage? Do you wonder what songs we’re going to sing, or more importantly why?
Most of these questions are fairly easy to answer. We have a coffee bar because it promotes fellowship and gives us a time to get to know one another, or ask each other about prayer needs, or to share a victory in Christ with one another. We do a pastoral prayer each week because everyone knows the importance of our corporate prayer and interceding for the church body as a whole. We read large portions of scripture during our service because God’s word is the most significant and important thing that could be heard all day. But what about those songs? What are we singing? And why are we singing to begin with? I mean lets face it. Half of us don’t like to sing out loud for everyone else to hear.
The history of singing in the church is a long, rich, edifying study. And it would take longer than this post to even scratch the surface. So I’m not going to try and do that. Suffice it to say that God’s children have been shouting His praises to a melody for… well… a long time. But there are some significant instances in scripture where we get a snapshot of what this singing can actually do. In II Chronicles, chapter twenty, we see the story of King Jehoshaphat appointing “singers unto the Lord”, as Israel readied themselves for battle. The scripture tells us that they had spent the previous evening worshiping the Lord, and when morning came, Jehoshaphat appointed these men and women to go before the army, continuing the praise. Scripture then tells us that as the Israelites marched, their enemies slew each other.
See one of the key things that worship through music accomplishes has to do with Spiritual warfare. All throughout the book of Revelation, as the dragon (Satan) is battling against the woman (the church), we see singing and worship around the throne room. Our worship is not just singing lyrics on s screen for the purpose of eating up twenty minutes of a church service. Let’s face it, if that’s all it was, we’d all rather get out earlier and maybe beat the Methodists to Cracker Barrel.
Yes, we sing because we serve a God who has purchased us with His blood. And when we recognize we’ve been ransomed at such a high price, it should move us to shout and sing at the top of our lungs. But know this. When you gather corporately with the saints to give God this worship that He is ever so deserving of, remember that you are not just singing lyrics on a screen. You are engaging in a war. As our brother, Paul, reminds us, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Eph 6:12 ESV)
And as we see throughout scripture, when the Church raises her voice to give God His praise, and the glory due His name, it can bring unfathomable devastation to the demonic and to those who would stand in opposition of our God.