Thomasville Times Enterprise

February 20, 2014

Music in our daily lives

Tara Wentworth

— Do you have a hymnal in your home? Most all of us have one or more than one Bible (I confess I have many versions), but not everyone has a hymnal. Contained in many hymns are rich theology and doxology. I keep one close to where I have my quiet times and refer to it from time to time for encouragement and inspiration.

Although I don't always agree with the theology of some of the hymns, the Lord has used music to open up our spirits to receive wonderful truths through them. I love many of the old hymns that reflect such riches and inspiration, but I also glean much from the contemporary music that many folks (other than the younger generation) have a more difficult time receiving these same timeless truths. 

One of my devotionals is a compilation of daily readings based on the history of a particular hymn or song and its author. I have learned much and been very inspired by it.  Many of these songs came from life's harsh circumstances or from a moment of encounter with the Lord.

Have you ever awakened with a song on your heart and maybe carried that song with you throughout the day? When we carry a song of worship and praise with us, it can lighten our spirits and give us strength to face the daily challenges that all of us go through.

I remember one time many years ago, while visiting another ministry and participating in their morning devotional time, singing one of the old hymns with which I was very familiar. As we finished, the devotional leader expounded on that hymn a truth that I had never seen, but it absolutely revolutionized my life.  I still had some lingering guilt and condemnation from a time of backsliddeness and could not seem to get past it.

When she expounded on Charles Wesley's song, “O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing,” she got to the verse “He breaks the power of canceled sin and sets the captive free . .” I saw that not only were my sins forgiven, but the power that the canceled sin still had over me, was also broken and I could be free once and for all.

No wonder Mr. Wesley could write such a profound song — there are not enough words in human vocabulary to expound on the greatness of our God's love and forgiveness. 

I wrote on the power of praise a few weeks ago, but I wanted to emphasize an easy way to incorporate this into our daily lives.  Praise and worship music can be so much more a part of our lives than most of us give it.

I am not a musician and have only written one song that I know the Lord “gave” me, but I so enjoy the rich heritage that I have to help me worship and praise my great Creator.  We have access to so many “psalms, hymns and spiritual songs” (Ephesians 5:19) that can keep our hearts focused on that which is “true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable” (Philippians 4:8).

Practically, many of us have a CD player in our cars and could choose to play uplifting music rather than some of the stuff we listen to.  It is so easy just to turn on the radio for background sound, but unless you are listening to one of the gospel stations, at best you are getting a mixture of worldly advice and then sometimes the stuff you listen to just contaminates your spiritual man with ungodly, sometimes even vile lyrics that can stay with you just like the uplifting music can. 

At this point of my journey, as I am trying to simplify my life in every area.  Keeping my focus on the Lord is so much easier when worship and praise is a part of my daily life.