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Music is an integral part of our humanity. It's not just something we create; it was designed for us. The sound of birds calling, the wind in the trees and our daily conversations echo melodies. We learn and develop through rhythms and sounds, and it affects our moods even when we don't realize it. There is plenty of proof that the power of music is a psychological phenomenon - but is that all it is?
The Bible doesn't give us definitive rules on how to engage with music, but it does make it clear that music matters. One of the best places to see this is in the book of Psalms. In fact, Psalms is often referred to as a "songbook." If you explore, you will find a psalm for every season of the soul. And there are also many other songs in the Bible! (At least 185 total.) There is even a brief mention of Jesus singing.
Psalm 150 is an excellent example of the overlap between music and praise:
"Praise the Lord.
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with timbrel and dancing,
praise him with the strings and pipe,
praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord."
In Ephesians, Paul instructs believers to honor God and says, "Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
So, we can understand that music is not only a spiritual gift but a standard part of God's plan for how we worship Him. It is a language in which our Creator communicates with our souls. We shouldn't treat music as an idol or as a replacement for God's Word, but we should see it as a valuable part of ministry.
"We use music to praise and glorify God, and we can use it to memorize Scriptures and ideas that point us to Jesus. We can leave church with a melody stuck in our heads, and even if we can't remember the three points of the sermon, we will remember the words to a worship song. It fills our minds with truth. Focusing on Jesus renews our minds and keeps our eyes on things above. Music can help us remember the love of God through difficult times, and it can help us focus on our purpose here on earth."
- Emeri McGuire, Worship Pastor at Sun Valley Community Church
One of my favorite things about music is how it can move us in all kinds of situations. Music encourages us, helps us mourn, inspires creativity, and heals us. It lifts us up when we gather with others, it comforts our spirits when we feel alone, and it can welcome new people to consider God's presence. Music isn't always like magic, but when we don't have the words to say how we feel, music speaks to let us know that God hears.
When has music spoken in your life? How is it a part of how you love God and love people?
"Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." - Romans 12:2
Here are a few ideas to intentionally connect with God through music, no matter how much musical experience you've had:
Praise God on the goWrite your own psalmClose your eyes and listen to musicInvite someone to worship
Written Content Coordinator at Sun Valley Community Church. An avid writer since the age of 5, who loves to explore new ideas and places. Inspired by Jesus, books, and travel.