Thursday, September 29, 2011

A New Song

One of the things I have been doing for awhile now is reading a Psalm everyday. Just one. Some are short, some long, but I read one a day. It's a great way to start praying scripture and I love coming across the ones that have been made into music that I hear on the radio. That's what the Psalms are, songs. They are also the stories of our lives.

Psalm 40 will forever be my favorite! It is probably the one that got me started on Psalm's in the first place. I was going through a dark time in my life about 10 years ago and someone read it to me and I could not believe that God could be speaking to me in such plain words!

I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the desolate 
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.

I love it!! The coolest part is that every time I read it, something different is going on in my life that causes me to go "Yeah God!!!" What this says to me today is, sing a new song! Even if the words are from a long time ago, everyday, every time I read them, it's new song time! That's what makes the Bible a living breathing book! It changes with me, I change because of it!

When I wait, God shows up. He picks me up and dusts me off and put my feet where He wants them. He say's "sing this..." be a witness. It blows my mind that He does this.
I've got some folks reading Psalms daily and being open to what grabs their attention. Then to sit with it to see what God might be saying to them. He never says the same thing to anybody, it's always new and different. I think it's what we should be doing when we read the Psalms in church too...really listen to what's being said, to us, just as if it were coming from God today. So many times we run right over them and don't spend time with them, or we don't even read them. 

Dr Fred says this about the Psalms and music. I believe it needs repeating!

The task of the church musician is an artistic endeavor, but it is more. It is the act of praying and inviting prayer - an invitation to an encounter with God.

As such, the task of a church musician is evangelical, catechetical, and spiritual. Performance is not enough. Singing a new song should alert us to the presence of God. If we are blind to its invitation, we need to hear its purposes declared. If we are ignorant of its logic, we need to be taught. And none of that can be done by a musician who is not alert to the movement of God in his or her own life.

Have you ever been in a service where the Holy Spirit was running the show? Where people were laid out on their faces and the music just kept on, in fact it got deeper as the spirit got deeper? Where it wasn't about the performance, it was about creating an environment where people were free to pray in anyway they wanted, for as long as they wanted. This happens a lot at IHOP (International House Of Prayer) in Kansas City and it's awesome. But God can do it in our churches today if we have the right people doing the "Musician" job. To have a musician invite you into prayer into an encounter with God is truly to sing a new song!  

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