I have told before of how I enjoy many kinds of music styles. When my wife and I started dating I was in a rock band and she was into Christian folk, which made for an interesting combination! As our relationship grew, so did our appreciation of what we considered good music. For a while we had a couple of gospel quartets that we enjoyed. Then in the mid-seventies came Christian bands like the Second Chapter of Acts and we took an easy sway toward Christian contemporary music.
But as the years have passed, I still enjoy a good hymn with a church organ accompaniment, rockin’ Gospel choirs, quartets, Christian rock with some loud and intricate electric guitar riffs, and of course some beautiful classical music, like what we play throughout the house in the late afternoon hours of each day!
Since we have been out here in the southeast, I’ve also takin’ a likin’ to Southern Gospel tunes. There seems to be a simplicity to the music and the stories and testimonies they tell of that captures one’s attention and heart. I’ve even been tuning into Sirius radio channel 65 in the car, which is the Southern Gospel channel ‘enLighten.” So, it seems that I can feel at home in almost any musical situation and find things in common with those with whom I am fellowshipping with. Well… almost anybody!
When Piper and I returned home from our three year stay in Oklahoma to face what was going on with her health, I was surprised… no, a more accurate way to put it would be ‘shocked’ when I discovered that there were some in our family and social network that we had developed over the previous 50 plus years in our home town, that were not singing the same song as we were.
After a few years of confusion, physical and mental torment, mixed with frustration, anger, disappointment and hurt, I felt the voice of the Lord clearly telling me that we needed to go with those who were flowing with us in a consonance of music and distance ourselves from those with a dissonance of chords.
After a while it became increasingly easy to discover those with a similar harmony and rhythm that we could keep our tempo of faith attuned to. Psalms 40:1-3 could be considered to be a good ‘cheat sheet’ when trying to ascertain musical simpatico or discord among individuals. Verses one and two tell of our cry to the Lord for assistance in times of need and then goes on to describe some of the positive actions that He will take in response to our heartfelt supplications unto Him. In other Words, these verses talk about God’s part in the two-way operation of prayer.
Then we move into our part as Psalm 40:3 declares our emphatic response with our shout of praise: “He placed a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see this and worship. They will trust the Lord.” (God’s Word ©)
So you see, it is actually quite a simple task to discern those in tune with your melody of life and those who are not… just listen to the song that is playing in your heart and the lyrics that are coming out of your mouth! If you’re not singing a new song of praise around some individuals but are with others… then stick with those who help you to perform the new song of praise to God, and distance yourself from those who can’t seem to keep a beat when there are around you!
It reminds me of the early days of Piper and I leading music in a couple of churches we served at. Many times it was just the two of us playing our instruments while leading the praise and worship. And everything would go fine until a member of the congregation brought along their tambourine and decided to accompany us from their seat… Well… instead of adding to the flow of the service it would hinder our ability to stay in tempo and bring the congregation into the presence of the Lord! The moment they joined in, you could sense the discord in the room. It finally got to the point that I had to ask the ushers to please ask those with tambourines to not play them during the music time of the service!
Piper and I had to laugh a few years later when we attended a 2nd Chapter of Acts concert when the band’s producer went up to the microphone in between sets and asked those in the audience with tambourines to please put them away as they “were not attending a hootenanny!”
So once again we can look and listen to the Word of God to discern harmony or discord with those we spend time with. I have learned that when one is standing in faith, that it is VERY IMPORTANT to surround yourself with those playing the same melody of faith that you are singing! It is a lot easier to stand and sing with a beautiful choir than it is to sing alone! Who knows… it just might be the start of a new Gospel Choir that I might hear on my car radio some day!
Have a SUPER weekend, stay in tune to God’s Word and keep asking yourself… “What melodies am I expecting… and needing those around me to sing with me today?”