Be Careful of the Word You Sing
The song said, “We lift up our hands.” Except for my wife, no one else in the church service moved, not even me. It seemed disingenuous to only raise my hands when the song told me to. Shouldn’t I have already been doing that?
We all sang the words, but we failed to do what our words declared. I wondered what God thought about our supposed worship. We said one thing but did another. We sang a lie to God.
I was still agitated by our disconnected praise to God when another song declared “down on my knees.” No one knelt. Why did we profess we were doing something we refused to do?
Raising our hands to God is a sign of adoration, while kneeling before him depicts reverence. Our worship of the Almighty was half-hearted, claiming one thing with our words but then denying them through inaction. We were lying to God.
Our third strike came at the end of the service when we sang, “I surrender all.” I thought I meant it but wondered if I really did. After all, I didn’t actually lift up my hands when I said I was or literally kneel when I claimed that in song, so was my surrender in words only?
Was I really surrendering all to God or was I holding back, only surrendering in part? Did I again lie to my Father in heaven?
May I be like David, who says he will “live what I sing every day.”
What about the other 200 people present? They lied to God about raising their hands and about genuflecting. Was there any reason to suspect their claim of surrender was genuine?
Even more convicting, did they bother to consider the words they sang? That might be a worse affront to God, to mouth the words with unthinking routine, to simulate worship when their mind was elsewhere.
That might be an even bigger lie and a rut I fall into too often.
God, forgive us for lying to you in song. Grant us focus when we sing.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.