Dear Fellow 1.5-ers,
Good music crawls into your soul, strikes the tuning fork of your heart, and resonates with your whole being. Good music just does that; it’s almost magical. You could name those singers or bands or songs that have somehow penetrated your marrow. It’s incredible what kind of power music possesses.
Recently, I purchased a new CD. That’s right…a CD. (I haven’t quite made the transition to downloading all of my music, and as a matter of fact, my truck still has a cassette player for added nostalgia.) I put that new CD into my truck’s stereo about nine months ago, and it’s still there now. This particular artist is a country singer – the old school kind – and his music reminds me of my small town roots, and it especially reminds me of my dad. So, I listen to this CD a lot. Too much, probably. And last week, I noticed I knew the lyrics to every song – all ten of them. I didn’t set out to learn all those songs; it just happened. The songs had been absorbed by my brain, but I didn’t just sing them with my mouth. My whole being sang them as if I had written and lived them myself. My soul belted out the lyrics as if I were on stage giving myself to an audience of adoring fans.
Good music just does that to people. Without violating us, it just kind of takes over.
Unfortunately, this same principle is true with most things we hear over and over. Repetition creeps into our heart, our mind, and our soul. It sets up camp there. It grows there. It produces fruit there. And whether the repetitive intruder is true or not, if we hear it enough, we believe it – not just in the brain but in the soul too.
There’s a scene in John Bunyan’s Pilgrim Progress where the main character, Christian, is making his way through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and “one of the wicked ones got behind him, and stept up softly to him; and whisperingly suggested many grievous blasphemies to him –which he verily thought had proceeded from his own mind.” Bunyan goes on to write that Christian could have avoided this madness, but “he had not the discretion…to stop his ears.”
We’re like Christian. We can’t stop our ears and not just the ears on the sides of our head. Most unfortunate is the fact that we can’t stop the ears of our soul. And so, we listen. We listen to the voices. We listen to the lies. We listen to the threats. All of these seem to come from within rather than without. In our darkest moments, our own self-talk creeps up behind us and whispers many grievous untruths. Joined by the demons of hell and the antichrists (1 John 2:18), our inner voice sings to us a song of doubt and doom. It sings to us of our past failures, and it belts out the chorus of our future uncertainties. And we listen. We don’t stop our ears. And before you know it, the song has penetrated our being as effective songs will do. And we sell out to it and sing it with moxie! And we keep singing the song until we actually believe it.
The devil and his demons, as well as our own flesh, are crafty song writers. They make music aimed at the heart and soul. They’ve had years of practice in honing their skills, and they are, therefore, masters of their art. They repeatedly sing of our sins. Their melodies remind us of the version of ourselves that we hate – the failures, the mistakes, the should-of’s, and the could-of’s. And we listen. We learn the song, and without premeditation, we begin to sing every word of their destructive tune. And once we’ve learned it and sung it enough, it’s almost impossible to unlearn the words and undo the damage.
Jesus died to rewrite our song. Through Christ, the old song is gone, and the new song has come. God made Him who never knew the old song, to be the old song for us, so that in Him we might be a new song for God.
Jesus Christ breaks the rhythm and the rhyme of the old song. Sure the devil and his demons still sing it to us. Sure our inner self, our flesh, hums along with Satan. But they sing songs of by-gone eras. Those songs aren’t ours anymore. Those songs no longer resonate because we are no longer the same people.
Our problem is that we don’t stop our ears. We listen to the lies over and over until we actually begin to shape our lives to fit the song of condemnation.
What we must fight to do is to take every thought, every song, captive and tune it to the song of Jesus (2 Cor. 10:5). Paul reminds us that we should “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God” (2 Cor. 10:5). We need take the lying song album and smash it on the floor, because the truth is Jesus did just that on the cross. He took our sins and smashed their influence in our lives, so we would only have to sing His song – a song of joy and peace.
So, when the deadly trio of Satan, self, and world begins to sing, turn a deaf ear to them, and begin to hum the truthful tune that you are forgiven and loved and treasured by the Creator of the universe. Over and over again, open the word of God and memorize it as the foundation to your song. And, for the sake of your soul, sing it over and over until its song, Jesus’ song, remakes you and reminds you of your loving Father.
And after that happens, sing with everything you got because you got it all.