Ever heard a song and it instantly turned your blue day into sunny? Ever heard a melody and it made you remember something that you didn’t want to remember from the past?! Ever heard a lyric and been so inspired that you instantly made a bold decision about your life? The answer for me is yes, yes, and yes! Music has so much power to transform us.
How does music transform us? First of all, it can transform the way we look at ourselves and our own lives. Music is one of the most powerful forces on earth because it can move the soul. Music can define, inspire, comfort, energize, and bring joy or sadness. It can cause us to reflect on life and process what is going on in our heads and hearts. It can get into our head and change our mood. In fact, catchy tunes can get in our head and not get out for days!
I sometimes crave the emotional high that certain songs bring me. I can play the same song for weeks every time I need to be energized. I have a playlist of exercise music that, I promise you, makes me have the best workout every time! It’s almost like an addiction. It is a “substance” that provides a high, but without the negative side effects. Seriously, for a musical person like myself, it is a necessity, not just a commodity for my own emotional well-being. I am a much happier person when I am listening to music or singing. Music even provides an escape from the awful realities of life. It gives me the opportunity to open up my soul in a very profound way. When given over to moments of sadness or heaviness, nothing else can do quite what a song can do for me. However, is it the music itself, or is it the words in the music that has the power? It’s really both.
I listen to plenty of songs that are just fun or romantic, being the musical theatre lover that I am, but a lot of the songs that I play or sing have words that serve the purpose of extolling and exalting God. I sing songs that take my mind off of the circumstances of my life and take me up to a higher place above it all. I feel transported into a new dimension, one in which I feel the heartbeat of God and His unconditional love towards me. Singing to Him and about Him brings encouragement to my heart. I begin to let go of all fear and trust Him that He is working all things together for my good. No matter how ugly the circumstances, my faith rises, and I believe that God’s glorious power is working in my life to sustain me and change things for the better. The dark cloud lifts. The happy chemicals in my brain are released, and peace is mine. Awhhh.
This kind of experience with music is worship. In the Greek language “worship” or “proskuneo” means to “kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand.” * So, I am essentially lavishing love on my Master, only to receive an outpouring of love right back. It’s a win-win situation. To be consoled, counseled, and loved by The One who formed me in my mother’s womb is so amazing. It is like no other experience on earth. Truly.
Though this is an amazing experience, it is not always easy to make myself choose to worship God. Life can hard sometimes. People can, too. On the very day that I am so tired and so emotionally exhausted that I just want to go to bed or watch TV, I often decide to push past my feelings and worship God. Every time I make myself worship the Lord thru singing, I enter a domain that I don’t want to leave for awhile. A few minutes can easily become a few hours. These worship experiences in recent years have become the absolute deepest times of intimacy with my God. Just when I leave an experience in God’s presence and think “how could it get any better than that?”…it does. The next time it is better. Deeper. God comes in time and time again and engulfs my heart with His magnificent love in way that words can’t describe. He speaks to the very parts of my heart that need healing. I am transformed into a different person. I can walk in great peace and joy even in the middle of the most challenging situations in life. This is my secret place and it is just where everything makes sense.
If you have not experienced an outpouring of God’s love, I encourage you to pursue Him and watch Him in turn pursue You. He is chasing His beloved for intimacy and pleasure. As His creation you are His beloved. Turn your affection towards Him, and He will lavish unconditional love on you and you will never be the same again.
I would like to share some powerful songs that are my favorites. You can be transformed, too.