God's sharp sword stabbed me deeply recently as I was on a scriptural hunt in the Ephesian letter. I was searching for a verse totally unrelated to the one that sliced its way into me. It was another of those verses I feel sorry for (like John 3:17 and 1 John 1:10—look 'em up). This was Ephesians 5:19: "speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord."
Everybody knows 5:18, where we are told "be filled with the Spirit." But have you ever noticed that verse 18 ends with a comma, not a full stop? The next verse describes the very first result of being under the Spirit's control: WE SING!
Now let's go further. Ephesians 5 never once refers to a church building. I mention that because we Christians have so centralized our singing that we seldom engage in it once we walk away from a service. Stop and think. Did you sing on the way home last Sunday night? How about Monday, when you drove to work...or around the supper table...or Tuesday as you dressed for the day? Chances are, you didn't even sing before or after you had your time with the Lord any day of the week. Why?
The Spirit-filled saint is a song-filled saint! Animals can't sing. Neither can pews or pulpits or Bibles or buildings—only you. And your melody is broadcasted right into heaven, where God's antenna is always receptive...where the soothing strains of your song are always appreciated.
Let me offer five suggestions:
• Whenever and whatever you sing, concentrate on the words
• Make a definite effort to add one or two songs to your day
• Sing often with a friend or members of your family. It helps break down all sorts of invisible barriers
• Put on some beautiful music around the house. And don't forget to sing along and add your own harmony and "special" effects
• Never mind how beautiful or pitiful you may sound. You are not auditioning for the choir; you're making melody with your heart. SING OUT!
If you listen closely when you're through, you may hear the hosts of heaven shouting for joy. Then again, it might be your neighbour...screaming for relief.
Sing loud enough to drown out those defeating thoughts that clamour for attention.
Excerpted from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll, Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.