Friday, July 1, 2011

Gaining the Horizon (pt 2): Identity Songs

Bringing stability to our souls by gazing upon the unchanging horizon of God’s truth may sound like it would be beneficial, but without tangible practices, this remains a nice theory instead of a soul anchoring reality.  I have found that the practice of listening to/singing good music has helped me to gain the horizon of God’s truth in a powerful, stabilizing way. 

I used to think that music was a fluffy, luxury item in life.  I don’t think that anymore.  In Colossians 3:1-17, Paul instructs us on our new reality “in Christ”.   Through faith, our life is hid with Christ.  We are raised with Him, sharing in his glory, destiny, and character.  I constantly struggle to believe the amazing truth that my identity is wonderfully intertwined with Christ.  My default position is to believe that my identity and significance comes from what I do versus who Christ says I AM. 

Paul was human like me and knew the struggle to believe and live out of this new identity, which is why he concludes this passage by writing, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”  We aren’t told just to hear God’s word (the Gospel message of our union with Christ) and then try hard to live according to it.  We are told to “let it dwell richly within us.”   This new reality of our identity in Christ has to take up residence deep within us so that it becomes the source of our life. 

One of the ways this “word” comes to dwell richly within us is by singing “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.”  Notice, Paul doesn’t say music is a nice way we are encouraged.  It is more important than that, which is why he commands us to sing so that God’s word will dwell richly within us.  It is one thing to hear truth with our intellect.  It is another thing altogether for truth to descend to our hearts.  If God’s truth does not descend beautifully to our hearts, it will not dwell richly within us.   

So, I have ramped up my practice of looking for good music that is filled with truth.  (I’ve begun to wonder if the Holy Spirit just may be speaking to me through itunes recommendations).  Here are few songs that God has used over the past year to help me gain the horizon of my identity in Christ:

I Am New  Jason Gray
Someone to You (Andy Gullahorn)
Fool With a Fancy Guitar (Andrew Peterson)
The Father’s Love  Sovereign Grace Music (The whole album, Sons and Daughters is great).
Remind Me Who I Am (Jason Gray)

In the next couple posts I’ll share songs that have helped me gain the God’s horizon during suffering and uncertainty about the future.

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