Bear, our 14-year-old chocolate Labrador Retriever, is a singer. Since puppyhood, he has been known to throw back his head and commence vocalizing, usually in response to a nearby siren. He begins softly, and gradually tunes until he matches the pitch of the noise. Full-throated singing. It is beautiful.
I know he is a dog, but he seems to take joy in getting the tone just right. It is an art. As he has aged, he sings less – probably because he doesn’t hear as well – but once in a while, he will still tune up and let it fly.
Out of 24 puppies that he sired, I know at least one was a singer, too. At around four weeks of age, she would fling her head back and begin her yodel. She didn’t need a siren; the song just burst forth.
Now, I listen to our nine-month-old grandson sing. He will lay his head on my shoulder when I am singing to him, and he will sing along – sometimes quietly, and sometimes in full voice. There is no tune to his song, but it is precious to my ears.
In church today, I thought about singing.
Surrounded by a cacophony of voices singing along with the praise team, I wondered what God hears. I wondered if He smiles at the music we sing out like I smile at our grandson’s song.
There was one person sitting a few rows back whose voice burst forth in every hymn. Manners would not allow me to turn and look, but I bet if I had, I would have seen his head thrown back as the notes rang forth. He was sharing his song with the God of the universe, and I believe it was precious to God’s ears. He inspired my heart to sing out more.
The first verse in Psalm 100 commands us to “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord”. Not just noise, but a joyful noise; not just to anyone, but to the Lord.
How do you make a joyful noise unto the Lord?
We know that joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit working in our lives (Galatians 5:22). As we yield to God and He works in us, joy is produced.
Have you ever shaken up a carbonated beverage and felt the pressure build inside? Sooner or later it is going to overflow. God’s joy is a little like that carbonation.
When we see God’s work in our lives and recognize His Lordship, sooner or later the joy is going to overflow. Just like the bottle of pop fizzes, that joy is going to come out in a song of praise to our King – a song that honors His blessing on our lives.
You may not consider yourself a singer, but I know that every child of God has a song. I know this because Psalm 40:3 says “And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.”
God has put a song in our mouths. This song may ring out in church, but it will surely shine out in the lives of His children – every day, no matter what circumstances bring.
Moses sang after he led the Israelites through the Red Sea.
The children of Israel sang throughout their wanderings and their triumphs.
David sang of his dependence on God.
Paul and Silas sang in the prison cell.
God gives His children a song.
If you are feeling the pressures of life building in your soul, let God’s praise out. Throw back your head, and let it fly. Let God’s joy ring out. Get in practice for the choir of Heaven.
God is listening, and He loves to hear His children sing.
Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.
Psalm 32:7 Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.
Psalm 118:14 The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.