What’s the difference between nerve-wracking cacophony and soul-soothing music?
Sunday night our congregation hosted an area-wide devotional for teens. Four hundred and fifty people of all ages (a large number of them teens) assembled in our church building for our regular Sunday evening worship before the devo. To put it mildly, the pre-worship noise level was painful to my whole body. Even though it was all friendly, happy noise, it was noise. And it hurt.
Then our song director announced the first song. The roar stopped. Suddenly all that noise became united, beautiful, thrilling praise to our God.
What was the difference? The same throats produced both sounds. The decibel levels were probably about the same. It was still friendly and happy. But it was so different. Why?
Could it be because we all accepted the authority of one leader? Instead of everybody carrying on individual conversations, we all united to follow one leader.
Could it be because we were all on the same page? We didn’t have one little group singing one song and other groups singing something else. We followed the written notes and words of the one announced song.
Could it be because all our energy was channeled into one direction, united in one cause?
I sometimes wonder if God looks down on the people who claim to be following Him, and hears mostly painful, ear-jarring noise.
How can God hear harmony if we refuse to accept the sole and final authority of our Maker and Redeemer? Matthew 28:18 “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth had been given to me.” How can He hear harmony if we go running off in all directions following this, that or another human leader’s doctrine or tradition–or if we’re making up our own “religion” as we go along? 2 John 9 “Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.”
How can God hear harmony if we don’t stay on the same page? Ephesians 4:4-6 “There is one body and one Spirit–just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call–one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Why would God have given us His written Word, the Bible, if He didn’t care what we did in the name of religion? John 8:31b-32 Jesus said, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
How can God hear harmony if we don’t stay focused on Him and doing things His way? John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John 15:20c Jesus said to the apostles: “If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.” People talk and talk about unity in Christianity, but the only way to unity is to go back to God’s way as He’s revealed it in Scripture.
Let’s give up our man-made doctrines and traditions and unite on the firm and unchanging written word of God. I want my life and worship to be in sweet harmony with God’s will, not a jarring noise in His ears. How about you?