Last week, as I was driving, a song popped up into my mind that was indeed a ‘blast from the past’. The song was “Lost Without You” from the classic album, Heaven, by BeBe and CeCe Winans. Like any other GenX-er, at the next stoplight, I checked iTunes in hopes that this favorite of mine was now available. Sure enough, the entire album was downloadable for $5.99 (hey, that was cheaper than what I paid for the cassette tape back in the day!) and it was soon plugged into the AUX. When that first track, which also happened to be the title track, began with its familiar intro, I was instantaneously transported to the backseat of my dad’s sports sedan, headed down our oft-traveled Interstate 35 toward Turner Falls Youth Camp.
I hadn’t listened to that recording project in several years (ever since my CD copy had quit working due to overuse), but as each song finished, I immediately heard the next song’s intro in my head. I found myself singing every vocal riff with BeBe and CeCe, remembered every single lyric, and enjoyed a replay of some incredible days when those, now classic, songs were the soundtrack of our lives.
Have you ever noticed that, while some of your favorite songs stay with you, songs that irritate you like crazy also get caught in your brain and you can’t hardly shake their annoying tunes throughout your day? The commercial’s over-the-top jingle is the one you can’t seem to forget? The science and power of music is immeasurable. The fact that God Himself designed music as part of the human expression is credited for its wide impact and deep reaching. What words alone could not accomplish, the combination of instruments, the human voice, and lyrics can have lasting results that heal, empower, encourage, inspire, and effect change.
A quick Google search will flood you with articles and research on the power of music. Studies have proven that music can be used to stimulate areas of the brain otherwise considered static. Melodies and lyrics have bridged generational gaps and given expression to many in pain. But what does music do to the spirit of man?
Music touches our emotions and spirit in a way like no other.
When we fully acknowledge that God is the ultimate composer, we can move forward to ask ourselves questions like “Why did God create music?” or “Why did God give man the ability or desire to make music?” Music touches our emotions and spirit in a way like no other. And when you read through the Psalms, you realize all the more just why that is: God designed music to stir the heart of man to bring Him glory.
Knowing that music can stir us so deeply, we must guard the gate to the recesses of our souls by monitoring what passes through. Why do we allow ourselves to be so frivolously entertained by that which can distract or disrupt the Spirit’s ability to reach us? Sure, there are genres of music that can be categorized as “neutral” or love songs that help us communicate love for our spouses or children. Even those should not be the staple of our musical diets.
But then there are other genres that ought to be on the “no” list. Lyrics that glorify sensuous desires, applaud behavior contrary to God’s Word, and exalt hatred and revenge should be done away with. Concerts that showcase behavior we would otherwise not qualify as righteous living and lift the stars on stage into gods should be out of question for the sold-out believer. Solomon warned us in Proverbs 4:23:
“Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”
If you want the issues of your life to be filled with peace and bring glory to God, you must fill your heart with good things–things that glorify your Father in heaven. When God is lifted up, He invades the atmosphere surrounding you. When you praise Him, the Lord can change the course of your steps in your favor. Satan himself was labeled as the “prince of the power of the air” in Ephesians 2! How are you filling “the air” about you?
Ultimately we must be people of praise, filling our hearts, minds, and mouths with the goodness of the Lord. So purpose to switch that radio station this week from that which tears you down to something that builds you up. Decide if the music of this world is worth the residual decay to your spirit. And like the apostle Paul encouraged the Philippian church, “if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things.” (Phil 4:8)
Loving my life’s soundtrack,