“Singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts.” (Ephesians 5:19NLT).
Grace and peace be unto you.
Are the words of your songs in agreement with scripture? Are you more concerned with the rhythm and popularity of your songs than their truth? Scripture says, “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). God loves when the words of our songs align with scripture, tell of his goodness and greatness, and praise him. For example, the song of Moses and Miriam, recorded in Exodus 15:1-18.
There are many “Christian” songs widely accepted by several denominations that do not glorify God. These songs evoke pleasant feelings and emotional highs. Consequently, we sing them, while deceiving ourselves that we are worshipping God and he is pleased. For example, “Goodness of God by Bethel Music.”
The first line reads, “I love you Lord.” Is this statement true? Do you love the Lord? The Bible says, “If you love me, keep my commands.” (John 14:15). Are you keeping his commandments? Perhaps the correct wording should be “Lord, help me to love you.”
The last three lines in the first verse state, “From the moment that I wake up, Until I lay my head Oh, I will sing of the goodness of God.” This is a promise to sing of God’s goodness every second of the day (24/7). Can you keep this promise? God expects you to honor your promises (Psalm 76:11).
The last two lines in the chorus, “With every breath that I am able, Oh, I will sing of the goodness of God,” are in contradiction to the lines previously mentioned. In the first verse, a promise is being made to sing of God’s goodness 24/7, no matter what happens, while in the chorus the promise is conditional. It is dependent on one’s ability, “With every breath that I am able.” The contradiction indicates that we are not singing the truth to God. Perhaps it is best to choose one of them and modify it to align with scripture.
Another Example: Friend of God by Israel Houghton
Similar to “Goodness of God,” this is a song that sounds very good. Nonetheless, there are two lines that are concerning, “I am a friend of God, he calls me friend.” Are you a friend of God? Has he called you friend? What are the criteria to be called God’s friend? If we do not meet the criteria for being God’s friend, and sing to him that we are, then, we would be lying. Not to mention boldly asserting that God has called us his friend. No doubt God would be displeased.
Abraham was called God’s friend at least three times in scripture (2 Chronicles 20:7; Isaiah 41:8; James 2:23). Why was he called God’s friend? According to James 2:23, “And the scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness, and he was called God’s friend.” Abraham showed his faith when he obeyed God and was prepared to offer up his only son, Isaac as a sacrifice. He was called God’s friend because he trusted him wholeheartedly.
Likewise, we are God’s friend when we trust him completely. This trust is evident in our obedience to his commands, “You are my friends if you do what I command” (John 15:14). Therefore, the next time you are encouraged to sing this song, ask yourself the question, “Am I obeying God’s commands?” God is not glorified when we sing lies to him.
We are emotional as well as spiritual beings. If we are not alert, we will sing songs that appeal to our emotions but are not theologically sound. These songs do not glorify God. Scripture reminds us that the Holy Spirit lead us into all truth (John 16:13). Hence, before we sing songs to the Lord, let us ask the Holy Spirit to guide us.
Heavenly Father, thank you for insight into what pleases you. Help us to study your word, spend time in prayer, and compare the lyrics of songs against scripture.