Summary: What does it mean to have a life that ’sings’ for God? How does one sing for God through the song of Tradition?
LIVES THAT SING; THE SONG OF TRADITION
Part 3 in series, “LifeSongs*: Lives of Worship”
Rev. Todd G. Leupold Perth Bible Church Sunday January 27, 2008 AM
* Title inspired by the name of the song and album by “Casting Crowns.” Overall series inspired and, to some degree adapted, from the writings of Gary Thomas and Myra Perrine.
Illustration: An international opera company was touring Mexico when it was set upon by bandits and brought before the notorious Pancho Villa. The soprano demanded that she be released as a world treasure. “I am a prima donna,” she sniffed.
“Prima donna?” the infamous bandit sneered. “Prove it! Sing for me!”
“Sing? Now?” she said, looking at him with disdain. “Without accompaniment or payment? In this filthy camp? To a vulgar man like you? I’d rather die!”
“Release her!” Villa told his men. “She is a prima donna.” (A Treasury of Humor, pg. 280)
When others look at our lives compared to what we profess as Christians, might they see any of us as “spiritual prima donna”s? How willing are we to let every aspect and every moment of our lives bring glory to God Almighty? To what extent? In what circumstances? Do we make exceptions for ourselves?
I. LIVES THAT SING
Our lives are to be songs of praise to the Lord. But, what does that really mean? How do we develop such a life? What is it to ’sound’ like? How do we know our song will be pleasing to the Lord and others? The wonderful news is that any and all of us, through faith in Jesus, can produce virtuoso LifeSongs! However, like any song truly worth experiencing, there are a number of elements that must be brought together with a singular purpose and melody.
A.) Nurture Present Intimacy
Ever notice that all of the best, most memorable and impactful songs are those that are driven by passion? Passion, in turn, is an outgrowth of intimacy.
Therefore, the foundation to composing a life that sings a great song for the Lord is our intimacy with Him!
And, as is true of our human relationships, intimacy with Jesus is not something that happens or grows by itself. Nor is it something that is acquired in a moment and then remains unchanged. Rather, it is a constant, active relationship.
Christian professor and writer, Dr. Myra Perrine, explains:
“The requirement for developing intimacy with God is . . .: being honest, vulnerable, and
saying the hard thing to Jesus – exposing my true self to the One whose character and
goodness I’m coming to know and trust more fully day by day – as He also speaks the
truth to me, making Himself vulnerable, saying the hard thing to me. . . Every decision,
situation, or hardship becomes an opportunity to grow in knowing and trusting the Lord,
because the Almighty God Himself offers intimacy – sanctuary – in His love, as we
in-to-Him-see. . . Intimacy can only be experienced in the present moment . . The infinite
life is, therefore, one of ongoing response to God’s heart of passion for us – a response
to His invitation to commune and partner with Him . . . now (What’s Your God Language?, pp. xviii.-xix)
B.) Express Range
I’m certainly not an expert in music, but even I can recognize that there is nothing attractive about a ’one-note’ tune. The ones that are lasting, that become classics and touch our souls no matter how many times we hear them, are the compositions that express a great and varied range.
In the same way, our LifeSongs for Jesus need to resonate with much more than just one note and to shift and transcend through different levels.
As God’s love for us is not limited by height, breadth or depth, so the resonance of our lives for Jesus should be one that reaches out on multiple dimensions.
Like any instrument, regular use, irregular use, neglect, shifting environmental conditions, abuse and fatigue can warp and distort a life that was in tune with Jesus to one that no longer is to one degree or another.
All of us, if our lives are to sing for the Lord, need to take ALL necessary steps to regularly check, measure and re-calibrate our lives to be sure they continue to resonate in tune with God’s glory!
Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may know what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.”
2 Peter 3:18 “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.”