“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony…” Revelation 12:11a
“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:19, 20
I was a teenager in high school when I started listening to movie soundtracks. There was something about the instrumental music that was both relaxing and stimulating. The music evoked the same emotions, the same drama as the film itself. Then again, there were the well-known lyrical tunes, sure to lift the mood: “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down– the medicine go dooo—wwwnnn…” (You started singing along too, didn’t you? See, it worked!)
One day at work recently, I recognized a song playing on the Christian radio station, some peppy thing about overcoming. However, I was feeling overwhelmed and discouraged that day– a failure. Remember Sadness from Inside Out, laying on the floor with her one hand out, moaning? That’s a pretty good picture of the trail of thought I started down: “I wish I could sing that song with conviction… I wish I was overcoming and cheerful… I wish I could praise God with a happy heart…”
Suddenly, Holy Spirit interrupted my pity party with one piercing thought: “This song has nothing to do with your circumstances. You need to praise now because it’s true, and you need to sing to remind yourself of the truth.”
That got me up off the floor! I was annoyed with a song that didn’t match the defeated mental script I had been rehearsing at the time. But I needed to turn on the right soundtrack– and sing along!– to remind myself of the truth, and to get back into the right Story– the one that tells me I can overcome negative thoughts and emotions right now, by using the words and songs from my mouth to declare God’s truth.
Will you sing along with me?