God's favorite song

by SION ALFORD

I will make you my wife forever, showing you righteousness and justice, unfailing love and compassion. I will be faithful to you and make you mine, and you will finally know me as the Lord.

Hosea 2:19–20 (NLT)

Love Expressed

I normally don’t get nervous in front of large crowds. But this particular day I was incredibly nervous. I had to sing a song. And not just any song. A song I had written. A special song for a special person … my bride.

I can still see her walking down the aisle adorned in the most beautiful white wedding dress I’d ever seen. A warm wave of peace and joy hit me every few seconds until she stood beside me.

My bride, Shannon, didn’t know I’d written a song just for her, and I was going to sing it to her while gazing into her beautiful eyes. Just as the intro of the song finished and it was time for me to begin my awe-inspiring serenade, I became suddenly aware the microphone I was holding wouldn’t reach my mouth. Oh no, Shannon is standing on the microphone cord! I thought, realizing it was too late to make any adjustments. So I sang, hunched over and bent at the waist. The crowd gasped in wonder, thinking I was too broken and humble to look her in the eyes as I sang my heart out. When I finally reached the musical bridge, I was able to rise up and whisper, “Get off the mic cord,” to my tearyeyed bride. My untimely request must have startled her because she looked at me, bewildered and perplexed. I knew the song had probably rattled her, so I intensified my whisper and said again, “Get off the microphone cord! You’re standing on it!” While she continued giving me a look of innocence, I gave several yanks on the cord. That’s when I realized it. I had been standing on the cord all along! So much for my moving serenade! The whole place was laughing!

Throughout the Word of God, marriage is portrayed as an earthly representation of the spiritual marriage between us—the bride of Christ—and Jesus—the Bridegroom (Romans 7:4). Since I sang my love song to Shannon more than 20 years ago, we’ve learned a lot from our marriage that has helped us in our worship relationship with God. We’ve learned both a good, healthy marriage relationship and our worship relationship with the Lord must have three primary foundations: kinship, fellowship and intimacy.

At our marriage ceremony, Shannon and I signed a certificate to prove we were making a covenant with each other. Although a piece of paper with a bunch of words and our signatures on the bottom doesn’t define or guarantee a successful marriage relationship, it’s important because it reminds me of the covenant I’ve made with God and with Shannon to love and cherish her forever. The day we signed that covenant, our kinship was established and we started our marriage journey. The day I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I did the same with Him. In that moment, I died to a law that said I was condemned to die for my sins and was made alive through His sacrifice. Jesus died in my place, and His blood sealed the covenant between God and me. My worship journey—my relationship with Him—began that day, and my kinship was forever changed.

The second important foundation of worship is fellowship. Having received Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I’m able to enter into fellowship with God through the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 13:14). The Greek word for “fellowship” is koinonia, which means “participation, social interaction and partnership.” The Holy Spirit is a person, and we have the opportunity to interact with Him 24 hours a day, seven days a week through conversation and communication. We all know every healthy marriage has healthy communication, and the same applies to our worship relationship with God.

A genuine, healthy, consistent prayer life is the most important foundation of our worship relationship with God. The third foundation of a healthy worship relationship with God is intimacy. In this intimacy, God imparts His love, life and likeness to us. Many mistakenly think this secret place of worship and intimacy is the entirety of worship; however, it’s only one part of our worship relationship. If our whole worship relationship consists primarily of intimacy, we lose out on the true joys of having a fully functional relationship with our God. This is unhealthy and doesn’t last, because our worship is solely based on the amazing feelings we get when we’re in God’s tangible presence. Our times of intimacy must be balanced with continual fellowship in order for our worship to be healthy.

God isn’t looking for a girlfriend; He’s looking for a bride. He’s looking for someone willing to enter into covenant with Him, participate in continual fellowship with Him and share the intimacies of their heart with Him. These three foundations are essential for walking in a worship relationship with God. We must put them into practice, grow in them and, most of all, realize our relationship with God only begins at an altar. So get off the microphone cord and sing your life song to Him … it’s His favorite song.

Worship is first and foremost for His benefit, not ours, though it is marvelous to discover that in giving Him pleasure, we ourselves enter into what can become our richest and most wholesome experience in life.

GRAHAM KENDRICK

Prayer

Jesus, thank You for purchasing me with Your blood. Thank You for making it possible for me to have a personal, one-on-one relationship with God. Thank You for sending Your Holy Spirit to comfort, guide and reveal the heart of God to me. Please lead me into a deeper, healthier relationship with God. Inspire my fellowship and help me to learn the secrets of the secret place. In Your name I pray, Amen.

Activation

  • Remember the vows you made to the Lord when you first gave your heart to Him.
  • Take time and fellowship with the Lord throughout the day. Remember, good communication is a two-way street. Spend as much time listening as talking.
  • Be open to the intimacy of the Lord. Worship Him in private, and worship Him in the congregation. He loves to hear your heart!

For Further Study

  • Romans 7:1–13
  • John 14:16–17
  • Ephesians 5:25–27
  • Isaiah 62:4–5
Romans 7:1–13John 14:16–17Ephesians 5:25–27Isaiah 62:4–5
SION ALFORD
Hosea 2:19–20 (NLT)