the song in your heart
by CHERI COCHRAN
Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.Ephesians 5:19–20 (NIV)
Never lose the song in your heart,” my Bible college professor cautioned as she prayed and prophesied over me the day of my graduation. I knew her word of counsel was from the Lord, but I didn’t really understand it. The song in my heart? What? Although I was involved in music ministry, I wasn’t a songwriter. So how could I lose the song in my heart? I left Bible college, taking the word seriously but not truly understanding it.
Over the next several years, life had its highs and lows, but it was good overall. However, little by little, I was changing. One day, I realized something was different inside of me. Something just didn’t feel right. Where was my joy and peace? Where was my faith and gratitude? What had happened? In a time of prayer, the Holy Spirit spoke and His truth hit me hard: I had lost the song in my heart.
For years, I’d sung and praised and clapped and danced and bowed and prayed and worshipped the Lord, and I really meant it. But I didn’t know my heart could sing to the Lord until it didn’t. I didn’t know my heart made music to the Lord until it was silent. What had happened?
Although I still worshipped, I had stopped being a worshipper in my heart. I still loved and served Jesus, but the day-to-day thoughts, attitudes and meditations of my heart were no longer focused on or grateful for who He is. I’d changed my tune.
Ephesians 5:19–20 tells us to “sing and make music in your heart to the Lord.” Your heart can make music! What’s more, the song of your heart can actually be beautiful to the Lord! Your heart song is influenced by what you choose to meditate on—the focus of your heart. When your attention is consumed by your circumstances, worldly pursuits or yourself, your heart song gets out of tune, out of sync or silenced altogether. But you can change its tune by shifting the focus of your spiritual eyes back to the goodness and greatness of God. Because when you see Him for who He is, you’re changed from the inside out.
A true worshipper is humble and seeks to honor and express love and thanks to God through their thoughts, attitudes and actions. A true worshipper’s expressions of worship are simply an overflow of the internal position of their heart before God. When you focus your affection and attention on the Lord and the greatness of His character, your heart responds with a song of praise: “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord, my God, I will give you thanks forever” (Psalm 30:11–12).
Maybe your heart is silent—maybe there’s no song emanating from deep within. When you listen to your heart, maybe you only hear the clang of complaints and frustration or the dirge of hopelessness and despair. If that’s the case, take a page from the life of David—a true worshipper. Whenever David recognized a state of internal discord within himself, he would instruct—give orders to—his own heart. In Psalm 42:11, he wrote: “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”
David shows us the way. When you realize you’re not being a worshipper at the core of who you are, you must instruct yourself to focus on the core of who God is. He is your hope, your Father, Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer, Provider and the Most High God. He is always loving, faithful, kind, patient, powerful, good, just, righteous, merciful and compassionate. He never changes. He is, and will always be, worthy of worship.
When we deliberately focus on who God is, honor, thanks and love bubble up from deep within us, and we are humbled. We just can’t help it! The song in our hearts is restored.
Is it a literal song with melody? Maybe, maybe not. But a humble heart that gratefully honors and loves God makes beautiful music in His ears, because it’s the song of a true worshipper. Never lose the song in your heart.
Worship is the spontaneous, irrepressible cry of the heart when the glory of the Creator breaks in upon it.RICHARD EXLEY
Lord, You are so good and so great. There is no one like You. Please forgive me for focusing the affection and attention of my heart on the pursuits of this world and my circumstances instead of You. I’m refocusing today; help me see You for who You are. Clothe me with joy and let my heart always sing to You. May the song of my heart be beautiful to Your ears, Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
- In a quiet place, listen for the song in your heart. If it’s absent or not what you hope it to be, ask the Lord to birth or restore it over the next few weeks.
- Each day, write in a journal or speak aloud five things you are thankful for about who God is.
For Further Study
- Psalm 28:7; Psalm 57:7; Psalm 77:6; Psalm 40:1–3; Psalm 30:11–12; Ephesians 5:19–20; Psalm 19:14