Make a Joyful Noise (June 3, 2009)

There is an endless song

Echoes in my soul

I hear this music ring

And though the storms may come

I am holding on

To the rock I cling

How can I keep from singing Your praise?

How can I ever say enough?

How amazing is Your love?

How can I keep from shouting Your name?

I know I am loved by the King

And it makes my heart want to sing!

(Chris Tomlin)

Music ministers to my soul; it speaks to every fiber of my inner being.  I can completely find myself in certain songs, where the lyrics seem to illuminate all of the vulnerabilities I possess.  I’ve always had a strong connection with music, although I’ve spent the majority of my life with a terrible fear of singing or playing the piano in the presence of other people.  God has made amazing progress in this weakness of mine, and I am so grateful for the confidence I now have to ‘make a joyful noise’ when worshipping Him!  It doesn’t matter if your pitch is not perfect (like mine), singing songs of praise and worship can be an amazing way to communicate with the Lord.

Natalie Grant is one of my favorite artists, and I love all of the songs on her Relentless CD.  The bonus track on the CD is a cover of “In Christ Alone” by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty.  I fell in love with her version of the song the first time I heard it.  My favorite verse is:

No guilt in life, no fear in death;

This is the power of Christ in me.

From life’s first cry to final breath,

Jesus commands my destiny.

No power of hell, no scheme of man

Could ever pluck me from his hand.

Till he returns or calls me home,

Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.

These lyrics serve as my comfort in times of struggle, and strength in times of weakness.  They help remind me that God is in control of everything and that no matter what happens on earth, I will spend eternity in His presence!  Several months ago, this song was our anthem for choir and I was thrilled to sing these words with all of my heart behind them.

A couple of days after our pastor talked about not becoming complacent at a church business meeting, Matthew West was a guest on KLOVE radio.  His testimony about having vocal chord surgery before releasing the album Something to Say is powerful.  However, it was a story that he told about a young fan’s commitment to his song “The Motions” that brought tears to my eyes.  Ryan McAfee was an 18-year old fan of the song, and posted the lyrics to “The Motions” on his Facebook page as a plea for accountability from his friends.  If you’re not familiar with the song, let me share the chorus with you:

I don’t wanna go through the motions

I don’t wanna go one more day

Without Your all consuming passion inside of me

I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking

What if I had given everything?

Instead of going through the motions.

The day after Ryan asked to be held accountable to these lyrics, he was killed in an automobile accident.  There were several thousand people at Ryan’s funeral, and “The Motions” was played.  At the funeral, 15-20 people came to Christ as a result of Ryan’s love for Jesus.  What an incredible testimony of a young man who God continues to use to bring people to Him even after his untimely departure from this world.  This song has become one of my favorites, since it rings so true in my ears.  I want my time on earth to have an impact on others, just like Ryan.  I don’t want to spend my whole life asking what if…  In the words of Aaron Shust, from the title song of his upcoming CD being released in August 2009:

Can you take over, take over

Can you take over me?

I’ve been here over and over

Came over on my knees

I’m moving closer and closer to where I want to be

When you take over, take over

Can you take over me?

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