There are so many beautiful ways that you can worship the Lord and to Him, it’s all a sweet, desirable fragrance because He desires you. But there is so much more to praise and worship than simply showing up to church to sing songs. There is so much more to worshipping the Lord than singing to a CD or at a worship concert or at a Bible study or even sitting alone in your room with a guitar. The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the church at Corinth, wrote about the deeper purposes for spiritual gifts like tongues and prophecy, and worship so the believers there could be more effective in their faith to the world at large.
The Apostle Paul…wrote about the deeper purposes for spiritual gifts like tongues and prophecy, and worship so the believers there could be more effective in their faith to the world at large.
“…I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with understanding. I will sing with spirit, and I will sing with understanding,” he wrote. In this Paul was highlighting the how worship, as well as prayer, takes place on two levels: the natural and the spiritual. “I will sing with the spirit,” he wrote. Paul wrote about “spiritual songs” many times, like in Ephesians 5:19 when he noted that believers should sing “psalms, hymns and spiritual songs,” making melodies in their heart to the Lord. These are songs that pour out of the deeper places in you, places where you and the Lord meet in secret, songs that you sing to Him and for Him. Sometimes we can’t even put these things into words, so you may sing a song in your spirit that comes out as a musical cry, or a melodic groaning, or even a spontaneous song in your prayer language. How beautiful!
There is a time and a place to “sing with the spirit” and what Paul wrote to the church at Corinth was that they were becoming out of order with everyone trying to sing, and exhort and prophesy and interpret and use their spiritual gifts all at once. It was becoming chaotic! When he wrote, “I will sing with understanding,” Paul meant that there is an order to our worship, where we make times to sing in our natural frame of mind, where the words are clear and understandable and based on the Word of God. “Faith comes by heading the words of Christ,” he also wrote (Romans 10:17). It’s important that non-believers or young Christians hear the Word of God in praise and worship- it’s a faith builder! But don’t forsake singing “with the spirit” for “singing with understanding” or the other way around. It’s important to incorporate both into your worship!
Thought for today
Your spirit speaks a language that you don’t speak in your natural frame of mind. The human mind and the spirit inside of you are two different, yet inextricably entwined, entities – but they speak and communicate very differently to the Lord. Have you ever noticed that? Don’t overemphasize the spirit inside of you and don’t stifle it either! The Lord loves when His people praise and worship Him together in a larger gathering, singing songs that everyone knows and enjoys, however, there is a much more profound and uniquely you way to worship that is just as important, if not more so! Whatever your spirit sings will be brand new, previously unwritten, spontaneous and beautiful to Him. “He has put a new song in my mouth” David wrote (Psalm 40:3) so that “many will hear and will put their trust in the Lord.” The Holy Spirit of the Lord is the one who put the new song inside of you. All you have to do is sing it to Him! <3