In the same breath that Paul tells the Colossians to let the Word of Christ dwell in them richly, he tells the Colossians to sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs (3:16). Consider the endless source of songwriting material that will never be extinguished!
Christian worship leader Matt Redman once heard a record producer say that pop music only has four types of love songs – “I love you,” “I hate you,” “Go away,” and “Come back.” It made him think about the stark contrast with Christian worship and the inexhaustible riches we can sing about as children of the Almighty God. Redman wrote, “I’ll never be able to think, Right, that’s God pretty much wrapped up … what shall I write about next? The brightness of His glory and the wonders of His heart will no doubt have us pouring out new songs for all eternity.”
In the spirit of Colossians 3:16, the song “Let It Rise” captures this idea of letting “the songs of the Lord rise among us,” inviting ongoing praise of God’s glory and thankfulness for His presence in our midst. Songwriter Holland Davis says the lyrics of this song were born out of “an authentic heart cry, out of a time of prayer” at a local church on the beach in San Diego. Davis refers to the chorus as a “half song,” written just as quickly as it spilled out in worship. He says, “It blows me away to see how God continues to use that song to bring congregations alive to the presence of God.”
While Davis refers to his platinum-selling worship song as an “afterthought,” he says his most gratifying experience as a worship leader is to watch the transformation of his people as they become worshippers. He is overjoyed by two stories in particular: 1) watching a homeless man visit his congregation, get saved, find a job and eventually begin to raise his hands in worship; and 2) watching a girl respond to an altar call and then seeing her deepening relationship with Christ expressed in corporate praise.
This Sunday as our congregation celebrates Pentecost, the outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit given to His people, think of this wonderful mystery: the fullness of God was pleased to dwell in Christ and His spirit also indwells those who are born again (1 Cor. 3:16, John 3:1-8, John 14:18). Jesus did not leave us as orphans, but His Spirit lives in us! The Holy Spirit, our Counselor and Comforter, is always available to us as His children, and yet we are encouraged to be filled with the Spirit afresh, to speak and sing the Word of God boldly (Eph. 5:18-20, Acts 4).
Our songs this weekend are an invitation for the Lord to fill us afresh and empower us for His mission. For those of us who feel spiritually dry, we can ask for God to remedy this. If we pray for His Spirit, He will always answer (Luke 11:13). And for those of us who feel that our faith is fragile, we can ask Him to help us draw upon His glorious might because “the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.” (1 Cor. 4:20)
Written by a member of our church staff
Worship selection from our June 8-9 services