Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Overcoming Part 2

My last post talked about strengthening and encouraging your heart in the Lord. I'd like to continue this thought with another way in which we can encourage our heart.

I'd like to remind us of a well known story found in I Samuel where David played his harp to refresh King Saul. The scripture speaks of Saul having an evil spirit. I'm sure Biblical scholars could argue and debate the meaning of the word evil, but my study has shown that the word evil could have several meanings.

Could it be that Saul was dealing with a disagreeable, sad, unhappy, hurtful, and distressful spirit? Feeling unsettled, unhappy, and distressed, Saul called for David to play music for him. The scriptures tell us that the evil spirit departed from Saul. Now, I really am not a Bible scholar and have not studied this story out thoroughly, but from my experience, music really does play a vital role in the way we relate to our Father in heaven. I do know that music will be heaven. Revelation 5 tells us that the saints in heaven will sing a new song. I can not wait until that day.

For quite a while, I had cut music almost completely out of my life. One of the problems that my husband experiences with his MS is that noise bothers him. Regardless of whether this noise is "good noise", like music or family chatting, listening to sermons or background noise. It overwhelms his system and causes him to tire quickly. In order to accommodate his weakness in this area, our family has tried to control the level of noise in our home. Including cutting out loud discussions, endless chatter and even music, unless listened through head phones. It's not easy, because by nature we are a "loud" family!! LOL

I began to realize that music really did minister to my soul, especially good Christian music. I decided that whenever I was in the other room, away from my husband, doing my tasks throughout the day, I would make a point to listen to music. I started playing it while I sat at the sewing machine, while I worked in the kitchen, when I was alone in the vehicles, etc. And, it was like a balm to my soul.

I began to listen to the words of the great music I was being exposed to and found my heart being reminded of God's goodness, His greatness, His faithfulness and steadfastness. Now, I am not saying that everything out there with the label "Christian music" will have this affect, but I also refuse to try to tell others what to listen to. Just like every other area of our life, we must listen to the Lord's direction.

Find ways to nourish your soul with music. When we evacuated last year, late summer, we took up residence in a hotel in Ft. Worth Texas. My daughter and I were able to take one evening and spend it listening to a live concert of The Singing Men of Texas. I sat and cried as I listened to approximately 250 male voices singing praises to the Lord. I can't even begin to describe the spiritual reaction I had that night. It had been a very stressful time and sitting there hearing my Father in heaven praised and glorified brought with it a deep sense of gratitude and love for Him.

Another time, a small group of young adults came to our home and sang for us. My husband and I sat, listening, with tears streaming down our face as they sang, "Untitled Hymn"and several other songs. The words were like a medicine to my hurting heart. What a ministry it was to us.

Now, in my home, I have found a way to listen to music that ministers to my heart. I found an online radio station where I have some control over what I can hear. I typed in the name of an artist that I remembered listening to many years ago and one whose songs are sung in our church by a godly man with a wonderful baritone voice. Other songs come up and I can click whether I like them or not, and the program continues presenting me with songs to choose from. I've been able to find new artists and new songs that I've never heard before.

One reason I am not going to mention artists that I am listening to is that honestly, I do not want to be judged. There are some who will say, "This artist is this, does this, acts this way, etc." I am learning to hear the voice of my Savior as He directs me. I am learning to understand that God's voice will tell me no when I don't need to listen and if I don't have that, I listen with freedom. I choose to listen to only Christian music.

Perhaps you have CDs that you can listen to. I do. My children and several of their friends at church made a CD and I listen to that. I also have other young adults that have made wonderful CDs with singing, piano and violin music. These are the ones I listen to in the vehicle.

The main thing is that we find ways to nourish and refresh our souls. Make sure that music is soothing to your heart, edifies the child of God to follow Christ and exalts the name of Jesus. You will see that it will be like a medicine to your heart.


Clara....in TN said...

Paula, music is a big part of my life. My son bought me a satellite radio for my car. It has a Christian Music station that plays continually. It gives me a lot of peace..when I get a chance to listen. I also have a keyboard that I play almost every day. That helps me a lot. I like to play the old hymns.

Clara....in TN said...

Oh, I also listen to Pandora Radio on line.