Singing with Our Hearts to the Lord

musical notes

Originally posted on the Bibles for America Blog.

In the Bible, we find many examples of God’s people raising their voices to Him in song. For example, Psalms 104:33 says:

“I will sing to Jehovah while I live; I will sing psalms to my God while I yet have being.”

The practice of singing to God has continued throughout the centuries. Today, when we gather with other believers, singing is often part of our worship of God. 

But singing to the Lord isn’t just something we do when we’re with others on a certain day or in a certain place. Actually, we can sing hymns every day of our Christian lives, anytime, anywhere.

In this post, we’ll look at some of the marvelous benefits of singing to the Lord so we can be encouraged to build up this practice in our daily life.

Singing warms our heart

Sometimes when we wake up in the morning, we may feel flat, and without much feeling toward the Lord. All kinds of thoughts and anxieties may immediately flood our mind, bringing us down before the day even starts. 

But opening our mouth in song warms our heart and helps us focus our thoughts on Him. 

For example, no matter how we feel, we can begin our day with a hymn such as Just As I Am. We’re immediately encouraged by the words of the first stanza: 

Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bid’st me come to Thee,
Oh Lamb of God, I come! I come!

The words of this hymn touch our hearts. As we sing, we freshly appreciate our Lord Jesus as the precious Lamb of God who sacrificed Himself to take away our sin. We sense the Lord’s desire for us to come to Him, and we come, just as we are.

With our affection and appreciation of the Lord stirred afresh, the time we spend with Him in the morning isn’t a dry duty; it’s a delight. We enjoy His presence and are refreshed and supplied to face the day.

The songs we sing to the Lord in the morning often stay with us throughout the rest of our day. Even recalling just a single line can uplift us and turn us to Him again and again.

Singing allows the word of Christ to dwell in us richly

In Colossians 3:16, the apostle Paul links singing with the word of Christ dwelling in us:

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to God.”

In the New Testament Recovery Version, the first paragraph of note 1 on this verse explains what the word of Christ is:

“The word spoken by Christ. In His New Testament economy God speaks in the Son, and the Son speaks not only by Himself in the Gospels but also through His members, the apostles and prophets, in Acts, in the Epistles, and in Revelation. All these speakings can be considered His word.”

The word of Christ consists of the entire New Testament. So what does it mean to let this word dwell in us richly?

Note 2 tells us the literal meaning of dwell:

“Lit., to be in a house, to indwell, to inhabit. The word of the Lord must have adequate room within us that it may operate and minister the riches of Christ into our inner being.”

When we let the word of Christ inhabit us, it operates in us and ministers the riches of Christ to us. We all certainly want that, so now let’s see how this happens.

Note 5 explains:

“Teaching and admonishing and singing modify the verb dwell. This indicates that the way to let the Lord’s word dwell in us richly is by teaching, admonishing, and singing.”

We believers today have inherited a rich treasury of songs, hymns, and spiritual songs written by other Christians throughout the years. Many of them are full of both the understanding and the experience of precious truths in the Word of God. Singing such hymns is an enjoyable way to let the word of Christ dwell in us. Not only so, we can also use them to teach and admonish one another.

For instance, singing a hymn such as Blessed Assurance can fortify our faith and reassure us about the eternal security of our salvation. The last two lines of the first stanza remind us of the wonderful things that happened when we were regenerated:

Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

These words deeply resonate with us because they’re truths that are in the Word of God. Let’s look at some of the phrases in this hymn:

Heir of salvation is from Hebrews 1:14, which refers to us believers as “those who are to inherit salvation.”

Purchase of God is based on Revelation 5:9, which says, “You [Christ, the Lamb of God] were slain and have purchased for God by Your blood men out of every tribe and tongue and nation.”

Born of His Spirit is the word of the Lord Jesus in John 3:6: “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

Washed in His blood is based on 1 John 1:7, which says, “The blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from every sin.”

Just by singing these few lines, any doubts are banished. And learning a hymn like this can help the word of Christ dwell in us and save us from being occupied by so many other things.

Singing hymns comforts and encourages us

All of us face suffering and difficulties over the course of our lives. During such times, we might feel helpless and even crushed under the weight of the burdens we’re bearing.

We thank the Lord that many believers have written hymns based on their experiences that lift us up when we’re in the midst of trials.

Sometimes we may not have the words to pray, but singing a hymn such as this one can encourage us greatly. The first verse and chorus remind us that no matter what we’re going through, we can turn to the Lord and experience the comfort of His presence:

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in his wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Singing helps us praise and worship the Lord

Sometimes when we’re spending time with the Lord, feelings of thankfulness and a desire to praise Him well up in us. As we consider all He’s done for us and all He is to us, we may find our words inadequate to convey the depth of our feelings. 

But certain hymns can help put our feelings into words and be the perfect outlet for us to praise and thank Him. And we don’t have to wait for a special time or place to do that. We can sing to worship and praise the Lord wherever we are—in our car, on a walk, anywhere.

For instance, we might sing some lines of Charles Wesley’s hymn, Christ the Lord Is Ris’n Indeed

Christ the Lord is ris’n indeed,
He has met His people’s need,
Raise your joys and triumphs high,
Sing, ye heav’ns and earth, reply,

The website is a repository of thousands of songs with their lyrics and music that we can learn and enjoy. And this site has an entire category called Praise of the Lord filled with hymns of praise to our dear Lord Jesus. Even learning and singing just a few short choruses to the Lord can enrich our praise to Him.

Singing helps us enter into the deep experiences of other believers

Over the centuries, many loving seekers of the Lord Jesus have known and experienced Him in a deep, intimate way. Some wrote hymns expressing their appreciation of the Lord and their personal experiences of Him. 

By even simply reading the words of their hymns, we can enter into their experiences and be helped to develop a personal, affectionate, and intimate relationship with the Lord.

For example, a hymn by A.B. Simpson, author of over a hundred hymns, wrote about his experience of abiding in the Lord in this hymn:

I have learned the wondrous secret
Of abiding in the Lord;
I have tasted life’s pure fountain,
I am drinking of His word;
I have found the strength and sweetness
Of abiding ’neath the blood;
I have lost myself in Jesus,
I am sinking into God.

Singing a hymn like this inspires us in our own walk with the Lord to pursue knowing Him this way. Even though they were written by someone else, the lyrics become deeply personal to us.

How singing is related to our spirit

In Ephesians 5:18-19, Paul instructs the believers:

“Do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissoluteness, but be filled in spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and psalming with your heart to the Lord.”

Paul contrasts being drunk with wine with being filled in spirit. In the New Testament Recovery Version, note 1 on the word drunk in verse 18 explains:

“To be drunk with wine is to be filled in the body, whereas to be filled in the spirit (our regenerated spirit, not God’s Spirit) is to be filled with Christ (1:23) unto the fullness of God (3:19). To be drunk with wine in our physical body causes us to become dissolute, but to be filled in our spirit with Christ, with the fullness of God, causes us to overflow with Christ in speaking, singing, psalming, and giving thanks to God (vv. 19-20) and also causes us to subject ourselves to one another (v. 21).”

Surely we’d all like to be filled in our regenerated spirit with Christ. But how can this happen? Note 1 on verse 19 tells us: 

“Verses 19-21 modify be filled in spirit in v. 18. Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs are not only for singing and psalming but also for speaking to one another. Such speaking, singing, psalming, giving of thanks to God (v. 20), and subjecting of ourselves to one another (v. 21) are not only the outflow of being filled in spirit but also the way to be filled in spirit.”

So singing is both the result of being filled in our spirit and one of the ways to be filled. The more we sing with our hearts to the Lord, the more we’re filled in our spirit with Christ. And the more we’re filled, the more we overflow with Christ in singing. This is a wonderful cycle!

Make a joyful noise to the Lord

It’s reassuring to know that the Bible doesn’t say, “Sing with a beautiful voice,” or “Be sure to sing on key.” In fact, Psalm 98:4 says:

Make a joyful noise to Jehovah, all the earth; break forth, and sing for joy, and sing psalms.”

Singing to the Lord isn’t a formal, ceremonial thing that must be done in a certain way. The Lord simply wants us to sing for joy and even make a joyful noise to Him. 

So if we don’t have a good singing voice or we’re even tone-deaf, we can still sing! And our singing will be a joyful noise to the Lord. No one is disqualified from gaining all the benefits of singing to the Lord. He just wants us to open our mouths to sing with our hearts to Him. No matter how we may sound, when we sing the Lord is happy, and we’re filled with joy.

We hope you enjoyed the hymns we linked to in this post. We encourage you to go to to learn and enjoy more hymns that you can sing to the Lord. We also encourage you to read all the enlightening notes on the verses we mentioned. If you live in Australia, you can order a free copy of the New Testament Recovery Version here.

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