Encounter: Meditate on the words in Psalm 16 in The Voice Translation. Make it personal, pray it back to God as though He was sitting across the table having breakfast with you. What word or phrase is drawing your heart or standing out in your mind? Record that in your journal.
I remember from a very early age, collecting 45’s to play on the record player in my room. I also remember that I had a favorite artist who whenever I played his songs on that turntable, it was like he put words to what I was feeling and thinking. He wove together what was going on in my heart when I had a hard time expressing it. Those songs by James Taylor, I still know by heart today, and they bring about memories and emotion that few others do.
What is it about music that moves our soul? It seems we can forget a sermon in a few hours and yet once that song gets stuck in your head you will sing it in your sleep.
God has wired us to experience song differently than just words alone. Don’t get me wrong, Jesus himself is the Logos, the Word of Life, but He brought about music, instruments and gifted musicians to create music that carries the words to our hearts that cause us to dance, sing for joy, find solace in grief and fall on our knees in worship.
God has given us the Book of Psalms to help us realize that being honest with God is the most genuine response we can have as God reaches out to connect in intimate relationship with us. We can find just about every human emotion being expressed in the Book of Psalms and this is a safe place where our Creator God invites us to come to find validation, comfort and acceptance.
The Psalms help us to stay focused on our relationship with God and to not let go, especially when something else the world offers seems much more attractive. Whether it’s the adversary questioning your purpose and identity as a child of God or the weariness that comes from suffering, let these anointed words from ancient songwriters give you the strength you need to stay on the path God has given you.
We sing with the psalmist, Day and night I’ll stick with God; I’ve got a good thing going and I’m not letting go.” Psalm 16:8 (The Message).
Singing with you,
Write your own Psalm – First be honest, name your need, what are you upset or discouraged about. Maybe you’re full of gratefulness and joy, write a Psalm that expresses where you are in your emotions right now and what you would like to share with God.
As you begin reading through the Psalms, ask God if there is someone who needs to hear those particular words of assurance or direction. Maybe write the Psalm in a letter, email or message and then pray for that person.
In your time with others in your small group, choose a Psalm to read together at the opening or closing of your time together.