What is the purpose of music? Why is it so powerful and so universally woven into the human experience? Is there a purpose for a musician beyond just making music?
If you have read Revelation 4 and 5 and are not completely struck with the reality that all of your music should be inspired by and directed towards this Heavenly Throne Room, you’re missing the point. If you don’t seek to recognize that He ALONE is WORTHY of ALL things, every note, every melody, every cymbal crash, every rhythm, and all the energy and focus to make the VERY BEST music . . . you should make it your prayer that your heart would be re-aligned with that reality.
You see, the primary purpose of music is to lead the human soul and spirit into worship. And, it will do this. All music that is played, listened to, critiqued, analyzed, developed, written, created – WILL lead to worship. It will cause those who interact with it to worship. It will lead a person to worship God, or to worship man, or to worship Satan. And, it’s not always immediately apparent who/what/which music/bands/songs are leading to which, but it is always true whether the person sees it or realizes it. Now, so-called “secular” music doesn’t always lead to Satan worship, and “Christian” music doesn’t always lead to God-worship. When it’s all said and done, most of it probably leads to worship of man or self, because the focus usually ends up being the great talent of those who are making it, how “cool” they style is, or the lyrics lead the listener to think much upon themselves/their life, etc. This is true even of “worship” music at times.
For the musician that truly seeks to honor God and fulfill the TRUE purpose of music, the primary focus of life, music, and even practice MUST BE GOD ALONE. This does not mean that the musician doesn’t strive for excellence, even MORE so, because the music is pointing to PERFECTION (God) and is meant to REFLECT His dwelling place, and be pointed towards HIS ears. The better, the more powerful, the most creative music – YES, but for Him. But if not REALLY focused, directed toward and inspired from the Heavenly Throne Room, it’s just man-centered. And, in that sense, I believe the Lord is more pleased with the simplest, perhaps unimpressive songs that proceed from single-minded, focused devotion to Him and His beauty.
Music, for the musician who is a Christian, should be seen as a very weighty endeavor. To pursue being a musician for the Lord should be taken very seriously. Think of the ONE who we claim to represent!! He is BEAUTY! He is HOLY! HE IS GOD!!!
It is not just an endeavor for those who follow Christ, and happen to like music; like some sort of “sanctified” way to pursue this interest, rather than playing “secular” “bad” music. For, when we call ourselves Christian, the truth of the matter is that we are no longer our own, we BELONG to Christ. Therefore, ALL that we are, all that we do, belongs to Him and is subject to His desires. We live from a different world when we are Christian, we no longer think and act as those who do not know Christ. If you call yourself a Christian, a Christ-follower, this should define you.
To be CALLED as a musician, is to be called to seek the original intent of music – the worship of God: the declaration of His glory, His goodness, His power, His beauty. It is also the expression of OFFERING to Him gifts of adoration. And, should these gifts not be the MOST beautiful, the MOST costly, the most special kinds of offering before Him? The musician’s life itself should be a reflection of the beauty and majesty of this One. All holiness should pervade their being and be expressed in all that they do, not limited to, but most notably in the music they produce. Even in practice, the desire should be that the practice times are offerings of love and worship to him, that the energy given to repetitious drills is an act of devotion before Him. The musician’s heart should be poised toward Heaven, even in the playing of scales, alone in the practice room. And, whether the music played is a worship chorus, an instrumental solo, a jazz piece, hard rock, or a classical concerto, it MUST be played as unto the Lord. For, it is ALL His! It all came from him and belongs to him.
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.
The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;
1 Corinthians 10:31-32
So, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
One thought on “So, You’re a Musician?”
This is so beautiful! Having been involved with worship bands, I can attest to all of that. For the longest time, I thought there was nothing special about singing in a worship band. I thought I was filling a spot. But then God did cool things. And I understood that my role as a worship leader was everything you have written here: worship leaders have the incredible responsibility and privilege to lead worshipers into the throne room.
So while I may not be a musician, it was really encouraging to me having been in those shoes (and praying about what new shoes I should be wearing/how to wear old shoes on a different terrain). The cool thing is that that whole last paragraph and verses can be applied to any of us–even a scientist. 🙂