So, you don’t like to sing when you go to church on Sunday. You’re not really the singing type. You’re quiet. Introverted. Stoic. Not prone to outward displays of emotion. You don’t like to wear your heart on your sleeve. Singing loudly and expressively just isn’t your thing. Neither is hand-raising, or kneeling, or any other outward display of emotion.
Despite the fact that I’ve been leading worship for many years, I can actually relate to you. I’m not a particularly emotional guy. I’m not prone to crying, except for that rare occasion when a child is born unto me. I tend to hold my cards kind of close to the vest. I process things internally, for the most part. All this to say, there are many Sundays when I don’t feel like singing to God, raising my hands, kneeling, or doing anything other than plopping my butt into my chair.
But here’s the thing: those of us who don’t want to sing to God are at odds with the rest of the universe.
Psalm 19:1–4 declares that the entire creation is singing the splendor and glory and wonder of God:
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.
The birds begin every day with loud, caucophonous praise to God. The little lizard who lives under my deck, who can change colors in a flash, loudly declares, “I was created by a brilliant God!” The sun, which is so blazing hot in Florida, proclaims, “Look at what God hath wrought!”
And it’s not just the creation that sings to God. All of the angels declare the glory of God as well. The angels who fly around the throne of God have one, constant refrain:
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory! (Isaiah 6:3)
As the angels behold God, in all his brilliant, blinding, terrifying splendor, they can’t help but explode in praise. They behold and they extol, behold and extol, behold and extol.
The saints in heaven are not silent either. Revelation 5:11–12 gives us a sneak peek into the worship that is taking place in heaven:
Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”
As the saints behold the glory of the Lamb of God, they erupt in thunderous, overwhelming praise. There is no stoicism in heaven. There is no introversion. There is only loud, glorious, heart-felt praise.
If all the universe sings loudly and passionately to God, maybe the problem is with us. When we don’t feel like singing, the problem isn’t a singing problem, but a seeing problem.
If we could see God as he truly is, we would be utterly undone. We would be singing for joy, kneeling in adoration, and weeping in gratitude. If we saw Jesus in his resurrected, ascended glory, there would be no talk of, “Well, I’m more of the quiet type.”
So what should we do when we don’t feel like singing? Two things.
- Before the Sunday worship begins, ask God to give you a fresh glimpse of his beauty, glory, and splendor. Ask him to increase your faith and love. Ask him to give you eyes to see and ears to hear. God loves to answer that type of prayer.
- Sing, whether you feel like it or not. Don’t analyze whether you feel like singing. Instead, sing out of obedience, knowing that God is always worthy of all our praise.
Stephen Altrogge is a writer, pastor, and knows a lot about Star Wars. Find out more at The Blazing Center.