Dr. Dan Hayden •
I have a habit of sometimes speaking out loud when I am thinking about something. My wife will ask, “Who are you talking to?” and I am always a little embarrassed to have to admit that I am talking to myself.
In Ephesians 5:18 we are exhorted to be filled with the Spirit, and then we are given a number of personal benefits that come as a result of the Spirit’s filling. The first is in verse 19 which says, “speaking to yourselves in songs and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” Actually, this is intended to be a corporate response because the initial verb is in the plural – speaking to yourselves. When we join our voice with the voices of other believers in Christ to make melody in our hearts to the Lord in corporate worship, we are demonstrating the reality of the Spirit’s filling.
The word for speak here is a word that usually refers to talking rather than singing. It is translated using words like say, speak, talk, tell, or utter. In other words, there is content to the sound we are making. It is not just an emotional communication, it is something that engages our mind as well as our heart.
Have you ever found yourself singing a hymn or praise chorus in church where your mind is disengaged? You are caught up in the melody and maybe even trying to find your part as an alto or a bass and you are really not thinking about the words? Well, that is really not Spirit-filled singing. The Spirit wants us to speak to one another when we sing – to actually uplift one another by singing the great truths of God’s Word that bring encouragement to the heart.
Hey, Christian music isn’t just for you – it is a way of ministering to one another as we sing! ■