Chapter 12: No Sing-Alongs!


DON’T ask to sing your “favorite” song, but request or initiate the song that best reflects or describes the current condition of your heart, or the current atmosphere or teaching of the gathering. Song is generally prayer — and no one would dream of praying for nice weather for a fishing trip after someone has asked for prayers about a temptation to commit murder. Surely that kind of insensitivity would be obvious. But you understand the point: don’t change the subject on God unless there’s good reason. Do you see what I mean? Since song is prayer or teaching, don’t jump to different subjects because you happen to like a different song. That’s not a meeting that Jesus is running.

God is not a God of disorder (1Cor.14:33). What He does, flows. You don’t see natural rivers breaking up and jumping all over the place; they flow and have a direction and purpose. In the same way, when God is running the meeting, you’ll find that it flows and it’s not our place to randomly shotgun all over the place by having a “sing-along.”

God does not author or visit sing-alongs. He wants to change and build our lives and our hearts, and the hearts of the people around us. So, as I mentioned earlier, you wouldn’t dream of praying for a fishing trip if somebody was confessing rape or murder. That would seem rude and disgracefully insensitive, wouldn’t it? Again, the same usually holds true for singing “Blue Skies and Rainbows” right after “Purify Me Lord.” You’ve got to go where God is going. Don’t just jump into something the carnal man wants to do next and change the subject on God unless there is good reason. In short, be sensitive to what’s happening in the invisible world around each individual in the meeting, as a whole.

If your heart is not bursting to overflow, flash-flood level, then you have two choices. Either ask to sing a song that is a purposeful statement about how you want your heart to be before God and man, or just watch and pray and join your heart to what others are initiating. But don’t take it upon yourself to initiate. Don’t pretend or get religious! To make it simple, “choosing songs” (as with any gift that we offer) must come from a current purpose of a fruitful mind towards God Himself — not a “tune” you are infatuated by or preoccupied with.51

Here is another point which ought to be obvious, yet I’ve seen this absurd carnality even in India. Please don’t look up the next song you’d like to sing while we’re still singing another song, except in the rarest of cases. That is really bad. It’s as bad as reading Mary Poppins during the proclamation of the Oracles of God, or writing notes during a prayer. If you are really singing to the King of Glory, your mind will be on HIM, not the song that you want to sing next. God is alive, and desires to be treated as such. Amen.

A Personal “Genesis”

This is now my testimony

To you I long to tell

So good, so rich, so pure, so true,

I have to break the shell.

Before I seemed so happy,

Striving for it all,

The corporate climb and just‑in‑time,

Everything on the ball.

But in my room, left to myself

And reaching down inside,

I suffered what I clearly knew,

A case of selfish pride.

Too proud to admit

Through all of the gloss

How lonely I was,

How empty and lost.

Where should I go?

To whom would I turn?

No more answers that asked questions,

I had something to learn…

In His patient mercy

He began to draw me near.

The Truth’s not far,

The door’s ajar,

Stand back, it’s coming clear.

A Stone that makes men stumble — 

It’s so easy to be lost.

My home, my job, my friends, my life

Could this be the cost?

…Nothing before Him,

everything after…

Behold! I see!

The Truth is coming faster!

I praise the Lord in Heaven

Who gave me Faith and Sight.

I bowed my knee to Jesus — 

The Truth, the Way, the Light.

No more fruitless goals and dreams,

No more wondering why,

No more empty possessions,

No more living a lie.

God has truly blessed me,

Showed me His Holy Way.

I give my life to Jesus, His Son,

Each and every day!

— Sarah (a new Christian)


51 If you find that you could be exhilarated by the melody or the beat, even if the words of the song were to elude you, there is a good chance that it is not truly worship that you are experiencing. At least it would be very important for you to be devoted to keeping your mind fruitful towards God if you are easily moved by the externals of melody or rhythm. Back
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