It’s not an uncommon sight these days to see people walking around to the beat of their own drum, literally. Smartphones and headphones have afforded us the opportunity to fill our spaces with the music of our personal choice, without the concern of how our preference in genre might affect the person to our right and our left. In some ways, this is convenient and inspiring. Music is powerful, and being able to turn it on anytime, anywhere means we can be motivated by that power in almost any situation.
Of course, there is a dangerous side to this trend. That danger is tucked into the title track of our personal choice in music. A title track is a song that carries the same name as an album title, thus embodying the main, motivating message behind the whole collection of songs on that album.
While we can, if we so choose, enjoy many different styles of music, there is usually a title track to our preferences. There is a common theme or main message that motivates not only our choice in music, but the direction of our motivation in life. Both the music you like to listen to and the choices you make in life are influenced by the message that music speaks over your heart, mind and life. Even if it’s just a style of music, still it carries a rhythm which deposits or confirms a certain message. Studies have been done on the motivating forces behind music, and music’s power to shape and affect entire populations. Music is so powerful, in fact, that certain styles of music have come to define entire cultures.
If we’re not careful, the title track to our lives can become something we might never have consciously chosen for ourselves. Can you think of what your current musical preferences might be speaking over your life right now? If you had to condense all the songs you love into a single title track, what would you – honestly – call it? And is that a message which is shaping your life the way God intended for it to be shaped? Is it creating a pattern that lines up with God’s good plans for you? And is it rooted in the reality of His necessary influence in those plans, or is it tied to some unrealistic, unrooted ideal which suggests you can be anything you want to be without His – or anyone else’s – help?
Sadly, these are some of the themes I’ve heard playing in people’s ears. Because they are played to music, they become mantras we half-unconsciously reinforce by repetition, and thus we begin to mark ourselves and our lives by their declarations. And while we long for deeper connection and unity in our humanity, the reality is that much of our personal musical choices are isolating us into our own corners and separating us further from each other, as we cling to the ideals crooning inside our own heads. Yes, music can unite. But music can unite under the wrong banner, without our even realizing it. And sometimes, that banner itself isolates us within a population shrouded with deception. One thing I’ve learned is that deception never truly unites anything. It merely pretends to, and those who fall into its trap are always disappointed at the end of that road.
So what am I preaching here? If I had to give this a title track, I would call it Tuning In. Because, while having options is good, not all of those options are good in themselves. And because, while we celebrate the multitude of choices in music which we are privileged to have, not all of those choices will bring life. Just because you have the right to do something, Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:23, doesn’t mean that thing is going to be good for you or build up your life. In fact, some of those things may well tear it down…without our even being aware of it.
So if we are to arise and become women of God, women who walk in the destinies to which we have been called and for which we have been created, it’s important that we consider what influences our hearts and minds. One of those very powerful influences is music.
It is important to tune out some things, and it is equally important to tune in to some others. What exactly should we be tuning in to? The answer to that question is simple: Heaven’s song over you. Did you know such a thing actually exists?
I woke up a few days ago at 3:17 in the morning. I was a little annoyed, because I had been waking up at that same time for several nights in a row, and I hadn’t yet caught the significance of the repetition in time. But that morning, I finally did! I asked God, “Why do I keep waking up at this same time?” Immediately, I saw a Scripture pop into my mind: Zephaniah 3:17 (it was a miracle that I saw anything, because I was fuzzy and very much out of it). I know the title track to that Scripture – it’s one of my favorites. It says that God will quiet my heart with His love. So I fell back asleep, comforted by the thought that God would quiet all my heart’s troubles with His love. And I dreamt that I was traveling the world, carrying a banner which read “Zeph3:17”, telling everyone I saw about the amazing love of God. That message had become a tagline, a declaration over my life, and I wanted everyone to know how much it had changed everything for me.
When I woke up, I went to my Bible and looked up the verse to read it in its entirety. Here is what is says:
“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty Savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears [some versions say: He will quiet your heart with His love]. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
What I was awakened to was something God desires for all of us to see and know: Heaven is constantly singing over us. God has such a great, deep love for us that it moves Him to literally take delight in us even while we sleep. He is like a parent on Christmas morning, excited for us to wake up and receive the good gifts He has gone to such great lengths to prepare for us. His love is so abounding that it has the power – if we will dwell in it – to calm the fears and worries of our hearts.
Now that is an album worth getting!
Dear Woman of Breakthrough, does the music of your life agree with Heaven’s song over you? What you allow to have lyrical influence in your heart and mind and life – does it line up with this revelation, or does it contradict it? Today is a good day to tune in to a new song and, rather than walk this day out in your own little world, infect the space around you with a message that oozes out of your life because it’s reverberating in your heart.
God loves you, and He is with you, desiring to lead you into so many good things! I think it’s times to trade in some of the musical banners we’ve been living under, and practice rallying together under the one banner that was always meant to define us. We are meant to be marked by the love of God, and that love is meant to spill out and mark the world around us.
Tune in and listen today for God is singing over you. And see what a difference it makes! May the song you sing today become the new title track of your life!