When Words of Encouragement Come From Song

At the end of 2015, my world was slowly imploding. By the time 2016 arrived and was half over, my life had fallen apart in almost every aspect. My relationship with God, my relationship with others, my health, my finances, and even eventually family [culminating at the end of 2016 into 2017], came to something of screeching implosion. Family matters would eclipse everything in my nuclear bomb explosion of life throughout 2017. It would be around mid/fall-ish of 2017 while I was scanning YouTube for new worship music that I would discover Mandisa’s latest album “Out of the Dark.” This album’s title certainly said enough. The songs were even more gripping and through them, the Holy Spirit began to speak to me. He would begin to create these music lineups. I would know when something new was to be added because this amazing impression that it was “time for new music” would descend upon me and I wouldn’t rest till I found it and it all settled. I can’t quite say I had ever had this happen quite like this before but it was one of the ways He used to reach me in my nuclear fallout. Reading the Word was like glass on 3rd-degree burns but since I’ve always loved music and especially worship music, I still would engage long-standing artists and thus, there was a conduit for Him to speak to me through their artistry. I have a history of that as probably most do if they recognize it is God in-between the lyrics. My “trouble” perhaps for some, is I’ve watched God speak to me through what Christian’s would call “non-Christian” artists or secular music. Over months, these lineups would come covering my past, my present, and then my future. They would revolve, shift, and repeat as the healing came. Then, they would release because what was accomplished was accomplished. God speaks in a variety of ways. I wish certain parts of Christianity could actually grasp that [instead of criticizing it]. I’ve grown a bit wayward in how He once pursued me, which could be odd and even, seemingly secular. Like, my testimony is built around a secular self-help book for anxiety that had a chapter on Spirituality. He used to reach me through the T.V. program “Touched by an Angel.” It is possible.

In this hour, as an example, He has been using a couple of songs on Nicole Nordeman’s album “Every Mile Mattered” including the song by that name and another song “Sound of Surviving.” He has also continued to use “Feel the Light” sung by Jennifer Lopez. In fact, today [October 20, 2018] as I was listening to “Sound of Surviving” He began to speak to me about so many people who are hemmed in by life circumstances that are incredibly overwhelming. It was for people who were getting hit in just about every place of their lives. For some, they were getting hit in their health so bad it looked incredibly dire. As for me, my whole life is still in surviving mode from God recovery, fellowship recovery, health, and finance - like I said - the nuclear bomb. When God sings to me, I am the church so usually what He is conveying to me He is conveying to other parts of His body.

As an example, I released that word I heard on October 20, 2018, and embedded the video but there was more to it than the one video. The worshipping word went something like this:

“Feel the Light” - by Jennifer Lopez.[1] The crux of the song is coming back in greater ways to our First Love by relying on Him to recover what seems like the impossible.

Next: “Sound of Surviving” - by Nicole Nordeman.[2] The heart of this one is recognizing that no matter how bad things are, we are overcoming. I don’t interpret the Lord’s use of the song to me or anyone else as “mere surviving” but rather we ARE surviving the onslaught and we need to continue to speak to that regeneration and life that is still smoldering. He doesn’t put out a smoldering wick. For me, this song is about recognizing, even in some ways embracing the circumstance, and speaking to it - I am surviving this. It’s like a prophetic declaration. Sometimes we have to speak to the pain, the fear, our tears and tell them - we are still here.

Next: “He is With Us” = Love & The Outcome.[3] This song’s title says it all. He is with us. We have to remember He is with us in the middle of it all - in the middle of our doubt, in the middle of the fear, in the middle of the shaking turbulence. “Our Hope is real” they sing. “We can trust our God, He knows what He is doing; though it might hurt now, we won’t be ruined.” [4]

The last song for my example is “We Found Love” by Lindsey Stirling.[5] Well, I think you should just listen to it for yourself. [Actually she adapted it. The original artist I believe is Rhianna. I’ve never listened to her version of it.]

So, this is what a “worshipping word” looks like. I may only release one aspect of it that is on fire and very highlighted as I did on October 20, 2018. But when the whole message comes through in this amazing way through a variety of artists, the beauty of the message of encouragement shines through. And you know what I truly love about this outside of my love of worship music, is the fact that the Body as Paul described it in 1 Corinthians 12 for instance - comes shinning through. We see in part. We receive in part. We give in part. All together we get the whole message.[6]

Isn’t God grand?

Notations & Citations:

[1] Eriksen, M., Hermann, T., Ellestad, K.R., & Haynie, E. (2015) Feel the Light [Recorded by Lopez, J.] . On Home: Original Motion Picture Sound Track [Audio File]. Retrieved from Youtube at https://youtu.be/pYNXu2gC9IU.

[2] Nordeman, N., & Ingram, P. (n.d.). (2017). Sound of Surviving. On Every mile mattered [Audio File]. Retrieved from Youtube at https://youtu.be/nY7HrPIlu-Q.

[3][4] King, J., Mosely, S., & Rademaker, C. (2013). He is With Us [Recorded by King, J. & Rademaker C.]. On Love & The Outcome [Audio File]. Retrieved from Youtube at https://youtu.be/qYLoigK4WSI.

[5] Stilring, L. (2012.). We Found Love [Video File]. Retrieved from Youtube at https://youtu.be/0g9poWKKpbU. Rhianna is the original performer. The song "We Found Love” comes from her Talk that Talk album.

[6] Please notice not all of these songs are classified as “Christian” in terms of genre or artist. That’s the beauty of God using all matter of music to His liking to convey a message. My point still stands - He engages content from a variety of places to create His message.

Blog header photo from Free Stocks on Unsplash.