Throughout the biblical texts, music is also connected to prophecy and to dealing with evil spirits. Jesus and the apostles sang a hymn after the Last Supper, according to two of the Gospels. The Apostle Paul specifically associates singing with being filled with the Spirit in his epistle to the church at Ephesus. And, in John’s Revelation of what is constantly happening around the throne of God, there is lots of singing, sometimes accompanied by harps. Music also is part of the culmination of the creation story.
A desire to truly experience God runs deep within our veins. However, for most Christians, experiencing God is either elusive and frightening or impossible and improbable. But to the thirsty pilgrim, God’s presence is a wellspring of life. Do we fight for it, or let it fade away? Do we contend for a deeper walk with God, or complain about our life? Do we pursue God like never before, or postpone intimacy?
Why is it true that the only relationship that matters is your personal relationship to a personal Redeemer and Lord? The biblical answer to our question is clear: God made us in his image (Genesis 1:26) for personal relationship with himself (cf. Revelation 3:20). As the Westminster Shorter Catechism states, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.”
Transactional religion, from the Greco-Roman world to today, treats God’s word and power as instruments to be used for our purposes. We need to measure the news and everything else we experience in this fallen world through the prism of God’s unchanging, authoritative, completely true word. We need to read, pray, and worship for God’s glory rather than our own, to live for his honor above our own, to commune with our Creator for no reason except to be with our Father, to love our Lord and our neighbor for their sakes rather than ours. Anything less makes the King of the universe a means to our end. This is idolatry, and it is dangerous.