Music has always been a huge part of my life. I’ve been playing drums and writing songs for most of my life, my family is full of musicians and the radio has long been a staple of my daily diet. Almost every event in my life has its own soundtrack, and hearing almost any song can immediately transport me back to what was going on in my life when that particular song was popular. Music can inspire, convict and, yes, even depress us. While my musical preferences run the gamut of genres, a well written song in any style always resonates with me. Music has the unique ability to amplify whatever emotion you may be feeling, so I highly encourage its use during times of prayer and Bible study. It is truly a universal language and is useful in bridging both generational and ethnic barriers.
Over the past year, two songs have captured my imagination and spoken loudly to my heart. The first is by one of my very favorite bands, The Aaron Pelsue Band. Take a look at the lyrics Aaron wrote for the track, “Your Name is the Only Name that Saves”:
“I want to sing a song of hope
I want to sing a song of joy
I want to show the world the love of Jesus
I want to sing a song of grace
I want to sing a song of change
I want to shake the world with the name of Jesus”
If this isn’t a perfect prayer for the life of a Christ follower, I don’t know what is. We have the greatest hope in the entire universe, the hope of salvation through Jesus Christ. We must live a life that is full of hope both in our own lives and in what we share with others. Our lives should bleed joy. Jesus died for us, loves us, and beckons us to go wherever He goes. Have you pondered the awesomeness of this lately? Jesus chose us; He desires us, He wants us! What problems in anyone’s life can possibly be significant in light of that? As followers of Jesus we should naturally exude such joy and love that the world cannot help but notice, and we cannot help but share. One very radical way to show love to someone is by extending grace to them. We demonstrate grace by building others up, loving them, forgiving them, and encouraging them (Ephesians 4:29, 31-32). If we would live our lives in this manner we would change the world for someone around us, and then another, and another. The last line in the chorus is my favorite line in the song, “I want to shake the world with the name of Jesus”. I don’t want to simply tell someone about Jesus; I don’t want to just write, or preach or teach others about Him. I want to be so bold that I shake the entire world with the good news and love of God. This drives everything that I do.
The second song that has struck a chord (pardon the pun) with me of late is Matthew West’s, “The Motions”. Here are the lyrics to the chorus of that song:
“I don’t wanna go through the motions
I don’t wanna go one more day
Without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking
What if I had given everything
Instead of going through the motions?”
It is one of the most convicting and motivating songs I have heard in a long while. I want to move with purpose in everything that I do. I want to always move forward in service for His kingdom. Nothing disturbs me more than a lack of positive activity. What I mean by that is that I feel we should always be doing something that makes a difference for the kingdom of God. We should never be busy for the sake of being busy, but rather for the sake of Jesus. When my days on this earth come to an end, I want to know that I gave all I had to serving Jesus. I want to leave nothing undone, no regrets, and I want my potential to have been fully used. I don’t want to coast in neutral for the sake of my King; I want the top down with the pedal to the floor as I continue the pursuit of His mission.
These two songs are examples of what I would call “songs of life”. They help define me, encourage me, and motivate me. I encourage you to check them out when you have a chance. Do you fill your mind with positive messages that will impact the world for Jesus? If music isn’t your thing, how about the books you read or things you watch? Do they inspire you to new heights, or do they encourage a life of complacency and inaction? Don’t live your life simply going through the motions. Join me in my quest to shake the world with the love of Jesus.