Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will find it. Matt. 16:25
I’m no expert, but I think it’s dumb when singers over-enunciate. It’s so unnatural. People don’t talk that way, so why would anyone sing that way? On the other hand, what do I know? There’s something to be said for properly enunciated singing. If every recording artist would do it, then the rest of us wouldn’t go around butchering songs all the time. I mean, I’d definitely still butcher the tune, but I could at least get the words right. The song I got wrong for the longest time (along with the everyone else who lived in the 70s and 80s) was Blinded by the Light. I’m not gonna type on here the way I (and probably you) always sang it. But that word is deuce, people. More recently, Casting Crowns’ Until the Whole World Hears has been a source of some confusion for me. I knew what I was singing wasn’t right, but that never matters when I’m driving my car. My family has gotten used to it. I’m almost positive that my Hyundai Santa Fe is where the whole “smh” acronym first got its start. I sang (loudly) the chorus this way, “Radio sales, radio sales, nanah nah nah nah Jesus nah nah nanah night, oh radio sales, radio sales…” I just looked it up. It’s “Ready Yourselves.” I guess that makes more sense.
There’s another song I’ve been singing wrong – “From the Inside Out” by Hillsong. It goes like this: “Your will above all else, my purpose remains, the art of losing myself in bringing you praise.” I never heard that Your will part clearly. So I ran the words together to form a “Well, above all else….” Don’t make fun of me. I’m making an important point. Also, I’m losing my hearing at a very, VERY young age. There’s a huge difference in “Well” and “Your will” as the start to the rest of that sentence. Singing, “Well above all else…” might lead one to believe that maybe the song is talking about getting lost in worship. Kind of a kumbayah for the 21st century. Nothing wrong with that, but that’s not what it means.
The song (which is one of my favorites, by the way) speaks of a much stronger commitment than that – one that finds conviction in Jesus’ words in Matt. 16:25. It’s an all-consuming, exchanging my will for His, life-altering worship. Not one that exists only as long as the band plays.
That I confused those lyrics that way is sort of symbolic, I think. We place great emphasis on the act and experience of corporate worship in churches today. We say, “Worship was great,” when the songs are good and everyone seems to get “lost” in bringing Him praise. Nothing wrong with that, either. I love those moments myself. But if we’ve made that our primary criteria for what defines worship, we’re singing all the lyrics wrong.
Many are confusing the event of corporate worship with what is really worship, as it is defined in Scripture. Romans 12:1 makes it clear: “Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” When we sing our hearts out at church and raise our hands in praise to God, but do not lose our very lives because of our attachment to Jesus and determination to follow Him in grateful obedience, we’re missing the point. We must place our desires, our will, our control, our stuff, our time, and everything else that gets in the way of discipleship on the altar. I almost typed, “We must be willing to place our desires…” in that last sentence. There I go getting words confused again…this time, God’s. The Bible doesn’t say, “Be willing to offer your body as a living sacrifice, if you have to,” or, “Whoever is willing to lose his life because of Me (if it comes to that) will find it.” No, losing ourselves in bringing Him praise doesn’t happen when we close our eyes and sing words that announce our willingness; it happens when we live it.
In my heart and my soul
I give you control
Consume me from the inside out, Lord