Don't get me wrong. I love worship music. I love singing soft, sweet songs to Jesus. It is one of life's highest honors. Last night, however, as I listened to the soft, sweet choruses waft in the background of our prayer time, it suddenly seemed the inner music I was hearing was strangely and strongly at odds with the outer.
I did not want to hear comfortable flowing strains when my persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ were uncomfortable and oppressed.
I did not want to feel comfortable in the Lord's House when it was not all that the Lord wanted it to be, whether locally or globally.
I guess I did not want to rest when the Lord needed me to watch with Him.
I remember being in the old Soviet Union and visiting a Russian military cemetary. One could buy candy and flowers to leave at the graves of the war dead. Over the loud speakers wafted the most haunting of Russian funeral dirges played on violins. Nearby, old Ukrainian women sobbed for their dead sons.
That day, I cried and cried, too. Me, an American, crying for the enemy's sons. Crying for a homeland that was not mine. Crying for the beloved mother country. That day changed my perspective on the world. Sin and hatred hurt us all. Entering into the wounds of our enemies can bring healing.
We must cry for those who have not yet found their heavenly homeland. Cry for those who may never make it there. Cry for those who are being lost to a spiritual war that very few see. Cry for the heart of Jesus weeping over Jerusalem. Cry for Jerusalem itself.
Let us not just sit in our house, or even in our church, and listen with our ears alone to pretty music that makes us feel better but isn't allowed to change us. We need to listen with our hearts and allow the real music of God, whether it be soft or hard, played in silence or trumpeted loudly, to conform us to the image of God's dear Son. Do we know how to listen that closely?
Jesus said, "To what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplace calling to their companions and saying, "We played the flute but you didn't want to dance. We sung a funeral dirge but you didn't want to beat your breast in mourning " (Matthew 11:16,17).
God comes to us in mercy and we feel we don't need to listen to Him. He comes to us in judgment and we hold Him as an enemy. Sometimes we need the comfort of our worship songs, but those times are for us. Other times we need to shut the music off and go and do battle with all that is in our hearts that keeps our Father's Kingdom from coming. That is for God. Sometimes the Lord brings us peace through His prophetic minstrels. Other times, not so. Sometimes the music is sweet. Sometimes, it is not meant to be.