The Power of Worship in Your Recovery ~ blog
It has always been interesting to me the verses that follow the command in Ephesians 5:18 where we are urged to not be filled with or under the influence of wine, but instead must be filled with and under the influence of the Holy Spirit. In fact, the words seem strange considering the context but let’s take a look at them.
The command to be under the influence of the Spirit is simple enough and is to be our condition throughout the day. He is in us to guide us according to God’s will. He is to be the source of power enabling us to flee youthful lusts and show us our escape in every temptation. He is also in us to give us power and to help us share the gospel with others. He gives us spiritual gifts as well as bear His fruit if we are consistent in walking filled with the Spirit.
But notice the verses that follow Ephesians 5:18;
“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father…”
Does it not seem strange to you that part of being filled with the Spirit is to be speaking with one another using Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs? I mean do you ever greet a fellow Christian with a song back in the day when we actually met with other people?
It would seem to me very strange to walk up to a brother haphazardly in a store or on the street and when he says to me; “John, good to see you. How are you, my friend?” That I would respond by singing;
“This little light of mine…I’m gonna let it shine!” or
“Amazing Grace how sweet the sound…”. Or
“How Great is Our God…”
Perhaps seeing the greater context will help. We are told to be careful how we walk or live. We should not be unwise, aimlessly bouncing along each day isolating ourselves and passing the time with endless all forms of media. We are to be making the most of our time because the days are evil. So, to counteract these stressful and evil days in which we live.
We are told to not be foolish but to understand what the Will of the Lord is…and that will is for us to be being filled with and influenced during our day by the Holy Spirit. One of the evidences of His filling us is that we should be speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs …but also singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord.
Now please do not get me wrong. I do not think this passage is telling us to become like the flower children of the ’60s and start putting flowers into the gun barrels of the police. Flashback to 1967…
What I think this passage is saying to us is that a result of being filled with and walking in the fullness of the Spirit is to be shown by an attitude of wanting to rejoice. One breaks out into song when they are being deeply moved in their hearts about something. And the filling of the Spirit can lift our hearts so that we are moved to song. Seems weird right? But that is what the text is telling us to do.
Unfortunately, for most of us entangled in the sin of porn and sex that is the last thing we feel like we should be doing. Sure, we can sing the songs and mouth the words but inside we feel shame and self-loathing. We do not want to express joy, instead we want to hide and feed our addiction.
So, let me make a suggestion. Since we know that we are commanded to be filled with the Spirit and that sexual sin is the opposite of that, being an act of selfishness and the exploitation of others for our sinful desires what if we use singing and worship as a way to flee our lusts and temptations and go back to focusing on glorifying God by singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.
What if you create a song list on any device that you have with you almost all the time, and you turn on the worship music you love and use the power of worship to defeat the power of sexual temptation? I am telling you from my own experience this works and here is why.
Something happens in our brains when we begin to worship. Our focus becomes images of the things God has done and stimulates the emotions we feel when we remember His death for our sins and His resurrection for our lives. It also keeps our minds focused on reality and the truth instead of being artificially stimulated by fantasy and things that are not true or real.
One of the things I have started to do while trying to go to sleep is to sing worship songs in my head. I sing silently and focus on visualizing what the song is saying. Like this song…
When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.
See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
More on this tomorrow but I want you to know that using worship to overpower the power of temptation is not only biblical, but it also works.