I love going to a good concert.
It makes me feel alive.
I love the way I can join a crowd of strangers and share a moment of connection through what is happening on the stage.
Christian concerts bring me to a whole new level. Not only is there the crowds, the energy, the lights, and the music, but they also bring us into the presence of Jesus.
I remember going to a Christian concert with some friends. As the singer lead the crowd in some praise and worship, I sat there and all I could think was, “God, look at all these people praising You.”
But one of the biggest reasons I enjoy a good Christian concert is because I can’t sing.
That’s right. I can’t carry a tune to save my life. I don’t know what happened, but when God put me together in my mother’s womb, the angel in charge of putting in the voice box must accidentally grabbed from the “Non-Inspiring” rather than the “Awe-Inspiring” box. There was no way on God’s green earth that I was ever going to carry a tune, or join the church choir for that matter.
I also love to go camping.
The fresh air.
The smell of the fire.
The stars at night.
The family time.
There is something amazing about waking up to the sound of birds singing their praises in the morning light. Unless that bird happens to be a crow.
Have you ever heard a crow squawking in the morning? What a terrible sound. It sounds like the alarm in a submarine under attack.
The kind where it’s all you can hear and it’s warning you that something bad is about to happen.
It’s the sound that makes me wish that the bird had an actual snooze button on it..
I remember a time where we were camping with some friends and a whole flock of crows thought it was a good idea to land on the grass next to our tents and sing like a choir of angels.
It didn’t take long for one of the guys from another tent to rush out at them screaming like a mad man.
Then, on another camping adventure, something struck me.
As I laid in my tent, listening to the un-soothing sounds of the crow in the tree above me, I realized that God made that crow. Not only did He make that crow, but He made it the way He wanted it. That means, when God put it together, He chose the sound for its voice.
And He said it was good.
Pondering this, I started to become thankful for the crow because somehow on Gods’ green earth, it sounded good to Him.
That comforted me. If the sound of the crow is good to Him, just maybe my squawking could be good to Him too.
I love how the Psalmist writes that we should “make a joyful noise to the Lord” (Ps 100:1, KJV).
He doesn’t write that it has to be on tune.
That comforts me, too.
Even though He knows my inability, the God of the universe wants me to praise Him.
Even though He knows that I could give that crow a run for its money, the God of the universe wants me to praise Him out loud.
So how do I do that? Here are 3 thoughts:
1. It’s a NOT a choice.
When the psalmist writes, “make”, it is a “strong invitation to worship God” (Matthew Henry). There is no caveat to worshipping God. No required voice lessons. No certain skills required. We are simply called to worship God. That also means that God allows it. The God of the universe wants us, His creation, to worship Him. So we just need to.
2. It’s a JOYFUL noise.
Trust me, when I sing, “noise” is a good way to describe it. But what is my motive? Is my motive to be heard by others, or is it to bring praises to God? If it’s to praise God, then why wouldn’t I have a well of reasons to be joyful? If all He ever did was die for me, would that not be enough to be joyful?
3. It’s to the LORD.
I am not singing for the crowd. I am not singing for the person next to me. And I am definitely not singing for myself. So why do I allow those three to stop me? I mean, who gets to determine whether it’s good or not anyway? It’s not like I’m auditioning for any of those idol / talent shows where imperfect people judge imperfect people. NO! It’s the perfect God inviting the imperfect human into a deeper relationship with Him. As long as it’s connected from my heart to God’s heart, the joy comes from an authentic source. And this is the kicker: He welcomes it! It’s for Him! That means that I, even I, can praise Him out loud.
And maybe that’s why I love concerts so much. It’s one place where this crow can disappear into a crowd and still be heard by God.
And He says it’s good.
As I sat at that concert with my friends, inviting Jesus to look at all the people praising Him, something grabbed me. It was like Jesus was right there in front of me and pulled me up by my shirt as He said, “And you’re one of them!” I shot out of my seat, lifted my hands, closed my eyes, and just praised Him.
The crow joined the choir.
Maybe it’s time for us to take our eyes off of ourselves, stop judging our own inabilities, look to God, and praise Him for who He is.
And just maybe the next time you go camping, instead of hating that crow in the tree, you will appreciate how it is part of a larger choir, praising God to the best of its abilities.
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Brad in 2 Sentences:
I love to write and teach people of all ages about Jesus. If I can tell a story and tell you about Jesus at the same time, even better!