I have been pondering this verse for some time. We all long to be filled – continually filled – with the Spirit. But how? Paul’s answer is a little unusual: singing is not only the result of being indwelt by the Spirit, but the cause. “Be filled with the Spirit as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves…” A bemused bystander new to church might look and ask, “What is this, a bunch of adults gathering together for a sing-along?” David Platt suggests that the answer is a resounding, “YES!”: to be church is to be a singing people. (http://www.radical.net/media/series/view/1698/the-cosmic-cause-of-christ?filter=series) We are a people who love to sing the praises of our beautiful King. We cannot help but praise Him name.
But I don’t like singing.
I think Paul would say – bluntly – it doesn’t matter. There is much talk about worship styles and whether church needs to include corporate singing and whilst I am hesitant to say that we must sing, that does, in fact, seem to be what the Bible says. (Psalm 96:1-3, Psalm 47:6) And it is for our benefit, not simply for his glory. We sing because we need to. We sing because others need us to. We sing what is true about God when we don’t believe it is true. We sing the scriptures to memorise and meditate, to get God’s word deep deep deep down in our hearts. (Colossians 3:16)We sing because it makes us feel good because somewhere, somehow, we are musical people, and God is a musical God. It seems a bit of a wacky remedy, but it is true: I feel better when I sing. God's truths are truer when I sing. A shut door, my guitar and a heart-felt (but often rather tuneless) voice serves my soul. And it makes him smile.
But I don’t like singing. I don’t feel like singing.
As my wise husband said to me yesterday, why don’t you just do what the verse says? It isn’t optional. It’s a command. Happy singing.