My challenge today is to convince you to be an active user of music rather than simply a passive listener. Music is everywhere in our society today, and that is a good thing. The movie producer uses music to manipulate you into either laughing, crying, or being scared. The advertiser uses music to try to convince you to buy and use his product. Everywhere you go, from the grocery store to the coffee shop music is being utilized to convey a message and to garner the desired response from you.
How does this all work? Well there are dozens of scientific studies, but basically it boils down to this; music is the language of emotion.
Because music is the language of emotion it has the ability to manipulate our emotions. Music has the ability to excite or calm, to anger or to pacify. My argument then is simple. We should use music to get the desired effect in our homes, emotions, and souls rather than being a passive listener of whatever comes across the television, radio, or computer. That means that we have to be intentional in choosing and playing music.
The Old Testament hints toward this principle in at least three places.
Saul's Emotional Response to David's Music:
1 Samuel 16:23 And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.
Saul: The Inclusion of Music in Hearing the Voice of God (Prophecy).
1 Samuel 10:5-6 After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines: and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they shall prophesy: And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man.
Elisha's Request for Music
2 Kings 3:15 But now bring me a minstrel. And it came to pass, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the LORD came upon him.
In each of these examples we find a thread of a truth, and that is the fact that music has an effect and can be used to reach a desired goal in our emotions and souls. And so, I encourage you to be a user of music, not simply a passive listener. This is not the post for it, but there is good and bad music. Be selective. Be intentional with the choice and playing of music to reach the emotional goal that you want for your home and your inner self. Music is a powerful tool given to us by God. We can either use it to put our hearts into the place where they should be, or we can allow ourselves to be passively manipulated through music by others.