”Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” (Eph. 5:19)
Being filled with the Spirit immediately preceded this verse admonishing Christ-Ones to have a song-filled heart. The two go together, i.e. being filled with the Spirit and singing and making melody unto the Lord. In the shower is a good place to start but don’t leave your song there, take it in your heart with you through the day.
All kinds of songs: psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. The Psalmist added an interesting component when in Psalm 92:3 he said our music at times should have a “solemn sound.” And, all with ten strings. I take that to mean at times with a full orchestra. A majestic, soul-stirring sound that lifts you out of your seat emotionally and spiritually. Like the Hallelujah Chorus that just about put its composer, Handel, into orbit the first time he heard it performed. Some sounds are ordinary, ever day choruses that we joyfully rehearse such as “Heavenly Sunshine, heavenly sunshine, filling my soul with glory divine.” Some may be actually words of the Psalms put to music, as many have done with Psalm 19:7ff. when singing about the Law of the Lord which is perfect, converting the soul. Some are greater hymns that might be sung with a congregation of like-minded folk who are worshipping the Lord by united voices lifted in praise to extol His virtues as in “How Great Thou Art.” So, there are a variety of ways to sing, and the goal of all spiritual singing is “in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.” (Col. 3:17).
Paul qualifies all of our singing in I Cor. 14:15 when he says that our singing, like our praying, should be done with the spirit and with the understanding.” Recognizing there may be differing styles and preferences of styles of music, whoever sings in worship and whatever is sung in worship, the singing should be “with understanding,” and with “the spirit.” The word spirit in I Cor. 14:15 is not capitalized, but it might well refer to the Holy Spirit who, indwelling believers, would produce music that is conducive to understanding so that if in our meetings an unbeliever or new believer (unlearned) visits our assemblies they could and would understand what we were singing about and why (I Cor. 14:23-25).
Some years ago, I visited an old man and his wife who were then members of our church (both have since been graduated to glory). He was from the hills of Kentucky which must be a wonderful place to be from for I have known many folks from there who, when getting an opportunity are always quick to return, if only for a visit. Sparky was his name, and having invited me to sit down I noticed there was a well-used hymnal near where I was seated which I commented on. Sparky sang solos occasionally at our church, and always without accompaniment. He would bellow out his song, from his heart, often a song none present had ever heard, but he knew it and he knew it well. It was always an appropriate song telling us what Jesus meant to him and we could understand every word of it. His music was truly inimitable. You could picture him working in a field or garden somewhere in a Kentucky valley or on its hillside, singing and making melody in his heart unto the Lord. When I mentioned that his hymnal looked well-worn, a broad grin lit up Sparky’s face and he said with his southern drawl, “Oh, there has to be a song!” And let us not forget it, brothers and sisters, there has to be a song!
“O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.” (Ps. 95:1)