Over my vacation I read several books, one of which was The Heavenly Man, the life-story of Christian Brother Yun and the Chinese house-church movement. While I have some reservations about the book, I was very encouraged by it and over the next couple of days I'd like to share some of my favorite excerpts along with my thoughts about them.
The first excerpt comes just after Brother Yun has read Acts 1:8 for the first time and begins to call on the Lord for power to accomplish the ministry he believes that the Lord has given to him:
"I prayed to the Lord, 'I need the power of the Holy Spirit. I am willing to be your witness.' After the prayer God's spirit of joy fell upon me. A deep revelation of God's love and presence flooded my being. I'd never enjoyed singing before but many new songs of worship flowed from my lips. They were words I had never learned before. Later I wrote them down. These songs are still sung in the Chinese house churches to this day."
I love this passage! Ephesians 5:18-19 says, "And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart..."
We all sing about what we love. That's why there's such a thing as "bar-songs" and genres such as "rock-n-roll" which celebrate debauchery. We are wired to sing about what we love, or at least to enjoy others as they sing about it. The ultimate meaning of this impulse is that we are wired to worship God, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, expressing our heartfelt love and thanks and praise to him. And one of the sure signs that someone is filled with the Spirit of God is that they long to sing to the Lord!
Have you been singing lately?