Ephesians 5:15-21 – “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; 21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.” NASB
I love the writings of the apostle Paul and how beautifully applicable his inspired words are regardless of what generation, era, or century they are read. Consider these few verses and the powerful life application found in them. It would take an entire book to be remotely exhaustive on the content, but we will let a few paragraphs suffice at this time.
He begins with wise instruction telling us how to live our daily lives (our walk). We are to do so not like the unwise but with wisdom and in so doing utilize our time in the most efficient manner possible as we realize both the brevity of our time and the condition of the world in which we live.
He makes it a double admonition by following that statement with those in verses 17-18 tells us to avoid being foolish but seek understanding of the will of God; also addresses the issue of drunkenness with intoxicants other than the Holy Spirit which he encourages. That saturation with the presence and person of the Holy Spirit brings revelation and understanding in the things of God that are gained in no other way.
Then he comes to the part that I really want to discuss just a moment and that is “How we talk to ourselves.” We’ve all been told it’s okay to talk to yourself as long as you don’t answer yourself. Well, I disagree. I believe that it is wholesome and healthy to speak to oneself and even have a conversation with that inner man or woman as the Holy Spirit guides and come to concrete conclusions and decisions that impact one’s life for the duration of that life on this planet. But, back to what the writer says regarding “How to speak to oneself.”
In Psalms. Now that is interesting because the word in the Greek is psalmos” which is a piece of music a sacred ode accompanied with the voice, harp, or some other instrument. Collectively it is the Book of Psalms.
Try singing them to yourself and you will understand how David encouraged himself in the Lord and why the prophets of old would ask for a minstrel before giving their word from the Lord. It is liberating to the Spirit. Remember when an evil spirit would come upon Saul and David would play the harp and the spirit would be dispelled? This is a powerful tool in preparing the heart to hear from God.
In Hymns. The word in the Greek is “humnos” and apparently comes from a simpler (obsolete) form of “hudeo” which means “to celebrate” and is a hymn, religious ode, or one of the Psalms. Again, making melody in the heart to music in worship and adoration unto the Lord. The heart is softened, the field is plowed, the soil tilled in preparation for the planting of spiritual seed.
In Spiritual Songs. Two words “oide” which is a chant or ode the general term for words sung and is a religious metrical composition and even more specific a Hebrew cantillation. Then, “pneumatikos” identifies the song as “non-carnal” but spiritual, supernatural, regenerate, and/or religious. This is singing that springs forth from the inner being as prompted by the Holy Spirit.
Singing and Making Melody in the Heart to the Lord.
Multiple words here:
- “aido” – to sing
- “psallo” – to twitch or twang – to play a stringed instrument and celebrate the divine worship with music and accompanying odes.
- “kardia” – the heart, the thoughts, the feelings, and the innermost being.
Giving Thanks Always for All Things in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ unto God our Father.
No matter where we begin in this set of instructions, we find the guidance to seek wisdom, the will of the Lord, allow the heart to express itself in worship, praise, and adoration unto God. We follow a progression in our expression of adoration as is fitting to the particular need, situation, and condition in which we find ourselves. We are doing it as an offering of Love to the Lord which brings the heart into a state of Thanksgiving. That is the logical conclusion of all worship – Thanksgiving. It brings one to a place of recognition of Who God Is, who we are, what God has done, what we need, and our utter hopelessness and helplessness without Him.
That is another reason that I love the Psalms and many of the Old and Powerful Hymns of the Church. Not just the words but the story behind the words the heart condition of the writer taking us by the hand and leading us into the very presence of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
So, today why not try it you might like it – go through the day quietly or loudly singing to yourself as you sing to the Lord Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, Singing and Making Melody in your hearts to the Lord. I will guarantee that you will be unable to do that without it positively impacting your life and you will receive an Attitude Adjustment in the process!
Blessings as you venture into something new or rekindle something old and relive the blessings afforded in this simple practice and experience! God Bless You Richly is my prayer!