Fight By Singing

Posted by Nathan Moore on

west-side-storyIn spite of the “West Side Story,” I’ve always thought that singing and fighting were diametrically opposed to each other. This is why Netflix doesn’t recommend “The Sound of Music” under “Bloodsport.” But could it be that I could really fight by singing?

My life has been changed by memorizing Scripture. There is something that takes place in my heart as I meditate and internalize God’s Word. Among many other benefits, I find that memorizing Scripture helps me fight sin. But being slow of mind and one who constantly fights waning motivations, I’m constantly looking for memory aids that encourage me in this excellent discipline. 

Though I have found several different strategies that help me, one of my new favorites is from Mark Altrogge from over at Forever Grateful Music. To date, Mark has put together 10 albums of songs that take Scripture and put it ‘word for word’ to music, including the references. These songs are creative, catchy, and easy to memorize. My wife and I have been working through “Through The Waters” and are hooked. Check out his website to hear dozens of samples and view the available themed albums.

The first song on the eight installation of “Hide the Word” is 1 John 5:3 and though I have been very familiar with this verse since I was a child, memorizing it now has really struck me. It says, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”

There are many marvelous implications from this verse, but the one that has struck me the most and is proving to be useful for fighting what I call ‘Tuesday Afternoon Temptation’ is this: God’s commandments are not burdensome because they always seek to enhance, not steal my joy.

Sin holds its power by the promises it makes. To fight sin, is to dismantle its lies that giving in will yield greater pleasure than obedience. This verse dismantles that lie by reminding me that His commands are not burdens. I have found much joy and success in fighting sin by quoting this verse in the midst of temptation. Now there is nothing magical about quoting a verse when tempted. The power comes when we ‘call to mind’ the superior truths of God. So I don’t just quote (or sing) this verse, but call to mind the truth that God’s commandments are not burdensome but an expression of love for me. In that moment, by the Spirit, I am compelled to believe that obedience will result in greater joy for me.

So I commend to you this verse, the discipline of Scripture memory, and the practice of fleeing temptation. Even if you must fight by singing.

Tags: spiritual disciplines, scripture memory, temptation

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