Restoring the Song

Posted on February 10, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin in Devotional Reflections

“Then Hezekiah commanded them to offer the burnt offering on the altar. And when the sacrifice began, the song of the Lord also began” (2 Chronicles 29:27).

Many people have lost the song in their hearts. You know the feeling–those days when things are going well, someone has paid you an unexpected compliment, the future looks bright and you feel incredibly blessed. There is a spring in your step, enthusiasm in your work and a song in your heart. In fact, the uplifting lyrics of a familiar praise song are flowing through your mind sub-consciously.

But there are other days when plans go awry, relationships are strained, you feel unappreciated and overwhelmed with responsibility. The last thing you feel like doing is singing. How do you get on top of things, walk in victory and reclaim the song in your heart. Noted evangelist Vance Havner preached a sermon on this verse to point out that  the song is restored when we put the sacrifice on the altar.

The problem of stress, anxiety and pressures that rob us of joy is a self-centered life that is focused on what we want. We want the circumstances to conform to our plans. When children’s behavior, the neglect of a spouse or disagreement with co-workers conflict with how we want life to be the joy is lost and we stew in self-pity. We may suppress the anger, but disappointment and resentment dominant our demeanor.

We tend to forget that the self-centered life is enemy of victorious Christian living. Jesus continually stressed to his followers the oxymoron that in giving you receive, in dying that you discover life. When it is all about me, my plans, what I want and how I want others to behave, we are always going to be disappointed. But only when we lay it on the altar, die to self, relinquish our own desires, can God take over. Our joy is not dependent on everything going our way; there is an abiding joy that supersedes circumstances when we yield control and kill self-will. When we realize we are not the source of successful and victorious living, but God is, we yield to Him and find the song restored.

Paul pleaded with his readers to grasp this essential concept in the Christian life: “I beseech you brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God” (Romans 12:1). That’s the only way to claim and walk in victory. Give it up. Die to self. Lay your life, your desires, your plans plans on the altar and trust God. And when the sacrifice begins the song of the Lord will return.

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