The Power of a Song
Imagine what Stranger Things would be like without the techno music pulsating in the background. Or Full House without “Everywhere You Look”. Or SpongeBob without “Who Lives in a Pineapple Under the Sea”!? Or Jaws without “duuuun dunnn…”! Or Rocky without the “Eye of the Tiger”!?!
Whether you realize it or not, music is one of the most powerful forces in the world. The right music can pump up an athlete for a hardcore workout while a lullaby can calm a child into a peaceful sleep. Music can feed a person’s rage or help them focus on their studies.
When I was a young teenager I went to my very first concert. Several hundred people, mostly teenagers and young adults, were jammed in a small venue. The neon colors so prevalent in the 80’s were muted by the haze from the fog machines. The energy level went through the roof as Mylon Lefevre and Broken Heart came out on the stage. These guys were some of the first to bridge the gap between rock music and Christianity.
Partway through the concert one of the band members went off on a nasty guitar solo (I mean that in a good way). The room went nuts. Then, an acoustic guitar began playing a song I had never heard before. I listened as Mylon began to sing what was really a prayer put to music:
Break my heart and change my mind
Cut me loose from ties that bind
Lead me as I follow You
Give me strength to follow through
Oh, more, more, I want to be more like Jesus
Suddenly, amidst the haze and the lights and the crowd, I felt the presence of God. He became very real to me. Tears welled up in my eyes. I raised my hands to the heavens and cried out to God. I wanted to be more like Jesus. (Listen to More, by Mylon LeFevre.)
That song became a sort of anthem for me. I remember being in my bedroom on many occasions, burdened by the hypocrisy in my life, dropping to my knees, hands in the air, tears streaming, while I sang “more of Jesus, less of me.” God met me in those moments.
Today begins a long-standing church tradition called Lent. The 40 days leading up to Resurrection Sunday are a time for reflection, repentance, soul-searching, and preparation leading up to the celebration of the most significant event in history – the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Many believers choose to fast some type of food or deny themselves in some way in order to give focused attention to Jesus. While I don’t think the observation of Lent is mandated by Scripture, I have found it to be valuable.
What would it look like if you, for the next 40 days, devoted yourself to listen only to music that makes you more like Jesus? Imagine the benefits on your mind, your emotions, your attitude, and your relationships.
Sometimes “more of Jesus” requires “less of me.”