A Music Lover: The Switch

✨Check out my some

of my favorite songs

at the end of this post!✨

I love music. I could listen to it all day long. I love to sing at the top of my lungs. I love to play instruments even though I don’t have the self-discipline to become anything other than a slightly skilled beginner. I am also the kind of person who loves a wide variety of music. Country, rap, hip-hop, rock, alternative, folk, classical, electronic, acapella, instrumental. Now I’m not a huge fan of remixes persay, however I do love mash-ups.

You know that crazy person driving down the road, you can hear them coming, you can see them dancing and grooving behind the wheel, singing at the top of their lungs? That person… is me. I am that crazy person. When there’s a lot of traffic, I try to contain myself, but it’s honestly a struggle. I’m that person at a redlight, drumming on the steering wheel and bobbing my head, still singing at the top of my lungs while the person in the lane beside me gets a good chuckle.

Music is powerful. It can make me want to get up and dance (despite my lack of rhythm), it can make me want to cry, it can give me chills, make me feel like I’m in a movie, and it even has the power to positively or negatively affect my attitude and my walk with God.

As I began to pursue God more actively and intentionally in my late teen years and early 20’s, He convicted my heart that my music needed to change. My playlist consisted of songs about Jesus… and songs about drugs, alcohol, sex, one night stands, partying, bitterness, regret, depression, suicide, idolization, and the list goes on. Something seems just a bit off if you are worshipping God in one song and the next is filled with profanity and immorality, don’t you think? Music was the stage of a battle ground in my heart.

Music was a huge idol in my life. “Idol,” being defined as anything that I’ve placed in my heart before God. I fought God. I didn’t want to listen to just Christian music. That was lame. And like… I wasn’t listening to the lyrics, just the beat. The lyrics wouldn’t affect me, I was just appreciating the talent, appreciating the music for its’ intricacies. Those were the lies I told myself.

Worldly music is inundated with so much filth. We hear it on the radio, in movies and shows, and stores. It’s easy to allow yourself to become desensitized to the message despite the fact the music is still penetrating your mind. I haven’t listened to secular music, other than places it can’t be avoided, in probably about 5 years or more, but there are still songs I know all the lyrics to. You’d think I forget it after not hearing it for so long… but nope. Music is powerful and permeating. Once in a while a song from my high school days will pop into my head and as the lyrics run through my mind, I think, “wow, I can’t believe I used to listen to that garbage.”

I remember the day I deleted all of my secular, worldly music. I actually couldn’t bring myself to do it. I handed my iPod to my best friend and said, “I can’t do it.” She deleted everything that wasn’t bringing honor to God and I am so thankful she did. I had just purchased several albums a few days before… and now they were being deleted. As I watched her delete my songs I felt like a hole was being torn in my heart, but that wasn’t the case at all. In reality the secular music had created the hole in my heart. Sure, getting rid of it was painful… but now the healing could begin.

As I began the search for Christian music my attitude was not a positive one. Honestly, my thoughts going into the search were quite negative and my hopes of finding good music were quite low. I thought for sure I would be giving up so much and have nothing to replace it with. In my search God led me to the song, “Start a Fire” by the band Unspoken. This was the song that made me realize that there is Christian music out there that is going to fill my heart with goodness and point my heart to the Father; this song made me realize I was also going to enjoy it.

1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Whatsoever you do… like the kind of music you choose to listen to. So when I was jamming out to music that was blatantly promoting the fulfillment of lustful desires, the use of substances, or revenge on an ex, or filled with curse words… I was most definitely not bringing God glory. Not even close.

I didn’t realize it until quite some time later, but music was a stumbling block in my life. It was a deterrent, an obstacle that I had placed between myself and God. When I eliminated secular music from my life my relationship with God flourished and my attitude changed. They say, “You are what you eat.” Likewise, your thoughts and attitude reflect what you consume audibly and visually which presents itself in your words and actions. The Bible tells us to be diligent in guarding our hearts and that what is in our hearts comes out of our mouths. What are you putting in your heart? Philippians 4:8 tells us we should be putting in things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, of virtue, or worthy of praise. When I was listening to secular music I was not putting in anything resembling the list Philippians 4:8 gives us. The most difficult step in the switch was deleting music from my iTunes library and it was a real game changer that helped immensely. The temptation to return to the secular music I had listened to was almost non-existent because what I replaced it with was so much better. I finally understood why Paul and Silas sang while they were imprisoned.

Did you know God loves music too? The word “sing” appears in the Bible 40 times. The word “singing” appears 25 times. The phrase “sing unto the Lord” appears 17 times. Psalm 100 tells us to make a joyful noise unto the Lord. God desires to hear us praise Him in song. He created music and He created us as a species with musical abilities and a desire to enjoy it! In fact, humans are not the only species that create music. I love the sound of birds singing in the morning and the peepers at twilight. Even the pitter patter of rain is musical, the rustling of leaves in the summer breeze, the ebb and flow of the ocean waves, or the flowing of the rivers.

God wants us to enjoy music, He wants us to create music, to sing regardless of how musical or unmusical we may sound. God created music to bring Him glory. Next time you listen to a song take a minute and really think about what the lyrics are actually saying. Is it glorifying God? Do the same with your movies, television shows, and books. Is it glorifying to God? Does watching, listening, or reading it bring you closer to God or farther away? I still struggle with this stuff too. Especially TV shows. I love Grey’s Anatomy but I need to quit it, because it’s not drawing me closer to Christ, it’s not filling my mind with things that are good, lovely, pure, or worthy of praise. My challenge to us, myself included, is to examine our lives and search for anything that is seeking to pull us from God. Ask God to reveal areas in your life you haven’t surrendered to Him. Once you find it… the choice is yours.

Check out some of my favorite jams below!

Valerie loves going on adventures, spending time in nature, and getting lost in the wonders of God’s creation. She works in the 6th grade resource room at the local middle school, co-runs a faith-based youth mentoring program, and is actively involved in Bible camp ministry. Valerie loves mentoring other women, teens and children. She has an obsession with pens and stocking up on beautiful journals. Valerie’s greatest joy is sharing Jesus with others. Her greatest desire is to know Him more deeply and make Him known. You can find her on Instagram @valerieeejayyy