It is always very easy to think we can move God, change Him or get Him to do something with our tears! Truth is, as much as God isn’t wicked and without emotions, His emotions don’t swing between perfections and imperfections! God has emotions and the mind of His own, He made us be like Him in this regard but the fall of man meant a defect on our own emotions. There are so many places in the Bible that strongly show us the displays of God’s emotions. If anyone would say God doesn’t have emotions would also mean saying that God doesn’t exist. In the Bible, we see God’s display of joy, jealousy, love, hate, grief, compassion, laughter and anger but for the sake of not keeping a long list, we wouldn’t be quoting those places here. However, God doesn’t change, His emotions don’t swing and He displays His emotions in a perfect way and for perfect reasons, unlike humans whose emotional displays may be unreasonable at times and very reasonable at other times. While God would be angry with sin, He is very loving to the sinner! While God hates the sin, He loves the sinner. God’s emotions are geared towards a certain purpose!
It is important we understand this and also understand that God doesn’t stop being loving at one time and start hating! In other words, God knows what is best for us and isn’t waiting for us to convince Him about it. While our emotions can cloud our judgement, God’s emotions are consistently responsive to God’s already established judgement. God’s emotions are as holy as He is and there is no atom of negativity in the manner with which He displays them. While the Old Testament may not communicate these things so well, the New Testament is the correct display of who God is in the person of Jesus. Many times we try to see God from a perspective with which we see our earthly fathers, we think God will only have to be convinced with our tears or moved by our songs! We see God just the same way we see our earthly fathers whom we have to beg and cry over certain situations before they are convinced to delve in and assist us. God isn’t like that.
GOD’S EMOTION AND HUMAN EMOTION IN CONTRAST
Jesus showed a very big contrast between humans and God in Matthew 7:11 which says “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” There is no comparison between God and us who have tendencies of being responsive to the demands of our flesh. If in spite of our imperfections we would be kind enough to give good gifts to our children, how much more God who displays kindness in a perfect and holy way? This is a big contrast! We need to understand this about God and approach Him in the manner of who He is! We shouldn’t pray to convince God about something, we should pray with the knowledge that God is good and He wants the best for us! We pray in order to give God the go-ahead permission to do in us what He wants to do and not to convince Him of how much He isn’t doing what He is supposed to do. We shouldn’t praise God in the manner that it seems God is far away and can only be attracted if we praise more and more till it moves Him. Isaiah wrote in 62:7 “I will make known the LORD’s loving devotion and His praiseworthy acts, because of all the LORD has done for us–even the many good things He has done for the house of Israel according to His compassion and the abundance of His loving devotion.” We ought to praise God and make known His loving acts because of what He has done including those we have only seen with our eyes of faith but not yet manifested in reality. We shouldn’t praise God to try getting Him to do something, we should praise Him because He has done great things!
The Bible says in Romans 8:32 “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” God never gave Jesus because you asked and He will also freely give you all things! When you ask God for something, ask with the mindset that God knows what you need and you aren’t trying to convince Him with tears! It is great to come before God with our tears, our worries, our depressions and our shame! Not because they would touch God and convince Him to do something but because we trust He will do something and we are submitting to Him known it is Him alone that can save us from all troubles! When we understand these things about God we will worship God from the place of total dependence and total trust in Him. We don’t come to God just for our needs, God is not a backup plan, He is already in the process if we allow Him to. We should rather make the truth of God’s word our focus rather than focus on personal needs. Until we create space for the word of God in us we are allowing the truth of that word take pre-eminence in our subconscious.
MUSIC WILL NOT MOVE GOD
Many times we try to think we can manipulate God with certain practices like singing, crying and fasting just because we could influence people with same. While hunger-strike may be a valid protest on national issues, it has nothing to do with God. While we may sing people into doing something, we can’t sing God into doing something. Don’t get me wrong, God loves our music and is pleased by them and when those songs are for His glory, He accepts our thanksgiving of praise! While we know music is great, it doesn’t bring down God’s presence! We praise Him because His presence is with and in us! We already have God’s presence in us as the Bible says in Colossians 2:9 “For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.” Somewhere else in Romans 8:10-11 the Bible says “And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.” The same Christ who is the fullness of God lives in us and therefore we have the exact fullness of God’s presence! In this sense, music doesn’t move God, it is our emotions that music moves, it stirs our emotions to look up to God and acknowledge His greatness. Music is powerful but it doesn’t make God act faster because God is ever faithful and doesn’t depend on our music to do what He has to do. When we sing of God’s faithfulness, we are reminding ourselves that God is faithful and it is in the acknowledgement of this that our faith is built to lay hold on what God has released to us. When we sing of God’s mercies, we are reminding ourselves of God’s unwavering mercies and it makes us enter the throne of Grace with boldness to obtain these mercies of God knowing that God has released mercy to us! We aren’t singing to get God to show us mercy! We are singing because God is merciful!
Music stirs the emotions and it can intensify us to bare ourselves before God! We aren’t singing to attract God, He is already on our side but we can take advantage of the power of music and stir our emotions into acknowledging and magnifying God in our thoughts! Music can be said to be divinely-inspired when the lyrics are inspired by God! As much as music can stir our souls to worship, it can also stir our souls to think immorality depending on the content of that music and that is to show how powerful music is! So those times we feel broken, we can experience the healing that is already available through music that communicates the availability of that healing! In 2 Chronicles 5:13 the Bible says “Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, the singers raised their voices in praise to the Lord and sang: ‘He is good; his love endures forever.” They were singing of God’s goodness and love which endures forever, they were not trying to get God’s love, they were not trying to lure God into being merciful, they are acknowledging God’s goodness and love and they were praising God for it! Before praising God with music, He is already good and after praising Him, He remains good! Nothing changes about God. It is our emotions and mind that is stirred towards the truth of God’s goodness and it causes us to lay hold to that truth because it has been replayed to our consciousness that God is good. Concerning what to do with music in Christian gathering, we can see a concept from Paul’s letter in Ephesians 5:19-20 “Speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” First, songs are meant to minister to us and so when we sing in Church meetings, those songs are ministering to us as it stirs our souls to acknowledge God and His greatness. Secondly, we make music from our heart to the Lord in thanksgiving. Contemporary English Version puts it in a better perspective as it says “When you meet together, sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, as you praise the Lord with all your heart.” So, we aren’t making music to get God to bless us, we sing because God has blessed us and even in our songs we acknowledge it. You will never see a place in the New Testament where believers sang songs just to get down God’s presence. The Bible says in Psalm 22:3 that God inhabits in the praises of His people and this isn’t talking about music! Music and praises are two different words and this is simply talking about how the acknowledgement of God’s greatness enthrones God in the affairs of men! When we acknowledge God’s greatness, we are simply saying “I believe that God is mighty above all my situations.” This automatically makes you give God the room to implement what He already did for you.
We see a story of Paul and Silas in the Bible where they were thrown into Prison and instead of mourning their situations, the Bible says they prayed and sang praises to God that even others heard them! (Act 16:25-34) It is worthy to note that Paul and Silas were not praying for deliverance, they were rather praising God and reminding themselves of God’s faithfulness. After they had eventually prayed and poured themselves out to God, the next thing to do was to praise God for what they had experienced and what they were yet to experience. It wasn’t their song that moved God, they rather sang because they knew their deliverance from that prison was sure and they knew even if they weren’t delivered God is still worthy of praise! Music can be very unpleasing to God when we are just singing to get God to do something and not in sincere gratitude, thanksgiving and trust in God. The Bible says in Amos 5:23 “Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps.” Personally, the time of music worship for me is always a time of expressing my sincere gratitude to God’s love and faithfulness, a time of thanksgiving and also a time of stirring up within me the truth of God’s word!
In the next part of this article, we will continue to see if God’s emotions can be twisted to get Him to do something. We fast, we cry, we pray and do all manner of things and people keep asking “why do we do them in Church?” Is our tears the reason why God act fast just like men would act fast when we beg? Do we worship God for who He is or to stir His emotions to get something from Him? Is there any way we can twist God’s emotions and bring His presence down? Why do great things happen when we fast, pray and sing? Is it about God or about us? We will be making this amazing discoveries together in the next part.