“He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God” (Psalm 40:3).
For many years I sang in church choirs. I am not a great singer, but I always tried to “make a joyful noise unto the Lord” (Psalm 98:4). I am an alto – I sing on the low female range. I remember one church choir I was in, I was seated with a soprano to my left, a tenor directly behind me on my left and a bass directly behind me on my right. Everyone was going in different vocal directions and I had the hardest time staying on my alto notes. Because the soprano was a strong singer, I was constantly being pulled in her direction. I spoke to our choir director, and he told me he didn’t want to move me, but he did give me some good advice. He told me to concentrate more on my note – and to lean just a little towards the alto to my right. He said that he could hear me singing the correct notes, but at the same time, he could tell that I was listening to all the other singers around me and losing confidence in myself. I will always remember what he told me, “You’re on the right notes, but you have to stay focused and not back off.”
I think about that often when the world is loud and I’m struggling to stay on the right way. Many different voices are saying many different things, and they are apt to draw me away from what I know is true. The culture wants me to embrace things that God’s Word has clearly forbidden. The scholar wants me to trade truth for worldly philosophies that have no regard for God. The unsaved world wants me to stop singing God’s praises altogether. My choir director’s advice rings loud and clear: stay focused. Concentrate on what you know is right and true; lean in to godly wisdom and don’t back off. This world is becoming more evil and more vocal every day. If we are not intentionally listening to God, you and I will be pulled away from what is right and true. I love this word from Paul to his protégé Timothy, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of” (2 Timothy 3:14). Stay the course. Focus on the truth. Let God’s Word drown out the voices of the world. The way of righteousness has not changed just because the music around you has. Beloved, don’t let the world change your song.