In the Western tradition an officer would shout “Singers to the front!” as the soldiers formed lines. Navies throughout history perhaps sang with even more gusto than the armies, as sailors, soldiers, and marines joined their voices while fiddles, concertinas, drums, and other instruments struck up the band.
The U.S. military carried on in this tradition, whether it wasBattle Hymn of the Republic in the Civil War, Over There, in World War I or Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition in World War II.
Church, have you put your armor on lately? Then sing like warriors.
When Christians sing together, we don’t just do so because it’s what the church has always done (although it is, 1 Cor. 14:26) or because God commands us to (although he does, Ps. 96:1). We also sing because we are the army of God, and that’s what victorious armies do.
We are the beneficiaries of Christ’s victory on the cross, having the promise of eternal life and the vision of an end to the systems of this world. Jesus led the disciples in a hymn shortly before he crushed Satan’s head and took the sting out of death (Mark 14:26). Christ will raise us from the dead, gather us to himself and bring us with him to conquer evil and live forever in the kingdom (Zech. 14:4, Matt. 24:30–31, Rev. 19:11–21).
We celebrate and anticipate all of this when we sing in worship, which is why our singing should be full throttle, shoulders back, voices lifted, and eyes on the prize.
Church, have you put your armor on lately (Eph. 6:10–18)? Then sing like warriors as you congregate. Singing is a sign of the spiritual warfare in which we are now engaged in the upcoming war to end all wars.
When we sing “Amazing grace! How sweet the sound,” the forces of hell tremble.
When we sing “Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King,” Satan is filled with desperate fury “because he knows that his time is short” (Rev. 12:12).
When we sing “Holy is the Lord, God Almighty! The earth is filled with his glory,” the demons shudder because they know they are surrounded.
And when we sing “Amazing grace! How sweet the sound,” the forces of hell tremble because, to them, that sweet sound is the devastating tenor of their prison bars breaking and the shackles of their captives falling, empty, to the floor.
God loves to hear us singing heartily to him because it is a visible sign of our faith. We openly identify with him and signal our allegiance when we praise him with singing. No matter how rugged the terrain we’re crossing, how dark the night, or how many the flaming arrows of the enemy, the singing army of God declares its trust in Jesus, the commander who will lead us to overwhelming victory and lasting peace.
Article from The Resurgence: http://theresurgence.com/2012/08/26/worship-is-a-war-song