Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Concert, Some Scripture, and the Thunder of Heaven

Woa. He did it again: One of those amazing God moments, where for one second I get a taste of His goodness.
It was loud. Really loud. The drums were making my heart beat faster. The bass was thundering in my eardrums. The guitars were playing one note after another, creating a melody. Then one of the artists steps up to the microphone to give us a message. 
There were many different words, analogies, and emotions. They all seemed to translate to the same thing. “Hey God, I need you…a lot”.  It got me thinking about music, and how it affects us spiritually. I wasn’t trying to figure out if certain kinds of music were evil or more spiritual. I simply needed to share my joy and talk to God about this moment.
“Father, what do you think about this? What kinds of tunes do you like the best? Will I hear this song in heaven, because it makes me think of you?”
That’s when Switchfoot started a new song, one I had never heard before. Jon’s words caught my attention:

On the final day I die
I want to hold my head up high
I want to tell you that I tried
To live it like a song

And when I reach the other side
I want to look you in the eye
And know that I've arrived
In a world where I belong

Wow. I started thinking about heaven. How wonderful it sounded and how amazing God is. Suddenly Bible verses started flooding my mind.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
 praise him with the harp and lyre,
 praise him with timbrel and dancing,
 praise him with the strings and pipe,
 praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
   Praise the LORD. (Psalms 150:4-6)
So sometimes praise and worship is loud…
More verses came to mind, about heaven and how things will look.
At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. 3 And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne. 4 Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. 5 From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. (Revelations 4:2-5)
Beauty. The scary kind that makes you fall on your face. And what was up with these “flashes of lightning, rumblings’ and peals of thunder”?
It was when the Bowling Green drumline came and joined Anberlin on stage that these verses clicked like never before. As I heard the drums and the words, I thought of the throne of God. There was no way that Amazing Grace would be the song playing in the throne room of heaven. You wouldn’t be able to hear it with all the thunder and rumblings. The songs had to go along with the back ground. The thunder, loud clashing symbols, harp, flute….all of it was worshiping God.
The Bible says there is a time for everything. (Ecclesiastes 3) I know God has a place for this music in heart. He was hearing us worship right alongside with heaven. So I had to keep rumbling, singing, and jumping.
Naturally, thinking about heaven made me think about the road to get there. Jesus Christ, end of story. I was completely unworthy, and yet God loved me. Not just a baby Jesus, lamb, father kind of God, but a huge, scary, I-control- the-universe kind of God.
Ouch. I am not a good person. I have to stand before the judgment seat of God.  
What’s that going to look like?
What is that going to sound like?
The Bible describes the spectacle.
 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. (Revelation 20:12)

Yikes! I imagine of a group of sinners before the throne (ya know, the one with the lightning and thunder). Suddenly we hear, “Please rise for the Judge.” We try, but we fall on our faces in fear and shame. He knows what I did. He knows what he all did. We deserve to die, and frankly we feel like we are going to die, because the glory of God is all around us.

Once again I don’t think I would be singing to the tune of Amazing Grace. My words might be the same, but I won’t be able to keep the rhythm. My heart will pound faster and louder than any rock band has ever played. I won’t sing “Jesus paid it all”, I will scream it bloody murder.

Wow. These musicians were being real and pretty loud about it. Our personal God was listening. Everyone singing along wasn’t hiding the feelings and sins that God already knew about. We are upset about earth, sin, pain, and we really REALLY want to get to heaven. You can say it softly, but sometimes you have to yell it. Sometimes you have to turn the tables over.


  1. Very true. God is as much a God of righteous indignation as he is a God of love. Why do we try and fit His praise into a certain mold? Although reverent, peaceful worship has its place, it doesn't do any good to leave out the other forms; the loud trumpets, cymbals and timbrels. (According to the Webster's 1828 dictionary, the timbrel is literally a drum)

    Great blog entry. looking forward to reading more in the future.

  2. Right on right on right on!!!! I want to shout it out and shout it out loud, "Look at all the wonderful amazing things God can do, has done and will do!!!!