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Call Forth the Singer,
Call Forth the Song

by Ann McCraw

The singer is not a peripheral element in the church service, but an integral link in the chain of worshiping the Lord. God-called, Spirit-controlled singers are priceless in the work of the ministry. God will reward the faithfulness of these blessed servants.

Those who minister in song should seek excellence unto greatness for the glory of God. Then it will be evident to all that they have been touched by the hand of God. If they minister in true, Spirit-born ministry, then that which comes forth from their life will amaze those who hear it. The precious gift of song that has been placed within the singer is jealously guarded by the Holy Spirit. He yearns to bring to fruition this often overlooked gift.

Those who sing skillfully and beautifully unto the Lord in private devotions will stand in the great congregation and find God ministering through them and to them. He will use the voices of many to usher the people into His presence. Thousands are longing for that which the Lord has placed within the singer. It is not a common thing; it is not ordinary. It is a priceless gift. Gratefully rehearse this gift unto the Lord in the solitary and secret place.

A New Era
A new era in Christian music has begun in the church. Innovative and exciting things are happening in music and praise and worship. Refreshing changes are on the horizon. The amount of enlargement and success to be experienced from this will depend upon our cooperation with and obedience to the Holy Spirit.

There will be greater freedom to sing in the Spirit, both in private and public worship. The body of Christ has by no means plumbed the depths in this area. Worshiping singers must not be satisfied with precious droplets dancing upon their tongues when God is offering boundless rivers from which to drink.

Music has ministry powers beyond our current understanding. Its tones and rhythms literally pulsate with life and creative force. New songs will be conceived in the heart and mind of God. Birthed in heaven, these songs will stir the mighty congregations and shake the nations. From the east, from the west, from the north and from the south, God is calling forth His army to sing majestic praises. Antiphonal singing in the Spirit will flourish and flow; precious truths grandly sung by one will be melodiously answered by another, with wisdom and majesty (see Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16). These songs, supernaturally created upon the lips of the singers, will lift worshipers into the heavens, causing them to rejoice there. Harmonies and melodies of beauty and splendor will be sung.

The Lord is raising up singers and pouring upon them a fresh anointing. As they sing, the blind will see, the deaf will hear and the mute will be released to join their song. He is calling forth chief musicians who will follow His Spirit and do His bidding; chief musicians who will not sell out to the world, nor prostitute their gifts.

Battle Lines Have Been Drawn
Many major, recognizable forces come against singers. Pride steps forth, flexes its muscles and states, "I am great." Jealousy, clamoring to be seen and heard, raises the cry, "Why do they always get to sing?" Self-exaltation offers to vocalize its own praises in the key of its choice. Glory-seeking is an evil force that is powerful enough to rival the lust for money. Its presence becomes evident when a singer has become primarily concerned with what people think, seeking their applause and acceptance. Whenever singing God's anointing becomes secondary to the singer, it is time for a heart check. The Lord and the church are both weary of sulky, brattish singers who pout when they are not given the honor and thunderous applause they feel is due them.

Stained with Sin
It appears the Lord may be turning His face away from some Christian "superstars." Those whose lives are so full of themselves produce only a sound that comes up before God as a clanging gong. Their voices in the sanctuary become an abomination to Him. It is very possible that the Lord had purer praise under the Old Covenant, from the appointed singers, than that which He receives today from some singers in Spirit-filled churches. Would they have dared to minister before Him, under that covenant, before they were properly cleansed? Yet our often-stained generation comes fresh from their sin to stand in His house, in His name and "minister." The Holy Spirit is offended by such kinds of offerings.

Far too many have become like the Prodigal Son - they have gone astray and are famished in a strange land. They have wasted their inheritance with sinful companions. The Father's heart longs for them to return to their former relationship; when they loved Him, wanted Him, and sang sweet songs of love to Him.

A Word to the Singer
Pressure to pattern oneself after the latest superstar has become great. But godly singers should never settle for being a cheap imitation of someone else. If you try to sound like look like or act like the one in the spotlight, chances are you will never fulfill your own ministry. It is hard to accomplish a task the Lord has given you to do while mimicking another. Caution must be exercised lest you pattern yourself after certain personalities from whom the anointing has been withdrawn due to sin, rebellion, and/or disobedience.

"Sing Unto the Lord a New Song..."
God invites you to fresh, new experiences of worship. He has not ordained dull sameness. He admonishes and encourages you to sing a new song. This song should first be unto the Lord. In all your singing, the Lord is to be your primary concern. When you minister unto Him, He will minister through you to the people. You have the choice of ministering or performing. If you will minister, the Lord will become involved in your song. He will pour heaven's melodies and harmonies through you and an anointing will rest upon you to break every enslaving yoke.

The Lord rejoices over melodies borne on the wings of the Spirit. Communion with Him is complete when the enraptured soul bursts into singing a floodtide of glorious praise and worship, enhanced by whispered pianissimos and gladsome, swelling crescendos.

Sing forth, O blood-washed throng! Lift your voice in excellent praise and extol His name. Sing of Him with grand superlatives! The Spirit will take up the song and magnify your praise. He will lift you above dry praise born of labored mental processes. He will pour forth rivers of excellence from your lips. He will bring forth acceptable praise, glorious praise, delivering praise, God-exalting praise. Believe His word and sing; rejoice before Him and sing; come into His presence with singing. Sing away your problems; sing away your pains; sing away your distresses; sing away your impossibilities.

Creation's Song
The whole universe is finely-tuned and daily sings unto the Lord creation's song. The morning stars sing together; all the trees of the field clap their hands; and the voice of the deep sings forth until thunderous hallelujahs break upon the surface of the waters.

Come, o singer, boldly lift your voice and sing, for it is the Lord who has given you the song.

Ann McCraw is a teacher, author, songwriter and ordained minister. She also serves as co-pastor with her husband at Freeway Chapel in Phoenix, Arizona. Article reprinted with permission from The Psalmist Magazine, April/May 1988.

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