Battling the Enemy in Music

Yesterday in the worship service with our church family, we were singing Our Great God. What a great song! As we were making our way through the verses, I was struck by a particular line.

That line concerned our spiritual enemy, Satan. What struck me is that in some songs, we actually engage in spiritual warfare with this vile opponent as we sing. After all, spiritual warfare is not putting on physical armor and owning an actual metal sword. It is, instead, a battle that is waged as we pray.

Some of the best singing you will do in church is when you offer the output of your vocal chords as prayer to our great God in heaven. So when we were singing this hymn, I knew that I was engaging in that great spiritual warfare. Especially, when we came to these words,

Lord, we are weak and frail,
Helpless in the storm
Surround us with your angels
Hold us in your arms
Our cold and ruthless enemy
His pleasure is our harm
Rise up, oh Lord, and he will flee
Before our Sovereign God

Our weakness, our frailty is no match for this fallen angel. Yet, when we seek protection in the arms of God…when we beseech this great God to rise up…when he summons his holy angels, this enemy flees. He is no match for the one we worship.

Yet he continues prowling for us. He takes delight in harming us. The remedy is to fall into line behind the Lord. This song teaches what the Bible teaches,

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

–James 4:7, ESV

As we sang this truth, I also recalled the words from Martin Luther’s famous hymn, A Mighty Fortress:

And though this world, with devils filled,
should threaten to undo us,
we will not fear, for God hath willed
his truth to triumph through us.
The Prince of Darkness grim,
we tremble not for him;
his rage we can endure,
for lo, his doom is sure;
one little word shall fell him.

So the next time you sing a hymn or spiritual song, just remember that you just may be striking a blow against the devil.

Here is a video of Fernando Ortega singing Our Great God. Prayerfully sing along.