God Centered over Man Focused
When we are truly devoted to pleasing God with our music, we begin to fade away from the center of what we worship. God becomes the object of our affections rather than our musical preferences. Too many churches cater to pleasing church members rather than moving our affections off of us and onto Christ. Without this, we nurture the sin of self-worship. The things of our preferences or demands grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. The Father is seeking true worshipers to worship Him in Spirit and in truth (John 4:23). While many popular worship songs today focus on me and my desires over God and His Word, we are resolved as a church to sing music that focuses on God and His beauty. We resolve to sing music that reminds us of the eternal realities allowing the Word of Christ to dwell in us richly singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness to God in our hearts (Colossians 3:16).
The songs we sing should be to worship God, celebrate who He is, magnify Him for what He has done, and focus our affections on His worthiness. We will be singing for eternity a new song. We should celebrate this reality by singing new songs now. Practically, we grow in our theology when we sing new theologically robust music. This causes us think a little deeper on the words. How many times have you sung the same songs, the same way, even in the same order, and never once thought about what you were singing? It can be a real challenge to hear a really familiar song with fresh ears. Singing music filled with Scripture moves us towards meditating richly. This is a historic practice of Christ's Church. Also, singing nationalistic songs is not wrong. In many cases and in the right setting it is very right! We should be thankful and honored to be citizens of this country. Yet, our primary identity as Christians is as sojourners briefly passing through this world. The worship gathering should focus more on who we are in Christ, not our momentary situation. Our citizenship for eternity will be in God's Kingdom with Christ's body. This is our ultimate identity and calling in Christ. Singing God centered music in God centered ways moves our affections, resolutions, and our meditation from us to God.