Today’s guest author is M.N. Stroh. (If you’re dying of curiosity what her initials stand for, you’ll have to visit her website! www.mnstroh.com) M.N. is a treasured soul sister. She is part of the writers group I met through the Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild nearly two years ago. M.N. has a big heart, gentle soul, and loads of knowledge about stuff I feel dumb just writing down – like Viking era Ireland. But she is the absolute last person to make you feel stupid.
In fact, M.N. has a knack for sharing history in riveting stories that has even history-reluctant-me on the edge of my seat! M.N. graciously agreed to step out of her genre of historical fiction to share current non-fiction about how her soul is nourished. May you be encouraged!
There’s a place in worship music that transcends the mere act. The moment it stops being about the singing, the worship set, or how well the team stays in sync with one another. It’s not even about audience engagement.
The real moment comes in abandon. When we put self aside, and the Holy Spirit moves. He nourishes our soul with the melodies. He harmonizes our hearts with His. He establishes us in the rhythm of His timing. In that moment, true worship happens.
I can’t remember when I first realized God nourished me through music.
For as long as I can recall, music played an integral part in my life. A bad day suddenly transformed to good with a single song. The reverse was true as well.
God communicates through song. There’s a passage in Job where Job’s friend is claiming he earned God’s judgement. In context, the verse has nothing to do with this subject. But there’s a portion that struck me.
Job 35:10 says, “But no one says, ‘Where is God my Maker, Who gives songs in the night…”
Who gives songs in the night?
I don’t know about you, but this happens to me all the time. For months I was literally plagued with random songs when I woke in the middle of the night.
Most were negative, and left me with this sense of heavy oppression. Falling back asleep proved difficult. I finally cried out to God, asking Him to deliver me from those dark songs. They starved my soul and left me bereft.God is the great supplier. ~M.N. Stroh Click To Tweet
He supplied in an intimate way. For a month, when I awoke to darkness, the first thing I heard in my mind was a worship song. A different song came each night. And I kid you not, every song held a particular message applying to a struggle I faced at that time.
God gave me songs in the night to feed my soul. He sustained me in a way no one else could.
Starving vs. Nourishing
Now you may wonder, what’s the difference between the negative music that starved and the positive music that nourished? Is it secular music versus Christian music?
I’ve found it’s the deeper intent of the song that feeds or starves the soul. If the lyrics have a negative message, that permeates the individual and drains them. But if the message uplifts, it nourishes whether the song is sad or upbeat.
Being Nourished Prompts Sharing
A single song may offer sustenance through a day. But singing praise with many, is like a feast for the soul. When my voice joins others in worship, I am made replete. It overflows, and that outpouring from the Holy Spirit fills the room, no matter the size. The energy God gives in those moments, makes you want to dive in and gorge yourself in the worship!
Souls are never fed through our work alone. During my time among our local worship team, there were days when I showed up to worship, but found myself going through the motions. Singing the expected part, counting down the rhythm to make sure I came in at the right time. It was all mechanical.
Yet God came at the unexpected time. In a chord, in a verse, in a beat that gripped, spiritually casting off all inhibition. I often wondered what caused this. In the end, I came to realize, only God could.
When Ecstasy Ceases…
Is the music still nourishing even when the ecstasy isn’t present?
Certainly! Think about your favorite spiritual song. What truths from God’s Word are present in it? What feelings do they evoke? Do they ground you in Him mentally and spiritually? That’s nourishment!
Psalm 22:3 says God inhabits praise. The New American Standard says He’s “enthroned” upon it. What a word picture! The same praise God feeds us with, He inhabits. Is there any wonder it’s nourishing!If God inhabits the praise that nourishes our souls, then you can help feed others by sharing that praise! ~M.N. Stroh Click To Tweet
Share the feast: What song has nourished your soul? Leave a comment!
Fueled by love for storytelling and history, M.N. Stroh has devoted sixteen years to writing craft and study of Irish history. Her nonfiction articles have been featured in Her View from Home and 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting. Historical fiction remains her first passion, though.
M.N. serves as the Director of Communications for Writers Chat, affiliated with Serious Writer Inc. and Almost an Author. She is also the Director of the Serious Writer Book Club. M.N. is an active member of Christian Writers Group International and the Jerry Jenkins Guild.
When not steeped in the world of Viking era Ireland, M.N. spends time with her husband and three children on their family ranch in Wyoming. To learn more, visit www.mnstroh.com
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