Welcome to the third installment of the summer series How to Nourish Your Soul & Be Happy in the Lord. If you missed the introduction, click HERE.
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.
[bctt tweet=”God is the great supplier. ~M.N. Stroh” username=”PearlNAllard”]
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!
[bctt tweet=”If God inhabits the praise that nourishes our souls, then you can help feed others by sharing that praise! ~M.N. Stroh” username=”PearlNAllard”]
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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13 thoughts on “#3 – How to Nourish Your Soul & Be Happy in the Lord – by M.N. Stroh”
This is wonderful!
I’ve been nourished by so many songs over the years. Over the last two years, songs by Rend Collective have helped lift my spirit, praise Jesus, and gain extra steps each day as I dance to their tunes!
Music is like a powerful protein shake. It just sets you up and fuels your soul.
Thanks for sharing this blog post.
I’m going to go right now and turn on some tunes! 🙂
Oh, I love Rend Collective! Their music is so inspirational. The fact that they’re an Irish Christian band makes them extra special in my book (I write historical fiction set in medieval Ireland). Your analogy of music being like a powerful protein shake is awesome!
Michelle, I love the energy you bring here! Dancing, praising, getting more steps in, and soul shakes! Love it! The first of their songs I ever heard was My Lighthouse. Thanks for prodding me to look them up again right now! And I love how appropriate to the genre of historical fiction they are to M.N. Stroh’s writing. 🙂
I sincerely loved this – worship through music is one of THE ways I connect with God and feel His Spirit. You articulated the role of music and worship so well. It isn’t the music in and of itself but how it resonates in my heart. Thank you for a wonderful, nourishing post.
Resonates is the perfect word to describe that experience. Absolutely! I’m so glad you were encouraged. That blesses me to hear. Thank you, Liz!
Liz, your comment made me smile, because it sounded so much like my mom (who is an amazing woman)! Music is so powerful, isn’t it? Grateful for the gift of music and the gift of His people to share it with. Thanks so much for contributing your voice here!
Melissa, I am nodding my agreement. Music has always been a huge source of nourishment for my soul. It has sustained me though the best and worst times of my life. Thank you God for music.
Yes! A lifeline to keep us singing. Hugs!
Melissa, thanks so much for sharing that group. I’ll have to check them out!
I love worship music. One of my fav new groups is We are They. https://youtu.be/2uYiHiJTN6Y
Melissa, thanks so much for sharing that group. I’ll have to check them out!
An excellent song! Thank you for sharing that Melissa Henderson!
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